I was perusing the Jesus Radicals discussion forum and came across a question about practical ways to simplify our life. So I responded:

I think the most direct practical way to simplify is to share.

Our society encourages everyone to own their own of everything. I look at suburbia and see little fenced in yards where everyone has almost all the same things, sitting idle, locked up. This practice serves the makers and sellers of all these things, but it only gives us more stuff to maintain, move around, and protect from thieves. And it keeps us isolated on our own little plot of property.

So, share. Start borrowing instead of buying. Get a book at the library instead of a bookstore. Go to a neighbor for a tool instead of buying your own. Eat out at a friend's house instead of a restaurant. And then be ready to make your things available to others who need them, offering them when you see the need.

I've been living for several years in communal settings, where almost everything is shared: houses, cars, food, tools, labor, etc. It makes much better use of things and it draws people together. I can't always get what I want exactly when I want it, but I've always found my needs met and often found much better things than I hoped for, because I asked someone for help. I've lived for years with almost no property of my own, simply accepting what is offered and contributing what I have to give. It's very difficult at times, but in a way that helps me (and others) grow. I know if I get married and have a family (possibly within the next few years) there will be many more material needs, but I haven't found a need yet that can't be provided through sharing.

Not everyone can immediately jump into a completely shared living situation, but we can immediately start sharing more than we do now. And the more we do it, the more relationships develop, and the more possibilities for a simpler life begin to appear.