I noticed this when I first started reading about plainness and simplicity. It is by no means a solely Quaker phenomenon. I have encountered Plain Catholics, Pagans, Anglicans, and Unaffiliated Christians. I felt that perhaps this might be one benefit of our current recession - it has reminded many of us of what is important and what is not, what must be maintained and what must be cut away. There was a great article in the New York Times to that end today. "But Will It Make You Happy?" (Rosenbloom, August 9, 2010) is an article about a couple who took on the challenge of paring down when the wife, Tammy, found herself caught in the ""work-spend treadmill."
Here is the link from Yahoo Finance http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/110275/but-will-it-mak...
Rosenbloom, S (August 9, 2010) But Will it Make You Happy? New York Times