Less

minimalliving

I know, it’s not really all we need. At all.  But it’s a big part of what most of us could use.

Less stuff, less debt, less choices*, less accessibility, less overwhelm, less automatic ‘yeses’ because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or we’ve forgotten to turn our default from yes to I’ll think about it and get back to you.

What could you use less of right now?

 *supposed to be fewer but I’m trying to use less letters.  I mean fewer.

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Comments

  1. I could definitely use LESS of my teenagers fighting every morning over clothes. It ruins my whole day . The yelling, name calling and door slamming is getting on my last nerve. Yikes!

  2. Less Stuff!!!!! The hoard is slowly being purged, but we still have a long way to go!!!

  3. I love the thought of Less! Why is it so hard for us to implement? We are in the middle of building a house that we have been planning on for the last 4 years( and of course it’s a bigger house). Even though it will be great to have the space my heart is torn about the direction we are going. There is no backing out at this point or we would loose major $. I just can’t help to imagine a simple little bunkhouse for our family of 5 where there is no room for excess stuff. Sounds kind of exciting!

    • Jess, sometimes I think it’s hard because we are always bombarded with MORE of everything, it feels so backwards sometimes to be intentional about less.

      Congrats on the home, I bet you’ll put it to great use! xo

  4. I was just thinking this morning that I wish my home had less stairs. I have an empty nest now and no need for this big house but with the housing market the way it is I don’t think I’ll be getting my little ranch house any time soon.

  5. This is a great (and timely) post, Nester! I could definitely use less stuff in my life, but, less tangibly, I think as a blogger/creative I could use less fear in my work…less fear of doing it “wrong”, less fear of failure, etc.
    Just a minute ago, I published a post on the topic…”how to {not} be creative” that I’ll hopefully commit to memory and take to heart regarding fear and creativity…such a tough one! xoxo

  6. Love Letters! I have been going through the basement and I came to the box of letters that my husband and I sent to each other while we were dating and when we first got married. (He was in the military and gone a lot and e-mails did not exist yet.) So I have this giant box of letters. I was all ready for some good smut, but what I found was a lot of whining and really boring “What I did today” stuff. This box has really got me thinking. So far I have figured out that sometimes the memory is better than the reality. This can also be true for baby clothes that you store and then find out they are in less than pristine condition. It also has me asking myself, “Do I still whine this much, please tell me I have grown up in the last twenty years.” And that life really doesn’t change that much–people tell the same stories that they told twenty years ago, the same family members that didn’t get along twenty years ago still don’t get along, etc. Not sure that these lessons are worth the space that box has been taking up and moving that box each time we moved.

  7. Less political junk mail! It goes straight into the trash. Does anyone really read this?

    • I love trash days because I can stand right there at the mailbox on the curb and throw away all the junk mail without even bringing it into the house!

  8. Less clothing being saved for my youngest when he’s a totally different shape/size than my older son. The attic is sagging under bags which, by the way, we’ll be going through this week. Yay!

  9. Ha! I just did a post about Simplifying. My intention is to create soothing spaces, with less stuff! I just tossed a pile of check registers into the shred pile. They went back to 1996! Um… don’t think I’ll be needing those!

  10. Oh, Nester. I love everything about this post. Including the point of it. Truth is, I need a lot less in a lot of categories–except for courage and faith. In those categories, I need more, and I believe that having more of those would result in my actually being able to get to the stage of less in the others.

    The fact that you point out that it should be “fewer” and then say you’re trying to use less letters (I mean fewer)? Oh, you’re brilliant. I love you for many reasons, and I love that you know what word is grammatically correct and purposefully using another and then making it funny. LIke I said, you’re brilliant.

    • Oh Richella, what would I ever do without you? Also, I just stumbled upon that letter from long ago, the other day…how can one person be so encouraging? xoxo

  11. Less Mommy guilt. i hear it from Moms all the time: I’m a terrible Mom….blah, blah, blah. I “should” have taken my daughter to the mall…..or I “should” have signed my son up for that sports team, or I “should” play on the floor with my child every.single.day., etc.–or I’m a “bad mom.” If you read historical iterature, this ubiquitous “Mommy Guilt Syndrome” didn’t exist. Moms didn’t lie in bed at night and think bad thoughts about themselves–or, if they were, it’s certainly not documented as a pervasive concept the way it appears to be today. Historically, Moms were happy with making sure their chidlren had food, shelter, a modicum of education, and were generally loved and cared for. Moms didn’t feel “guilty” that they didn’t give their kids more, and MORE of everything: time, attention, love, stuff, activities, etc. Perhaps that’s really what the kids need from us too–less. Because the sense of entitlement that is rising is scary……and the “Mommy Guilt Syndrome” is something I could use less of, because it’s hit me too, and I’m so over it.

  12. After reading the previous comments, there are MORE ideas for less, that I can relate to.
    The hard part for me is deciding what I don’t need now and what will still not be “needed” later or if I will regret letting IT go in the future, That is my leep of faith…..
    rick

  13. LOL! I clicked on the pic, minimalliving, what country is that?

  14. Less stress!

  15. I’ve been reading your blog for a short time now, and I love it. I am a life-long pack rat, from a long line of life-long pack rats….I have helped my mom move several times in the last few years and after this last move, I was inspired to start cleaning out my own home. I have lived in the same house for 12 years and the thought of moving (not planning to, however) just fills me with terror! I don’t want my own kids to have to go through what I did with my mom. At any point. And they have learned bad habits themselves already! I am in the process of cleaning out my bedroom…and I have to say that as the clutter goes, the peace grows. It is so much less stressful to walk into my room now. I may not qualify for the hoarders show…but I was well on my way! Less stuff, less stress….

  16. carol jane says:

    Less clutter, less stress, less paint colors ha1 Oh yes and less stuff. My basement is a mess. Dont even know whats down there anymore.

  17. Less worry, more risk. Less fear, more love.

    This series has been so good in prompting to think about all the stuff I have, not just the physical. I look forward to reading and seeing what you write. And I think I want that quote on my wall somewhere…

  18. I think I need to start asking less of myself. I heap on the responsibilities and the to do lists, and always seem to take on that one other thing and next thing I know I’ve spent the whole day doing stuff that really could have waited.

  19. Mies van der Rohe said! “LESS IS MORE”

  20. I just wanted to let you know that your whole series is seriously inspiring me. After you post on being a “stuff manager,” and your link to “the minimalists,” I’ve been reading each and every day – and trying hard to think through the purpose of the stuff in my home. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  21. Kristen Trueblood says:

    I was thinking yesterday about how all of our technology like dishwashers and washers and dryers should really serve to enable us to own less, but somehow it seems to make us feel like we have room for more and more. It just doesn’t really add up. Love your blog!! Thanks for this series!

    • Ohhhh, I’m reading the book Margin, and he talks about just that very thing, about how technology is speeding things up and we are filling in the space it’s supposidly giving us with more stuff. Only he says it much better. A good read.

  22. Although I love my house, as an empty nester I could really go for a little less space. By modern standards it is on the smallish side (it was built in 1920) but I could be happy with a little less. I have a formal dining room that I walk through occasionally and 2 bedrooms that I go days without going into. I wouldn’t mind having a larger kitchen and some additional closet space but other than that, I think I’d be happy in a small one bedroom cottage somewhere.

    • I am feeling the exact same way about less space. It seems that I will fill whatever space I have (for example I brought a HUGE suitcase to Allume this weekend and of course filled it up) so why not just have less space?!

  23. Definitely less stuff! We’ll be moving soon and that is my hope – I WILL NOT move all this stuff! I would love to hang that print where everyone in our house could see it everyday and hopefully take it to heart!!

  24. Less saying “yes” to projects I’m not passionate about. And less automatically saying “no” to kids who just wanna have fun (really, why can’t they pile all the couch cushions on the floor and jump on them every so often? I have no good answer.)

    • Oh I get my automatic /default yeses and nos mixed up all the time, saying yes to the people I should say no to and NO to the people I should say Yes to. Why do we do that? It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot on lately and trying to pay attention to.

  25. I could use less mess. We have just finished a cross-country move, and the shelves for a couple bookcases and the legs for our kitchen table didn’t make it here. I’m just staring at stuff that could be put away if only I had functional furniture. *sigh* I hate having to replace things that I was perfectly happy with.

  26. I want LESS time away from home….I just want to be HOME, NEED to be HOME….life is TOO BUSY!!!
    ~Kim

  27. Oh, where do I even start??????? Fine, I’ll start here: I’m seriously considering paring my kids’ wardrobes down to like 7 pants and 7 shirts. The end. (Notice I didn’t include me in that list.)

    Also, I LOVE that art at the top of the post.

    Diggin you, Nester, even though I shake my fist at you every dang night in October.

    ;)

    • Oh, last year I counted how many shorts my two youngest boys have (they wear the same size and have hand-me-downs from a cousin and older brother). It was SINFUL. And I rarely call stuff like that sinful but I could have clothed children in a small country we had so many clothes.

  28. I’m definitely learning to do more with less. We used to be so spoiled as a family and then things got really tight in our household. Nothing we couldn’t adjust to though. Little by little we are learning to let go of all the space fillers and unnecessary things in our lives. It really is liberating! Thanks for the inspirational post.

  29. Oh Nester…if you only knew the struggles that my husband and I have been wrestling with …….I (our family) needs less of everything…..I’m overwhelmed to the hilt and we finally made the decision tonight for me to accept a dream job that pays half of what I currently make, but will be half….ok 100% less stress and will allow me to leave my work at work… I will finally learn that my job is what I do….not who I am…. amen. So we are forcing ourselves to do with less…..less everything. Our hope is to be a closer family and be less overwhelmed. It’s scary but I am excited at the prospect of learning to appreciated everything again and to make due with less. Thanks for this post (and all the others)……..I think the hand of god brought me here tonight………..

  30. You are speaking my language right now. We are downsizing out of necessity. It is painful. But in a good way. We are at the end of “up-sizing.” We have 3700 square feet of things and 1100 square feet to move into. It is a huge life change for our family and we are just getting started in the process.

    Keep it coming,
    Tasha

  31. Are you crawling around in my head? I have been struggling with the “less is more” idea for some time. Learning to let go of “things” and hang on to the memory is a constant struggle with me. I think back to the stories my dad tells us of losing everything in Germany during the war and coming here to America with nothing but a few papers. His parents lost their home, store and all their posessions. Gee, makes you think of all the things we have and really don’t need. Another great lesson!

  32. I now have a pile of things on my counter in the bathroom headed toward donation–a souvenir mirror I have had for 20 years but can’t remember using in the last 5 , hair combs that will never get used again–little things that seem insignificant in the drawer but actually do take up space. Releasing feels good.

  33. Love this! I always think that I would love to have less in my home. Less clothing.. I would love to buy and keep the pieces that I LOVE rather than buying things that are nice or ok because they are a good price. To make this switch could be expensive but I would like my closet more. I would need to make this a slow process for sure. Have a blessed day !!

  34. This might be my favorite post of your series so far. I want less stuff – physical and emotional – cluttering up my life. I’m using this post as encouragement to do something about it this weekend. Thanks, Nester!

  35. Great post. Yes, I agree, what everyone needs is a little less…

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