How less is more

When we talk about decluttering our goal is to end up with less stuff cluttering up our homes and lives. But after living for so long having and always wanting more the word less sounds like something negative, not a good thing. It exudes a vibe of going without, lack and life being not so pleasurable. But in reality the opposite is true. So instead of dwelling on the idea that less is a negative thing why not focus on the positive. How does less equal more.

  • Less stuff to take care of = More time to spend doing the things you enjoy. More time to spend with the people you love.
  • Less stuff cluttering up your home = More space for comfort and it makes your home seem bigger.
  • Less money spent acquiring stuff = More financial security for the things you really need like food, shelter, health care etc.
  • Less Money worries = More piece of mind.
  • Less happiness tied to material “wealth” = More focus on what really matters in life ~ Friends, family, activities that help others not just yourself etc.
  • Less desire for material items = More freedom from the strain of having to work so hard to earn the money to pay for the things to quench that desire.
  • The Less products you consume = The better it is for the environment and the supply of natural resources.
  • Less things you own that tie you down = More freedom to escape to do the things you enjoy like travel.

This list could go on and on. Think about the material things you desire then think about how much you need them verses the impact they have on your life, your family and the environment. Think also of the way your money could be better spent.

Today’s Declutter Item

One less item of aspirational clutter. This necklace is something from among my craft supplies the was given to me by my mother. I have decided that it is time to reduce my beading supplies and this necklace (or the beads I had planned to deconstruct it for) are excess to my needs. I will be making more visits to my beading supplies over the next couple of weeks. The more I decluttering in this area the better I feel.

Too much of a good thing

Something I Am Grateful For Today

I love the days when I spend half the day cleaning the house and then still somehow find enough giddy-up to vacuum out the car as well. Not to mention churn out a blog post, find my declutter item, chat with my boy, have a coffee with a friend, answer comments…

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission ~ Friday 22Dec2017 Declutter a couple of old shabby shoes that you no long choose to use.
  • Mini Mission ~ Thursday 21Dec2017 Declutter your fridge of out of date items or by using up as much as possible before adding more. With the holiday season here you will likely need every inch of spare space.
  • How little we really need Every time I go on a long vacation I am reminded of how little one really needs to live a comfortable and functional lifestyle. My husband and I often stay in Airbnb places when on […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I just posted about this very same topic yesterday!

    • Hi Creative Me,
      less must be more if so many people write about it. And everyone has a different take on the subject. I liked your approach ~ less is easier ~ while mine was less isn’t a bad thing. Welcome to my blog by the way I hope what you read here will help you on your journey.

      I also liked what you wrote at the end of your title ~ I taking babysteps on a path towards “enough”.

  2. Hey Colleen, That necklace looks so nice against the dark background, I’d almost be tempted to clutter my life with it’s prettiness (though knowing I’d seldom wear it!) Sounds like you had a ripper of a day yesterday – I’ll try to absorb some of your cheer!

    • Hi Snosie,
      isn’t it funny how a ripper of a day can consist of cleaning the house and vacuuming the car. I does cheer me when all those jobs are done and I can wallow in my tidiness.

  3. Small progress, after very successfully Freecycling the Tv, VCR, Converter, which I didnt watch, today I delivered to a friend who asked for them my VHS tapes, blank and used. Almost all were music taped from the tv, yes my favorites, but with no equipment to watch them on it was easier to let them go for reuse. I have kept two tapes of family reunions which I understand can be copied to DVD and played on my computer.

    I also visited the space I will be moving into. I had misremembered the size. There is a lot that will not fit there. One day at a time. Thank you for that encouragement.

    • Fantastic Rachel. You’re taking steps and are on your way!

    • Hi Rachel,
      good rehousing effort there. Sorry to hear you new place is smaller than you thought but maybe that is a blessing in disguise. Fingers crossed for you. 😉

  4. Less is More is true in so many ways–less property to maintain means more time to relax. Less clothes to wear means more time when you’re not deciding what to wear. And yes, I could go on and on.

    • Hi Willow,
      perhaps less clothes – more time you can spend in bed in the morning rather than choosing what to wear. I like that option. 😉

  5. I’ve been considering giving away one small item to everyone who visits me. I’ll start with small items that mean little to me and work my way up. I have so much clutter,I must start somewhere, and I hate to do yard sales.

    • Hi Sue,
      good idea, just make sure that you give people clear option to refuse your offer. Sometimes people accept just to be polite and that just adds to the clutter in their homes. My mother has been doing a similar thing lately, offering the beautiful things in her china cabinet to her children and grandchildren. Needless to say I didn’t take her up on her offer.

  6. Sue, that is a great idea. I will start it right away. Actually I am planning a Give Away morning on Aug 20, which will also just be a start.

  7. Hi Colleen,
    I really liked your article today – it is a view I have been coming to for quite some time – the theory is easy: “incomings” haven’t been high for some years – “outgoings” on the other hand took much longer to get to, and you have helped me over this year to be “active” rather than “passive” about them! It doesn’t show yet to others, but I can now see some gaps!!
    Please, keep me at it ….

    • Hi Ann,
      I am glad you are beginning to see the difference you are making. I am pleased my blog has been helping you to find the will to get active about clearing the clutter. Sometimes those gaps you speak of are hidden but so long as you know they are there you will keep striving to make them bigger and more obvious. If you ever find yourself waining because you can’t see the effect of your efforts declutter a few bigger or more obvious things for a while. The visual effect of larger changes will improve your momentum I am sure.

  8. And to your list I would add “Less time spent looking for things at the bottom of your wardrobe, or somewhere in that pile of paper, or hidden in the back of the shed …”. But I suspect you’ve either forgotten what that’s like or you’ve never known, Colleen. 😉

    And I totally identify with that warm feeling of satisfaction after doing the vacuuming, the weeding, the lawns, the tidying up etc. It’s wonderful to have that immediate visual feedback on our efforts etc.

    Today’s blog is another great example of how you turn around people’s thinking about “stuff”, Colleen. Yes, let’s make “less” the new “more”! 🙂

    Which reminds me … have you read the book “The Power of Less” by Leo Barbauta (of the Zen Habits blog)? A great little book about simplifying your life in general and about the “less is more” philosophy BUT what is missing is what your blog offers aplenty: the commonsense psychology and those excellent tips you’ve been giving in your “disassocation” blogs which help us deal with the *emotional” aspects of decluttering.

    • Hi Gisela,
      you are right I did forget to include the “less time wasted looking for things” fact in my blog. How remiss of me as this is something that I have talked about many times in the past. You are right though, I really always have had a good handle on where things are located in my home. 😉

      I used to dread housecleaning day when I lived in a larger home but now it all gets done so quickly that I can even add extra tasks during the process and still be finished in less time than it used to take. Having less stuff in the way makes even more difference to the speed at which I whip through so now it is no longer a mammoth task each week. As you say it is lovely to see the fruits of your labour when it is all done.

      I encourage my readers to think about their stuff and my reader encourage me to keep at this blogging thing with all the lovely feedback on how what I am doing helps them achieve success. So thank you for that.

      I have not read that book by Leo Barbauta but I will check to see if I can get it at my local library when I finish the two declutter books I already have out. The more I learn the more I can help my readers.