“A smaller amount of; not as much” says the dictionary.
When we are decluttering we often ask the question “Do I love it?” or “Is it useful?” as a basis to decide what should stay or go? This in itself may not be ENOUGH. I feel we need to embrace the notion of “less” in order to streamline and organise our homes.
Less is such a little word but one that I have been thinking more and more on recently. I want to take a peek from a few different angles and invite you to join me.
In 1947 the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was an early adaptor of the phrase “Less is more”. His tactics were to only use the NECESSARY components in a building to create extreme simplicity e.g. designing a floor that was also a radiator. So, from this perspective it’s kinda problem solving – looking for innovative, simple ways to achieve your goal.
The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus ) turn this phrase on its head and workout that “More is actually less” as owning less stuff gives you more time, freedom and meaning. And importantly more time equals less frustration and worry.
A practical example of this might be “workout kit.” You may believe that you’d like a fully equipped gym at home as this could motivate you to take more action. But will it really?
There are so many alternatives than can achieve the same end result. We could simply use body weight exercises (Pretty much anywhere!) or we could use our local gym or attend a class. If we opt to have all the necessary equipment ourselves then we have to spend more, clean & maintain more and it requires more space. Would it then actually make us feel guilty if we didn’t use it? There are no right or wrong answers here but questioning yourself and weighing up the consequences is critical. I definitely feel we don’t need to OWN as much as we think we do.
Someone who continues to really spark my interest in this area is Courtney Carver – a fabulous writer and simplifier who's website and social media account is titled “Be More with less”. Her compelling posts really encourage your mind to wander and explore. I love this most simple statement of hers “Say Yes, less”. She has much more to offer than just motivational quotes and I would recommend a browse of her work.
Another compelling argument on the "less is more" front comes from Finland and their high ranking school system. They spend LESS time in school, starting at age7, have longer holidays and the school day is shorter. They are also given LESS homework and testing is more minimal. Trust is an essential element across all their publicly funded establishments. There are NO private schools. The result – they consistently appear near the top of international rankings for their quality and attainment.
As for the teachers, who are highly respected, I’m sure that they too appreciate this system that allows them to achieve more for both their students and themselves with less.
In researching this topic I’ve discovered a heap of stuff out there on the “Less is more” concept in all areas from economics to building muscle and clothing style. Less is not NONE. Ultimately the consensus is that when we have and do less, we feel less scattered, more deliberate and more present. Thus, creating more SPACE to enjoy the now.
Finding the balance between joy and usefulness versus clutter and burden is not easy but an area we do need to ponder on in order to find the best way forward for US.
If we genuinely believe in the importance of LESS and incorporate this value into our daily lives it can be super powerful.
· Owning less “stuff” creates space in our home to enjoy more of what matters.
· If we spend less then we can gain more financial freedom.
· Less on our “To do” list offers more room in our heads for clarity and calmness.
· Producing less waste gives more chance of sustainability to our planet.
I could go on but at this point I think less is more … 😆
What do you think ?
If you want to get organised both at home and in your mind you can work with me 1:1 to get to the heart of your clutter issues. Get in touch now, I'd love to chat.