Are you drowning in stuff? Do you have more things than you know what to do with? Is your house overcluttered and your mind overwhelmed? If you’re like most Americans, you can probably relate to this sense of having too much. And, if you’re ready to do something about it, we’re here to help! You’ve probably heard the phrase less is more. But what does it really mean? And is less better?
We’ll tackle those questions here, along with ways you can begin to pare down your possessions and create more space in your life.
Is less more? A brief overview of why less is better
So, is less more? Before we dive into the specific reasons why less is better, let’s talk about your stuff. What kind of relationship do you have with your things?
Where do you fall on the spectrum of owning stuff? On one extreme, there are hoarders – hoarding is an actual mental health condition where people accumulate an excessive amount of things and have a tough time getting rid of anything.
On the other end, there are minimalists – those who accumulate only those things they need and get rid of the rest.
Most people fall somewhere in between hoarders and minimalists. If you find yourself with too many things, you could probably benefit from owning less. Owning less stuff can boost your mental health, improve your physical space, and lessen your impact on the environment.
Want to learn more about why less is better? Read on for specific reasons and ways to get started on your less is more journey.
7 Reasons why less is better!
Every person will benefit from owning less in different ways. Here are our favorite reasons why less is more:
1. Less overwhelm
The very first reason why less is more is because you will be less overwhelmed with less stuff! Do you have a space where you can go and relax? Where you can look around and not feel overwhelmed or inundated with stuff? Hopefully, you do. If not, figuring out how to live with less will be so beneficial.
Clutter creates chaos, and that makes it difficult to function. Your things are meant to be enjoyed, serve you, and light you up. They are not meant to stress you out or overwhelm you.
By embracing a less is better ethos, you will give yourself more room to breathe and just be. A relaxing space, filled with only things you need, want, and actually use, is one free from stress and overwhelm.
2. Less stuff means less waste
Downsizing your things lessons your impact on the environment. Perhaps you might choose to cut back on purchasing fast fashion, which has many negative effects on society and the environment (not to mention your wallet).
Or, you could consider downsizing your housing and opting for a smaller home, buying only high-quality (but fewer) items, or resolving to buy only what you need at the grocery store so that you produce less waste.
Whether big or small, all of these changes will create less waste and benefit the environment and society in the long run.
3. Leads to mental clarity
A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. One of the benefits of getting rid of excess stuff is that it helps to clear your mind and gives you the space to think and focus. Have you ever heard of decision fatigue?
It’s the concept that after making many decisions, it becomes harder and harder to make additional decisions. When you are surrounded by clutter and too much stuff, you are constantly faced with decisions.
Where to put this, where to look for that. In addition, all of that stuff can become extremely distracting and overwhelming. Once you clear the clutter, you’ll find that you’ll have more clarity and will be better able to make decisions and focus.
4. Opens up more space
Another reason why less is better is that it opens up more space. Although this benefit might seem obvious, it’s important to mention because it really can make a giant impact on your wellbeing.
When you get rid of the excess, you will have more space. That might mean more space to display things you actually use, put up photos of your loved ones, or simply leave blank. No matter how you choose to use your newfound space, the benefits are extensive.
With so many of us working from home now, many of our lives revolve almost entirely around the home. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to have a space that you truly love and want to spend time in, not one that’s cluttered with things you don’t even use.
5. Saves you more money and puts you on the path to financial freedom
This is a big one – owning less stuff is a huge money saver. First of all, when you begin to embrace a less is better philosophy, you will automatically cut back on spending. Spending money on things you don’t really need, and racking up credit card debt along the way, is one of the quickest ways to sink your finances.
When you are more intentional about shopping and spending, you will stop filling your space with things you don’t need. In turn, you’ll have more cash to put toward your financial goals.
Living with less, living below your means, or adopting a minimalist lifestyle will all contribute to an increase in your savings and put you on the path to financial freedom sooner rather than later. Check out our post on how to create a minimalist budget to get started!
6. Gives you freedom and time
There are multiple reasons why less is more when it comes to your time and freedom. First, with less stuff, you have fewer things to maintain. It’s simple math that with fewer items, you’ll have less to clean, maintain, or replace when broken. That all equates to more time to do what you actually want to do!
Second, you won’t constantly be spending time researching new items to purchase and going shopping to get them. When you only buy what you need, and get rid of what you don’t, you’ll have even more time to spend on what matters most to you.
Without the constant upkeep of stuff, you’ll free yourself for what you really want to do with your life. Who knows what you’ll be able to accomplish or enjoy, or just how much time for rest you’ll gain back, if you stop filling your life with unnecessary things.
7. More gratitude for what you do have
Getting rid of things, decluttering, minimalism, and owning less – none of those are about deprivation. In fact, the opposite is true. When you get rid of things and keep only those you genuinely want and need, you gain rather than lose.
One of the most important things you gain is gratitude for what you do have. There are so many benefits of gratitude. And with less stuff, you’ll have more room for gratitude for what you have and more space to experience all of those good feelings.
Ok, so less is better. But where do you even begin?
Is less more? After reading the reasons above, you probably agree that having less is better, at least to an extent. Almost all of us could benefit from a little decluttering once in a while.
If you’re wondering where to begin, these tips should help get you on your way:
1. Declutter one small area at a time
When you’re inspired to begin paring down your things, you might feel the urge to get rid of them all. For most people, that’s not usually the best approach. Instead of attempting to clear your entire house of clutter, start small.
Choose one area – it could be one drawer, your desk, or a shelf in your closet – and begin there. Decluttering can be overwhelming if you try to tackle everything at once, and you don’t want to give up before you even really get going.
By starting small, you’ll give yourself a “win” in a short amount of time, and you’ll be motivated to keep going.
2. Stop buying new things
While getting rid of things is one way to cut back, you’ll go even further if you put a stop to buying new things. There are so many ways you can stop buying things you don’t really need.
One way is to find something else to do during a time you would have been shopping, or participating in a no new clothes challenge for a month (or even longer!).
3. Try a minimalism challenge
Lastly, if you truly believe that less is better and you’re ready to dive in head-first, consider a minimalism challenge. This will jump-start your journey to truly embodying the ethos of less is better in all aspects of your life.
Of course, you don’t have to become a minimalist to benefit from a little decluttering. You don’t even have to become a minimalist to participate in a challenge.
But, by shaking things up in your life and doing something like a minimalism challenge, you’ll probably discover even more benefits and reasons why less is more.
Whether you are a minimalist or not, less is better!
So what do you think? Is less more? Hopefully, you are inspired to start living on less and have more freedom with your time and finances. Whether you’re inspired to try out minimalism, or you just want to get rid of old clothes you no longer wear, you can absolutely benefit from owning less.
No matter where you are on your journey to owning less, there’s no better time than now to put some of these tips into practice and reap the benefits of less!