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Less = More : Reflections on Simplicity and the Minimalist Lifestyle

Updated on September 21, 2017

Less or more? ...That is the question.

Which is better: less or more?

Is it true that less IS more?

If you believe modern consumer-driven civilization, we all need more of everything. Most of all, we need more money so we can buy more and more and more!

At some point we need to step on the brakes, stop, and think about what we've done to ourselves. Is less really more? What does that mean?

A single rose...

"A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world." - Leo Buscaglia ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin
"A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world." - Leo Buscaglia ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin

Do less and get more done!

A long time ago, around 1992, I owned a computer bulletin board system (BBS) connected to the FidoNet network. I'll bet a lot of you remember good old FidoNet! It fetched messages very well in the pre-internet days.

At that time I met a woman, a fellow “sysop” (owner of a BBS) named Jeanne. She wanted me to join her very small and simple network, and suggested I not try to keep up with all the other “echoes” (message threads) because “less is more” - you can get more done by doing less.

I didn't learn the lesson. Instead I tried to participate in her network and in several others. Consequently I was never happy with the amount of time I had to spend in any network. I had too much to do and was unable or unwilling to do the reasonable thing, and cut back on my commitments.

This problem has plagued me over the years. I constantly try to do more than is humanly possible. A person with this problem cannot focus on any one thing long enough to get it done properly. The attention constantly drifts from one thing to another. There's too much to think about!

This is a situation in which less = more .

Fewer things to do = greater ability to focus = more significant things get done!

What is money really worth? ...Your sanity?

"I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love." - Sir Paul McCartney ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin
"I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love." - Sir Paul McCartney ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin

What MORE gives us

When we've fallen for the buying frenzy,

when we've got more than we need,

we stagnate in our possessions.

They surround us,

get in our way,

distress us,

confuse us,

and overwhelm us.

Even if all these bad effects

happen unconsciously,

there's still an effect.

Less Money = More Peace of Mind

It is true. Money can't buy you love. Worse yet, the love of money and the constant pursuit of it can rob you of peace of mind. If you're constantly trying to get rich.. especially if you're good at it, you're likely to lose any chance you had of really enjoying that money.

Those who have opted for the voluntary simplicity movement found that by living a simple life in a simple dwelling with simple possessions and expectations of life, there's a lot of happiness to be found.

Are you like a wildflower?

"The love of money is the root of all evil." - 1 Timothy 6:10, KJV ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin
"The love of money is the root of all evil." - 1 Timothy 6:10, KJV ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin

More vibes, more confusion

Everything is made of energy. Everything we buy has a vibration because it is made of energy. When we bring all those possessions into one closed space we're affected in many ways, and sometimes affected in too many ways!

By clearing out clutter we can reduce the incessant discordance of vibrations from possessions we don't need.

Okay, enough said about vibes!

Clear your clutter! Less = More!

I started clearing my clutter in 1993 when I moved to a flat in Oakland, California. At that time I had two preschool aged children. I put all my clutter in one room and closed the door. The rest of the flat was relatively uncluttered except for children's toys. At night when the kids went to sleep I'd clean their mess, then go into the back room and look at my boxes of unnecessary possessions. I knew they were unnecessary because I wasn't using them and didn't need or miss them.

I got a copy of Taming the Paper Tiger by Barbara Hemphill, and started reading. That book explained everything I needed to know to start organizing my mess. That was a wonderful beginning, though there were setbacks over the years. At this point I've got most of my clutter under control. I've given away many boxes of possessions and rarely miss any of it!

The other book featured at the left, Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui , also did me a world of good.

All's well that ends well...

"A place for everything, and everything in its place." - Isabella Mary Beeton ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin
"A place for everything, and everything in its place." - Isabella Mary Beeton ... Photo by Linda Jo Martin

The Joy of Minimalism

There's a lot of joy in the clarity of mind we feel when we can look around our homes and see clear open spaces, an uncluttered environment, and clean, simple minimalism.

I encourage everyone, if you're at all interested in this kind of peace of mind, to set a goal and work toward it. It will take some longer than others to achieve simplicity, but do whatever it takes, be patient with yourself, love yourself, accept setbacks if you experience them, and keep moving toward the light.

Your comments are welcome!

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I employed to receive on top of lifetime yet of late I've truly developed a new amount of resistance.

    • LindaJM profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Jo Martin 

      7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Mind clutter can be as bad as desk clutter! Ask me, I know......... LOL

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for this article Linda. I have been working towards being less materialistic and more minimalistic for some time, but get caught up with too many things on my mind so I was able to relate to every point you made.

    • LindaJM profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Jo Martin 

      8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Thanks, Rochelle! I can always do with less clutter. Terrible how it piles up so easily!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      8 years ago from California Gold Country

      I'm in the midst of doing some major de-cluttering, and . . . yes, less IS more.

      Good thoughts here.


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