Toward More Calm and Meaning

posted by Sharon June 13, 2016 15 Comments
The More of Less

The More of Less by Joshua Becker goes beyond a call to declutter, downsize, or organize. Becker focuses on the reasons to live with less. “Minimalism” he writes, “is about what it gives, not what it takes away.” A step towards minimalism, no matter if it’s just a baby step, can add so much more than you lose.

Not convinced? Here are some of the benefits he lists of owning less stuff:

More time and energy
More money
More freedom
Less distraction
Less comparison

I’m not a minimalist, but I’m constantly moving toward owning less, though I’m inconsistent. I cannot give up my shelves of beloved books. I have way too many shoes. I cannot part with my collection of 20-plus scarves even though I wear a scarf maybe twice a year. Does Becker offer help for conflicted folks like me (and maybe you)?

Yes. The parts of the book I most appreciated were the practical suggestions on how to get started if you’re not ready to donate or throw out hundreds of possessions. Start with easier categories. Save the books for last (or keep them all, your choice). I found it easy to go through those countless tiny bottles of hotel shampoo and old make-up samples and toss the lot. My history books still sit proudly in place.

Another suggestion is to experiment. If you’re not sure you want to give away those sweaters, put them in a box or closet out of sight. You can choose a period of time or just leave them there indefinitely. See if you miss items you’ve put away. This method works well for me, as it eases the drastic step of giving away many of my clothes at once. I put aside a load of older winter clothes for some weeks. I did pull out a red sweater (my favorite color and I missed it) and eventually gave away the rest of the items. Some people try counting items to keep or to donate. Others like to count the number of days they “experiment” before making a final decision. Try different plans and go with what works best for you.

Becker’s book has both philosophy and practical content. What I appreciated is his encouragement to tailor any kind of cleaning out of your possessions to what you can tolerate. What he’s advocating is “the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.”

Did you wonder what the photos have to do with simple living? I went outside my front door while thinking about this book and looked around at how uncluttered nature can be. A brilliant yellow bloom cheers us. The deep green of a succulent is beautiful without any other color or ornament. A palm is so intricate yet uncomplicated. And one white orchid is infinitely lovely. These are images of the more of less.

How about you? Are you dabbling in minimalism? A happy owner of clutter?

Linking up with Image-in-ing, Little Things ThursdayWednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens Seasons, and Life Thru the Lens.

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15 Comments

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jandi @ohmydearests June 13, 2016 at 7:42 am

your photos are really beautiful! I do like your take on the book! I am also moving towards owning less!

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Tamar June 13, 2016 at 11:02 am

So many great points!

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Abrianna June 13, 2016 at 1:54 pm

The shots were minimalist in nature so fit what this post is about. Still de cluttering here.

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linky June 13, 2016 at 3:38 pm

My husband and I are in the midst of getting rid of a lot of stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. All of it is usable, but some of it has sat unused for years. The question becomes “Why the heck did I think I might want that anyway???”

Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/06/west-side-story.html

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Margaret Birding For Pleasure June 13, 2016 at 3:53 pm

I am all for decluttering.I could write a book here (not going too!!) on how carthic it is to declutter. it starts and ends in the mind! your photoraphs illustrate the point very well adn why would we not want to be more like nature. Can you take anything with you to the next world? Will your family want any of your stuff? If they do, give them it NOW!

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Jesh StG June 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Many thanks for sharing this philosophy with SEASONS! Your presence and input is much appreciated:)
How do I put this – I have a lot of stuff (others would call them collections), but I live a simple life. Living creatively means expanding (in a certain direction) or shrinking to give room to creativity. That’s why what some call “stuff” doesn’t bother me, because I’ll come back to it eventually. Have a great week!

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Laurie @ Pride in Photos June 14, 2016 at 5:44 pm

It is so true, the less we own..the more freedom is brought into our lives!

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Ida P. Krause June 14, 2016 at 5:52 pm

I think decluttering can be good but I’m not one of those extremist who really go out all to live the minimal life style. I know I need to part with some things but I also know there are others that I just wouldn’t part with.
Lovely, lovely photos. I especially enjoyed the lily and the palm frond.

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elizabethfstewart June 15, 2016 at 4:04 am

I’ve gone through our belongings and gotten rid of so much on three different occasions this past year, and yet I’ve still got plenty of stuff!

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Sarah Carletti June 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Yes, while I am not a true minimalist I find that I can do with a lot less. I love the suggestion of putting something in a box for a pd of time. If it is not missed then surely okay to donate. Blessings to you.

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Lisa @ LTTL June 20, 2016 at 12:55 am

hmmmm… you will find out tomorrow I am not a huge fan of self help/personal growth book but this one intrigues me as I am pursuing a life less cluttered. Shoes are a downfall for me too, but I have gotten rid of the ones I do not really wear.

Lisa @ Life Thru the Lens

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handmade by amalia June 20, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Sounds like my kind of book. I’ve been on a journey to simplify and declutter since reading the Marie Kondo book but lately I’ve been slipping back into old habits. I need another read 🙂
Amalia
xo

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Kim Cunningham June 22, 2016 at 2:23 am

I’ve been following his blog and gaining lots of insight. I don’t think of myself as a minimalist, but rather, an essentialist. Though it is a fine line for me. I have no problem getting rid of things, and often get in trouble for getting rid of too much.

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kelleyn rothaermel July 6, 2016 at 6:04 am

I am such a believer in less is more. The problem with stuff is that it begins to own you instead of you owning it. Hope you had a great 4th of July!
https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/lds-church-to-independently-teach-both-religious-and-secular-education-classes/

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