We live in a world driven by consumerism where there is a never ending cycle of needing more and not having enough. Partly from moving to a foreign country and partly the emerging global pandemic, I was, you could say “forced” into adopting a Less is More attitude.
When packing everything to move to Norway, I put in my suitcase a couple sweatshirts and sweaters, a few jeans and leggings, maybe 2 pairs of shoes and I had filled an entire large suitcase.. I had no idea how I was going to fit everything. Initially, I was not excited about getting rid of perfectly good clothes and shoes. But after zipping up my suitcase with an empty closet and a huge pile labelled “giveaway,” it felt freeing not to be attached to material possessions.
The emergence of a pandemic has also shown me the difference between what is really essential and what we can live without. When things clutter our physical space, they also clutter our mental space. And it’s so important to have free mental space to be the best possible versions of ourselves. To have more ideas and creativity at work, to be able to actually focus when we’re reading a book, or to simply enjoy the present moment, is a direct consequence of having Less.
So today, I want to share How to Invite a Less is More Attitude into your Life. There’s several different areas in our lives that can be decluttered: our homes, our possessions, our daily routine, our work space, and our phones.
Our homes are our sanctuary. Where we spend time with those most important to us. Where we recharge and get our rest. Where we cook meals and gather around the table. Where we have our morning coffee looking out at the day ahead of us. And for many now, where we work and spend most of our time. So that is why having a space that doesn’t add stress, but instead adds a sense of calm is so vital.
Adopting a Less is More attitude in your interior space means simplifying what you have without losing any quality. This doesn’t mean your living room will be cold and uninviting, with bare floors and empty walls. It means being intentional and selective with the items you allow to enter the space. What is it’s function? Where will it go? Does it outweigh another piece you already have? Let architectural details speak for themselves. Maximize natural light. Incorporate beautiful storage.
Less is More in your home is all about prioritizing quality over quantity. Being aware that everything should have a purpose. When living an active lifestyle, your home should be restful not hectic. As we choose to reduce the amount of things we have in our home, we shift our focus to the people in the space with us and the views around us.
When was the last time you went through your closet? Or your bed side table? Or your dresser? One way or another, things find their way in and make themselves at home. The last time I went through my clothes, I realized that I still had t-shirts that I’ve owned since high school. Choosing to embrace Less is More with your possessions means getting rid of the old to make space for the new.
Changing your relationship with possessions looks like investing in things that you LOVE instead of accumulating things that you LIKE. Maybe it looks like saving a little more money for a higher quality pair of jeans or leggings that you LOVE and that you will wear more often. Because they are higher quality, they will last longer too. So, not only will you be more excited to wear them every day, you’re helping the environment at the same time by buying clothes less often.
Even our daily routine is something we can approach with a Less is More mindset. A simple way to start is to sit down and write out all the commitments you have. Decide the ones you truly love and get rid of the rest that you can. This enables us to devote more energy and attention to the things that bring us the most joy. We’re able to do MORE with each activity because we have LESS on our plate.
Sometimes it’s not so simple and there’s not much in our life to be paired down. Another way to get more out of our days is to be organized with our routines and to plan ahead. Scheduling a cleaning day, a grocery shopping day, and a laundry day can take away from the stress of feeling like you’re doing laundry and going to the grocery store 37 times a week. Set a designated day for it and you won’t be thinking about it all week. You know when it will get done. Adding a sense of structure can bring peace and eliminate stress from being disorganized in our obligations.
According to the design experts at Dwell, “A great office should reflect your personal taste and inspire your best work.” Thus, there is no “one size fits all” work space. It should look different for everyone. Though, I will say that just like clutter in our homes, clutter in the work space will distract us.
You’d be surprised what the simple acts of wiping down your desk, recycling unnecessary papers, and organizing your desk can do. As someone who values and appreciates beautiful décor, I also know as soon as I remove some things and clean my work space, I can focus and concentrate better on my work. Embracing Less is More in your work space looks like eliminating distractions to gain more productivity.
Lastly, I want to share about the power of decluttering our screens. The thing that almost never leaves our side. Although it varies person to person, as a society we spend so much of our day on our phones. Why don’t we routinely go through them like we do with our clothes? We should get rid of what we don’t use!
Maybe you are a step ahead and you already do that. Taking it even further than just deleting apps, how can you reorganize your screen that helps promote less distractions and actually achieve your goals? For me, I have a goal to practice learning Spanish every day. Intentionally, I put the Babbel learning app at the front of the screen. All of my social media apps are in a folder at the back of my phone.
We all know there are certain apps that battle for our attention as we try to get a task done or even as we just sit on the couch at the end of the day. Opening and scrolling becomes so habitual. Even if you had no intention of getting on social media, you open it out of habit and there goes the next 30 minutes! Put limits for social media in place. Be intentional with what apps you download. Delete ones you’re not using. Put apps that distract you to the back and bring forward ones that won’t. And watch as your mind and life changes as a result.
Create a Less | More List. Think about those things that you want less of in your life. Be it less scrolling on your phone. Less self doubt. Less focusing on an end result. Then replace it with what you want more of! More reading. More self confidence. More joy in the process.
Write your list down on a sticky note or piece of paper. Place it on your bathroom mirror, your nightstand, or anywhere you will be reminded of it on a daily basis! Tangible actions create real changes. Check out my Less | More list below or on my Pinterest as a reference 🙂 I’ve also created a blank one so you can fill out one yourself on my Instagram under the highlight “blog”. Let me know in the comments below 1 thing you want Less of and 1 thing you want more of in your life!