More, More, More!

More!

It’s not quite the word you’d expect to see on a blog about simplifying.

But I think that it’s a core concept of what I’m trying to do here. I started to simplify when I noticed a lack of space, a lack of time, a lack of joy both in my possessions and in my lifestyle.

I needed more.

Do we always need more?

Of course not. It’s extremely important to know what to seek more of and what to avoid.

Seeking more quality, rewarding relationships is great, but seeking more acquaintances or “contacts” isn’t always best. Although if you love to network, then that’s perfect.

Adding more kitchen appliances for the sake of having a world-class kitchen isn’t productive, but adding more because you are pursuing your passion for cooking is a good start.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: more for the sake of more is what gets us into trouble. Intentionally choosing more (usually not physical, but sometimes it can be) is the sweet spot.

More vs. minimal

It’s time that we stop thinking of more and minimal as mutually exclusive.

Seeking more in a meaningful, intentional way is a recipe for an abundant life. The aim of minimalism and simple living is to get more of the good stuff: the stuff that isn’t necessarily stuff at all.

minimalism means more

It’s a simple opportunity cost: less of one thing means more of another, and vice versa.

So what do you want more of?

Quick practice: making a More List

Here’s a quick way to get your mind moving in the right direction. Grab a piece of paper and jot down ten things you want more of.

There are no bad ideas or wrong answers here – you might want more free time or more exercise, but it’s also okay too see things like more shoes or more ice cream. Just make sure that your list is an honest portrayal of what you want more of.

Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.

Swedish proverb

Next, consider each item. Why do you want more of each one? I always find that being honest with myself about my motive helps put things into perspective. You might cross off a few here if you realize your motives don’t match your current values.

Finally, break the list down even further.

What do you need less of in order to get more of each item? The obvious answer for most physical things or experiences is money. Is it worth it?

You’ll also see things that cost space, time, or energy. I’m not saying that spending these things is a bad idea, just be sure weigh the costs and benefits and work out what’s best for you.

Redefining minimalism

I’ve been thinking about this idea – of minimalism being about more – lately, and I was happy to hear that others who share my sentiment.

Brooke McAlary interviewed James Wallman on her Slow Home Podcast, and they discussed this issue of minimalism’s “branding problem” among other things. Minimalism is so commonly perceived in the negative light of denial and subtracting things from our lives that it can be unappealing and exhausting.

It doesn’t have to be!

So here’s my challenge to you: find what you want more of and start working towards it. Think about that process of having less of something in order to get more of what you want.

That’s how you define your minimalism.

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9 thoughts on “More, More, More!

  1. Thanks for this “perfect timing” post. I live in Canada and love to be outside but in the summer i have to be out of direct sunlight due to sensitivity. I’ve wanted to purchsse an outdoor awning type of thing but felt the purchase went against my minimalist philosophy. But i amgoing to intentionally make this purchase so i can enjoy more time outdoors this summer. Thank you

    • I’m glad you like it! That sounds amazing – it’s a purchase that is in line with your values and intentions, and that’s the best kind. At the end of the day, it’s really about the intention and the purpose and it sounds like you’ve got it 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  2. You are SO right that less is more! I find that your words are especially true in the garden where growing some of your food – and living a minimalist lifestyle has a BIG impact on all of us! Thanks for leading the ‘less is more’ revolution!

  3. Thank you for touching on this aspect of minimalism. As someone whose trying to adopt a more minamalist mindset, I look to Pinterest for inspiration and find only articles about how everything should be white or white + grey, or how your room should only have a bed and a small nightstand. Those things are great, but not the most appealing to me. It’s refreshing to see your perspective on minimalism and reminding us it’s ok(!) to have our own definition of minimalism and we don’t have to follow these “rules” to have a “true” minamalistic lifestyle!

    • Thanks Jordyn! It’s really all about making a move towards a more intentional life, not about living the life that is portrayed by others online. My own definition of “minimalism” has evolved over the past few years and it just helps to remember that it’s all up to what you feel is best for you! Thanks for sharing and good luck with everything 🙂

  4. There are a few things I do need more of in my life like more game time with my boyfriend, more dinners together, more time with those I love. But learning how to say no to a lot of other unnecessary obstructions is something I need to work on.

  5. Hey there Emily! I am so glad to have found your blog, I have been looking for someone who I can connect with not only in this lifestyle but also stage of life 🙂 Anyways, thank you for this post! I realized that I am wanting more time for family and friends and less stress of not having enough time. It is a great idea to set your eyes on what your end goal is other than just simplifying your closet, because this lifestyle really is more than just living with less!
    Can’t wait to read more!
    ~ Patricia

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