How to Save Money » Simple Living

Why Less Is More

Less is More

So many people seem to think that stuff = happiness and I’m here to tell you that that isn’t necessarily true – most of the time.

Sure, it’s great to have fancy clothing, high-quality furniture, overflowing bins of toys for our kids.. but really, when is it ever enough? When will we finally realize that it isn’t stuff that creates happiness – people do?

I’m a firm believer in the quote “less is more“. I really do believe that statement – it really rings true for so many situations.

Following is a list of items I find fit into the “less is more” category.

Clothing

The less clothing that you own, the more often you will wear things that actually fit and look good on you. It’s also much faster to get dressed in the morning when your clothing options are limited.

Also, let’s not forget how much less laundry you will have to do if you own less clothing!

Furniture

You don’t need to fill up every single empty space in your home. An empty spot here and there is actually quite refreshing. The more furniture you cram into your home, the more likely it is to look cluttered – and the more surfaces you will have to clean.

Housing

Although the average Canadian family size has gone down in the last 30 years, the size of family homes has grown. In the early 1970’s, homes were an average size of 1,500 square feet. Today, with less family in one home, homes are an average size of 2,500 square feet.

Why are we buying bigger homes for smaller families? With bigger homes come bigger hydro and heating bills. Not to mention all of the extra cleaning that needs to be done in a larger home.

Portion Sizes (Food)

Have you noticed how large the portion sizes are when you go out to eat at a local restaurant? The plates are often packed full of food. Yummy food, sure, but do we really need as much food as they put on our plate? Of course not.

Scale back your portion sizes and you will see so many benefits. Weight loss, more energy and of course, smaller grocery bills (when you make meals at home). Just because you might have food left on your plate, doesn’t mean you need to finish it.

Possessions

The fewer things you own, the fewer things you need to take care of. Don’t try to impress others with how much stuff you have. Impress them with your personality!

Less possessions means less time cleaning, fixing and picking up those items. Use that time for something more rewarding, like spending time with your family and friends.

You can improve your life in so many ways by simply eliminating the excess that’s holding you back from being happy and successful.

Analyze everything in your life and determine the things that you can get rid of to make your life better.

Less is more” is not just a quote from an 1855 poem, it’s a way of life.

How do you feel about the term “less is more”? Do you agree?

Comments

  1. April

    I have to agree with you on this.. I have moved from a house that was 1400 sq and into a semi that is very small. I am having a hard time down sizing. We are saving to buy a house and don’t want to get rid of the stuff in cause we will need it. Any ideal’s or should I just get rid of it. We aren’t using it now so we probably won’t need it.

  2. Laura

    Super Article! A message we can all learn from.

  3. tanya

    I totally agree! We just moved over to Canada from England and came with only (some of) our clothes. My husband and I and our 3 children now live in an 850 sq foot apartment. The baby is in with us, and the older 2 share a room. And we have plenty of space because we just don’t have a lot of ‘things’. I spend much less time cleaning and we don’t feel all cramped up – in fact we feel like we have MORE room….funny that

  4. Lisa

    Very well written…… Thats what I love about your articles…. They are all very well written and fun reads!

  5. Carolyn

    What you say is true, I was just wondering if this applies to your stock pile too 😮

  6. Tara

    Hi, wow I have to agree, we are buying a small mobile and we’ve been in it since Feb, many many trips to Sally Anne’s to give away stuff and we are still completely crowded in our small home from too much stuff. We did manage to put together another pile to give away last night and we made space for the Christmas tree, but somehow even after bringing 6 big garbage bags of toys and kids stuff my kids room is still overflowing to the point they cannot keep it tidy — I hope to very soon go through the toys and once again give away a bunch. Since my nephews moved a few provinces away a few months ago we can now give away the baby toys that were being stored for when they visited. Thanks Cassie, a nice article.

  7. mary

    omg, i just quoted that phrase this morning……so true!

  8. Joanne

    Thanks for a well-written, thought provoking article! Way to stand up against mainstream society.

  9. Raylene

    This is a nice concept, but it doesn’t look like you really practice what you preach. Like another reader asked, does this apply to your stockpile? And didn’t you recently spend 2500 dollars on gift cards? Many of your shopping trips show photos of excessive amounts of products. So do you honestly think less is more?

  10. Autumn

    I don’t think the stockpile includes clothing, houses or furniture Raylene. There is another quote that we could use here-
    If you don’t have anything nice to say…
    Can you finish it?
    Cassie- nice article, my hubbie and I always feel better when we make a little more room in our house!

  11. Katerina

    So this must apply to those families that do not partake in any extra-curricular activities? Clutter is just a given when you have children in hockey, soccer, art, music lessons, etc etc!

  12. Renue

    I love the article well written but it also important to ” practice what you preach” as( Raylene say).

  13. Olivia

    I agree and loved reading what I already know. It’s good to have a reminder that people and memories are what’s important in your life.
    As for stockpiling, it’s different when you have “stock” of items or food that are consumed or used up eventually . This isn’t the same as things.
    Thanks for all your tips in savings.

  14. Kristin

    Wow.Where do some of these people come from? Have they ever heard of the word “class”?

    Raylene- No where in her list does it say you shouldn’t find ways to save money? Especially on things everyone needs- foods, diapers, toiletries, etc.
    Katerina-do you really think that’s what she was saying? My kids are involved in many extra curriculars and our house is not cluttered.

  15. Carrie

    My word is Simplfy – easier said then done!!!

  16. Betty

    very good article. learned those lessons from my parents. every once in a while I’ll go through my stuff to see if I will still need it. eg. Wedding presents: if I haven’t used it in 5 or 10 yrs., I probably won’t use it, so I get rid of it. When we downsized from a 2500 sq. ft. house, we went through every room to see what we really needed versus what we truly wanted. it’s amazing how much stuff you collect over the years!!! Our kids needed stuff like a roast pan, casserole dishes, etc. rather than buy new stuff I just gave them my stuff as my hubby & I don’t make those big meals like we used to & we don’t eat like we used to. The girls on the other hand are at a point in their lives where they like to have parties & love to cook big meals for their friends and/or roommates, so they might as well have the stuff we don’t want.

    a lot of times, you think you need stuff but you truly don’t. True happiness is having a roof over your head & plenty of food to nourish you as well as a loving family. Anybody who says otherwise are just fooling themselves and buying into consumerism that businesses & corporations promote in order to make money. Class comes from within the person not the personal possessions. I’ve seen poor people have more class than people with lots of money & lots of possessions.

    keep up the great work!!

  17. Jeanna

    omg, I cannot believe some of these people! I’ve seen Cassie’s stockpile pictures and these are items she consumes! And when you purchase gift cards to get points, these gift cards are good for ever, AND that is saving money. You can also give them away as gifts (transfer a partial amount to another card). She is not a hoarder!
    I have lots of friends who have their kids involved in tons of extracurricular events and they do not have a cluttered home. Some of them hang their stuff in the garage so it doesn’t take up any space.
    Great article Cassie! My ex-husband has been telling me for over 12 years to get rid of stuff I don’t use… especially things that are in the storage unit untouched (not Seasonal stuff)! My house is cluttered. For some reason, I seem to fill every nook and cranny. I guess I don’t want to throw it away in case I will use it again. I have gotten rid of things in the past that I hadn’t used for a while and then needed it again down the road. And now I am not working, I can’t get rid of it because I can’t afford to buy it again. But I agree with you.. my house would feel calmer if it wasn’t wall to wall of things (ie: knick knacks).
    And Betty, “true happiness is having a roof over your head & plenty of food to nourish you as well as a loving family” is simply not true. I may have a roof over my head, but I go to bed hungry most nights cause I can only eat 2x a day. I’m on Disability and Social Assistance (which doesn’t give you enough to live on) and most of my family doesn’t talk to each other, so I’m pretty much on my own. I’ve become disabled in the past few years, so I was forced to quit work. I’ve had to learn on how to be happy from within. True happiness comes from accepting your lot in life and loving yourself. You need to be content with what you cannot change and strive to change what you can. And Mrs. J helps me get the most of the $35 I have to spend on groceries. Thanks for your great articles! 🙂

  18. Dien

    Wow what a gall some people have. MYOB!! I am trying to clear out our hime and add some things that are important to me. I definetley agree that a house with less clutter is way easier to clean. Toast to the simple life!

  19. Beth

    I would have to agree 100% with this article. Thank you for sharing! We just moved, and in the process totally purged out everything that was not used within the last year. There are so many places to donate items to, and feel good doing it. Also, I would ignore the comments about stockpiling….the whole point of that is not clutter, but use, and save money doing it. Thank you for sharing your tips and all these great ideas.

  20. brittney

    1. great article cassie.. i can’t believe the nerve of some people. its one thing to disagree with someones opinions, but to be completely rude about it – why bother saying anything at all. These people come to this site for a reason – to learn from you..You’re obviously doing something right, or they and the other 13,000 + people would not be following you on facebook and turning to you for help and inspiration.

    2.Stock piling is not hoarding. Watch an epside of hoarders, then look at cassies stock pile. Show me how there are any similarities.

  21. michelle patry

    You are one smart cookie Mrs J. I came from a family of consumers, they spend thousands on toys and junk and food and think nothing of it. For many reasons I have not been able to keep up with their lifestyle and while they judge me for it I look at them and their lives and realize I truely am MUCH happier than they are. I also give more to the community and friends with my income at 1/3 of theirs. Less is more and it’s wonderful 🙂

  22. elizabeth

    HI Ladies

    this is not related to the shoppers purchase. but Gain Detergent is on sale at No Frills for $2.97 if you price match it at Walmart for $2.97 on brandsaver.ca there’s 2 coupons for gain. one .$.50cent coupon and one $3.00 off when you buy 2 you can use those both towards your transaction. So i basically paid $1.47 for 2 detergent which is a great deal!

  23. Katerina

    I guess I must apologize to Cassie. My comment was very uncalled for and although we live in a free society where one is allowed to speak their mind at any time, it does not mean it is always appropriate.
    With that being said, I do agree with most of the things you say in your piece, and truly was having a rotten day when I read your article and took it personally.
    My true apologies my dear!

  24. Girl9

    I find that “stuff” takes up time. We’re always organizing it, moving it around, cleaning it up, etc. I just spent a few nights scanning some “stuff” so I can make a photo book, to condense the “stuff” and throw out some “stuff”. Those were hours I was spending with “stuff” and not doing things that are more important to me, like anything I could have done with my family. The only thing worth anything among all of this “stuff”.

  25. Wendy LeDrew

    This is so sad, but true! I think we take so many things for granted, Our health for instance, we should be extra happy just to be healthy and alive:) You should always be happy with what you have. Money cannot buy you happiness.
    It’s nice to have all the fancy things, and keep up with John down the road, but is it really necessary? and can we really afford it? when will enough be enough? Posts like this will help people in opening their eyes. Thanks for sharing!! I will think of what was said in this post the next time I go to purchase something unnecessary!

  26. Johanne

    That rmind me on a Vacation trip to Playa Blanca. Talking to an Engenneer that was in Vacation as well but he was born in that Area. I made a remark about how poor was the area. He said to me that to eyes of these people we were the poor. Slave of material , why do we need the extra dishes, 1 plates per person that`s all you need. Why are we paying for all these insurance to protect our Stuff .. How we place money away for retirement,. These people he told me dont have to worried about where they be when they get old, they will be where they always been with there family !!! And you with your stuff … What an eye openning !! WoW !

  27. Mesenga

    So very true. I used to be a spender about 10-5 years ago. Wanted the “new” of everything and eventually all I was doing was wasting my money. Thankfully I moved out on my own, realized how much rent,groceries, etc costs and started saving. That eventually turned into couponing (a reference to your site from a friend got me hooked) while I was on mat leave trying to save for our first home. I’ve been couponing since last August and despite my stockpile, I can say we’re happier with less “stuff”.

    Johanne, that’s a very sweet thing to share with us. My mom grew up with 8 other siblings and they all had to share a bike. To her, having a bike to share was the best thing in the world even if she didnt use it all the time or when she wanted to. She grew up happy and more connected to her family because of the lack of money. Less is more 🙂

  28. Amanda Evans

    Cassie!! You are soooo right!! It is funny you should post this… as today we sold our HUGE sectional! Not because we did not LOVE it, but because it completely overpowered our living room, and it was unnecessary!! I will be bringing up our space conscious leather Poang chairs from the basement, and enjoying the airy feeling of my house! I feel like I lost about 500 pounds tonight… actually I bet I did!

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! Just what I needed to read tonight to put me in a good mood.

  29. Jesse

    I agree that less stuff is better. My son has so many toys, they have taken over the apartment we live in. However he only ever plays with a handful of them and then for only a few minutes. But give the kid a large box, and he’ll have fun for hours.
    My only problem is getting rid of the extra stuff.

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