While this may be a common platitude, it still rings true. If you are involved in fewer things, you get to be more involved with each of them than if you tried to be fully involved in a greater number of activities. If you have a smaller group of close friends, you get to know them better than if you tried to get to know a larger group on a deep level. If you own fewer possessions, you use them more and appreciate them more than if you had an overabundance of things you never use and misplace or forget you even own.
I’m not advocating having less simply for the sake of trying to have the least amount of stuff possible —that is still, at its core, about having pride in what you possess. There’s nothing wrong with owning things, as long as those things don’t end up owning you. We have far more than we need, and even, at times, more than we want. Embracing the idea of “less is more” is really more about choosing which things, activities, and relationships you care about the most, and then being willing to let the others go.
I recently have become a big proponent of simpler living. Not only does it support my desire to be intentional about investing in what really matters to me and not stretch myself too thin by saying yes to too many things, but it also offers small steps to accomplish those things.
Decluttering (or editing,purging, downsizing, or whatever you choose to call it) has become fun for me, as I evaluate the physical possessions I have in light of what I want my life and my home to look like. As a mildly OCD (or not-so-mildly, depending on who you ask) person with a distinct Type A personality, I like things to be clean and organized all the time. With fewer things crowding up my space, it takes far less time to keep things the way I like them. I’m also far less likely to misplace things, since there are fewer things to lose and fewer places to lose them in.
I have begun to let go of my packrat tendencies, saving everything “just in case,” and adopted a more realistic view of the things I own, recognizing that I probably will never again look at all the papers I wrote in high school English or feel the need to wear my graduation gown again. While some things have sentimental value (which is totally fine; we need things that are special to us), I don’t feel the need to save everything anymore, and that’s quite liberating.
Getting rid of unnecessary things is kind of addictive. Once I started, I couldn’t stop thinking of more and more things I no longer use that could be added to the bags accumulating in the hall closet. I just couldn’t get enough of the freedom I found when I let go. Having fewer things makes me more appreciative of the things I choose to keep, and the things that I now will have more time for, like relaxing with friends. My room and my life are starting to have more wiggle room in them, and that’s beautiful to me.