5 Places to Learn the Lesson of Less


By David Castillo Dominici, published on 29 August 2011 Stock Photo – image ID: 10055656

Overwhelmed with too much stuff to do? Get rid of some stuff you own! Why? It comes down to this very simple rule:

The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to do.

Here are five examples:

1. Paper

We usually equate, holding on to every piece of paper, with being safer. The problem is, the less important stuff tends to obscure the important stuff and we end up being LESS safe. A plan to circulate paper out of your home or office, wherever possible, will give you less stuff to worry about and much less stuff to do.

2. Kitchenware

Choose a minimal number of dishes and some versatile kitchen tools, and ultimately it will be easier to find things and prepare food. Avoid gadgets, that get little use. They tend to accumulate and clog up spaces. There is far more value in using clear counter as a surface for preparation, than as storage for excess items. It makes no sense to keep moving these excess items to access the space you need all the time.

3. Holiday Decorations

I get it. Many of you love your holiday decorations. A lot! But if you are feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to DO during the holidays, look at all the holiday stuff you have. Every time you bring home a new holiday decoration, it adds to the work of hauling out stuff from the attack, displaying décor, taking it down, and putting it away again.

4. Supplies

You may think, “You can’t leave Costco without picking up another pack of paper towels!” Yes you can. Of course it’s wise to store back up supplies in your home, but it’s also important to set a limit. Otherwise they can end up overflowing into some other areas. Then the other areas AND the supply area become inaccessible. You create MORE work by digging through the excess to find what you need.

5. Software.

I just traded in my iPhone 3 for the 5s and I am amazed at how easy it is now to download and organize apps, but I know my limits. Friends are puzzled by how few apps I keep on my smart phone and it’s the same story with my desktop. All this available software may be free and it may take up no physical space, but I know that it requires time to use it all. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do something. That applies to downloading apps too. Match your need to an app, not the other way around. If you already feel overwhelmed with stuff you HAVE to do, be sure you are not distracted from what you must make a point of doing, by capabilities you don’t need.

Is there some stuff in your home that you make a conscious act of limiting, to reduce the amount of stuff you have to do?