Enjoying the More of Less

Once every few months, my husband would go on our little purging sprees: cleaning out a closet, a kitchen cabinet, a bookshelf, and tossing everything we don’t need into a “donate” sack. Every time we do that, we feel refreshed and happy, knowing that some of our stuff are going to good use for another person or family.

But for some reason, the cycle just repeats itself endlessly. We always seem to have extras that we no longer need, or stuff that pile up in our storage shelves without having been used over the past year.

I’ve read other books on minimalism, so when my husband recommended this book based on a podcast he was listening to, I was a bit dubious. Didn’t we already know what minimalism meant, and didn’t we already try to do that in our temperate lifestyle?

But when I started reading The More of Less by Joshua Becker, I couldn’t seem to put it down. Possibly, it’s because of his easy, storytelling style. In fact, his opening story really resonated with me: he shared about how he had this really terrific idea one day of cleaning out the garage with his 7-year-old boy. After a few minutes, the boy already ran off with new toy discoveries—those that had been stored and therefore, been out of sight for months.

About every half hour, the boy would come back asking him to play, and he would keep saying, “I’ll be with you in a minute,” “As soon as I’m done,” and all that—only to find himself at the end of the day with the garage still undone and the whole day’s opportunity of bonding with his son gone with the wind.

Or, maybe we just happen to be at a life season when we really, truly, want more out of life without getting tangled in with more and more stuff.

We can control our money, or it can control us. One way we can exercise our power over money is when we, not the latest advertisement, decide where every dollar should go.
        
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3 Important Highlights from The More of Less

In this post, I hope to share some of the key points that spoke to me from Joshua Becker’s The More of Less:

1. Do we really want to spend our time maintaining all our stuff?

Like in the author’s opening story, one weekend I found myself stuck cleaning out our storeroom in the house. It wasn’t even planned; it just so happened that I needed something that was in the storeroom, and because there was so much stuff, I had to get other things out first, rearranging them, to get to what I needed.

That’s when the book’s first premise hit home: did I really want to spend my time managing all my stuff? Or was there a better way, of keeping less stuff in the first place?

2. Minimalism can look like different things for different people.

I think one thing that turned me off most of the minimalist books I’ve read is that I tend to be defensive about things I consider important. Our family homeschools, so I’m very passionate—and possessive!—over books. And because we have three boys, I have every reason to hold on to books that the oldest has finished but which the youngest, who is 11 years younger, might still use.

In The More of Less, Joshua Becker devotes a whole chapter, Chapter 3: Minimalism Your Way, to explain that minimalism isn’t a fixed one-size-fits-all mold. Instead, we need to apply it in whatever way works for your family.

For example, if your family, like his and mine, enjoys hosting people over for dinners and intimate conversations, it probably won’t make sense to downsize to a two-person breakfast table, even if it’s only two of you left in the home.

3. Happiness from consumerism is a lie.

In another chapter, the author details the way that marketers have been able to convince us that buying things equals happiness. He shows us the different faces of consumerism, affected by what generation we’re in. He also exposes the various strategies that advertisers use to get us to part with our hard-earned dollar.

I feel like this chapter is a crucial ingredient for embracing a lifestyle of minimalism, because unless you identify that stuff won’t make you happy, it won’t be easy to say no to another new purchase every week!

You Can Have More with Less

I sped through the book, but I have yet to apply all the principles to our household on a consistent basis. But I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a full life without being bogged down with stuff! Purchase a copy through Amazon here.

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