Less is More

Friday, November 28, 2014


Why I think having less stuff, spending less money, and using less space can lend to a happier life.
(Inspired by "Black Friday" traffic & our consumerist culture)


       I can't say I am the most minimalist person on Earth, but I try to abide by the following principles as often as possible. In terms of happiness, I can say this works for me. I splurge once in a while, but ultimately, I have very few material things (everything I own could fit in a small suitcase), which makes me feel wealthy, in terms of the abundance of freedom and clarity austerity yields.


Having Less Stuff:
  • Choose items wisely. Ask yourself every time you shop: Will this really make me happier? Can I wear this with multiple outfits, or will it sit in my closet? Do I have the space for this?
  • Get rid of things you don't need. Haven't worn it in four months? Donate it. Having more space and less clutter will clear your mind and help you see & appreciate the things you do have and wear. I never like to keep anything I don't use. It better belongs with someone who can appreciate it.
  • I have a preference for minimalist design to begin with, in terms of interiors as well as clothing, but no matter what your style, I think everyone can afford to reduce.
  • I would personally rather spend money (when I have "extra") on experiences than extraneous items. Prioritize!
Spending Less Money:
  • I work hard for my money, and I'm sure you and your parents do too!
  • Spending less money encourages you to get creative, and you and others will appreciate your inventiveness more so than the amount of dough you've spent. For example: My boyfriend and I have found half of our furniture & art at thrift shops and on the streets of NY. People are oftentimes more amazed by how much money you've saved than spent.
  • Saving money by not going out and wasting it on more makeup and clothes you don't need will allow you to make those big, important purchases that really count! Like a cooking class or a puppy! Worth the initial restraint. I recently bought my first NEW computer. I had a ten year old Macbook before, but I saved up and look at what a big shot I am now!
  • They say the best things in life are free for a reason. Things that are free (or at least cheap) which we oftentimes take advantage of include: library cards & reading in general, conversation, exercising, going out for coffee (not for the coffee itself, which is arbitrary, but for sitting and reading/talking to people), rearranging your room for fun/a change.

Using Less Space
  • Coming from suburban Connecticut, where everyone has a two-door garage, a few acres of land, a basement, and an attic, yet still not enough storage space, I have been pleasantly surprised by how eco-friendly and conservative city living can be. People really don't need much space to fit everything & the suburbs could really take notes on this! You only keep what you absolutely need & love in order to fit here, and that's how it should be.
  • Being innovative with your space is more fun, and makes you less inclined to fill it with objects you don't need.
  • Also, when I say "less space," I should say less wasteful space. A farm or a large house with lots of family living there both make spacial sense, of course! I would say just use your space in as thoughtfully a manner as possible to minimize misuse.

Words on Materialism
  • “We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy.” -Richard Foster (1940s)
  • “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” -E.F. Schumacher (1911)
  • “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” -Vernon Howard (1918)

21 comments :

  1. I agree with the mass of what you said and the point you made. However, not to victimize you or your opinions, I felt that you were slightly biased on your style of living and were somewhat disrespectful to those who do find happiness in antiques and extra space. Again, I'm not trying to be rude, just suggesting not to be so black and white with how people should live.

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    1. That is understandable. I thoroughly appreciate antiques and vintage furniture. I also shouldn't say that collecting and repurposing such things is bad! I suppose that if you are very passionate about something, that could warrant the use of a larger home/more rooms. The general population I suppose I'm talking about is those who don't make conscious decisions when they are consuming and storing material things, such as this. I also used that example based on the people I knew who had such enormous houses & rooms and completely ignored/didn't appreciate them. On a whole, I believe it is better for the environment and your wallet to decide more carefully on such things and get rid of that which you don't need. Like I said, I am not the most minimalist person in the world myself, but I have lived in both situations and feel that one is more wasteful and less economically/environmentally conscious than the other. I am an opinionated person and this is only my opinion based on reading that I've done & the lifestyles I've experienced. Thanks for your feedback x

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  2. I understand what you're saying and it has nice intent but the "these people" remark didn't need to be so targeting. as well as the "stop it." there is no need to shame these people for the way they live. let them do them and you do you

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  3. i love antiques... i have a huge collection and it certainly is costly sometimes but it makes me happy. i didnt know there was such a negative connotation on it

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    1. Please read above. I love antiques as well & this statement is being misinterpreted. Obviously repurposing things is MUCH more environmentally friendly than buying new. I am talking about a group of people who buy things and doesn't appreciate them. This obviously is not someone who loves antiques. I'm talking about people who have lots of space and don't use it, which is wasteful. ie having rooms that no one ever goes into.

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  4. I really appreciate this post, it was just what I needed. Thank you!

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  5. I can just picture you being content in one of those lovely "tiny" houses!

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    1. Aw thank you! Hehe I misread your comment before xx

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  6. Wow, what a good post! I completly understand your point of view and I agree! I love vintage items they just add that to that comforting feel. All your posts are great, I would love to see a foundation/face routine! Much love, take care.

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  7. Totally agree with you, tuesday I discussed this with some friends because of black friday they all expected me to go on a crazy shopping spree with them but i'm just not that type of person, I feel like if I don't need anything I won't buy anything, I sometimes feel like people buy stuff without even thinking they'll buy just bc they can (but I know not everyone is like that) to think that my sister still gets all types of weird looks bc she keeps her iphone 4 and doesn't rush to buy the brand new ones makes me concerned about how much some people value things way too much

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    1. Great example xx thanks for reading :)

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  8. Loved this post, Dayna! I always look forward to new blog posts. I could really relate to this one, as I'm currently pursuing a graduate degree and am otherwise unemployed - school is far too busy to have a part time job. Plus, tuition and books, transportation etc is extremely expensive. Yet, I'm at an age where many of my friends are starting careers, making big purchases, and moving out (I still live at home). So I've definitely accustomed to leaving cheaply and being extremely creative with what I do spend money on, especially gifts. I'm one of those people who love to spoil others, and although I'd love to get everyone I know fancy gifts, I've found that with a little imagination and thrifty shopping, there are plenty of meaningful items out there!

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    1. Oh yes school certainly strains our wallets! I'm glad your making the best of it and getting creative. Best of luck xx

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  9. i love how your posts sometimes generates a bit of controversy. that shows how thought provoking this blog is(sadly becoming rarer as time goes on). i get happy for example in this case, you share your opinion on something and other people are willing to be open and express theirs! and everyone is OPEN TO UNDERSTANDING/RESPECTING eachothers thoughts!:)

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  10. Im sorry if this bothers you, don't answer this if you don't wanto to.... But... Where did you met your boyfriend? n_n

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  11. Oh wow, where in Connecticut did you live before?!? I was born, raised, and currently living in Milford.

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  12. From one fellow Connectican (is that what we're called??) to another, I agree with the fact that our state is huge on wasting space for unnecessary things which angers me to no end but then again this is a problem that's much bigger than just the state of CT. Also, where in CT did you live? I'm from Bristol!

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  13. consumerism is horrible

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By Dayna Frazer

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