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When we own more than we need or have room for, paring down to less can actually make us happier.


Stroll down the aisle of any home store and you’ll certainly find great stuff! Bring your favorite accessories home and you’ll probably feel happy in that moment. If you’re a Pinterest fan, you can find millions of projects you could do for practically no cost, perhaps simply using just a can of spray paint and a roll of duct tape from the garage. Stuff doesn’t even have to cost a lot to make us happy!

But does having more stuff make us happier?

When we cross the line into having a lot of stuff, our happiness won’t necessarily change for the better. In fact, once our homes become overly crowded and we own more than we need or have room for, paring down to less is what can actually make us happier.

Here are three ways having less can bring more happiness!

Less frustration = more peace.

How many times have you found yourself frustrated by the amount of stuff you have to dig through just to find what you’re looking for? Does the thought of organizing and paring down the garage stress you out because you dread sorting through everything in there? Can you barely open your dresser drawers because they’re stuffed full of too many clothes? Is it stressful to think of hosting guests because of the amount of things you feel you’d have to organize and tidy first to feel hospitable?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, it might help to know that having less stuff in your home can dramatically reduce the frustration you experience on a daily basis. Strive for keeping less, so your sense of calm and peace can increase!

Less to maintain = more time and money for what you want to do.

Simplify Kitchen Countertops

Is your schedule hard to manage? In what ways might the excess you have actually be contributing to your packed schedule? Having less to maintain means you’ll have more time for what you really want to do.

  • Having a smaller yard will mean less yard work.
  • Downsizing to a smaller space will mean you’ll have less to maintain and take care of.
  • Having less stuff will allow you to spend your time doing what you really enjoy rather than organizing belongings and constantly clearing stuff from floors and surfaces.
  • Keeping less means you’ll spend less money and time on organizational systems for your home.
  • Downsizing what you own will allow you to be more productive in other ways, because you’ll have less stuff competing for your time and attention.

Less stuff = more joy.

When we bring less into our homes, we begin to rely less on stuff to bring contentment and fulfillment. We will find joy in living, rather than owning. If we buy less, we will feel less pressure to work more to keep up with our purchases and their maintenance. When we accumulate less, we become more grateful for intangible experiences and for what we already have. When we have less cluttering our homes, we can focus on enjoying what we really need. As we remove clutter, we remove distractions, and we can experience more gratitude for what really matters.

How might accumulating and keeping less bring more happiness in your home this year?

About the Author

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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  • Delighted Dwelling

    Well said! I am a self proclaimed anti-hoarder and couldn’t agree with this post more!! Think of that refreshed feeling after you take down the holiday decorations… room to breath, less to maintain, less to clean!!

  • debbiehaleyangel

    Great article. I find that owning less and having to maintain “stuff” gives me more peace of mind. I call it free from mind clutter. When you look around you don’t feel so overwhelmed. I’m heading toward being a minimalist, in fact I’ve almost run out of things to donate to Goodwill! It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

  • Rustynut

    After my 1st husband passed away I remarried and my current husbands wife had passed away so we had two households to combine and memories attached to so many things. I had an auction and got rid of so many of my beautiful antiques,but eleven years later I realize I didn’t get rid of enough and I am so ready to let go now. I think my husband is on board this time too. I have donated to different organizations, but the next donation they will have to come with a box truck and I’m feeling better just thinking about it. I have come to realize they are just things, but things don’t love you back. I want to sit in my living room and see clean clear end tables I don’t want the mantle cluttered with pictures and stuff, and more stuff, I’m done.

  • Debbie from MountainMama

    So true! I actually have a number of empty drawers at my new home – can you believe it? EMPTY!! And I’m so happy with that – I love when everything has a place. But just because I have empty drawers does not mean I need to fill them up!

  • Aime

    Your points are right on the mark. Less stuff is freeing. We are in the process of purging. Every time a load of items are dropped at the donation center I feel lighter and happier.

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