Less is more

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 29 September 2020

Ever feel distracted, foggy, or overwhelmed?

Sometimes the simplest solutions are just that - simple.

They are so simple in fact that they can be right in front of our face and we can't even see it.

Our cluttered desk, our cluttered house, our cluttered car, could be a metaphor for our cluttered life.

When we feel overwhelmed we often think we need more of something. More organization. More storage. More time.

But what if all we need is less?

We accumulate so much stuff we don't even know how much we have. We don't even realize how much we can live without. We can't imagine that having less would actually make us happier.

Want to experiment?

Here are three practical tips to start implementing the less is more principle in your life:

  1. Before you organize anything, delete. If you don't purge first you end up just re-organizing your clutter, which will attract even more clutter.
  2. Decide if what you have (or what you want to buy) actually brings you joy. If it's not a heck yes, then it probably doesn't.
  3. Stop buying things because they are on sale. Buy only the things that you really love. Focus on quality, not quantity.

Believe it or not I had a hard time with with #1. I actually had to hire a fashion consultant to help me purge my closet. I had a hard time deciding what I should let go of so I paid for some expert advice. It was worth every penny.

I ended up getting rid of three garbage bags of clothes and it felt great!

I gave the clothes to a couple of friends and whatever they didn't want went to a local high school program. Teens could get free clothes if they needed them.

Not only did I feel better getting rid of stuff I don't really need, I was able to help other people who did need it.

Now I would love to hear from you! Where can you take action and apply the less if more principle in your life? Leave a comment below and I'll be back again next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

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5 Replies to “Less is more”

Elaine Cole

This helped me as we are moving and I’m purging, finally!!! 19 years in a house, 2 children moved out , who knew how much you accumulated! And not buying things unless I absolutely need it is a perfect scenario.
Thank you for your tips

Renee-Claude Tanguay

Oh yes! De-cluttering is so freeing! Thank you for the reminder. Principle number 1 is probably the hardest, but also the most needed.


If I buy one item in the line of clothing one item I already have has to go.


I LOVE purging stuff! It’s the first thing I do when I feel overwhelmed and I find it very easy. But I really struggle with no. 2. When I get an idea in my head of something I want to buy, I find it really hard to not obsess over it until I do. And then it feels so great that I want to do it again. It’s why I own 7 purses!! Admittedly, I use and love them all, but there are so many times I’ve purged those, too, only to replace with new ones. For me, I know this has to do with impulse control. It’s kind of a cycle: buy, purge, buy purge. I’m getting it more under control now, but it still happens!

Susanne Koehler

In spring 2019 we had a flood in our basement. We tore up the carpet and looked at every thing that was in 2 rooms. We had already decided to have a garage sale that year and this was extra motivation to purge, redecorate and enjoy the space. Fast forward to Covid-19. That wonderful space became our home gym. We relish every time we are down there and walk by it, or exercise in it!

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