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More Joy, Less Stuff October 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Less IS More, Mindfulness.

Clutter often stems from fear.  We keep things “just in case,” but at a cost.

When our homes are uncluttered, we feel calm, relaxed, and centered.


Instead of feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, frazzled, and on edge.

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We save time and money when we shop less and enjoy what we already have.

Eliminating the extraneous makes room for the essential.

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Getting rid of what we don’t need, use, or want gives us more space to be who we want to be and do what we want to do.


Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  Until you are happy with who you are . . . you will never be happy with what you have.

Related:  Life is Easier When You Take the Stairs (Raptitude)


1. Don - October 21, 2015

I must say, Nancy, that after our move to London, we feel considerably lighter. Got rid of so much. Quite traumatic but in the end so freeing.

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

The fact that you and Jane completed the move is testament to your fortitude and strength. And what a great gift you’ve given to yourselves ~ new horizons!

Never having traded one continent for another, we’ve cleared the decks without having to make the “hardest choices” ~ as a result, the tip of our iceberg looks great but there’s extraneous weight lurking below the surface like a bloated anchor.

No matter. Ice pick in hand, I’ll keep chipping away at it until only the essential remains. 😎

Don - October 21, 2015

Thank you for that Nancy, deeply appreciate your words. New horizons indeed.May the ice pick liberate more and more. 🙂

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Thanks, Don! I don’t know if you’ve seen any shows on the Tiny House movement, but I love watching them ~> people pare their possessions and move into smaller quarters with “just enough” space for the priorities of their lives.

So much better than living in a mausoleum packed to the rafters with dust collectors.

2. anotherday2paradise - October 21, 2015

Love that quote, Nancy. Great post with perfect photos to illustrate your message. 🙂

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Thanks, Sylvia! Sometimes picking the pics is more fun than writing the post.

3. Jill Weatherholt - October 21, 2015

This is why I’m fascinated by junkyards, Nancy. Marriages ended and family members stopped speaking to each other over those “prize possessions” that they couldn’t live without.

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

When I watch shows like Hoarders, I see how possessed people can become with possessions. Instead of adding to the quality of life, possessions can weigh us down. And, as you note, cause families to splinter and fragment over *stuff*

4. mybeautfulthings - October 21, 2015

So true. I have spent the morning sorting some family papers, reading wonderful bits of family history and, at last, throwing out the condolences cards sent when my lovely Dad died in 2004. It was lovely to read the messages again and I have kept a couple for the family history archive. I will keep going….. Mum’s to do next. It is not a sad task but life affirming in a strange way. 🙂

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Sounds like you have just the right mindset for the task at hand.

When we’re feeling too “sentimental,” it’s hard to let go of the past. But if we don’t let go of some of it, there’s less room for the present.

mybeautfulthings - October 21, 2015

That is so well put and encourages me to keep going. Thank you very much. 🙂

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

What just popped into mind:

Inch by Inch, life’s a cinch.
Yard by yard, life is hard.

So focus on progress, not perfection. Always time for fine tuning later.

5. Kate Crimmins - October 21, 2015

Is that your pool table? I feel better chipping away when I know you still have some to do too. You are my idol in the simplistic way of life.

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

No, not our pool table ~ it resides in a model home nearby. We left our pool table with the house in NJ; it would be fun to have another one at some point. Shooting pool = clearing the decks!

After reading Diane’s comment about Feng Shui and Energy, I’ve decided it’s a good thing we are taking our time to chip away at what we don’t need! It’s like donating blood ~> better not to do it all at once!


Kate Crimmins - October 21, 2015

Love the analogy to donating blood. I have been working at this for years. There has been a lot of progress (I had my mother’s and in-law’s stuff to do to) but I get frustrated after a while. Also after a few hours, I get caught up in memories that drag my energy down. I had a pool table once a long time ago. Lost it in a divorce (along with my best china). Never missed it (did miss the china though).

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Your thoughts echo my own. That’s why I have a dedicated box to collect donations ~> tossing items I don’t want into the box a few at a time doesn’t drag my energy down. And by the time they march out the door, I’m no longer attached to them.

Soon I need to attack Paper Clutter ~> the FILES and PILES.

Harder for me b/c the parting of ways is not accompanied by envisioning someone else adopting what I no longer need.

Instead, I shred. :mrgreen:

6. jannatwrites - October 21, 2015

I like the idea of this a lot. I’m working on lightening up but it’s taking a few times of going through stuff to get enough out of here. Now to get the kids to see it this way 🙂

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Per Diane, too much clutter busting all at once drains too much energy:


Good News! I started to simplify in 1997 and I’m still at it! 😎

jannatwrites - October 21, 2015

Well I would agree that slow and steady wins the race, but my house is up for sale and the less I have to move, the better!

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

And the less stuff you have stuffed into closets, the BIGGER those closets will seem to prospective buyers!

Good luck!

7. Pix Under the Oaks - October 21, 2015

I’m with you, Nancy! I loved it when my older neighbor who sold us this house dropped by and said that no one could accuse me of over decorating… 😀 Really, all I need is the four seasons porch, the kitchen, and a bathroom! Well, two bathrooms… I don’t like to share… 🙄 Oh, and Nancy, you know I think I could do a Tiny House as long as there was a nice front and back porch and a beautiful piece of land for a view. Where we stay in Venice could work just fine for me full time… without neighbors.

Pix Under the Oaks - October 21, 2015

I would need a fireplace here in MO… 🙂

Pix Under the Oaks - October 21, 2015

I am excited… I have CH looking for land to put a Tiny House on! We are always open to all possibilities… LOL!

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Woo Hoo! I love watching all the Tiny House shows. It’s amazing how they put small spaces to good use.

And some of them even include a fireplace!

I’ve seen Tiny Houses with 2 bedrooms, but never with 2 bathrooms. Although some of the bathrooms are spacious.

8. Hariod Brawn - October 21, 2015

Converted minimalist me. Apart from the artworks. And chocolate.

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Creating space in certain areas makes room for more of our priorities ~ like Art. And chocolate! :mrgreen:

9. Family History, Planters and Advice Please | mybeautfulthings - October 21, 2015

[…] post from Nancy came in today and landed at the most appropriate time as I have spent the morning sorting some […]

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Sally’s planning a trip to the East Coast of the US. If any of you have any “must sees” to share with her, swing round her site. She’s looking for advice.

10. kellie@writingmoment - October 21, 2015

Lovely post. I enjoy the clean ups when I get rid of “things”. I have others though in our home not quite so enthusiastic to remove said things 😉

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

It’s harder to “clear the decks” when everyone is not “on board.” But the tide may turn.

kellie@writingmoment - October 21, 2015

Ha ha, I like that way of putting it. Yes, perhaps the tide will turn. It should, right 😉

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Eventually. 😉

11. Carol Ferenc - October 21, 2015

I could clear the decks in a heartbeat. My hubby won’t let much go so it’s a struggle. He gets too sentimental about “stuff.” Your photos are right on, Nancy!

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

BFF is sentimental about some stuff and other stuff not at all. So I focus on the latter category and let him let go of “his stuff” in his own way and his own time.

As long as “his stuff” doesn’t encroach on “my space” we’re good. 😛

12. Val Boyko - October 21, 2015

In my previous life/marriage, we used to move house in order to clean an clear. It’s hard being in one spot now. That why I count on you Nancy to keep the inspiration going to de-clutter and let go!
I did donate all my boxes of books today … And it feels great!!

nrhatch - October 21, 2015

Yay! Glad you found a taker for your boxes of books. Enjoy that feeling!

13. Naomi - October 22, 2015

Gorgeous post, thank you Nancy! I love the humour in your photos 😀

nrhatch - October 22, 2015

Thanks, Naomi!

We went on cyber safari in South Africa this week with Rudy Maxa (PBS) ~> he stayed at a reserve just north of Capetown (55,000 acres) and spied lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, warthogs, and all the other gorgeous creatures you and Dave catch in your lens.

14. Bill - October 23, 2015

Amen. I fully agree. In fact, I just wrote about this yesterday. Clutter needlessly complicates our lives. As someone put it, the things we own can own us.

nrhatch - October 23, 2015

Good luck with your declutterization project this winter ~> with Cherie’s guidance, you’ll do great.

15. Debra - October 24, 2015

I definitely believe this, Nancy, and it’s been hard,but I’ve been going through years and years worth of accumulation! I have had the space, so I’ve just unconsciously held on to things that I really don’t need. Just today I let go of a huge box of recipes. The funny thing about that box, which took up space, is that now when I want a recipe I go to the web anyway! It felt good to throw it all out. Only about another 100 boxes to go. LOL!

nrhatch - October 24, 2015

Woo Hoo! When we have space, we’re tempted to fill it. We reap rewards if we mindfully remind ourselves to keep things flowing. Don’t worry about 100 boxes at once ~> each step leads us to the next best step. And the next. And the next.

I did something similar this year after realizing I had TOO MANY recipes. I donated most of my cookbooks ~ keeping only the ones I enjoy using (Moosewood, Moosewoods Cooks At Home, 2 other vegetarian cookbooks, and Fanny Farmer). Then I went through my recipe box, recipe by recipe, tossing at least half because they no longer appealed (too many ingredients, too fussy, too complicated, too time consuming, not healthy, etc.).

For me, LESS is more even when cooking! 🙄

With fewer recipes to wade through, I needed fewer categories, etc. Now, when I want a recipe, it’s quick and easy to find it.

16. Eileen - October 24, 2015

We are in sync! I cleaned out amazing amounts of sample toothpaste, creams and lotions,small kleenex packs, tooth brushes, wrapped hotel soaps etc. from the bathroom cabinet today. Divided it all into four handy packets for the homeless. You are inspiring me to keep going. Thanks.

nrhatch - October 24, 2015

Yay, you! When I started reading your comment, I kept my fingers crossed that you would donate your bathroom supplies to the homeless or a battered woman’s shelter ~ they can always use little goodies like that! I breathed a happy sigh when I saw where your toiletries were headed.

17. Tiny - October 24, 2015

I love the quote! It is so true. And trying to live it… with mixed success.

nrhatch - October 24, 2015

We went to a second hand shop today run by two “hoarders.” It was more S~C~A~R~Y walking through the maze of narrow passageways than it was on the haunted trail we went to tonight.

Each room was stuffed to the gills with all manner of this, that, and bric-a-brac. It made the top photo of this post look ZEN!

Tiny - October 24, 2015

I feel those places are scary as well. And there are many homes like that too.

nrhatch - October 25, 2015

I have never been in a place crammed quite so full as this one. Either the merchandise expanded to fill the space, unbeknownst to the owners, or they are not seeing straight.

18. BunKaryudo - October 25, 2015

I wish I could fit a pool table into my apartment. Unfortunately, it would be easier to fit my apartment into a pool table.

nrhatch - October 25, 2015

I hear ya! They are bulky and heavy and not quite portable.

We enjoyed our pool table, many moons and moves ago. But it seemed prudent to leave it in situ when we sold that house.

BunKaryudo - October 25, 2015

It makes quite an impressive addition, I think. It would certainly be an incentive for me. 🙂

nrhatch - October 25, 2015

And it’s fun when you sink a shot ~> “It’s in the hole!”

19. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - October 27, 2015

Minimal and declutter have been reoccurring themes popping up lately, I think I need to start acting on it faster!

nrhatch - October 27, 2015

Have fun stirring up the dust and ejecting any stale and stagnant stuff that has outstayed its welcome.

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