4 Things You Gain When You Live With Less

4 Things you gain when you live with less

When you are simplifying and choosing to live with less, it’s not really about what you’re getting rid of. The best part about simplifying your life is what you gain by letting go and choosing to live with less. When you are willing to let go of the clutter, the distractions, the excess and the busyness, you stand to gain so much more: more time, more space, more freedom and ultimately more peace.

Shift your focus to what you’ll gain, not what you’re getting rid of

While you’re in the process of decluttering and simplifying, so much of the focus is on what you’re getting rid of. You recognize your life is too full. There is too much stuff, too much clutter, too many commitments, too many distractions. And you’re taking action to do something about it.

You start getting rid of the clutter, the excess and the distractions. Even reducing your busyness by saying no to commitments that aren’t adding value to your life. In this stage of the process, so much of your focus is on what you’re getting rid of. It’s easy to forget that the whole point of simplifying and choosing to live with less is about what you’re making room for more of.

What you gain when you live with less is more important than what you’re letting go of. The point of decluttering isn’t just to have empty rooms. Instead, you declutter your home and your life to give you the time, space and freedom to focus on what matters most to you. It’s about choosing to have less stuff, so you can have more life.

4 Things you gain when you live with less
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

4 Things You Gain When You Live with Less

Today I want to share 4 things you can gain when you choose to simplify and live with less. These 4 things are what makes the simplifying journey worth it. They are what makes it worth the time and effort to remove the clutter and the distractions.

While you’re decluttering and simplifying, instead of focusing on what you’re getting rid of, letting go or giving up, keep your focus on what you’re gaining. It becomes so much easier to let go of the clutter and distractions when you focus on what you’ll gain by letting go.

Here are 4 awesome things you’ll gain when you live with less:

1. Time

Everything you own takes up some of your time. Some take more time than others, but everything in your home requires some of your time and energy. First, you have to work to earn the money to buy something (or even accumulate debt because of it). Once you own it you pick it up, put it away, clean it, organize it, maintain it, look for it, repair it, take care of it, etc.

The fewer things you own, the less of your time and energy are taken up managing your stuff. When things add value to your life, because you use them regularly or love them, it’s ok when they take up some of your time and energy. The problem is things that add no value and are not worth the time and energy they require from you.

When you let go of the things that don’t add value to your life, you gain more time and energy to focus on what is most important to you and what you value most.

2. Space

As you get rid of the clutter and the excess from your home, you’ll create space in your home. Rooms will be less crowded and cluttered. Closets and cupboards will have space. You’ll add room to breathe to your home.

Where there was once clutter, you’ll gain space. Space you can use for living and enjoying what you value most, instead of storing clutter.

But beyond creating physical space to your home, you’ll also add space to other areas of your life.

Space in your schedule

You’ll also give yourself the opportunity to create space in your schedule. Simplifying helps you recognize what activities, commitments and obligations add value to your life, and which just add clutter, distraction and busyness.

As you begin to say no to the things in your schedule that aren’t adding value, you create space in your schedule. Giving you more opportunities to say yes to the activities and commitments you love and add value to your life.

“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”

~ John C Maxwell

Space in your mind

A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. Clutter, distractions and busyness mean your mind can’t rest, gain clarity or focus as well. Instead, your mind is being pulled in many different directions, distracted and just trying to keep up.

Simplifying your home and your schedule allows you to clear the mental clutter and gain clarity. It also reduces your stress levels and gives your mind and body space to rest and recharge, without being bombarded by clutter and distractions.

4 Things you gain when you live with less
Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash


3. Freedom

Choosing to live with less lets you take control of what fills your time and space. Rather than allowing excess, clutter and distractions to take up your time and space, you make intentional choices about what fills your time and space. And you gain the freedom to spend your time and energy on what is most important to you.

You gain the freedom to create the life you want, instead of simply trying to keep up with managing all your stuff and obligations. This could mean working fewer hours when you aren’t buying and spending as much. It could mean living in a smaller home once you get rid of the things you don’t use or love. Or more simply, it could mean having more time and energy for the people and activities you love. All because you spend less time and energy managing the things you own.

4. Peace

Finally, choosing to live with less gives you the potential to create a more peaceful life. You’re no longer frantically trying to keep up with life and managing all your stuff and commitments. Instead, you can intentionally focus on what is most important to you because you have the time, space and freedom to do so.

And that’s ultimately why simplifying, decluttering and minimalism are so great. You can let go of a cluttered, stressful, frantic and overly busy life, and instead create a calmer, more intentional, more peaceful life.

Decluttering, simplifying and choosing to live with less are about so much more than having a tidy home. Although that’s an awesome benefit as well! Choosing to live with less is about making room for what you’ll gain when you get rid of the clutter and distractions. And that’s what it’s all about, choosing less stuff so you can have more life!

What have you gained when you’ve made the choice to own less? If you’re still in the process of decluttering and simplifying, what are you most looking forward to having more of when you’re done?

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  1. Thank you for this post! It’s so inspiring and helpful. I am in the middle of the end of decluttering I think. I’m very close but the last leg is difficult because I have been through some emotionally exhausting things so I worry I will make the wrong choice and regret getting rid of so many things. I feel like I could just keep what I absolutely must keep but that’s so scary. We don’t have money to replace anything if I get rid of it so that adds pressure to get it correct about everything. I do love the benefits I have already seen though! Very much so! I will keep going and get to where I want to go. Your post helped me put the right prospective on it so it will be easier to see clearly what to discard. ??

    1. Good for you Natalie, it sounds likes you’re making awesome progress! I’m so happy you found today’s post helpful as you finish decluttering your home. It can sometimes be scary to let go, but I think if you keep your focus on all the benefits of decluttering it helps keep you going like you said. Thank you for reading and for sharing your journey and experiences with us!

    2. Natalie I know how you feel about decluttering and not knowing if you are going to regret some of the things you get rid of, especially as you say that there is no money to replace anything.
      Do not throw away anything until you are sure you don’t want or need it. I had kept many things in plastic boxes and never used them. When I got rid of them. I then realised I needed them and had to rebuy these items. After reading this blog. I am more sure of decluttering and not look back. I mourned greatly over parting with some items I really wanted. But in the end decided to gift them. Even this was painful. But I choose to live with less. It is deciding how to lessen what I have in the home. If I break a glass or mug I won’t replace this till I am down to what I need. It is hard and painful to declutter. It gets easier as time goes on. Store many items out of the house. If you can live without them it will make your decision easier. BE FOCUSED. Another thing I have done is TO STOP BUYING. I keep denying myself an item until it becomes a way of life. Hope this helps you!

        1. Thank you Doreen! Your words are so helpful. I have a spare room where I’ve been putting some things but I feel so much pressure to go ahead and get rid of the stuff. Your words help me realize I can put it in a tub and leave it for a little while and then it will be more clear. I am really struggling with the whole shopping thing. Well, just this past week because I had to purchase new (used) clothes for my 3 year old. I went to a consignment sale and wow did it wear me out! I can’t make decisions about items quickly. Do you or Simple Lion Heart have any suggestions on how to not get anxiety and become over stimulated when shopping for needs during the process of changing old habits? I used to shop allllll the time. It is well, maybe it was so fun for me. I think I still love looking but by the time I get to decision time at the end I’m unable to feel confident in myself to have the right answer if I need it or not. Hope this makes sense and that I am not rambling to much. I’m writing this on my phone. Thank you!

          1. I’m so happy to hear Doreen’s advice was helpful for you! That’s great!!

            My suggestion for shopping would be to figure out and decide what you need ahead of time at home before you go shopping, then make a list and stick to your list. This might help you feel confident in knowing that you are buying what you truly need and help you stay focused and keep from feeling overwhelmed. For example, if you are shopping for clothes for your child, you could assess what they currently have that still fits. Then identify what they are missing from their wardrobe. Write those items down and look for those specific items while you’re shopping. I hope this helps!

          2. Natalie you are in the same place as me. We are all in this together. Making a transition to change will always bring on some anxiety and regret. Regret when you purchase something and wished you didn’t. Then the guilt sets in and then turmoil. I sense you are in this place right now. Not knowing what to do. Should I? or shouldn’t I? When in doubt. DO NOTHING. When a need arises MEET THAT NEED. Remember it is not a WANT. Like I have got to have it e.g. like a fix. I have been a compulsive and impulsive shopper. And it is HELL to change. I have done it drastically. SUDDENLY STOPPED. It does bring anxiety and stress. STOP. THINK.
            When Melissa talks of minimalism I interpreted this to mean I have to give everything away and live with NOTHING. I re-read. Melissa says the opposite. You don’t have to live with nothing. IT IS CHANGE to the point YOU CAN LIVE WITH LESS. It is a transition. It does take time. LITTLE STEPS. A lot of SELF TALK. This is changing the habits of a lifetime. Take time to process how you are going to introduce change to your life. Don’t become overwhelmed by it all. We will make mistakes. Get it wrong sometimes. Perhaps often falling back in to old ways. But we get back up. Shake off the anxiety and get back on track. One day we will get it right and feel better for it. Melissa did. And this is our inspiration. You say you can’t make decisions quickly. I am the opposite. I am IMPULSIVE. Then live with regret. So you have the better deal. Times I have been indecisive. I would try to purchase. If I couldn’t make up my mind what colour to choose. I would buy all the colours. NOW THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO CHANGE. Impulsive shopping causes anxiety. You are not alone. Write again with any difficulties. We will do it together. Bye for now. Doreen

          3. Wonderful advice Doreen. It really does take time and effort to change our habits and behaviours. But being aware of what is no longer serving us is an important first step. And you’re absolutely right, minimalism is not about living with nothing. Instead, it’s about choosing to only own the things you love and use often, and letting go of the excess that causes you stress and makes life cluttered and difficult. Thank you for sharing your journey and experience. Your willingness to share is wonderful!

  2. Thank you for your email and more info. I am looking forward to a continuing relationship with you and that TOGETHER we can make good progress with all the information and motivation given here.
    Thank you once again.

  3. We have been in the process of simplifying for a while and it’s amazing to me how much time it takes! I love this article. Thinking about the benefits is definitely motivation to keep going.

    1. Thanks! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the post. I agree, decluttering and simplifying do take a lot of time in the beginning. But you gain so much time back after it’s done that it’s definitely worth the time and effort! I’m glad the benefits are keeping you motivated to continue! Thanks for reading and sharing your experience 🙂

  4. GREAT POST! So true!! I learned so much of this when we downsized from a 3100 square foot house to a 1500 square foot house and gained a child in between. <3

    1. Thanks, Halley! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the post. I’m sure that was a big change for you, but I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the benefits of living with less! Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

  5. In the U.K. Mothers day is this Sunday. I have asked my children to spend little money. Only buy me perishable usable items such as food or chocolate I can use over the weeks (not consumed all at once) This way I won’t add to the clutter. I don’t need anything more in the home. I am a pensioner. It is Mother’s Day giving and Anniversaries and Birthdays each year that create clutter when one receive gifts. This is an area to tackle to help eliminate ongoing clutter. What do other people think? Perhaps we can share other tips and ideas to help us eliminate ongoing clutter.

    1. I think it’s great that you are open and communicate with your children about what you’d like and how you are trying to keep more “stuff” from coming into your home as gifts. I think open and honest communication is so important when making a lifestyle change like embracing minimalism. Good for you!

  6. What a thoughtful and inspiring post! All of the “stuff” we have accumulated with three kids and 18 years of marriage has been weighing a lot on my mind lately. I’ve been trying to sort through how I want to tackle it. It is hard when we live in such a consumer driven society. I’m definitely trying to be mindful of it all and find balance!

    1. Thank you, Jessica! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the post. I agree that it can be hard to purposely choose to own less and declutter in our consumerist society. But over time it does get easier as you begin to see all the ways owning less makes life better. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience. And good luck as you find a balance that works for you <3

  7. My latest experience was to order a set of 3 storage trunks. The shopping channel showed how good it looked stacked and the benefits. The product sold out. I ordered this on advanced orders. I then felt guilty. The advanced order was delivery in 4 weeks. I had time to think. How would I use these trunks. Where would I site this? Would I become unhappy in time that it looked like clutter to house my clutter? I had enough time to tease out these thoughts. Then I came to the realization that this is subtle advertising talking us in to needing it. So I then phoned up and cancelled the advanced order. I FEEL SO GOOD ABOUT THIS NOW. No Guilt. Just what can happen in the transition to CHANGING THE HABITS OF A LIFETIME. It is all about living with less and this feels good. A motto for life.

    1. Wow, good for you Doreen! This is awesome. I love how intentional you are being with your purchases and changing your habits. This is awesome. Thank you for sharing, I’m so happy to hear about your progress!

  8. Melissa I am interested to know if you have finished de-cluttering and DONE WITH IT ALL? or is this an on-going adventure for you in CHOOSING TO LIVE WITH LESS! I call it ADVENTURE as this is what it is to me. My new adventure in to learning to LIVE WITH LESS. I get the impression Melissa that you are in a state of CONTENTMENT NOW.
    I want Natalie who is struggling with this new experience to view this as an adventure and to get excited about it. This will de-stress us and not allow us to feel so anxious as something WE HAVE TO DO. I feel a great sense of FREEDOM that allows me to make changes for the future that will bring great benefit. Another benefit for those who move home is that they won’t be stressed out with the packing up and moving. Things will work more smoothly.
    6yrs ago I had to clear out my husband’s garage after he died. 30yrs of clutter and things he was going to use. I had to get a dumpster and my son-in-law took the valuables. I then had an empty garage which is now a gym.

    1. This is a great question, Doreen! (I love that you call it an adventure – that’s a great way to describe it!) I think simplifying and minimalism are something you are never finished with – it’s more of an ongoing process. In the beginning, it’s a lot of work to declutter. But it’s not always that intense and that much work. Once you have thoroughly decluttered your home, you get to the point where you are “finished” in the sense that you are living with only the things you use and love and have let go of the clutter. But because our lives are never static, there’s always ongoing maintenance that will need to be done to maintain your decluttered, simplified home. I would say that’s where I’m at now – in maintenance mode. I still declutter our home at regular intervals, but it’s quick and easy to keep up with. It’s more a matter of dealing with things that have made their way into our home and dealing with things we no longer need. Because our lives are always changing and evolving, so will the things we keep in our homes. For example, my kids outgrow clothes and toys, our interests may change and we don’t need things we used to use, things get worn out, etc. I do feel like our family has reached a place of contentment now, but it still requires maintenance and intention to maintain what is “enough” for our family in this season of life. I hope this answers your question. I think this would be a great topic to address in a future post. It’s an important part of the simplifying and minimalism journey!

      And I completely agree with you that keeping your focus on the positive results of living with less and the benefits it will bring into your life is a great way to keep from feeling overwhelmed and anxious while decluttering. I think your story of the changes you’ve made and what you’ve been able to accomplish is a wonderful example of the benefits of simplifying and embracing minimalism!

      1. Thank you Melissa for your feedback on where you are at in your adventure in de-cluttering, simplifying, minimalism and embracing CONTENTMENT.
        You are a young Mom. Your interests and needs will change over time. You can count on this. My eldest is 49yrs. 46yrs and youngest 37yrs of age and I kept up with all the many changes. Now a widow my needs have greatly changed and I don’t need as much anymore so I have been able to pass on a lot of furniture, drapes, etc to my married daughter whose needs are greater than mine now. You will never know how much your BLOG has rescued and saved me from ADDICTION to ACCUMULATION. Which escalated more during bereavement. (called Retail therapy) I am so glad I met you online and your BLOG is a BLESSING! Thank You!

        1. Yes, I completely agree that our needs change depending on the season of life we are in. That’s so true!

          Thank you for your kind words. It makes me so happy to know that you have found my blog helpful in your life. I am so glad we’ve connected as well. Your journey decluttering and simplifying your life is inspirational and wonderful to follow along with! Thank you for reading and sharing with us all!

  9. I’m looking forward to having less so I can know where everything is instead of having to hunt for certain things and having a home for everything. I still have tools in my house that belong out in the shop, but don’t have room in the shop because my ex still have LOTS of his stuff in it after not living here for 7 1/2 years…plus my youngest son’s belongings are out there and in the house…I have a hard enough time keeping track of my own stuff not to mention other family members belongings.

    1. Yes, having specifics homes for everything and not losing things or spending time searching for items is such a wonderful perk of owning less. Not being able to find something I’m looking for drives me crazy, but luckily owning less means this doesn’t happen very often – and when it does it’s usually because my 3-year-old was “helping” 😉 Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

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