Less is More, More or Less

November 25, 2012

A couple months ago I was in a karate class and the instructor said “If you’re in a good fighting stance, the fastest way to punch someone is to just straighten your arm. You don’t need all this extra movement to the back or side.” Ah, apparently the old cliche “less is more” applies to martial arts as well. Who knew?

Here are a few ways I have embraced the idea of less is more in my everyday life. Sadly, this list is “less” but I’m getting there, so don’t judge.

  1. Kids’ birthday loot bags. No more money spent on a ton of dollar store crap. I buy one or two higher quality items and I’m done. Our guests, their parents, and our local landfill truly appreciate the effort I have made in this area.
  2. My pantry. Goodbye to “food-like” items that could survive a nuclear holocaust. I’d rather make an extra trip to the grocery store and eat food that appears in nature.

Some areas of my life that I’m trying to improve with the “less is more” philosophy;

  1. My closet. Why am I keeping old, tired clothes? If I’m feeling great, I should be dressing in a way that shows that off. If I’m feeling crappy, dressing like I’m trying out for a part in Oliver does not help in any way. Now that my last child is potty trained and can wash his hands independently, I really have no excuse. Plus, I’d rather address a small load of laundry more often than deal with an avalanche of clothes spilling from my “hers” basket. (My husbands does his own laundry. And yes, it does make me love just a little more.)
  2. Craft supplies. When I go too long without making something, I start to get… restless. Then I go on a crafting bender until someone finds me in a glue-fume-induced coma covered in beads and paint and bits of yarn. At this point my project(s) may or may not be complete. If I could take the less is more approach here, I would buy only the supplies I needed for the project at hand and no pipe cleaners or styrofoam balls would be squating in the area reserved for winter hats.

There are some things where “less is more” does not apply. Anything to do with love and hugging your children is out. So is reading and napping. You can never get enough of those two. Oh and good food, which of course includes copious amounts of chocolate. If anyone tries to enforce a “less is more” on chocolate, well, I will just straighten my arm.