Doing More With Less

November 15, 2010

The topic of doing more with less is on my mind. Every time we’ve added a child to our family, my instinct is to clear out our space, to get rid of gear and simplify wherever possible. It probably has something to do with making mental space for this new person in my life.

Last week, I was packing for our trip to San Jose and thinking about what I should bring for June’s meals — she’s still mostly nursing, but she’s also eating 3-4 meals a day of solids. At first I was thinking several bibs, 10+ jars of baby food, a bag of rice cereal, utensils and bowl for preparations, utensils for feeding, etc. But finally decided it was a short trip, to a town with every convenience, and that all I would need was a baby spoon.

For breakfast, I found plain yogurt and oatmeal among the offerings and grabbed a ripe banana for when we were out and about. And I was able to find similarly soft foods wherever we were. During feedings, I kept a napkin handy to keep her clean and I was good to go. While I appreciate the helpfulness of things like bibs and lots of food choices when we’re at home, it was nice to be reminded that it didn’t take much to keep June happy and fed when we wanted to travel as light as possible.

Another example that comes to mind? The giant table we built after moving to Colorado. It is the most used piece of furniture in our house. We use it for entertaining, for homework, for art projects, for sewing projects, for building things. And when we’re not using it, it does its duty as a piece of furniture that’s nice to look at and that compliments the space.

What about you? What are your thoughts on doing more with less? What’s an item you have that you get the most use out of?

Want to do less with more? Here’s your chance. You can win a new Windows 7 Phone — worth approx $500! Leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on doing more with less — you could even give us your favorite example. You can leave one comment each day through November 29th. Find the full rules listed here.

This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Less MIA. More PTA: Learn about Windows Phone online and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.

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1 Alesa November 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Doing less with more. … No cable or direct TV at our house. We acquire news through the Internet and watch an occasional episode of our fav shows through the Internet too. It creates more time too (not just money) … to do things together rather than in front of the TV.

2 Sierra November 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I actually don’t wnat the phone – the doing less with more just really struck a chord. We are expecting number five (my oldest is seven) and I have whittled down the concept of what is necessary with each child. Its amazing how much stuff I thought we NEEDED with our first, that would never occur to me to use, let alone buy or borrow now. Viva the mommy learning curve!

3 Becca November 15, 2010 at 4:12 pm

My kids are 3.5 and nearly two. A couple of months ago I realized I was overcommitting all of us. My daughter had playschool class two mornings a week, and I was doing a weekly music class with both of them. Add playgroups and playdates, and it just got to be too much.

I’ve realized how little time I have with them before they’ll be in school for a big chunk of their day. Now I’m much more selective about where we spend our time. I want them to have memories of all of us sitting around the table coloring together, or me pushing them on the swings, or “eating” the meals they made for me in their play kitchen.

4 kelly November 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Every time I buy something I think, “OK do I NEED this or do I WANT this?” I try to keep my wants in perspective.

5 MamaChristy November 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I shop all year for gifts and make as many as possible as well. This means less money spent and less stress at the holidays!

6 Mollie November 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I recently stopped working to stay home with our first child so we are living on almost less than half of our income. In order to keep a float and continue to put aside some savings, we are only buying the essentials and a very few ‘wants’. When I can leave something at a store I know that I really don’t need, I feel like it a small victory in the effort to be financial secure to our family’s peace.

7 kim November 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm

cleaning products. it was indeed very satisfying to find out that yes, most things CAN be cleaned with bicarbonate soda and vinegar. we don’t need that new formula, fandangled, power scrubbing grease remover with antibacterial whoosits and quantum powerball scum polisher, thank you very much!

8 Catherine S November 15, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I agree that it is easy to get along on the world with less and less…becomes more apparent after each baby we have. No more huge diaper bags for me…just a few diapers and wipes and we are on our way!

9 The Emily November 15, 2010 at 4:42 pm

My husband works for the state health department, so his income is, well, very small. I want to stay home with our kids and we just had our third baby, so doing more with less is basically the theme of our lives right now. We go to the dollar theater to see movies, if we go at all. We use hand-me-down clothes and shop the crazy sales at Christmastime for new things. We use coupons for food and household items…basically, we do our best to do as much as we can and spend the least amount of money.

10 Peggy November 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm

We have always done all of our own remodeling in our houses over the years, my husband is a carpenter and we “trade” work with his friends in the biz. When we need electrical work he does work for Russ in exchange, when we need painting done he trades work with George, etc…over the years we have also traded for plumbing, heating/air conditioning, plaster work, Really saves us alot of money. I’m also a freecycle nut lately…have gotten some really great stuff!

11 Manette Gutterman November 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm

My phone is beyond isn’t a brick, but it may as well be! I can whip up a meal out of few groceries like nobody’s business! When times are tough, my creativity makes a quick appearance! I am thankful for that skill this year!

12 Bonnie November 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I like the example that Gabrielle gave, especially since packing light with a young child can be difficult. I like to pack light also. I take items that can be mixed different ways to make many outfits and include only one or two pairs of shoes. I also take free samples of toiletries because they come in small, travel friendly sizes. When traveling somewhere by myself, I can usually fit everything into one carry on bag. Then I don’t have to worry about lost or damaged luggage or wait for the luggage to arrive!

13 Sarah A. November 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm

One way I do less with more is that I clip coupons. Over the last five years it has saved our family hundreds of dollars.

14 Hannah Stevenson November 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm

With baby number four on his way and only three rooms (one being ours another being my husbands office space) we are purging stuff like crazy and I can’t believe how freeing it feels! I have literally given away 10 garbage bags full of stuff that I honestly don’t even remember. Now the challenge is trying to keep from purchasing more stuff to replace what we just got rid of! I think with each child I am learning that less is more.

I do however really need a good phone so I hope I win! ;)

15 KarinS November 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Oh Mama I can totally relate.
We just finished a year-long whole house renovation. We had all of our belongings in storage and moved only our clothing and basic toys (for our daughter) and important keepsakey-stuff into a furnished 2 bedroom apartment for 14 months.
We just moved into our newly renovated house last month and have gotten rid of so much. I have been unpacking boxes of stuff we haven’t used (or needed) in over a year and I’m finding new homes for it. Donations to charities, schools, nursing homes etc….its all going. I love it. We all feel less cluttered and have a new outlook on what we need and don’t need in our lives.
Thank-you Gabby for a great topic and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

16 Erin Wilson November 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I’ve been living on the road with Wicked now for almost 2 years. I have learned the bliss and hardship of living with little. I live out of 2 suitcases and a carry on. While I am somewhat known for packing as much as I can into my little space I have definitely learned to live life without everything I thought I needed to make me happy and comfortable. Zip-Loc bags save my life on the road :)

17 dani November 15, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I love books. I love reading them and love browsing and buying them. My kids love reading just as much and we were being swallowed by books. So we purged big time and donated them and kept our favorites. Now we are using the library once a week and it feels so much better! Saving money and space.

18 Aliesha November 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I love that you traveled with only a baby spoon…inspiration for us with our first baby on the way!

I love the idea of doing more with less, but often lack ideas…I’m going to read the comments and see if anyone has any good ones!

19 Carol November 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

A little story about traveling WITH a baby and WITHOUT baby food .

My mother and I took Baby H, aged 6 months, to Winterthur (a historic house/museum in Delaware). I forgot the baby food.

Well…it was the off season, so every nice little old lady docent had fussed over Baby H as we toured the house and grounds. They pointed me in the direction of the very lovely cafeteria where I was able to consult with the chef himself. He offered to put a small fruit salad in the Moulinex and puree it.

The cashier looked at the dish of mush. I said, “It’s a small fruit salad. It’s $3.” She said, “There is NO WAY I’m charging you $3 for that! ”

I don’t actually remember what I paid for it. But it wasn’t $3. Being cute has its rewards.

20 Rachel November 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm

1. Only clean white sheets, go with everything, interchangeable, bleach-able.
2. Everything on display has to perform a service, vase holds the remotes, coffee table/ottoman holds video game controllers and blankets.
3. If we haven’t worn it, used it, read it, or played with it in 1 year, it’s gone.

21 Rachel November 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I love going to go garage sales and finding those hidden beauties. I love being able to find a mirror or piece of rundown furniture for cheap, and then just adding a little paint or fabric and it looks brand new.

22 Kristin Sharp November 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm

i love the idea of less is more…with money. i am a bargain shopper/hunter. i love to thrift, garage sale, flea market and renovate. Sprucing up is a passion of mine. I just bought a mid-century coffee table on craigslist for $35. I can’t wait to personalize it with a paint job. Another thing I completed today was a shirt for my 8 year old boy. I found a kelly green American Apparel t-shirt at a thrift store for $3. I appliqued a funky guitar on the front…very Mini Boden. I love the idea that creative fashion and design doesn’t have to cost a lot.

23 Jamie November 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm

This topic has been on my mind. We are going to be moving 2 times in the next 2 years. I’ve been thinking about what we can get rid of to make those moves easier. I would like to set a goal to get rid of 100 things each month before we leave. Though I’m pretty sure we could get rid of at least 100 unmatched socks. My kids cleaned their rooms this weekend and I was a little disturbed by how many socks we found.

24 jessica November 15, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Toys! I’m always getting rid of extra toys. Too many just makes life complicated (for me and the kids).

25 Laura November 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Great post, especially as we near the season of “buy, buy, buy.” I read a handy tip once about going around your house and finding 10 things you can trash/donate/recycle. When I’m feeling cluttered/overwhelmed I love doing this and am always surprised how much I can do without! What a great message…thanks!

26 Emily November 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I have simplified cleaning and am doing it for less money by using baking soda, and vinegar, and also by making my own laundry and dishwasher detergent.

27 Rian November 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

We’ve really tried to resist the temptation to buy additional clothes for our second boy, when we have all the perfectly good clothes still left from our first. I feel bad he doesn’t have the new clothes, but honestly they are in great shape.

28 Sarah s November 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

We reuse a lot of things to give them a new life. Old newspapers become great pattern pieces or paper bowls. Cardboard tubes are telescopes, swords, you name it!

29 Lea November 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I would love to have a more usable photo album. Lets be honest, we are a social network of human and we want to share our lives through our phones, emails, etc. I want to show my kids, show their adorable artwork, and every part of their lives with the people special to us. It needs to be easier to do.

30 Dele O November 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Wow…doing more with less. So many examples. If I had to think of one, it would be being able to being able to squeeze out more groceries out of the same budget every month with the help of coupons

31 Shannon November 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm

More with Less is the title of a Mennonite cookbook that I use. We are Mennonites and conserving and using what we have and are given is a large part of who we are. I admit that I’m not great at it. We throw out more than I wish, but we also recycle and donate and share and reuse and repurpose as much as is possible.

32 brooke November 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm

We live in a pretty small place-on a pretty tight budget. It was something I thought was going to be very difficult, but as it turns out, I now realize how very little we actually NEED. And we are very happy! :)

33 beyond November 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm

i try to keep things uncluttered. in a small nyc studio having few things is key. i feel absolutely fantastic every time i bring a bag of clothes etc to the salvation army… we don’t really need half of what we have.

34 tawnya November 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I regularly purge. REGULARLY. And have systematically been going through my house keeping only what we love and need and not feeling guilty about not keeping things out of obligation. Release them and let someone else love them.

35 Nick P. November 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Create context-based todo lists — that way when you are at your computer, your todo list only for things that you can do on your computer — not things you need to do in your yard or errands you need to do. a la GTD.

36 lauren November 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm

i think my kids definitely do more with their imaginations when they have less toys to play with :)

37 Leilani November 15, 2010 at 8:16 pm

One thing I’ve discovered is that when you do more with less, you don’t have to dust as much!

38 Michelle McCullough November 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I’m not really good at this at all. I keep things around because I just know I’ll need again sometime. I’ve been on too many trips where I didn’t have what I needed and so I overpack for every trip now. Better pick someone else, I’ll never win this one.

39 Melissa Collins November 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I use my laptop to do more with less! I email, connect to adults, cooking recipes, cleaning tips, mom advice, paying bills, printing coupons and so much more. Without my laptop I would feel lost because it would take me so much longer to do everything.

40 AliceH November 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm

This is an interesting question. I think right now my only example is tearing wipes in half to use on my newborn – the regular size wipes are just too big for him. Thanks for the chance!

41 beth November 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm

the clutter is growing again. it must be time to move.
we have moved 13 times in 26 years and because of that, we get rid of stuff. but now we’ve been here almost 5 years and the clutter is growing….i can see it and feel it. i wish i knew how to get rid of it without moving again…..

and that phone….swoon :)

42 anna p. November 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm

i have to say how much I love the commercial for this phone. Makes me laugh every time! I am thinking every day how to do more with less so I can continue to stay home with my little chicks. thanks!

43 mamalang November 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I have been literally getting rid of stuff here, and trying to remind myself to slow down on the amount of clothing I buy our children.

44 Janssen November 15, 2010 at 9:26 pm

We got rid of nearly everything when we moved cross-country and as we’ve rebought the things we needed, it has been so pleasant to only get the things we really really needed.

45 Kiki_Dawn November 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

We’ve been living in a tiny apt for years now. I do more with less by necessity. But it’s nice. I like having things be simple and exact.

46 Alicia W. November 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I am loving this topic! I’ve also been thinking a lot about doing more with less. I’ve been going through all of my craft stuff and really asking myself if I use stuff…if it doesn’t get used, it gets donated, tossed, or sold on eBay. I’m looking forward to clearing more things out so we can actually enjoy the space we have in our home!

47 Communikate November 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm

My husband and I have moved three times in the last year. We whittled down a three bedroom house full of furniture and belongings to items that would fit in our toyota camry and saturn vue.

We’re currently sleeping on an air mattress, and use the ironing board to eat at, and I’m the happiest I’ve been in years.

Less is more.

48 Benedicte Monsen November 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

I would love to do more with less!
Maybe pack a bag per person and hike around Europe!?! Maybe sell everything and move my family to south America!?! Or maybe just a happy medium of having a huge yard sale, then donating the money to charity and have camp out in the empty living room.
Any option would work for me!

49 Ashley C November 15, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I live in a studio apartment. It makes me constantly throw out things I don’t need. Also the Library. Why own books that you are only going to read once when the library is a free service.

50 Angela November 15, 2010 at 11:43 pm

No more stuff! Anything we bring into the house anymore has to be needed or something we love. Moves are always great times to get rid of the things we don’t need (not that I want to move again!).

51 Janis @ Sneak Peek At Me November 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Donate, donate, donate. When I get that cluttered feeling I clean out toys and clothing for donation. It makes me feel better to have less and to know someone else will find it useful.

52 emily kate November 16, 2010 at 12:03 am

Nothing simplified our life more than moving to a 400 sq/ft studio apt in Manhattan. We got rid of EVERYTHING and flew to NYC with just our suitcases and mailed only a couple boxes of essentials. In NYC we bought a bed, couch, and a few other small furniture items. Then we made it a point to try and get by with only what we had. We only bought things when we absolutely needed them and couldn’t find any way to make do without that item. I was amazed that we got by with only one kitchen pot, for example. Now that we’re in a bigger apartment and have a baby we have lots more stuff again and I’m itching for an excuse to start from scratch again. Less is more sometimes.

53 Samantha November 16, 2010 at 12:03 am

reuse reuse reuse. any old t shirts i have laying around, i experiment patterns on them which sometimes turn out to be new dresses :)

54 Kristie November 16, 2010 at 1:02 am

I’m learning that we should of done more with less stuff. We are in the process of packing and moving house/country. It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate over 10 years!!!

55 Jess November 16, 2010 at 2:03 am

I throw out anything that I haven’t used in two years, except for books.

56 Sarah November 16, 2010 at 4:01 am

This year my family is on sabbatical and we packed everything we needed for the entire year in 6 suitcases. That was a great exercise for thinking about what we _truly_ needed. When we return home at the end of the year, it will be back to our 1.5 BR apt. where we are forced to pare down our belongings semi-regularly so as not to get overwhelmed with stuff. I know our suburban-dwelling relatives think we’re crazy for living in such a small space, but I like that thinking about what is necessary is part of our everyday experience.

57 lindsay r November 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

I write lists and try to find dual purposes for everything in my house, from food to cleaners!

58 Kady November 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

Doing away with a ton of knick knack type things that I kept bc someone (usually family) had given them to me. It was so nice to feel like all the things that I keep are things that I love. Not just just things I have to pretend like I love. BONUS I sell said crap at a garage sale and make $$$. :)

59 hvanriper November 16, 2010 at 6:34 am

I found that by having fewing belongings, there was a definite beneficial effect on my psyche. I tended to buy higher quality items that I like more. I know where most everything is now, and my brain feels lighter.

60 Donna C. November 16, 2010 at 6:42 am

Since I have two girls I always go through my older one’s outgrown clothes before purchasing new clothes for my little one

61 Mo November 16, 2010 at 7:00 am

The toys! Back to the old basics… we try to have toys out that will appeal to all the kids – ages from 2 to 11, ones that can be modified or that the kids can build with so that we are not overwhelmed by plastic bits. It is a constant challenge, of course.

62 Emily November 16, 2010 at 7:18 am

Growing up in Appalachia, doing more with less was a lifestyle. I love how being reasonably frugal has become a trend! Though I’ve never considered myself to be extravagant, I’m always trying to find ways to be a better steward of what I have. Recently, I started making my own laundry detergent. Its pennies a load and gives me the satisfaction that I’m doing more with less.

63 Rendy Lemke November 16, 2010 at 7:34 am

We use only cloth napkins – cuts back on waste and clutter in the kitchen.

64 melanie roepke November 16, 2010 at 7:38 am

I try to do more with less in the playroom. I take a day around this time of year to purge the toys, books, games, and other playthings that are broken or just unneccesary and unloved. This makes room for the new things the Christmas season will bring, but it also makes play easier. When kids have too much to choose from, they get overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin.
Gabrielle- I’m also *trying* to adhere to your “something to read, something to wear, something to play with” rule, but I already bought 4 books (used!)!!

65 Katie B November 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

I’m making a lot of gifts this year. I make quilts, and I’m trying to use up fabric I already have to make quilts for my family and friends for Christmas.

66 Ginger November 16, 2010 at 8:50 am

Less is more was a hard concept for me to learn as a new mom. As a result, we accumulated a lot of stuff. Now that we have 5 children, I am a firm believer in “less is more”, because less stuff means less time cleaning, and more time spent together as a family.

67 Cissy November 16, 2010 at 9:03 am

Nursing with less: Instead of using a Boppy, I just roll up one of baby’s receiving blankets and tuck it under my arm. The Boppys are so cute these days, but I’m with you–another baby means I need more room, not more stuff.

68 Carrie November 16, 2010 at 9:04 am

More With Less #2: Print on the backside of papers. School newsletters, oops-I-didn’t-need-to-print-that pages, that last page of an email that prints one line of wholly useless information… if it’s blank on the back, I print on it!

69 Heather November 16, 2010 at 9:17 am

We do more with less with friends. Instead of a big fancy dinner party, we have pot lucks; sometimes we just pool ingredients and cook the meal together. Saves both families a little money, and is a great way to enjoy our time together.

70 Lori November 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

How liberating. I feel like I bring everything but the kitchen sink when I go out with the kids!

71 Megan Roe November 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

We have always tried to do more with less toys. My husband was the last of ten kids so he had to always find ways to make do without much. After buying some draft stops (to keep the cool air from flowing in under our doors) from home depot the other day, my husband grabbed the long, narrow boxes they came in and he and my son made a toy car jump. This new “toy” has been a hit and I realized that it not only saved money but it challenged my son to use his imagination to build something great.

72 Heather November 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

We have only the basics in our kitchen…all purpose glasses are used for water and wine! It was kind of embarrassing this weekend when guests showed up with champagne! We were toasting out of our mugs and glasses! But I decided long ago that our kitchen would only have the basics and things that could serve double duty! We have a food processor, but no panini press, bread maker, etc!

73 Sarah November 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

Shopping at the thrift store is my favorite way to do more with less!

74 oona b November 16, 2010 at 9:37 am

We do more with less by shopping in our own house instead of hitting IKEA. If we need shelves, we see which room we can borrow them from, or what piece of furniture we can switch out. Need curtains? Maybe I could use some vintage dish towels I have sitting around instead. It feels good to use what I have instead of bringing more home!
Thanks for the amazing giveaway!

75 Rian November 16, 2010 at 9:43 am

I’ve been adding tags online to my credit card purchases to really try to track how impulse purchases add up -it is a bit eye opening!

76 Brigette November 16, 2010 at 10:00 am

Living in a very small home with a husband, teenager and 6 year old I realized the more clutter and stuff I got rid of the more time we spent together. My children gravitate toward clean and clear areas of the home because it is more comfortable to sit, put your feet up and relax, talk, read, play or converse. I count my blessings every day for what I do have and I count many more blessings for what I don’t have clogging up my life and draining my energy.

77 Dina C. November 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

Twice a year I scheduled a Goodwill appointment, whether I think I need it or not. KNowing they are coming makes me parade through the house and find things to donate. It also cures the need to shop when you realize just how much “stuff” you have.

78 Amy November 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

I do more with less kitchen appliances. I have a stand mixer so got rid of my hand one. We don’t have an electric an opener. Don’t need an electric griddle and don’t have a food processor. While these things are convenient to have around they take up space! I hate electronics and appliances on the counter so if it doesn’t fit in the cupboards, we don’t need it. If I only pull it out once or twice a year, it’s gone. Who needs an electric carving knife anyway? I mean, really???

79 Liz November 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

We subscribed to a vegetable farm box for awhile, but since we moved to a neighborhood with a farmer’s market within walking distance we decided to cancel our subscription and buy only what we truly needed every Sunday. A lot less waste that way, and we have the pleasure of wandering around the market and interacting with the people who produce our food.

80 Hilary Roberts November 16, 2010 at 11:06 am

Doing less, buying less, worrying less – what a great concept. Sometimes I find myself wandering through the grocery store isles saying to myself “why am I here?”

81 carra November 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

We’ve turned our extra bedroom into a computer room, music room, laundry room and nursery. It’s tight, but it works for now. :)

82 Suzy McCann November 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

We don’t have space for a study or office so we transformed our living room into a computer/homework/library room. It’s the most used room in the house!

83 Mandy November 16, 2010 at 11:43 am

Doing more with less is always on my mind..everytime I see junk everywhere I know I need to declutter. Frequent runs to the thrift store drop off helps with this, but certainly isn’t a fix-all.

84 jane November 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

i try to practice a rule of thumb i found on apartment therapy – whenever i buy something new, i try to think of something to give away/donate. that way i don’t have clutter and also help others!

85 diana November 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm

i have been really trying to do weekly grocery shopping- one trip and that’s it. if we run out of something, it can wait until next week. do we really need more peanut butter? not until next week we don’t! so far it is working great!

86 Kimber November 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

We’re crashing with my grandmother while renovating our house, and it’s amazing to me how happy two adults, two kids and two dogs can be living out of two suitcases. The whole experience is making ,e question whether we really needed that huge renovationafterall!!

87 Em D. November 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I often find doing less makes you feel like you have more!

88 Liz P. November 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Doing more with less…. definitely applies at home and while we are out and about. At home, since we live in a teeny condo, Kenzie’s toys are confined to a small plastic box and she plays with cups, spoons, remotes, daddy’s snack bags, etc. Out and about, she plays with plastic cups, spoons, advertisements, anything that holds her interest so I don’t have to take as many toys with me =)

89 Heather HS November 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I’m all about supper leftovers for lunch the next day. Saves me a bundle in the big city!

90 dana f. November 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I love simplifying and doing more with less. De-cluttering is a favorite hobby of mine. It’s so freeing to get rid of stuff!

I do it in cycles. About every 4 months or so, I go through each room and toss or donate items. If there’s something I am unsure of, I hang on to it. If when that next cleaning sessions comes 4 months later and I still haven’t needed that item I was unsure of, it goes.

91 steph t. November 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm

i am loving this… and this is a work in progress for me from a lifetime of being a packrat (thanks mom!). ever so slowly in the past 10 years of marriage i’ve been getting better and better at purging things that i do not need. of course, moving 4 times has helped too! ;) but really, the old saying is completely true… less IS more. i feel so much better mentally when i get rid of things. i do have a hard time getting rid of certain items of clothing too (yet again… thanks mom!). so i’ve tried to be good at recyling those clothes. before i get rid of them, i try them on in a totally different way. a jacket with a belt, a pair of pants hemmed into capris? whatever… but i think it’s helped when i look at some of those old clothes in a new light. everything old can be made new again. even just simply with accessories or simple alterations. it’s quite fun too to know one is being thrifty and conscious. and these kinds of tips can be used for the rest of your life, not necessarily just for right now b/c it’s kinda ‘hipster’. ;) ha ha! really, it should be a lifetime motto… do more with less. love it!!
and…. i ain’t gonna lie. that phone looks mighty fun. i’m due up for a new cell. this would be AWESOME!!!!

92 Erin November 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Since my husband lost his job about a year ago, doing more with less is the name of the game for me. It’s amazing what you can do with a can of tuna.

93 Anne November 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I struggle with this every day, because I grew up in a more-with-less household and a very crafty mom. My husband grew up in a more-is-more household–they always had large houses and a public storage unit. We went shopping in their unit to help furnish our first house.
I enjoy doing more with less when it means making something I want out of things I already have. As an example, I’ve been coveting statement necklaces, so I took an old brooch of my grandmother’s and stuck it onto a blah beaded necklace.

94 Aubrey Archuleta November 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I love to splurge on fabric softener & it acts as air freshener for the whole house!

95 Cheryl November 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I think doing more with less for me is cutting out the meaningless extras–like buying all the dollar section crap for my kids that they don’t need and just gets thrown out later anyway.
I love the whole doing more with less idea. It’s an extra challenge for my mind when life gets boring and repetitive!

96 Sally November 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I’m learning to refinish furniture so that we can reuse it instead of tossing it out.

97 Rebecca November 16, 2010 at 7:59 pm

My “less is more” is of the tv/movie variety. 7 months ago we said “no” to all tv/movie watching during the week. We now have Friday movie night as a family, unless we’re out doing an activity together instead, and we love it! That’s the only tv/movie time we have all week. The kids rarely even ask to watch a movie anymore because they’ve found so many other ways to entertain themselves. Less screen time is more conducive to happy childhood time.

98 April-Living the Sweet Life November 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Since I have been a single mom for the past 9 years I have learned to create more with less for our family while still keeping it beautiful. I found when I was in design school on a tight budget some of my best projects were a result of making due with things I had on hand.

99 anna p. November 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm

This holiday season is going to be about more with less. Homemade gifts and hopefully a lot less of the ridiculous last minute over spending.

100 Diana November 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I’ve been feeling the same way even though it’s not spring. I guess it was because we were almost all the way packed to move and then we didn’t. Now I’m unpacking and thinking do I really need this and can I perform the same task with out it. A lot of times it’s yes. Less is more sometimes. One of the best things I did was get rid of our TV years ago.

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