Less Stuff, More Meaning

by Lance Ekum on · 78 comments

 Today it is an honor and a priv­i­lege to have Sami, from Life, Laughs, & Lem­mings here, shar­ing some of her won­der­ful knowl­edge, mixed with that fun and humor­ous side I’ve come to know and love.  Sami calls Aus­tralia “home”, so today we’re trav­el­ing “down under” as this bright young lady shares her wis­dom here.

Sami describes her blog as “seri­ous fun”.  And I think that’s right on the mark!  She’s a sweet­heart of a soul, and cares deeply for the world we live in, all the while hav­ing fun and really liv­ing life.  A per­fect exam­ple of this is her Daisy List (a spin on the Bucket List idea).  And just to see how she’s not afraid to have fun and really let the joy in her heart out, check out the video she shared on this post she did (sorry, Sami, it’s too good not to share!).  Or to see how she val­ues laugh­ter, check out this post.

Sami is one awe­some lady, a great friend, and – she’s sim­ply an awe­some writer!  To keep up with all that she’s doing, sub­scribe to her blog right here!

And with that, Sami, the floor is yours…

Less Stuff, More Mean­ing
 

i can't live without it or can i
Creative Commons License photo credit: ari­moore

“Sim­plic­ity is the ulti­mate sophis­ti­ca­tion.” ~ Leonardo DaVinci

Damn those Jones’ and their fancy cars, fancy house, fancy TV and fancy clothes. And damn all those com­pa­nies with their fancy ads who know exactly how to make us feel less worthy/cool/successful if we aren’t able to keep up with the Jones’ and prefer­ably out-fancy them.

Funny thing about those Jones’ and all their fancy friends, they tend to have very fancy debt. Fancy that! In other words, it’s often all show.

The mar­keters will have us believe that once you get that lat­est model, spe­cial edi­tion, lim­ited run, fus­cia BMW, THEN you’ll get the girl (or boy). Or if you just get those cur­rent sea­son, bright red, 7 inch Manolo Blah­nik heels, THEN you’ll be sexy (and crip­pled). And God for­bid you should even think about not get­ting the lat­est phone that can give you your GPS co-ordinates, microwave your lunch, trans­late dog lan­guage, crack the Da Vinci code AND would you believe, make phone calls. You can kiss that hap­pi­ness good bye with­out it!

I should know, I used to be in mar­ket­ing (before I saw the light). I know a lot of the tricks like using emo­tive lan­guage in copy, upbeat music in stores, prod­uct place­ment on shelves, loss leader prod­ucts and the lesser known; beau­ti­ful peo­ple specif­i­cally placed at spe­cific bars buy­ing a spe­cific prod­uct so oth­ers will specif­i­cally emu­late them.

Don’t get me wrong, I use to want and strive to buy all the lat­est elec­tron­ics, clothes, car, etc, etc. An unwanted divorce, a sub­se­quent escape relo­ca­tion to another coun­try and leav­ing behind all my worldly pos­ses­sions sans two bags worth of clothes and a few sen­ti­men­tal items took care of that.

It’s really quite hum­bling but also lib­er­at­ing hav­ing your entire mate­r­ial world encased in two bags sit­ting at your feet. What I very quickly learnt through my sit­u­a­tion was who really cares about me and what I really should care about. “Stuff” didn’t really fig­ure in the equation.

Once all that is mate­r­ial was gone, all I was left with was myself and my sur­vival. For some that can be incred­i­bly daunt­ing and have as much appeal as turn­ing up to work butt naked (given I work from home, that would be less of an issue for me but would make for inter­est­ing times should the FedEx guy turn up to the door).

Whilst it can be daunt­ing, when the dis­trac­tions of pos­ses­sions, image, sta­tus and keep­ing up with all of that are no longer there, you are left with free­dom. Free­dom to move, free­dom to dis­cover who you really are, free­dom to be peace­ful and free­dom to uncover what is really impor­tant like your health, your fam­ily and friends and your purpose.

I’m not sug­gest­ing you go out and reduce your mate­r­ial pos­ses­sions to two bags but what I am say­ing is that there is power, free­dom and mean­ing to be had if you live a life with less stuff and less attach­ment to the stuff. Besides, fewer pos­ses­sions means less con­sump­tion, less dam­age to the planet, less cost, less main­tain­ing, less clean­ing and more time, money, fun, free­dom and fulfillment.

And who doesn’t want more of that?

Oh, and by the way, uncool is the new black. So if you want to be in sea­son, you really must go out and get your­self some!

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Schryer July 28, 2009 at 10:06 am

What a great guest post! I used to work in marketing, too…so it’s always nice to meet other souls who have “saved themselves” :)
.-= Jay Schryer´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Totally Screwed My Karma =-.

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John July 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

I love the last part “uncool is the new black”. That just made my morning. You have a charming writing style, Sami. I really like it: “Damn those Jones’!”

Having less actually makes you appreciate life more, and allows to connect with people rather than inanimate objects. Thanks for the thought.
.-= John´s Last Fabulous Post ..3 Foolproof Ways to Keep Your Promises =-.

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Jannie Funster July 28, 2009 at 10:23 am

What a wonderful uplifting reminder today about stuff mostly not being not necesary.

And when I checked out Sami’s post and saw the “Lasagna Dish Blender Cake” I had to laugh out loud. And again at her Flashdance video! That girl is a kindred spirit for sure.

Ahh, now I’m feelin’ all warm and fuzzy – thanks you two!

Oh, and you’re NOT supposed to turn up for work butt naked? (seemed kind of appealing to me at the time.) Maybe that’s why I only lasted a couple days at that coffee shop. Oh well…
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..On Blog Links, Singing, Donuts & Beer =-.

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Positively Present July 28, 2009 at 10:38 am

What a great post, Sami! Thanks for posting this on your site, Lance. It was a joy to read and has really made me stop and think about all of the stuff I have that I really don’t need. I’m going to be moving soon and I plan on giving a lot of it away so that I can have less stuff and more meaning in my life!
.-= Positively Present´s Last Fabulous Post ..how to be happy when your heart is breaking =-.

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Lynn July 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

Yes – great post, Sami and thank you for getting her over here, Lance. I will definitely be checking out Life, Laughs and Lemmings.

I, too, downsized with I was divorced a few years ago and found that my wee condominium is just the right size for one woman and her pet. As long as I have my books and music around me I am content. Moving to another country with only two bags is awe inspiring to say the least.

Lynn – proud to be uncool!
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Outside, rescue and conservationist =-.

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Vered - Blogger for Hire July 28, 2009 at 11:03 am

I can only imagine that freedom. I still care too much about image status etc.
.-= Vered – Blogger for Hire´s Last Fabulous Post ..Staycation =-.

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Jodi at Joy Discovered July 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

Hi Lance, Thank you for sharing Sami with us!

Sami, what a fun post! I completely agree with you that less is more. I love your line about fancy debt! I have seen people very close to me keep themselves in bad situations far too long because they were attached to stuff. My father-in-law always told my husband growing up, “If it won’t cry over you, don’t cry over it.” That has helped us keep things in perspective. Life is about living and connecting–not silly collecting!
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Truth Will Set You Free =-.

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melanie July 28, 2009 at 11:16 am

sami, i couldn’t agree more. the happiest times I ever had was when i packed a little backack, my journal and went to england for 8 weeks (which turned into much more). It is completely freeing to not be a ‘slave’ to my possessions instead i could enjoy life more simply.

now i have acquired more things again, but I always make sure that when things come in some stuff MUST go out, so i can keep the circle going.

i feel much better inside when i have less. thank you for the gentle reminder, it isn’t about our stuff.
.-= melanie´s Last Fabulous Post ..Right now I am thinking about…. =-.

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Lori July 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Lance, thanks for introducing us to Sami! I enjoy her style, writing, and attitude.

Sami, I completely agree with your take on less stuff, less consumption, and more fun. I am in the middle of clearing out the crap in our place and I am feeling more and more liberated everyday. Oh, and I loved your Flashdance video! Very funny…

You’ll be seeing me around your blog. :)

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Lori July 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Apologies for the double comment, but I forgot to add that you and Jay can chalk me us another former marketing gal who has also seen the light. Ahh…it is so lovely out here in the fresh air.

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Yum Yucky July 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm

What! Even the music in stores is a strategy to suck the cash out of us!?! And I’m feeding into it by dancing behind the clothing racks. The “cha-ching!” dance. Oh my. Better stop that.

Funny how I was thinking today that I may want to grow old in my current home. I don’t think I want to upgrade. Maybe, but it’s not a necessity I’m striving for. It sure does take the pressure off!
.-= Yum Yucky´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sprinkles Cookie Crisp: What the Hell Was I Thinking? =-.

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Jill July 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Wow, Sami, you touched on what has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. I have collected a mess of clutter (toys, gadgets, clothing,) over the past 15 years while I attempted to keep up with that damn Jones family. I am in the process of liberating my family from all the stuff and some of them are not too happy.

I look forward to the day when I will feel freedom and my home will be a clutter-free, simple haven.

Thanks for inviting Sami over Lance.
.-= Jill´s Last Fabulous Post ..Gone in a flash =-.

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Barbara Swafford July 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Hi Lance and Sami,

This is the mission I’m on now – reducing my “stuff”. We just had our annual neighborhood garage sale and I got rid of a lot (plus made some $$- woohoo), and as I put the house back together, I’m finding even more. I now have a couple of bags ready to go to charity and am enjoying the benefit of “less is more”.

Great advice, Sami!
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..How To Keep Your Blog Alive When Life Calls =-.

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Julie July 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Lance, thanks for your thorough introduction. Sami’s video is precious and I, too, loved her Lasagna Dish Blender Cake. She’s in kid disguised as a grown-up, and you know how much I love that!

Hi, Sami. It’s so nice to meet you. Your Flashdance routine had me laughing over my lunch at the office. (Don’t worry; no one else saw you.) I just love your incredibly healthy sense of humor! You’ll remain eternally young at heart with that mindset. A huge “Yes!” to your message of freedom. Once we set aside all those “wants” dangled in front of us wherever we turn, freedom is exactly what we feel. …an incredible lightness of being. We feel as if all our internal spaces have increased tenfold, making room for breathing in the enjoyment of life itself. And that’s a FAR larger pleasure than mere ownership of things and appearances. :) Thank you for sharing that message. By the way, you’ve another new subscriber. ;)
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Honor is All Mine =-.

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Laurie July 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I went to a conference this past weekend. I had a booth to promote my business and across the pathway was a booth that sold “yellow box shoes”. I had never heard of yellow box shoes but they were creating quite a stir with the ladies in the exhibit hall. I went over to look at what was causing the scene and I found glorified flip flops adorned with fake jewels. I tried on a pair just to see what the fuss was about and I have to admit they were very comfortable but when I flipped over the price tag, I saw that these sparkley flip flops were $55. OMG! $55 for a pair of flip flops? I can’t believe folks would pay that much for flip flops even if they had the money.

I am all for simplifying life. I have been clearing out stuff I don’t use/need. I am living on less money especially since I have started my own business and need the money for that. There is so much money wasted on “things” that don’t really matter. I don’t want to be wasteful of money (which I really am but am working on it). Thanks for the reminder of what is really important in this life.

I won’t be owning a pair of yellow box shoes now or ever I’m afraid. Not useless I find them on clearance for 10 bucks which I don’t think will happen. LOL! My cheap ones are just fine!

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Diane C. July 28, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Hi Sami, I love this post! I couldn’t agree with you more. We really need to think before buying. You summed it up perfectly right here: “Besides, fewer possessions means less consumption, less damage to the planet, less cost, less maintaining, less cleaning and more time, money, fun, freedom and fulfillment.”
.-= Diane C.´s Last Fabulous Post ..Pixel Magic =-.

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Armen Shirvanian July 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm

You’ve got a solid message here. When you lose those extra things, you end up left with your own abilities, so if you don’t want to always have that worry in the back of your mind during good times, you’ve got to maintain those abilities and not focus on those items that can be lost. It helps that you came from a marketing background so you know how the other end works, and what kinds of tools are used to lure people in. When you have sat on both sides of the table, you know what all the food tastes like.

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Hilary July 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Hi Sami and Lance .. yes I too downsized going to South Africa and can totally relate to two bags and sometimes that was too much .. but you need a bit .. Once married with a house .. out came the books, pictures and china .. and back they came here .. oh well! .. the books I need now & use all the time .. so I’m pleased I’ve got those .. pictures .. lots of memories of places, been etc …china = memories .. there’s a lot of china!

I’ll have to have a clear out in the next year or two once my Mum moves over rainbow bridge – so it’ll all have to wait til then!

But I have a friend who lives in a small apartment and has done since her thirties .. and I quite envy her at times!

It’s good to meet you .. and go well down under .. I’ll be across to see your site, watch the video etc .. and do what I’m told to do by Lance!! It has to be good and worth it .. go well both of you .. all the best -
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Hey Lance, it’s the morning here in Aus so I thought I’d drop around. Thanks so much for having me at The Jungle – a privilege indeed. Thanks also for your totally lovely intro (you really do rock you know!). Now about that video – all I can say is you better hope I don’t get hold of those pics of you in a dress and wearing lipstick! You know where they’re going to end up if I do. ;)

Thanks again lovely Lance. xxx
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..101 Ways to Be Eco Friendly =-.

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Amanda Linehan July 28, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Hi Sami and Lance – Getting rid of stuff is a great way to free up our energy. When we are carrying around a lot of stuff that we don’t need, it just drags us down. Taking some time to think about what we want to keep in our life and letting the rest go, does indeed give us much more freedom. I like this idea a lot :)
.-= Amanda Linehan´s Last Fabulous Post ..How To Make Yourself Feel Better =-.

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Marelisa July 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Hi Sami , Hi Lance: I love the idea of calling your bucket list your “Daisy List” (as in things to do before pushing up daisies). :-) And I completely agree that less is more. About three years ago I moved to a smaller apartment and got rid of a lot of stuff in the process. I don’t miss any of it. In fact, I’m thinking of what else I can donate or get rid off.
.-= Marelisa´s Last Fabulous Post ..Mind Maps: Everything You Need to Know =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm

@Jay – Oh, so you feel my pain then eh? Yep, if you’re wanting to be authentic, real and honest, marketing is not the profession for you that’s for sure. Thanks Jay and good on you for seeing the light!

@John – Hey John, thanks very much. Very glad you enjoyed it. You’re so right. Learning what really is important in life (stuff not being it) is such a powerful lesson. Thank you.

@Jannie – Thanks so much for your comment Jannie. Yep, Lasagna Dish Blender Cake and Flashdance routines are all in a day’s work at Life, Laughs & Lemmings. There’s always plenty of craziness going on. Sounds like nakedness is all in a day’s work for you. And only a couple of days at the coffee shop? Have they no sense of humour?

@Positively Present – Hey there PP. Oh moving is a GREAT chance to get rid of any unwanted stuff in your life. A small piece of advice, make the whole packing, sorting, giving away thing fun. Get friends over to help, crank the tunes (I know how much you’d love to do that), crack open the champers and have a packing party.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Less Stuff, More Meaning =-.

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J.D. Meier July 28, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I’m less into stuff, and more into people, experiences, and skills.

I think of life as a collection of Hallmark moments, and while “stuff” can be a vehicle, no “stuff” has ever made me happy, sad, or whatever as another human.

Anytime I hear “stuff,” I remember George Carlin talking about “stuff” :)
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..10-10-10 Decision Making =-.

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Lisa's Chaos July 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm

What a lady! In this day and age it is hard to resist and have less, but my momma always told me the same thing – that those people have huge amounts of debt. I have been striving more and more this year to do with less and less and I admit I’m enjoying less clutter. :)
.-= Lisa’s Chaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..Weathervanes =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 28, 2009 at 9:54 pm

@Lynn – Hi Lynn, thanks for your comment. Divorce has a funny way of helping you realise what little importance material possessions really have. Moving to another country had its tough moments for sure but it was so worth it. Twas a couple of the best years of my life so far. I’m proud to be uncool myself by the way!

@Vered – Hey Vered. Moving away from a focus on status and image is certainly not easy. We’re taught from a young age that success = money, great job, big house, latest car, etc, etc. It becomes ingrained and is very challenging (and scary) to break away from. It is extremely liberating when you do though. Thanks very much for sharing.

@Jodi – Hi Jodi. I totally LOVE your comment of “Life is about living and connecting–not silly collecting!” Couldn’t have said it better myself! Your father-in-law is obviously a wise one too. Thanks Jodi, glad it resonated.

@Melanie – A fellow traveler eh? It sounds like you can relate. Traveling is such a great way to learn about yourself and about life in general. I found many backpackers and other travelers had a very similar “less stuff, more meaning” philosophy. You realise very quickly that seeing and experiencing what the world has to offer and connecting with others has far more meaning and fulfillment than any possession can generally give you. Thanks for sharing Melanie.

@Lori – So cool to hear you’re clearing the clutter and feeling liberated as a result. It can be quite therapeutic getting rid of what you don’t need. Great to see another fellow marketer who saw the light too. Thanks Lori and you’re always welcome over at Life, Laughs & Lemmings.

@Yum Yucky – Yep, hate to tell you but the music is a ploy and not just for you to boogie to. I know it’s hard to believe but the marketers would prefer you did less dancing and more spending. Being a Flashdancer myself, I obviously disagree! Good on you for deciding not to upgrade. By not upgrading your house, in my opinion, you’re upgrading your life which is more fulfilling anyway.

@Jill – Hi Jill. Definitely keep up with your mission. It is a very worthwhile one and your family will come to realise that in due course. I admire your courage for leaving the Jones’ behind and creating your simple haven, especially in the face of protest. Keep going and good luck!

@Barbara – Hey Barbara. Great point you make – our stuff can actually make us money. It’s a win/win because you create space for yourself and make some cash as well. Gotta love that! Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

@Julie – Oh Julie, you already know me too well – a kid disguised as a grown-up is a perfect description for me (and I think my partner, family and friends would agree)! You are so right, having a “young” attitude does make you young at heart. I seriously don’t feel a day over 25, unless it’s the day after having a session with my personal trainer, then I feel more like 27!

Freedom is so incredibly important to me. Now that I’ve found it through getting out of the rat race and reducing my responsibilites and possessions, I defend it fiercely. It’s worth protecting. Thanks for subscribing to Life, Laughs & Lemmings. Would love to see you over there!
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Less Stuff, More Meaning =-.

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Liara Covert July 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm

For some people, every color and circumstance seems to have a particular meaning. Human beings are often conditioned to judge what is good or bad, better or worse, right or wrong. As awareness grows, a person brings different levels of understanding to perception. Where you are, how you feel and whatever your situation, know that it is what you need right now for lessons you are born to learn. Choose to explore the reasons for where you are . Grow from it.
.-= Liara Covert ´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 Ways to reframe apparent dis-ease =-.

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Mike King July 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm

You definitely caught me on that last line as well. Uncool. Nice. I’ve formed a habit of getting rid of stuff whenever I do get something new and that helps me keep my stuff down and since every new thing I get/acquire adds a work task to get rid of other stuff, I find I hold onto things a lot longer before replacment. My wife and I both help each other keep that habit. Nice article btw and thanks for the introduction Lance!
.-= Mike King´s Last Fabulous Post ..Book Review: Outliers =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm

@Laurie – Hey Laurie, a perfect example of resisting something you didn’t really need. Good for you! Me thinks bedazzled flip flops would more than likely be a hit over here!

I hear you re simplifying your life. That was a big lesson I learnt while living in Canada. A simple life is actually a more full life. When you’re not worrying about getting/cleaning/maintaining/finding stuff, you are out there living (something I very much did while living overseas and continue to do here now I’m home). And you don’t need a pair of bedazzled flip flops to do that! ;)

@Diane C – Thanks very much Diane – glad it resonated with you.

@Armen – Hi Armen, you’re right, having had a background in marketing, I do tend to look at things differently. Unfortunately, in the marketing world all is not what it seems. It is helpful to be able to see through the BS. And I agree totally re needing to have detachment from material possessions. They are not important enough to become attached to anyway. In my case, it was when I lost them that I learnt this.

@Hilary – Yes, it’s easy to collect all the stuff again but I find a yearly clear out keeps on top of it. If you do it every 6 months to a year, it’s far less daunting to tackle too. Thanks very much for coming by Hilary. Take care!

@Amanda – Hi Amanda. You raise a great point. As well as freeing up space, letting go of clutter does very much free up our energy as well. I love the feeling of sorting and getting rid of clutter and then walking into an uncluttered room. Thanks Amanda!

@Marelisa – Hey Marelisa. Thanks, yeah, I thought Daisy List was a little more inspiring than bucket list! I agree, less really is more. Most people seem to find that when they downsize they find a renewed sense of calm and freedom. It’s not until you really deal with the clutter and stuff that you find that out.

@J.D. – I couldn’t agree more! I’m more into people and experiences now too. It wasn’t always that way though. My divorce and life in Canada was what changed my perspective. It’s the Hallmark moments as you described that is what, in my opinion, life is all about. Thanks J.D.

@Lisa – Hey Lisa, good on you! Your Momma knows what she’s talking about! It’s so great to see you taking her lead.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Less Stuff, More Meaning =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 28, 2009 at 11:13 pm

@Liara – Hi Liara. My philosophy is that all the experiences we have, good and bad, are there to teach us and help us grow. I’ve found that to be true for myself anyway. Thanks.

@Mike – Hey Mike. I love that you and your wife have formed habits to keep a handle on the clutter and that you help each other maintain the habits. That’s a great idea. Thanks for sharing it.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Less Stuff, More Meaning =-.

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Davina July 29, 2009 at 12:40 am

Hi Lance and Sami. This is a philosophy that I appreciate. I’ve never been very materialistic though so it comes as second nature to me. Since I’ve been working at home this is even easier; there is less influence or temptation to keep up with everyone else.
.-= Davina´s Last Fabulous Post ..Guest Post: 7 Myths About Asking for Help =-.

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Daphne July 29, 2009 at 1:03 am

Sami,

I loved the title of this post – it perfectly summed up your message. Your examples helped drive home the point – being able to pack your life belongings into two suitcases is something I’m working towards (my goal is just ONE suitcase!) Great job here.

Lance,

You have a gift for introducing people, and making your readers want so much to read what your guest posters have to say. No wonder you have such a loyal following!
.-= Daphne´s Last Fabulous Post ..Greetings! But Let’s Not Shake Hands… =-.

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Mindful Mimi July 29, 2009 at 3:41 am

Lance, thanks for sharing Sami’s post.
Sami: great stuff and totally agree. We sift through our house on a regular basis to get rid of stuff and clutter and usually make some people very happy by donating it.
I think one aspect of less is more, is that once you decide that what people think of you doesn’t matter. That takes off an immense burden from your life, gets rid of a lot of mental clutter and give you lots of freedom.
Thanks for this post.
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday laugh =-.

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord July 29, 2009 at 4:58 am

I love this post, Sami! I used to be in marketing, too (before I saw the light!). I laughed out loud at that.

This year I’m finally able to embrace and actually express in my life the idea that less is more. The DaVinci quote was perfect (I plan to share it), and your humorous yet loving description of your own life’s journey touched me. Two bags, indeed.

I often wonder what, in the past, I might have been trying to prove whenever I was trying to keep up with the Jones’ (I didn’t try very hard, mind you). Was I trying to convince them or me that I was worthwhile?

In any case, I realize how pointless that is now. My value comes from within, and on the inside with all this love and joy shining brightly each day, the Jones’ can eat their hearts out, baby! (wink)

Have a beautiful week!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..What’s In An Opinion? =-.

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Lance July 29, 2009 at 5:49 am

All – Great thoughts! And thanks for welcoming Sami here today. The message she’s sharing is one that’s important to remember. It can be way too easy to get caught up in “keeping up”. Is that the ladder of life we want to be on, though? Living life on our own terms…being there, and really being there because we want to be, at a deeper level – that’s so much more life-sustaining than trying to match outward appearances with all those “Jones’es” out there…

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Lance July 29, 2009 at 5:50 am

Sami – Hey, it’s morning here in the US, and I thought I’d pop in and attempt to avert any attack on my clothing choices! The pictures have been destroyed (or at least will never leave the hard drive of my computer!). Your very awesome video…well, that will live on forever! And that it should – it just shouts fun! And that’s you. And that’s what I love! Having you here is completely my privilege – you take awesome to a higher level!

And your article about having less stuff…I’m all for it (although I’m not down to two bags!). Some days it’s a battle that I don’t win, and then some days…progress IS made. Anyway, reading this thought has me thinking of what I have right now that just adds clutter and complication to life. Or if there are things I do just for appearance… Maybe it’s time to take inventory, and see where some good old-fashioned purging can help!

You make the “jungle” I call life less messy. And the beautiful thing about that is that it makes the life path through this “jungle” a little more clear…

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IvánPérez July 29, 2009 at 6:22 am

Tyler Durden would be proud of this post, Sami ;).
.-= IvánPérez´s Last Fabulous Post ..For those who have already fulfilled their dreams =-.

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Zeenat {Positive Provocations} July 29, 2009 at 8:04 am

Lance and Sami,
What an awesome post. I haven’t checked out Sami’s blog as yet…but am gonna for sure now.
Sami you do have a good sense of humor. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Will see you on your Blog soon.
Lance, thanks for introducing some lovely souls to us. In this day and age when finding like minded people is so difficult, here you are helping us all. You’re the best.
.-= Zeenat {Positive Provocations}´s Last Fabulous Post ..Everything Happens For The Best….??? =-.

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suzen July 29, 2009 at 8:12 am

LOVED IT! It was a cruel joke of the Universe to have me inherit two households of “stuff”. It was a full time job just making it all go away! I seriously considered a torch! This post is like my theme song. I live in “Plenty-ville” where having more, better, faster, shinier is the modus operendi of the town – being choked out by the Jones in other words! Marketing majors cut their teeth here. I live so simply that a neighbor came over to see my new living room paint job (I was DONE decorating mind you) and she said, “Ohhhh, now you just need to decorate – the color is good but where’s all your stuff?” Indeed.
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Negative Habits that Destroy Relationships & A Tool for Change =-.

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Srinivas Rao July 29, 2009 at 10:03 am

Such a cool post. I’m kind of in the same situation because I’m living at my parents house and the only money I spend is for parking at the beach. After reading this i’m tempted to pawn off my DVD collection on ebay and my xbox :). It’s ironic that I want to work in marketing considering I think marketers are like the agents of the matrix.

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kirwin @ Graceful Creative July 29, 2009 at 10:12 am

Great post, Sami! I think it would be incredibly liberating to reduce your “stuff” to 2 bags. Notice, I didn’t say *easy*…but definitely liberating! I’m forever on the hunt to purge my house of needless items. We’ll be having a garage sale in the somewhat-near future, and DH and I agreed that at the end of the day, we’ll take anything that doesn’t sell to goodwill. If we’re okay with selling it, then we must be okay with saying good bye to it.

Lance, thanks for having Sami! Her blog is one that I check every morning.
.-= kirwin @ Graceful Creative´s Last Fabulous Post ..In defense of {my} food =-.

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Tess The Bold Life July 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

Hey Thanks Lance!
Sami,
You are hilarious. I love your sense of freedom and wisdom. Your dance video is awesome. We can all learn from how you allow yourself to be you. I enjoyed your Daisy list so much I’m updating my own. You have the gift of being able to inspire others. That’s way better than those expensive shoes you mentioned. Rock on!
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Out-of-The-Box Blogging Bold =-.

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SpinDiva July 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Sami is great. I look forward to reading more on her blog.

As for this less stuff, more meaning — I do so agree with you. Being a military family we tend to get rid of stuff on a regular basis in preparation for our moves. It’s amazing how much stuff we end up with if we’re not careful. You really had me laughing on the product placement comment. I always laugh when they do the shaving cream or men’s shaving products commercials because inevitably a pretty girls comes in out of no where. My husband said “hey that never happens to me when I shave in the morning” my response is usually “…and it never will so give it up…LOL” Anyway, I think its funny and it’s best to think of them as just another way to make us laugh.
.-= SpinDiva´s Last Fabulous Post ..Fitness on vacation =-.

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Nadia - Happy Lotus July 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Sami,

I loved your post and your attitude. I agree with you…less is so much more. At our home, we only have the stuff we actually use and need. Anything that has not been used in a year, gets donated. Sometimes people forget that we own our possessions and and they do not own us. :)

Lance, thank you so much for introducing all of us to Sami!
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Power of Images =-.

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Tom Volkar / Delightful Work July 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I imagine the freedom comes form physically clearing all the clutter that we never really enjoy. many of us probably store more possessions than we use. One of these days soon I’m going to move to the country and raise chickens. Your post inspires simplicity and freedom. Thank you.
.-= Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s Last Fabulous Post ..Fear Cripples Authenticity =-.

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Laurie July 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm

@Tom Volkar! LOL! My great uncle raised chickens when I was a little girl. They smelled incredibly disgusting. Consider raising flowers instead. They smell much better!

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Tom Volkar / Delightful Work July 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Laurie – I’ve experienced caring for both before on my granddad’s place. If you keep them downwind they are fine and home raised eggs taste entirely different form the crap we usually eat.
.-= Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s Last Fabulous Post ..Fear Cripples Authenticity =-.

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Tim July 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Thanks for the post Sami. I admire you for being able to start over with just a couple bags of possessions. As a pack rat, this sounds very impressive. These days, I feel that less is more. Less will allow me to focus on what is really important to me. I continue to get rid of things, but it will probably take longer than it takes for most people.

I have also worked in marketing for a number of years. Thankfully, I never had to do work for a product that I didn’t believe in. And I’ve never bought into keeping up with the Joneses…the Joneses will always have more stuff than me. I’m fine with that. Thanks for your post and the work you do on your blog. Lance, thank you as well, for bringing in Sami for as a guest writer.

Tim
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Only Source of Confidence: You =-.

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Mama Zen July 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Awesome, awesome post!
.-= Mama Zen´s Last Fabulous Post ..GameStop’s Family Night In =-.

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Valeska July 29, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Sami, I can really relate to this post. Still travelling myself and 2 years on the road has resulting in me regularly ditching stuff when I move on the next place. This hasn’t been easy and I do find I have still held onto some stuff, but at times I do feel “freer”. I have found out more about myself during this process – what I enjoy doing, what makes me happy, what I do and don’t want to do when I get home- something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Hopefully when I get home I will go through my entire life possessions and thin them out too. And you know what, I don’t think I have EVER been “cool”!

Lance, I’m looking forward to getting to know more about The Jungle of Life!

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Kathy | Virtual Impax July 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm

My father-in-law calls people who are always trying to keep up with the Joneses – “2 bit millionaires”.

He’s one of those “closet” millionaires. He pays cash for his care and until about 10 years ago, refused to pay for air conditioning in a car! When you’re buying using cash – those little “extras” add up quickly. (He lives in a colder climate where you only NEED air conditioning about 2 months out of the year.)

He’s never been one big on show – and he just called my oldest son to see how much money he should send. So far, this is my 2nd child (his 2nd grandchild) for whom he’s paying college tuition.

So a hearty amen to your “less is more” post! I wish I’d begun following his lead earlier – but I certainly am following it now!!!
.-= Kathy | Virtual Impax´s Last Fabulous Post ..Social Media is not Linear =-.

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Stephen - Rat Race Trap July 29, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Lance and Sammi, this was simply fantastic. I loved it. It’s taken a long time but I’ve also come around to the less is more freedom philosophy. I loved everything about this article so thank you so much. Stumbled, tweeted, everything!
.-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Power of Less – Identify the Essential =-.

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Bri July 29, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Awesome post! Thanks for the reminder about what’s really important in life, and the challenge that I especially face with decluttering the unnecessary “things” that just clog our environments.

And thanks Lance for introducing us to another great blog!
.-= Bri´s Last Fabulous Post ..Pickle Makin’ Time! =-.

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David Cain July 30, 2009 at 7:01 am

Excellent post Sami! I love the idea of having your possessions confined to a couple of bags. It does mean freedom. Possessions are typically referred to as “assets” when really they are liabilities. They tie us down to one place, they make us worry and fret.

Western society is never going to encourage us to buy less or own less, because all of its economies are built precisely on people buying huge amounts of stuff they don’t need. To live with less, we will always be going against the current in that sense. But paring your whole life down to essentials means you will have a much better idea of who you are, without all that ‘stuff’ to identify with.
.-= David Cain´s Last Fabulous Post ..Ethanol Free — 30 Days Without Drugs Update =-.

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FatFighterTV July 30, 2009 at 10:48 am

I love that less stuff means less cleaning – that really makes me think twice about buying anything new! I mean, seriously – who wants more to clean???
.-= FatFighterTV´s Last Fabulous Post ..Does your exercise routine keep you from talking? =-.

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Bella July 30, 2009 at 11:33 am

“Uncool is the new new black” ~ Absolutely, hands down LOVE THIS!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us today, Lance and Sami!
It was a great way to start my day reading these wonderful words.
Less is more and we seem to have so much more when we have less ~ what an awesome way to look at things!
This week I felt so incredible rich.
I was standing there with 3 friends in the middle of inner city Detroit in an abandoned train station. My best friend home from California, another sister~friend of mine and a new friend taking photos just for fun and having a blast together. It didn’t cost any price (save for a lot of courage at times!) and I felt so blessed.
It’s considered so cliche’ at times ~ the best things in life are free. But, oh so true. I could never put a price tag on the friends and family that show up to help you move, the loved one there for you when it’s completely inconvenient or the sincere, loving embrace just when you need it from someone who’ll be in your life forever.
And, Sami! I cannot fathom standing there with 2 bags of possessions and my smile heading to another country. You are BRAVE! And, so very inspiring. I love your daisy list…I’ve been running one in my mind for awhile now ~ guess it’s time to write it down, blog it and make it real!
Big Love,
Bella
.-= Bella´s Last Fabulous Post ..Colorful Rebels ~ =-.

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Stacey Shipman July 30, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I love clean surfaces…helps the look and feel of my home, but more importantly helps my mind stay free and clear, too. Slowly we are clearing space in our basement of all the stuff we never use. We have some “stuff”, but my husband and I prefer experiences, and I don’t particularly care for shopping to begin with!
.-= Stacey Shipman´s Last Fabulous Post ..Is it the right plan for you? =-.

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Liara Covert July 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Just sensing how much I love Lemmings!
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..Reframe remote influencing power =-.

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Sara July 30, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Lance — Thanks for introducing us to Sami. This is a delightful post!

Sami — I thoroughly enjoyed this post, especially since I’m in the process of cleaning junk out my house. It is amazing how hard it is to let go of some things. My daughter used to collect troll dolls and she has this box full of them all dressed up in different outfits. She didn’t want them anymore and told me to toss them….but I couldn’t. Now they’re back in my office closet. Then again, I do peek at them every once in awhile. I’m think I’m in love with the biker troll:~)
.-= Sara´s Last Fabulous Post ..Writing Assignment: Tree Story =-.

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Dr. J July 30, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Serious fan of Leonardo here! My original is, “Genius simplifies complexity, and stupid complicates simplicity.” :-)
.-= Dr. J´s Last Fabulous Post ..The future of health: Sensors, smelling and low-methane cows =-.

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Tim | Inspiration Central July 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I also heard somewhere that if we get rid of material possessions that are of no real use to us, we make more room in our lives to attract things that are useful to us. That might be worth thinking about.
.-= Tim | Inspiration Central´s Last Fabulous Post ..When Someone Has Lost All Hope—Lift Them Up =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm

@Davina – Hi Davina, it seems you are one of the rare few who haven’t been touched by the “must have material possessions and only the latest ones” magic wand. Good for you. Many of us should follow your lead.

@Daphne – Thanks very much. One bag? Wow, now that’s admirable. Good luck!

@Mindful Mimi – So true. Not caring what other’s think really does take a weight off both physically and mentally. I find it interesting how we tend to place so much importance on what other people think of us, and often they are complete strangers. We are a strange lot at times! ;) Thanks for your comment.

@Megan – Another ex-marketer! Geez, there’s a few of us around eh? It seems we can all relate to the “seeing the light” thing too. You raise such a great point. Why do we feel the need to keep up with the Jones’? Does it come back to worth? I think you could be on to something. How is it that the latest pair of shoes or plasma TV is how we measure worth? Something has gone very awry somewhere along the line. Good on you for not only recognising but actually living “less is more” and the pointlessness of keeping up appearances. It takes courage and determination to go against the masses. And I LOVE “the Jones’ can eat their hearts out baby!” comment. LOL!
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..50 Ways to Have Fun For Under $15 =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm

@Lance – Hey Lance, all I can say re the pics not leaving your hard drive is noooooooooooo! And all I can say about my Flashdance routine being promoted is noooooooooooo! It’s a good thing I’m not trying to keep up with the Jones’. They’d be most unimpressed with my uncoolness. :) By the way, even though you don’t always win the battle, just being aware and making progress bit by bit is huge. Thanks again Lance. Big hugs all the way from Aus!
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..50 Ways to Have Fun For Under $15 =-.

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Karl - Work Happy Now July 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm

So often we get too caught up in what we want instead of what we need. It takes patience to not just give in and buy some new technology that we think we make us happy. We have to check in with our true needs and not let anyone else dictate these feelings.

I always pause before I buy the latest and greatest, let it settle in. Usually I realize I don’t need it. If that itch is still there then I assess my savings and decide if it’s really worth it. The Wii is a good example of this. After about 9 months of waiting I finally broke down and bought it. It was worth the purchase.
.-= Karl – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Use Your Time Off =-.

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Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm

@IvanPerez – I have to admit, I had to Google Tyler Durden to find out who he was. Now I get it – thanks and yes, hopefully he would be proud!

@Zeenat – Thanks so much. Look forward to seeing you over at Life, Laughs & Lemmings. And yep, Lance really is the best!

@Suzen – Hi Suzen. My parents can so relate. They had to move three houses worth of stuff into one when they retired. What a mission that was and it was all hands on deck to help them too! I’m pretty sure they considered a bon fire!

Oh wow, you’re being choked out by the Jones’ and you have marketing majors cutting their teeth where you live? I feel for you big time! I think your neighbour’s comment is hilarious and so indicative of the materialistic view many have. Just know you have a whole online community admiring and supporting you in your effort to live simply. Keep at it. You’ll be the one far better off in the end.

@Srinivas Rao – I came to a similar conclusion re marketers myself. It was that and the fact I was helping promote a product that clashed with my values, I got out of the industry. If you’re promoting a product/business that you believe in then marketing can be a great thing though. I gotta say, I find it even more ironic that I have a marketing background and am now promoting less is more! My lecturers and ex-bosses would be horrified! ;)

@Kirwin – Hey K, great to see you over here. Yeah, it was liberating, but not easy. For me the “not easy” part had more to do with the fact that I was in a world of pain at the time and my focus was more on survival than paring down. I am eternally grateful for the experience now though. Much greatness has come out of it.

We’ve had garage sales a few times now. They’re great – you get to reduce the clutter and make some cash at the same time. As an ex-marketer, I recommend you get the kids selling lemonade as an extra product line and as an additional way to get the punters in! ;)

@Tess – Hi Tess. Thanks so much for your lovely comment – it is very much appreciated. I really hope you update your Daisy List. My whole family has gotten in on mine and it’s given us a lot of fun, laughs and great memories. My mission really is to inspire others to focus on the fun, awesome experiences that can be created instead of wasting money on the latest gadget, so I’m totally stoked to hear that I am achieving that. Thank you!

@SpinDiva – Hahaha, yes it’s unfortunate for your husband but true. The shaving cream does not come with the hot girl. Just like the shampoo and conditioner does not actually give you the same shiny locks as the model in the ad who’s had hours of someone colouring, prepping and coating her hair in vegetable oil.

@Nadia – Hey Nadia. Thanks very much. We have a similar philosophy in our house. If it aint useful or loved, it goes to charity. And too true, possessions really can own you if you let them.

@Tom – Hi Tom. You’re welcome. I grew up in the country and we had chickens (or in Aussie speak, chooks). It was an entirely simple and free existence and I can highly recommend it (despite the smell) and you are so right, real eggs taste far better! ;)

@Tim – Thank you. The interesting thing about having less is that not only does it free up physical space but it also frees up mental space, allowing you to more readily focus on what is important. Just keep chipping away at the clutter (try one room at a time). You’ll get there. Good luck!

By the way, it’s great to see a marketer who didn’t have to compromise their values for what they marketed – refreshing to see.

@Mama Zen – Thanks Mama Zen! Glad you enjoyed it.

@Valeska – Hey Vee. Thanks for coming over to The Jungle. Oh, I can so relate to having to ditch stuff when you move on to the next country. Despite our “less is more” attitude, it still took quite a bit of effort to deal with our stuff when we left Banff (and we didn’t really have that much either). We also learnt how little you need and luckily have kept that way of life after coming back home. Yay to uncool!!!

@Kathy – 2 bit millionaires! I love it. So true. I really admire people like your father in law who have money but don’t feel the need to flash it all about or live to excess. They often tend to be very generous with their money too as your father in law has demonstrated. What a fantastic example and so cool you’re following in his footsteps!

@Stephen – Hey Stephen. Thanks heaps. Very much appreciate it. Glad it resonated and awesome to have you part of the “less is more” movement! The more the merrier!

@Bri – Hi Bri. You’re welcome and thank you. Good luck with continuing to declutter. Keep at it – it’s definitely worth the effort.

@David – Thanks very much. Oh, I totally agree with possessions most times really being liabilities. When you think about all the cleaning, maintaining, fixing, organising, etc, etc that goes into possessions, you can hardly call them an asset! You raise a great point too, that Western society is based on consumption so we’re not likely to be encouraged to consume less any time soon. It’s up to us to reduce our own consumption and material possessions and sometimes under protest by others. Our rewards for doing so are far greater than we can imagine though. Thanks for your comment.

@FatFighterTV – Not me, that’s for sure! I’d rather be at the beach. ;)

@Bella – Hey Bella. Thank you. The time you spent with your 3 friends taking photos is a powerful example of the message of my post in play. That’s what’s important – time spent with family and friends, not the latest fashion jeans. Thanks so much for sharing this example. It illustrates my point perfectly. Oh, and I can definitely recommend creating a Daisy List. It’ll give you so many amazing memories and you’ll find your friends and family want to get involved too!

@Stacey – Girl, I’m very much with you on the clean surfaces (perhaps even bordering on OCD)! And in my opinion, experiences are what it’s all about. Instead of spending money on stuff, spend it creating amazing experiences. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?

@Liara – Yep, they sure are cute little critters!

@Sara – Had to laugh at the trolls! It’s not easy to let go of some stuff (I had a similar experience with a bunch of trophies and ribbons I had). A couple of ways to handle possessions like these; 1. Take a photo of them and keep that instead of the item/s itself (that’s what I did with the trophies and ribbons), 2. Hang on to them for 6 months (make a note of the 6 month mark in your diary/calendar) and if you haven’t looked at them in that time, give them away, 3. Think about the value and joy they could offer someone else. 4. Keep them! If they mean a lot to you, just keep them and don’t feel guilty about it.

@Dr. J – “Genius simplifies complexity, and stupid complicates simplicity.” Love it! Very true. Explains government.

@Tim – Hi Tim. Yes, I’ve heard that too. It makes sense and I have found that to be the case myself. Kinda unrelated to this post but once I finally let go of the pain of my divorce and came to the realisation that I was actually fine just the way I am and completely happy to be single even if it meant for the rest of my days, I met my current partner Chris. Great point. Thank you.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..50 Ways to Have Fun For Under $15 =-.

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Sagan July 31, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I like how decluttering and having less stuff makes it so much easier to travel and move house and see the world :)
.-= Sagan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Substitution for Protein Powders =-.

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Jewel/Pink Ink August 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

Sami and Lance,

Thanks for this great message. It might be kind of cliche, but less is more, eh? I always discover this when I go camp with my family, and leave behind gadgetry and just enjoy the simple things of life.

Have a great weekend!
.-= Jewel/Pink Ink´s Last Fabulous Post ..Going Retro =-.

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Liara Covert August 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

Imagine what your life would be like if you gave much of your belongings away. Visualize how you would feel and how your life changes. This could turn out to be a future life progression
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..How do future lives help you now? =-.

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Carla August 1, 2009 at 11:35 am

I realized that I can enjoy nice things without letting it run me or put a dent into my live (debt, keeping up, etc). I have gotten rid of a lot over the past few months and I haven’t missed anything. Except for the second car (which it IS an inconvenience not to have), i don’t even notice what isnt here. Its not the so-called, “stuff” its how you feel about it and what you’re willing to do to obtain and keep them.
.-= Carla´s Last Fabulous Post ..Giveaway: Win SIX Clean+Green Eco-Friendly Pet Cleaning Products =-.

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JenX August 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I read so many blogs, a blog must have something really special to hook me! Boy, Sami’s did. It has that special ooomp factor. Thanks for sharing her with us, Lance.
.-= JenX´s Last Fabulous Post ..trivial pursuit and a taste of freedom =-.

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Lance August 2, 2009 at 4:27 am

@Karl – Wants vs. needs…sometimes it’s hard to see the difference! Patience, it does take. I’ve found that oftentimes, when I wait and think about something, I’m much less inclined to buy it, as opposed to that initial reaction I have.

@Sagan – Yes, the lest we have, the easier it does become to be mobile. Great point, Sagan!

@Jewel – Hi Jewel. Less really is more! Camping is a great example – how we have to pare down what we take with us, and we always survive, and often are drawn in by the simplicity that camping affords. Thanks much Jewel – and you too, enjoy your weekend!

@Liara – Visualization can be a really powerful tool in getting us to where we want to be. Doing this, visualizing a life with fewer possessions, can lead us in that direction…and toward a life that is more focused on what truly matters. Thanks much Liara, I love this thought!

@Carla – Balance. And finding a real balance that works for us is good. As much as we can cut back on things, sometimes it still does feel good to “splurge”. And if we’ve already limited ourselves on what we have, this “splurge” feels more meaningful because it happens less often. We too would have a hard time without having two cars. And yet, is it truly a need? Probably not. But it is one I’m not ready to sacrifice yet. Feelings. Ah, such a great thought Carla. What feelings do we attach to all of this….good to think about.

@Jen – Sami is so wonderful, and her sense of humor and just the mix of everything she share – it all makes her a very special lady! And it was completely my pleasure to share Sami here this week – she’s such a sweetheart…

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Lance August 2, 2009 at 4:28 am

Hey Sami,
The pictures are yours…although you have to come over here to get them!! My wife tried to tell my daughter yesterday how great of a dancer I am – she wouldn’t believe it at all. I have nothing on your Flashdance routine though! Uncool is the new black…so – I think your uncoolness is ultra cool!! Thanks much for hanging out here this week Sami. It’s been so fun having you here – hugs right back to you!!

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Jeanne August 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Sami and Lance: now two of my most favorite people!
All the responders: (I didn’t count them): I’M SO EXCITED, I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT! You all sound/look (in your pics) so YOUNG to be so wise! Here I am, an ancient 68′er feeling like 40 something, and finally at my true “less is more” place in life — when I retired early, I sold or gave away everything in my house that wouldn’t fit into my 8′ x 18′ travel trailer. Now all my memories hang in my heart, my photos are on my computer, I live in jeans and t-shirts and work my gardens and I am SO FREED! I hardly ever get sick, and when I do I know it’s the Universe reminding me that I haven’t died and gone to heaven yet (because my life is so great if feels like heaven). I’m so excited to see this whole attitude toward life being embraced by so many people like you; all I can say is, Look Out World, Here We Come! Y’all just ROCK, you hear?
.-= Jeanne´s Last Fabulous Post ..GREEN THUMB OR NOT? =-.

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Lance August 3, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Jeanne,
Thank you!! And age…it’s just a number, right! I love that you’ve consolidated down to what you have in your travel trailer…and feel the abundance of life. I think that’s the real abundance we seek…and we buy, buy, buy…but that doesn’t get us real and deeply meaningful abundance. Thanks so much for stopping in here, and I’d say that you rock too!!

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Katie West/The Levity Coach August 11, 2009 at 7:42 am

Yahoo! I love it “Uncool is the new black”…fabulous!

Cheers to everything. We are in the middle of (8 month to be exact) of our “Experiment in Modern Living” We are experimenting being a one car family and with no cell phones for a year. This may not sound tricky if you live in a city, but we live in Maine(with crazy winters) and have 2 kids and my husband commuted 1 hour for work each way. And it has been wonderful!
It has taught me so much about freedom and openness and of course, levity! We feel so much lighter now. And especially watching our peers, buy harder into the “Joneses” it has been a liberating year….mentally, spiritually, and financially.

So sign, me up. I will be uncool…it suits me well. Ha Ha Ha Ha!
.-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..Daily Levity: Who says there is only one way to do things? =-.

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Lance August 12, 2009 at 4:53 am

Katie,
Sami rocks, doesn’t she!! And wow – your “Experiment in Modern Living”! I think this is so awesome! At the same time – I have these “blocks” that keep popping up in my mind, – telling me that there’s no way we could do that – not with “x”, “y”, and “z” going on. And then I wonder – am I just making excuses for not trying? Hmmm…

That it’s been liberating…this even more has me questioning where I’m at on this whole curve? And…you don’t need to be signed up – I’m sure you’ve helped start the list! Rock on, Katie!!!!

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Kevin November 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

how fitting…I just posted a link to the story of stuff web page the other day…yes more and more every day I see that less is more!
.-= Kevin´s Last Fabulous Post ..The story of stuff =-.

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