The Joy of Less

This Christmas season I have found my joy in less.

Having less.

Doing less.

(Stressing less.)

How did this blessfull journey begin? Like all things for me it started with a project.

I’m big on projects.

My wedding? Project with a capital P.

Feathering the nest? Multi level many moons project.

Pregnancy? A whale of a project!

Motherhood? Well other similar words like ‘project’ come to mind, ‘projectile’ for example…

My latest project is to get rid of ten things a day in the month of December by donating, re-gifting (with full disclosure), re-purposing or (and this is least desirable) throwing away.

And as my closets, pantry, garage and other nooks and crannies are emptied I can feel the shift in my being, the fullness that comes from less.

Less stuff means less time spent cleaning, organizing, arranging, or hiding it when company comes.  Less time spent on stuff means more time spent on this:

What will I do once December is over? Will I keep getting rid of stuff? How will I know when I’m done?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. Yet.

But I do know that this is more than a project, this is the start of a journey.  (Journey sounds way more sophisticated than project!)

Inspiration for the journey ahead:

The Story of Stuff

Rowdy Kittens

Becoming Minimalist

Miss Minimalist

This post is part of “The 12 Days of Finding Your Christmas Joy” with Bungalow’56

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48 Responses to “The Joy of Less”

  1. Perfect perfect perfect.

    I wouldn’t classify myself as a minimalist, but I’m definitely a less-stuff-ist.

    Clutter makes me anxious, disorganized storage frustrates me. I like being well prepared, but what’s the point of having all the stuff that prepares if you can’t FIND it when you need it?


    And again…beautiful photography.

    • Yuliya says:

      I am so not a minimalist…yet, maybe one day? I swear these minimalist people must not have kids…

      My thing is I have spent so much time organizing and re-organizing and now I’ve realized why not just get rid of it instead! That butts up against the frugal immigrant in me big time, so we’ll see what happens.

      And thank you, I’ve busted out the manual Lori you would be so proud of me.

  2. Sherri says:

    I love less….wait, that sounds wrong. I mean I love having less-stuff-ish stuff. Donating, regifting and repurposing feel SO good! I love that you are doing it now, such a good time to do it.

    And for what? That beautiful little creature? Yeah, I’d live in a wooden box to spend more time with her.

    Happy, happy!!

    • Yuliya says:

      I hope to keep going until I can breathe again, know what I mean?
      And don’t worry next time we’re in Northern California you’ll get to see my little critter again. No wooden box assembly required.

  3. What a fantastic idea! I keep putting off the process of going through things to give away/throw away because it’s so daunting. But 10 things a day? Easy-peasy.

    • Yuliya says:

      Oh good I am so glad to hear it. Yes every time I have tried this before I would get very overwhelmed by the process, I would walk into a messy room and walk right out again. But this ‘ten things’ thing is like a game, walk in and grab the first ten things you see that you know you don’t need. I’ll be honest it’s getting harder now that we are nearing the end of the month but I will keep going!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. tracy says:

    I love less. I would love less whining. lol

    • Yuliya says:

      I keep saying I wish mine would start talking already…but you bring up an excellent talking means no whining!

  5. I loved this post, You made me laugh again. I wished I had known you were doing this. I would have loved to have a partner in crime. Wanna do something official for January? I think many would be inspired by a purge-o-rama! Perhaps for young moms this would not be the best title of course, but you get my gist. Your daughter’s photo made me swoon. Such a little munchkin, you just want to give her a big smooch. Thank you for sharing your Joy with us today. I loved your getting rid of junk Joy!
    Take care,

    • Yuliya says:

      A partner in crime? Do you even have to ask, I am so there. Let’s do it official like in January! People love a good New Year’s resolution.

  6. Sue says:

    What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing it.


  7. Susanne says:

    What a little cutie your daughter is. A very inspiring post. I know I get overwhelmed when the stuff starts taking over. I may have to make me some of this joy this week!

    • Yuliya says:

      Do it! You will feel so good, I promise.
      And thank you I take full credit on the daughter, cause I made her and what not :)

  8. Alexandra says:

    I want to be you. Help me.

    And, hurry, Hoarders is awaiting a call back.

    • Yuliya says:

      I don’t want to upset you, I know you’re having a hard time as it is without your (c-o-f-f-e-e) but you ended up in SPAM again, I had to go and fish you out of there…And I will issue a formal challenge for January for everyone to join me on my journey (and sing Kumbaya) and then you won’t need no Hoarders show.

  9. Mandy says:

    What a wonderful idea!

    I admit, about twice a year, we start at one end of the house and get rid of stuff. (Usually through a garage sale or donations.) It’s a very freeing feeling to have clean, empty spaces.

    As long as that clean, empty space isn’t in the fridge.

    • Yuliya says:

      I was planning on a garage sale but the weather turned on me and no one will be garage sale-ing in the snow…so donations instead!

  10. liz says:

    I don’t know if she’s always this happy, but she puts a big smile on my face!!

    • Yuliya says:

      She’s a happy baby…until mean mommy (that would be me) takes away the electrical cord or the shoes or the paper she wants to chew or try to change her diaper and then watch out…tantrum central!

  11. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mandy D, Sherri Kuhn. Sherri Kuhn said: Lovely thoughts of how less is really more @SheSuggests [...]

  12. Natalie says:

    Yes, yes, yes! Less is more! I did a post similar to this a few months ago…and I’m still getting rid of stuff.

    Oh and that face?! She totally just melted my heart :)

    • Yuliya says:

      Happy to hear you are still de-cluttering, I think the tide is definitely turning on the ‘more is better’ philosophy.

  13. Alicia says:

    I get this feeling in my chest ( like i can breath better) when I get rid of stuff! clothes and such! :-)

  14. I LOVE getting rid of stuff. Maybe I will adopt this approach for January! I aspire to minimalism but what usually kills me is the paper clutter. However. You’ve inspired me. A journey you say? Can I bring snacks? Play music? Road trip to declutter! Yeah!

  15. Vicki says:

    Congrats on gradually returning to a Soviet stuff-free existence.

    • Yuliya says:

      Is is really though? I remember there being lots of crammed little apartments in Mother Russia…maybe it’s because we lived with like fifteen people in one apartment…I can’t trust my memories anymore.

  16. tulpen says:

    I LOVE getting rid of stuff. I’ve taken ten bags of toys to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The playroom is so neat and organized. I just stand there and admire less. It makes me so happy.

    • Yuliya says:

      Now if we can just stop buying crap in the first place, we’ll be all set! I suppose that’s a resolution for another month.

  17. MommaKiss says:

    We’ve been cleaning and donating. I’m telling my kids that there’s no room for new things if we have all of the unused things laying around. They’re happy to help. It’s kinda scary how happy they are to help ;)

  18. Kerri says:

    Good for you! They say less is more! I’m going to try this in January! Thanks for the inpiration!

  19. Shannon says:

    Simplifying gives me great joy, too. And what a gorgoeus little girl!

  20. Oh Yuliya, I love this project. Love, love it.

    You’ve inspired me to start my own this January and to do exactly that…get rid of 10 things a day. Oh, I can’t wait but don’t tell my husband…he leans more on the hoarder side :)

    Merry Christmas and enjoy your less is more holiday!!

    • Yuliya says:

      I have to tell you ten is hard, five might be easier if you have a hoarder husband. But good luck to you, it will be so great once you are done! And Merry Christmas to you as well, can’t wait to see all of the fun things you tackle in the New Year!

  21. gigi says:

    What a fantastic idea. You are all kinds of awesome.

    I have learned the lesson of less myself. I keep giving more to my kids (which I need to stop), but me? I don’t need much.

    I would like something to replace my dumbphone, though :)

    Merry Christmas, Yuliya, to you and your precious family. I am blessed to have met you this year.

  22. Kimberly says:

    I may have to implement your 10 items plan in January. I’ve decluttered over the years, and things are better, but I know how much joy I find when I open my cookbook cabinet (most recently decluttered area) and I can easily withdraw the book I need AND easily return it to its spot.

    Thanks for the inspiration :)

  23. Anastasia says:

    Awesome idea! Going to clean out the pantry first!

    • Yuliya says:

      So I’ve cleaned out my pantry twice, even took a “before” picture to motivate myself…the “after” picture was identical! Not very inspiring…maybe next month I’ll tackle it again.

  24. Wow. First of all I was so entranced by that smiling baby I had a hard time even reading this post. Absolutely delightful pictures.

    I love your philosophy, and your writing, and your concept of less.

    You have given me much to think about today.

    Thank you.

  25. LBDDiaries says:

    When we moved to our new house I realized things that fit at the other house (decor, furniture) didn’t necessarily “fit” here – different house, different vibe. I finally realized I needed to get rid of a LOT of things. Even Alpha Hubby was a little surprised how many boxes we’ve sent down the road to the local women’s shelter storefront! And you are right, you do feel “the shift in my being, the fullness that comes from less.” It’s really strange how freeing it is to get rid of “stuff”!

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