Living Healthy Simplify

Less Is More

How many things do you normally take with you on a camping trip? Only the things you’ll need for the few days you’re gone, right? There’s only so much space inside your vehicle or RV to stow all those items you’ll use while away. It just wouldn’t make sense to overload your limited space with more than what you’ll need. (I’m all for being prepared for emergencies, but that’s another story, for another time.)

So when I woke up a few mornings ago and looked around our home at all the STUFF everywhere, it hit me like a ton of bricks…no wonder I am always fighting for more time. I don’t doubt for a second that this little epiphany was given to me straight from God. The excess in our lives is stealing our time away from the people that matter most to us and the call that He has placed on our lives. I’m not talking about a messy house here. That, sweet moms, is part of life with kids…especially if you homeschool. It’s a sign that life with all of its learning opportunities, is happening.

Seek Him to declutter our hearts, minds and homes.

No, what I’m talking about is the excess! Our days are spent catching up. Our weekends…catching up. When are we going to be caught up? I think the better question might be; when are we going to start spending our time taking care of each other instead of spending so much time taking care of the stuff that clutters and complicates our lives?

Don’t get me wrong, I feel tremendously blessed by all that we have. Our little three bedroom, one bath rambler with a converted garage for a playroom is perfect for our family of six. And we have all we need and then some. We are so grateful for God’s provision. But I wonder if we truly are being good stewards of our time by spending so much of it tending to our things. I want to spend the majority of my time taking care of what’s most important…the people God’s placed in my life, the relationships with Him and others.

But, I fight and fight for more time to do both. Something has to change.

I could keep what we already have and just choose to be a better steward of the time God gives to me. But, I believe there’s a bigger lesson from God here. Why do we accumulate and keep so many things?

We live pretty modestly, but still, does a family of six really need 75 drinking glasses and kid cups of various kinds? Do we really need to keep all of our books, when we typically have around a 100 books checked out of the library at any given time? And how about the clothes? You should see the giant mountains that are my laundry piles taking up precious real estate in our boys’ play room. And the toys….well, you know. I could say the same about our school shelves and bins laden with curriculum from years past and workbooks I’ve collected over time. Why do we need all of these things?

We don’t.

I believe that deep down there is a fear driving some of us that says we might need those extra cups or the curriculum from three years ago. That fear keeps us from giving up our “needs” and prevents us from blessing others with what we have. We’ve become too comfortable with and used to the things that invade our space and time at home.

I enjoy taking care of my family and our home. But I do believe there is something legitimate here. When we have too many things taking up valuable space in our homes, we are then responsible for taking care of all that stuff. I for one, am tired of taking care of inanimate objects that consume my time.

It all feels so wasteful and self absorbed when I think of how much we take for granted in this life. I want our boys to learn how to be good stewards of the things we have and how to know when we have enough. And I want them to experience the blessing of giving what we have away to others.

We need to downsize, learn to live with less, live beyond ourselves and bless others with what God wants us to give away. I certainly don’t want to be a blessing blocker anymore.

As I begin thinking about what it will look like to live with far less than what we currently have, my heart and mind begin to experience a freedom that I’ve been longing for. Those heavy chains that keep me bound to the stuff that surrounds me begin to loosen.

When my home is cluttered, my heart and mind are too. Pointless and even negative thoughts fill my mind and reflect the mess around me, carrying me further away from God. Add to that, the constant feeling of dread and defeat over always fighting for more time and we’ve created a heart attitude of bitterness. (I say “we” because I’m sure I can’t be the only one whose mind is cluttered….someone???)

So, moms, what is it that is stealing your time away from your family? What causes your time to be wasted and frustrates your days? The phrase, “less is more” actually has me on a new mission. As I’m looking ahead, I don’t want the unneeded things in my life to compromise our school days or our family time together anymore. I want to seek our God for more of what He has in store for us and let go of the “treasures” we seem to have collected and accumulated.

What has God entrusted to you? Have you been hanging on to things you just don’t need…both literally and emotionally? Have you been spending time on things you sense God calling you away from? I have.

Let’s begin to take back that precious time graciously given to us by God. Let’s pour out our hearts and ask Him to fill us with a new definition of what our needs really are, according to His will. And may we seek Him in all things so that we never forget what’s most important. Our mission field starts at home and is filled with people, not things. May our hearts and minds be renewed as we seek to store up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. (Matthew 6:19-21)

About the author


Megan and her amazing husband, along with their four young sons live in Washington state. She is a homeschooling mom after the heart of Jesus and wanting to make Him famous to her boys each and every day. As often as possible, Megan and her boys spend their time away from the table learning with a very hands-on approach. They love unit studies, science experiments, great books and especially the outdoors. One of her sons was born with a significant hearing loss, so her family learned American Sign Language, which has been an amazing blessing to all of them. Megan is passionate about encouraging moms in their faith, is inspired by others willing to share their real-life stories, finds joy in the everyday of Motherhood and loves spending as much time as possible in God’s creation with her family.


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  • What a timely post. This morning marks the beginning of ‘packapolooza’ in our house. We anticipate moving in the next few months to a slightly larger space and I pointed out to my husband that packing the basement would be a prudent move early in the game.

    My children are on a play date, my daycare charges are on holidays. I feel like i’ve been blessed with a day to shed many, many pounds of clutter. I’m embarrassed to say that a lot of it is still packed from our move 7 years ago.

    It’s amazing how much stuff we have accumulated over the past few years in our home. We moved her 7 1/2 years ago when I left my first husband. He was and is an incredibly angry and physically abusive man who had no inclination to change either of those scary things. When I was left with no option but saving myself and my children, I packed up my car and left a lot of ‘stuff’ behind. That was my first lesson in “it’s just stuff”

    I have friends and relatives who fear things like evacuation weather, house fires, losing everything. Those things don’t scare me anymore because I’ve already lost so much material stuff that I learned as long as I have my family, I have everything on Earth that I need to survive.

    Sometime, we lose sight of what’s really important to our hearts.

    • Amen, Heather. Thank you so much for sharing your story here. You are so right….we can “lose sight of what’s really important to our hearts” so easily. I am praying for you as you are packing up and preparing to move again. It is a wonderful opportunity to shed those clutter pounds. I’m still attacking areas of our living space and trying to de-clutter little bits at a time with all these littles running around. It feels so good to not only lighten our load, but give away to others.
      Blessings to you,

  • I am currently going through the same thing here at our house…..I cant stand that I feel like I always need to take a day to go through and organize the book closet, then the craft closet, then the toy bins, then the pantry….blah blah blah…………it drives me batty!!!! I am purging and NO MORE BUYING!!!!!

    • Beth,
      I had to laugh when I read your comment because I do the exact same thing. I hate that I have to take whole days to organize and purge. I want to make this a lifestyle….being mindful of what we have and don’t need and just not buying more more MORE. I don’t want to buy into the lie that says More is Better. IT’S NOT!!!! Praying for you now, Beth.

      Sweet Blessings to you friend,

  • We’ve moved about a billion times in the past two years (okay, maybe only slightly less), and I really just wanted to throw a huge AMEN in here. A-FRICKIN-MEN. It’s all STUFF. STUFF! And when you have to pack, unpack, pack, unpack, put in storage, unpack, move it, unpack it, I lost a lot of “attachment” to all that stuff because it all became WORK. Work I happen to dislike immensely!
    We moved from a 1900 sq ft townhouse into a hotel for several months, and it was so freeing. (Not the least of which was because a housekeeper cleaned the bathrooms and made the beds every day.) You really can live with less stuff! And the apartment we are currently in is just 1200 square feet, which meant most of the stuff we held on to for little reason just had to go- there was no space to store anything! (I did get very creative with under the bed storage though!)
    Next week we’re moving into a beautiful townhouse with about 1350 square feet – just the right amount of space for us. And thankfully, hardly any excess because we’ve purged so much. (Except for my scrapbooking supplies, but I’m still working on that pile.) I can’t wait to have just a little bit more room to breathe, but I really don’t want to bring anymore junk to clutter up all that precious “breathing room” we’re going to gain. (Not to mention better, safer, more peaceful neighborhood.) I’m a firm believer in passing on, donating, purging and tossing!
    By the way, Heather, if you would like, I had a “moving challenge” on my blog last January, all about purging and getting ready for a move”:

    • Julie,
      Congrats on your new home with a little more breathing room and LESS STUFF to fill that precious space. I went to your blog and checked out your moving challenge…AWESOME!! I love it. I think we don attach way too much value to “things” in the form of feelings and fear. When I gave away something so simple as drinking glasses….half of them….I didn’t realize how truly freeing that would be. Our cupboards aren’t bulging. My counters aren’t filled with as many dirty dishes all the time and my boys are learning to save their water cups and not continue using 5 different cups each throughout the day. So many great lessons learned. I don’t miss the things we’ve let go of one bit and I’m still purging and gaining breathing room. Like yours, our home is small too….1300 square feet. But I am so thankful for each square of space and hoping that little by little the space becomes more open as I continue my Less is More campaign. 🙂

      Praying for you as you move and settle into a new home.

  • I’m not saying that I don’t have clutter. I do. I emphatically do. BUT, I will say many, many, years ago when I was single and still at home with the parents, a lady paid me to clean her house. Don’t get me wrong. She kept a nice house, but she had So Much Stuff. I cleaned until I was utterly exhausted. I cleaned until I wondered if I would ever finish. I cleaned until I made a decision to try to never accumulate so much that I would end up their again – well, that is in my own home – if I ever got one of those. Fast forward a few bizillion years to now (married for 5 years – it took me a while to get a proposal), and I’m still reeling from it. It might have even back fired on me. It took me so long (way too long) to make decorating decisions about our home, because I was so afraid of over-stocking my home. Even so, I find myself constantly picking up, washing, and cleaning. I guess, as you said, it comes with the territory of having children. Toys, toys, toys, and if its not toys, it’s my stuff being used as toys. This message is a reminder to me, to not get stuffed with stuff. And the un-needed stuff that snuck itself into my home. Well, look out! In fact, I’m thinking right now on how I can declutter an area in my home. Gotta go! Ha, ha. Just kidding. Actually, I’m too tired right now from my very first ever homeschool teaching day! Thanks for this post.

    • Marsha,
      Your comment really blessed me today. Thank you. I used to have a housecleaning business way back when…before kiddos. I had several clients I cleaned for weekly and I’ll never forget the differences I would see in people’s view of their stuff. Some of my clients were so orderly and organized, minimalists I’d say. Others were so cluttered, I felt as though I had to split my job there up in two phases….first clean up the clutter and stuff laying around everywhere, then actually clean the house. I also remember the feelings I had about the way I wanted my home to be someday, but hadn’t thought of that time until you mentioned it here. Such great reminders. I pray that you will go forth and conquer those areas that you desire to be free of the stuff that you don’t need anymore. And I pray that someone else can benefit from those unneeded things.
      Blessings to you friend,

  • You are so right. I have acquired SO many educational resources I cannot remember what I have and when I do I cannot find it!! Thanks for putting it so perfectly

    • Oh, thank you Mindy. You are so welcome. I need my own reminder all the time. I just keep telling myself, we don’t need more…just use what we have. The kids won’t suffer is we don’t have 20 more items on our school shelves. It’s also pushing me to get a lot more creative with our lessons, which I love.


  • Megan!
    This post is where I live! I even started a blog about this very subject in our lives. We’ve been working to untangle and unclutter our overly complex lives for the last year. Less IS more. Such truth in your point that too much clutter will clutter your mind/heart. I never would have thought that it would take so long to get rid of stuff and change our mindsets. But it’s all good.

    Less IS more! Hooray for that revelation. Love this post!

    • Thank you so much Laura! Your words are so encouraging to me today. I love your blog and how you have worked so hard to live a simpler but richer life. What a blessing! We are just getting started on our journey down this path and I am already feeling less cluttered, both in mind/heart and in our home.

      Blessings to you,