When less is more

As you start this week, may you strive for less instead of more. May you crave the beauty of just one flower or one shell on the beach or one perfectly-placed photo. And when the noise gets loud, may you remember to close out all the tabs in your Internet browser to read only the one thing that’s meaningful to you in that moment. And may you find courage to turn your phone on silent.

And may these old words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s ring timeless in your ears this week:

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky. One double-sunrise is an event; six are a succession, like a week of schooldays. …For it is only framed in space that beauty blooms. …A tree has significance if one sees it against the empty face of sky. A note in music gains significance from the silences on either side. A candle flowers in the space of night. Even small and casual things take on significance if they are washed in space.”

May we be brave and let go of the things that simply take up space.

Today is the last day of the homemaking ebook bundle sale—$900 worth of digital resources, available for $29.97 in PDF format; $39.97 in Kindle format (while still also getting the PDFs). It ends tonight, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. But this is cool—the bundle creators heard from a number of you that you can’t buy until payday on May 1, so they’ve graciously created a “Pay in May” option, where you can order the bundle now, but your payment won’t go through till May 1. Nice of them, eh? Head here to read details, and to also get some visuals for how I organize my digital resources (kill the clutter, right?).

top photo source
Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. Love it! This along with a verse I read in The Message yesterday give me just the inspiration I need to attack my clutter piles today.

  2. “For it is only framed in space that beauty blooms.” How true. I’d never thought of it like that. But I suppose that’s why we mat and frame art.

  3. Great thoughts! Thank you.

  4. When I saw your photo and read the first few lines of your post…I immediately thought about AML’s “Gift From the Sea”…and then I saw…that’s where you were going! I love that quote! Such classic wisdom and at the same time relevant today.

  5. Even more than this, my philosophy is that the shells are prettier on the beach than they would be in my home. Why not leave them there?

  6. LOVE! Simple is beautiful!

  7. I took GIFT FROM THE SEA as a beach read during a family vacation eleven years ago. What a gift is was to read in that setting!

  8. Beautiful post. Love this.

  9. I love, love, love that quote. I own a professional organizing company called Less is More and the last four lines, in particular, really sum up my approach. I am now off to share this with everyone I know. Thank you!

  10. As always, great inspiration! My phone was on silent, my computer, shut down for a bit and the piles are getting smaller 🙂

  11. What a great reminder! I have a large yard and have inherited from the previous owner a very sporadic messy garden. But yet, I have flowers popping up that remind me how beautiful they are even though the garden is so very messy. Often, I look at things as a whole, like my garden, and see a mess, but there is still some beauty to behold!

  12. Less is more is a constant battle for me, and I just recently realized how paralyzing it can make it not just for me, but also for my daughters with autism. I wrote about it today. Love the quote, love your image, and love this subject.

  13. Thanks for the great book recommendation…I just added it to my wish list on Amazon. I read a great book about 8 years ago and creating “space” in our lives. It was called “Breath” by Keri Wyatt Kent…great book! Thanks, again. 🙂

  14. Beautiful. When I can create space in my life, my mind, my heart, I find my connection to all things, the beauty in everything. This is just the reminder that I need today. Thank you for the simplicity in words.

  15. I took The Gift of the Sea to the beach one year. It was in every way perfect

  16. I love how this post makes the “Less is More” idea much more concrete. This lesson is important for me, but it’s also important for my kids, especially my son, who always wants one more (one more pet, one more hex bug, one more seed packet for the garden, one more plant, etc.). Thanks!

  17. “May we be brave and let go of the things that simply take up space.” My heart affirms this so much. Thank you for the reminder. I truly believe less is more, but sometimes the living it out gets difficult with so many “shiny” things that would draw me it.

  18. Love this Tsh. Thanks for your thoughts. Love that book of Anne’s, one of my favorites.

  19. Hello Tsh. First, I recently discovered your podcast… Love it. I love being around people but I don’t always enjoy having to converse with them. Your podcast is like listening in to friends with great, interesting conversations. 😀

    I’ve spent this last weekend decluttering our home. Seven bags to the consignment store, two bags and a box to donate, and five bags of trash. I got rid of anything broken, unused, unloved, or just in excess. My kids have less toys and clothes and are so happy with the way their room looks. We still have a ways to go. I need to tackle the attic and all the boxes that have been shoved up there, but our progress feels amazing. Thank you for this article. I just found it tonight and it was so encouraging to me. I’m pumped to start again tomorrow!!!

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