Big House? Small House? Less {stuff} is More.

One of my biggest challenges in our new (to us) rental is finding the space and the means to keep things tidy and organized in a much smaller space.  I am on a mission.  Who wants to live life in a mess?  I am here to tell you that life is beautiful and that no matter the size of your place you can clean up the dust, tuck things away in pretty baskets and throw open the windows to let a fresh breeze into your day.

When we were packing our house to make this move, we parted with so much stuff.  Including a lot of clothes and furniture.  We donated box after box to Goodwill.  We had a big garage sale and sold things on Craigslist.  What didn’t sell and was left on moving day, Mr. Marvelous marketed to the movers themselves. 

Sir, would you like this in the truck?
That depends, would you pay me $75 for it?

The movers made two trips to our house that weekend-the Saturday trip to move us and the Sunday trip to pick up the furniture they bought from us.

It is hard for me to believe how much stuff is still left after such a big purge since we are now in a much smaller space.  It has been a major life lesson. 

I have promised myself that I am never going to buy an article of clothing again that isn’t great quality and timeless.  I remind myself of this at least once a week when I’m walking through target and see cute little polyblend tops for $25 that will wear well twice and then pill in the wash and take up room in the back of a closet in which there is no room, literally, for error. (Does everyone else’s husband have a collection of some 50+ tee shirts to document every major or minor life experience post-middle school?  Women save photos, men save tee shirts with holes and grease stains and memories woven into the fabric.)  So yes, I have vowed to buy a whole lot less and only things that are good quality and timeless-not just clothing wise but home decor and all around. 

Hopefully, what is left in our house now is stuff that we really love and really want to have around to look at and use regularly.  I was ruthless in getting to this point, I addressed everything from kitchen towels to my underware drawer.  Now I get to open up the drawer to either one and think “ahhh, pretty.”  Even if I have to do twice as much laundry because I have half the quantity.  It’s better this way.  At least in our house.

It’s a new chapter in my life and I want to stand on the roof top of my much smaller home and proclaim it to the heavens:  Less is More!! 

Especially when it is organized and tucked away in pretty little baskets . . .

Images via here.


  1. Sounds like my story. Except I didn’t have the time to ditch before I moved. So I’m doing it now – in fact, am putting off heading out to my shed to go thru boxes. LOL

  2. I’m so excited for you Erin!!! I’m extremely passionate about small homes (which is why I started blogging in the first place)!!

    Small homes create a beautiful, personal environment…which can be so freeing from a commercialized lifestyle!! Less truly is more!!! It opens us up to live LIFE…not just buy stuff and work to buy more stuff!

    I hope you come to enjoy your small space as much as I do!!

  3. I just did this very thing with our house! We moved from a bigger house to a smaller and I was ruthless in getting rid of stuff. I feel so much free-er! I feel like my life is simpler and less cluttered and we only have the things that are really worth something to us (although I dare say I could probably purge a bit more, but it’s a process I guess). But I completely agree with you, it is a wonderful feeling, and I have committed to do the same with clothes.

  4. I love this post! 3 years ago we moved from a BIG old house that we had spent hours and big bucks redoing, decorating and nesting in. We were moved into sticker shock country and bought a MUCH smaller home. We sold most everything we owned and started FRESH. It has been 3 years of bliss, slowly picking up “new” old things for this house and carefully selecting how we spend our money. I am loving the simple life. I feel organized and peaceful. A neighbor told me,”Your home feels so comfy and calm.” What more could you want!? Good luck with your new chapter!

  5. I litteraly laughed out loud when I read your comment about your husband’s t-shirt collection! My friend and I have had this exact conversation about our husbands. I have tried to clean out my husband’s collection of t-shirts but he just won’t allow it 🙂 Oh, well they make him happy!

  6. When my husband and I bought our home last fall, we did The Big Purge as well. It is hard work, and worth every hauled box. Our home is not going to allow us to stuff closets and rooms with more than we need, and we view that as a blessing. My father recently passed, and we now must clear out 50+ years of his life from his home; we promised ourselves that we would not fill every nook and cranny of our own home with things that are not family heirlooms, of significant value or sentiment, or are not useful and used. HollyM

  7. I’ve always said that “Less is More”, and in so many ways. We just have to realize we don’t have to own every beautiful thing we see.

  8. You’re speaking my language little mama! I LOVE to purge, to “cleanse” as my Aunt Louise calls it… it’s invigorating, it’s freeing, it’s better!

    Hope all is well with y’all!
    Hugs, The Lady of the House

  9. Great post Erin! I am sitting at my computer looking around our “too big” house and thinking…this has got to change! I love our home, but the “stuff” has got to go. My mother always said, the more room you have the more stuff you fill it with. That is one of the reasons she NEVER wanted a house with a basement. Unfortunately, we have one…but I am hoping to transform it from a junk drop zone into a special place for my daughter to hang out with friends.

  10. I love your blog Erin, your joyfulness and peace in living life as it is and beautifying your surroundings.
    When we moved to the US we decided to get rid of (almost) everything. We only kept heirlooms and photos. It was a challenge because I’d gotten so attached to some of our stuff, but I felt so free when it was gone! God is enough! We’ve been here for a year now, and I can honestly say that I haven’t worried about stuff at all. I’m now getting round to “beautifying” once again, on a thread-of-a-shoestring budget. It’s a fun challenge.

  11. That made me laugh. My husband has soo many tshirts, so annoying. He can’t even wear them anymore they are falling apart so bad. And I love living small. We have 920 sq ft of bliss and forced togetherness. We wouldn’t have it any other way!!

  12. I could have written this post and every comment here. I moved from 4000 sq. ft to 1500 with 5 kids…I LOVE EVERY SQ. INCH!!
    Clothing is the one thing that I can not help but justify!!

  13. I’ve just been doing something similar — purging every space, closet, drawer and shelf, underbeds and all. It is just so freeing and at the same time, so convicting. I have committed to spend our money, whether buying clothes, groceries or pretties, much more wisely. I totally agree with how you are setting about to buy clothes in the future. So worth it to spend a little extra at the beginning and have something that will last a good while.

    A very inspiring and encouraging post. Thanks.

    Gwynie Pie
    The Pink Tractor

  14. We are doing this same exact thing! Huge moving sale here at our house this weekend… if I can get over being sick! Baskets do solve pretty much any problem!

  15. love all that God is doing in your family during this season of down-sizing….

    And, be assured that your husband most definitely is not the only man who collects t-shirts…my husband insists on keeping them, too!
    He wears one every night before bedtime that is green and says Lloyd on the front..I have no idea why it sas Lloyd. He’s had it since 1995 and it has holes all over the back…
    it literall makes him sad to think about putting it up for good. 🙂

  16. O my goodness; this is just the encouragement I need! I am in the midst of a MAJOR purge right now. We had two homes for a while, and now that we’re down to one, I am trying to–you guessed it–combine two fully stocked homes into one. With every single article I have to handle/sort, I vow to Never. Ever. Buy this much stuff again.

    Thanks for sharing your own journey and mantra, which is mine as well. No matter what size home the Lord has given one, it is big enough. Make it work.

  17. We moved last week, unpacked our necessities, had our 4th baby over the weekend, and now that I look around … I don’t need anything else in the house! So what is in the garage and in the storage unit that I haven’t seen in 2 years?!?! I’m hoping to be as resolved as you were in getting rid of stuff.

  18. YES! That is my sentiment as well… LESS IS MORE. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment with virtually zero storage space. If I don’t absolutely need it, I absolutely don’t want it! And yeah, what’s with the guys and their tee shirts? AAAAAAANNNNNDDDD gazillion sweatshirts of the same sentimental value? Still trying to delicately iron out this situation… 😉

  19. Hey Erin! I have an idea for you for your husbands many tshirts…and you’re so crafty I know you can do it! I, not being so crafty, have wonderful grandmas who do this for me 🙂 Take the tshirts and cut them up and use them to make a tshirt quilt. I LOVE having a beautiful comfy quilt that is also an amazing memory of all the things I’ve been involved in. –Danielle

  20. I’ve been working on this, too. Especially because this is our “forever” house (because of our farm) and we just don’t have room for everything that we moved into it 2 years ago! We are getting rid of a ton of furniture that doesn’t work here, and need to get the “storage room” cleaned out for another nursery, so this is serious! Anything that doesn’t sell this weekend is going to the GW.

  21. Oh Erin! I love this post. I might print it out and post it for me. My husband and I went through our closets last week and were AMAZED at how much we had collected and how much we don’t wear! He actually said “you need to buy more clothes” I told him no sir! I’m no longer buying the cheap clothes either. I’m done with them!

  22. Amen! Less IS more. I find too much stuff (clutter) weighs heavy on the mind. Like you, I’m a BIG believer in buying timeless, classic pieces of clothing that wear well and will last years to come. I’d much rather spend $100 on a nice tailored dress than $20 on a cheap-o dress that is cute for a couple washes and then appears faded, etc only to wind up going to goodwill months later. Quality vs. Quantity all the way!

  23. We live in a small house and it definitely keeps you purging! There is just no point having a bunch of clutter. I hope you are learning to love your little house…I know we sure do!

  24. Amen! I have been feeling this same urge to purge since moving a year ago, and realizing that so much of what was packed is never used and just clutters our home and my mind.

  25. God is showing us similar things..we just moved a few months ago…it was really hard to move away from neighbors we loved and a home that was so comfortable…I saw photos of your home and could not believe how much it looked like our home we just moved from. that is actually why I started to follow your blog. I love what you had to say…and what you continue to say… our home was much too large for us. we spent too much time and money in that space. we are in a rental now…waiting to build a much smaller home. my husband is a builder, and after 10 years of building…we finally got the message…less really is more! I am no longer buying 2 or 3 of the same items because they are on sale…I can live with so much less…

  26. You know I couldn’t agree more! It’s SO freeing to rid yourself of stuff! Hope you are doing well.

  27. I agree with less is more. Problem is I have more, more, more and though I truly want to get rid of things it seems almost impossible to accomplish. I start sorting through things and get paralyzed with indecision and give up. How does one get the more to less…without popping a blood vessel in her brain? Seriously.

  28. I am working on this concept as well. All this “stuff” just gets in the way of life and has been robbing me of my joy. Clutter. It stinks. Time to get rid of it! 🙂

  29. It was funny to read of your husband’s t-shirt “collection” as my husband suffers from the same affliction. He was one shirt that he keeps because he likes the way the collar looks under his sweaters, but…the collar is the only thing still intact. The shirt is completely thread-bare but has one heck of a collar! :o)

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