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Monday, December 21, 2015

The Less is More Project: Week 51 - Final Post for 2015

Moyan Brenn, Flickr

- Do you need to work tonight?
- To put food on the table and clothes on our back, no. To go to restaurants and keep designer sneakers in the closet, yes. 

Annual report!

The Less is More project is coming to an end. What are the main observations, lessons and conclusions to gather from a year of buying only the essential?

First and foremost, I am not tired of this project. I am not looking forward to the "right to buy". I am not planning to go shopping. I do not plan to revert to my old ways in the new year. I want to make this new frugal practice a lifelong habit. I will keep decluttering, consuming less, and appreciating what I already have.


Because it feels good. 

It feels good to live in a decluttered space, to know where everything is, to know that everything you own has a purpose.

It feels good to really, genuinely appreciate everything you have.

It feels good to see ads or go into a store and not feel pressured to buy. 

It feels good to be completely unconcerned with keeping up with the Joneses.

It feels good to share (by donating or regifting).

It feels good to know that your ecological footprint is lower.

It feels good to use your time, energy and money for what really matters.

To give a full picture of the situation, I feel it's my responsibility to add that it also feels good to know you have a choice. The main difference between voluntary simplicity and actual poverty is that the former allows you to acquire the things you need when you need them, whereas in poverty, even the basics elude you. Someone I care for deeply is currently struggling to keep a roof over their head, and food on their table. That reality is very real for many people, even in a "rich" country like Canada. 

For those of us who aren't struggling, the least we can do (apart from donating time, food, objects or money, of course) is to be grateful for what we have, and mindful of what we do with it. Money and other material resources aren't an end, they are a means. Let us never forget that.

Speaking of mindfulness...

Mindfulness will be the focus of my 2016 project. Mindfulness might be the key to peace, love, and well-being. Are you willing to give mindfulness a chance?

I will now allow myself a well-deserved break for the last ten days of 2015, and will be back in January full of new ideas to share! Happy End of Year to all, and see you in 2016!


  1. Congratulations, Julie!! I never doubted you would do it, but like running a marathon, knowing you can do it does not make the steps any easier.

    I appreciate your observations, and as a long time practitioner of voluntary simplicity it was nice to see you put into words what I experience.

    Happiest Holidays!!

  2. I have enjoyed this, and appreciate your year. I have seen it unfold earnestly and with good intentions. What's not to like...?

    Mindfulness is the most important word in my life. It really is. I look forward to watching you, reading your words, and being reminded of what living intentionally is all about!


    1. I have been inspired by your words many times! It is clear that mindfulness is present in your life.

  3. Happy Christmas....I have enjoyed your 'less is more' dissertation and look forward to 'mindfulness 2016'.

  4. You had an awesome year in posts, ideas, comments, thoughts and so much more. I appreciated all the time it took to even put all of this together as you taught and learned too, how to just live a more simple but wonderful life.
    Thank you so very much. Now have a blessed Christmas and a most awesome new year. Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for 2016.

  5. I really enjoyed all of your posts this year and am looking forward to the 2016 edition!

  6. I have only recently discovered your Less Is More Project, so I'm going to go back to January 2015 in your archive and do the series, week by week, through 2016. This looks like an interesting - and liberating - way to live in the next 12 months. Thank you! And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, your family and your readers.

  7. I think you have done so well ...
    Enjoy your break, and all good wishes for 2016.

    All the best Jan

  8. I hope you're enjoying your break, Julie. Your project seems so wonderful and inspiring. Looking forward to reading more of your posts in 2016!