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When Less Isn’t More

Posted by Sue on Jun 21, 2013  

“Double your pleasure, double your fun!” ~ Gum jingle

Apparently, it’s Opposites Week (a much neglected celebration of the absurd). In my last post I stated, “Less is (almost always) more.” This week, I’m forced by circumstance and integrity to also affirm the opposite: Less isn’t always more. Sometimes it’s just less. And sometimes less is really inconvenient.

Last week I began work with a young woman I’ll call Diane. Diane lives vertically in a 4-floored half-a-house. With an office on the top floor, bathroom on the second, entryway and kitchen on the first and backyard access from the basement, Diane is up and down her stairs dozens of times each day.

During our initial consultation I discovered that Diane had what I thought was a dreaded case of Too-Much-Too-Many (quick, call the medics!): she had a drawer with screwdrivers (Philips and flathead), pliers, hammer, wrench, tape, scissors and a stapler on each floor of her house. As one who teaches simplification, consolidation and single-location-storage, I was (quietly) appalled. Surely a case of TMTM if I’d ever seen one.

But Diane pointed out the wisdom of her ways: if she needs a hammer while she’s in her office (top floor), is she going to descend all the way down to the basement and back up again? No. More likely she’ll leave whatever small repair was needed undone. How much simpler to have the tools right at hand. Does it make sense to have a full toolbox on every floor? No, but the frequently needed basics are a different matter – as long as there’s space to store them.

Other ways you might employ Diane’s wisdom:

  • Instead of keeping all extension cords in one place, keep them with the appliances that use them. I also store extension cords with our holiday candles so I don’t have to scramble to find them every December.
  • Keep a small stash of rubber bands, paper clips and safety pins in a drawer not just in the office, but in the kitchen, bedroom or any other place you might need them.
  • If you forget to take your vitamins in the morning, keep an extra bottle at work.

Where in your life does doubling-up make sense? Share your success stories below.

1 Comment »

Nye Ffarrabas:

Thank you, Sue! These were good reminders to keep on thinning out all possible caches of Things while unpacking and reinventing my life in my new space. I’m having separation angst over rooted scions of a plant I found in NYC, years ago; brave little thing frying on the sidewalk after a fall from a fire escape. I picked it up and named it Humpty-Dumpty. It Will Not Stop Growing! I made cuttings,rooted them,couldn’t bear to consign them to compost. Their survival will is so strong – gives me courage to deal w/ challenges in my life in a creative and proactive way. If you know anyone who wd like a healthy, vigorous, thornless cactus(? – night-blooming cereus?) Let me know. I’ll gladly part w/ the young ‘uns. I’ll still have the parent.
Thinking of you often. All the best, Nye

August 2nd, 2013 | 1:46 pm
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