5 Mantras to Help You Find Joy With Less

‘Cause sometimes less is best.

By Hannah Zahner

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March of 2019, written by Josie Floyd, the founder of Superfine, a NYC-based home and life organization service. A former experiential marketing executive, Josie’s combined her production expertise and lifelong passion for minimalism to help people transform their personal spaces. Follow Josie on Instagram for daily inspiration on how to achieve simplicity, create beauty, and find peace of mind.

There’s a surprising culprit behind the exhaustion we all feel from time to time: our stuff. I think we can all agree that everyone is, to some degree, time-starved and energy-poor. As a professional organizer and efficiency expert, I’m here to tell you that a clear home can help balance both of these deficits. Owning less and keeping what you have tidy allows you to quickly recall where things are located so you can spend less time searching and more time living.

It is nearly impossible to rid ourselves of the mental noise that bogs down our daily routine, unless we cut out the extra physical stuff that gets in our way.

With spring right around the corner, we couldn’t think of a better time to get started (although any time is a good time to start making transformations!). When tackling an organizational project, from your overflowing coat closet to your monster of a junk drawer, start small and keep these memorable mantras on repeat.

image by naina singla

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1. Less stuff, more clarity.

Studies show that cortisol, the stress hormone, increases when clutter is within your visual field. By removing the unnecessary and appreciating the newfound negative space, you’ll naturally calm your brain and feel less scattered so that you can focus on your priorities.

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2. Quality over quantity.

In our consumption-driven society, it’s easy to over-shop from time to time. But wouldn’t you rather have a handful of sweaters you love versus fifty you feel just ‘meh’ about? Instead of buying things because you feel they are a ‘deal’ or on sale, consider if you would still love that purchase at full price.

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3. Discard, donate, discover.

The feeling is mutual: donating your unnecessary, space-filling items not only helps those on the receiving end, but will also bring more joy to your life as well. Studies show that when you pay it forward, your brain releases dopamine and all sorts of other feel-good hormones.

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4. Love it, use it, keep it.

When you start re-evaluating what you own, and scale back to only items you love and use, you’ll learn to appreciate the remaining items even more. Added benefit: if you can see what you have, you’re more likely to utilize and love those items. Those crates of old shoes stashed in the back of your closet aren’t going to get any use, so pull them out, sort through them, and then store the remaining pairs in a visible manner.

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5. Acknowledge and release.

There’s a truly transformative power of letting go. We realize there can be a lot of fear and anxiety surrounding the de-cluttering process, specifically sentimental items you’re attached to. For example, we all have gifts we don’t like from the people we do like, and of course, the old box of sentimental keepsakes we don’t love anymore. Only after you identify the feelings tied to these objects can you acknowledge what you’re holding on to, and then move on.