What If One Is Enough? Rediscover The Joy Of Less

What If One Is Enough? Rediscover The Joy Of Less

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In our society we are bombarded with the message that more is better. Why give one rose when a dozen says so much more. But what if one perfect rose is enough? What if less is actually the key to happiness?

Rediscovering The Joy Of LessMy partner and I were talking about the tradition of sending a dozen red roses as a way of conveying love. Why twelve? Where on earth did that number come from?

I did a little research and discovered that it is a custom that has arisen from the significance of the number twelve within many aspects of nature, religion, and philosophy.

I also noted that the only websites providing such information were flower shops.


I couldn’t help wondering if this has more to do with profit than religious significance. If you can persuade people that a single rose only twelve roses will properly convey love then you stand to make a lot more money.

But what if one beautiful rose is enough? Do we really need eleven more?

Rediscovering The Joy Of Less

What if less is more?

I see this in so many areas. When I was a child all my toys fit into one small box. Yet I don’t remember feeling deprived as a child. I have very happy memories of long days filled with engaged and imaginative play.

Today I see many children who have houses packed with toys, but they don’t seem happier or more engaged. In fact their parents are constantly looking for activities to keep them occupied.

What if reducing the number of toys will help children?

In our society we are constantly bombarded with the message that we need more.


  • Stuff
  • Experiences
  • Space

It is so easy to buy into this belief right? Our houses are full of stuff. We have all the right toys and gadgets. We have never been busier. So we should be really happy right? Not necessarily. You can read about some studies here.

Rediscovering The Joy Of Less

Discover the joy of less

It has been my experience that almost every time I went along the path of less my family actually gained.

Fewer toys = more engaged play + less mess + less tidying up = family win!

Reducing extra curricula activities = more family time + less stress + less rush = family win!

Getting rid of things = more space + less mess + less debt = family win!

Maybe it’s time for us to downsize and work towards having and doing less. If we make a commitment to do with fewer

So that we can have less debt, stress, rush and boredom. And enjoy less tidying, cleaning and organizing! WOOHOO! And that will lead to


  • time with family
  • energy
  • peace
  • engaged play
  • creativity
  • fun
  • And family connections WHOOP!

All of which sound pretty darn good to me! How about you? Are you in? I thought so.

A few resources to help you

  1. Project 333 to help you downsize your closet.
  2. Cluttered to Clean to help you clear out your stuff.
  3. My Keeping Things Simple Pinterest board.

Rediscovering The Joy Of Less

21 thoughts on “What If One Is Enough? Rediscover The Joy Of Less”

  1. Great post! I’ve been on a bit of a mission lately to get rid of so much of our stuff. It’s ridiculous how much we have but don’t actually need, use or want. This is especially true of the toy situation. Dave and I have been getting rid of bags full of them when the girls are at daycare/preschool and they don’t even notice. I’ve decided that I won’t be buying them more than 1 toy item for birthdays and christmas anymore and rather invest in something they either really do need, or books, or something that encourages them to work with what they already have, or an experience together as a family.

    1. I think that gifts of experience are a wonderful way to go. Friends of mine know that grandparents will deluge their girls with things, so they give them things like concert tickets to their favorite group, library memberships, day ticket to amusement parks. They end up with great memories and a lot less stuff.

  2. Definitely. Sometimes less is more. I’ve become increasingly irritated in recent years by the rampant commercialisation of certain events such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween. Restaurants, flowers, chocolates – everything has to be bought, in bigger and better quantities, forgetting the fact that sentiment should count for more than value and that showing your love for someone is about 365 days a year, not just one. I’m all for small gifts rather than big emoty gestures – as long as there is thought and love behind it, that’s what counts. And, as you say, the same i strue for life in general.

    1. Oh I am with you 100%. I hate the commercialization. I agree about small gifts that have a lot of thought and love behind them. My stepdaughter is really great at that and I look forward to receiving her hand made cards each year.

  3. Mummy's to do list

    This post definitely resonates with me and it’s something I’m going to try harder than ever to follow this year. We live in a small house and now we have two children we’ve started to feel overwhelmed with stuff. It’s not good for the mind and half of it is stuff we rarely use or no longer need. I’m planning a major declutter and I also want to focus more on experiences rather than acquiring more and more toys and clothes this year. #LetKidsBeKids

    1. I find clutter very stressful and it is very liberating to get rid of the excess. I’ve finally got the hang of not bringing more stuff in, so that is making a huge difference in our house.

  4. I really enjoyed this. I get quite stressed at birthdays and Christmas these days, because we already have enough! The kids especially don’t need any more toys. It can be excessive.
    I’m pretty strict in terms of extracurricular activities. One is enough, because with four kids, I couldn’t do it with any more.

    1. I understand Jess. I have three boys and got to the point where I simply didn’t want to buy anything more. One thing that worked with my boys was the to give the gift of experiences. We might go for a family day at the amazing Water Park in West Edmonton Mall. It was far too expensive most of the time, but in lieu of a birthday gift we could afford it. I also started opened a bank account for each boy and gave them money. They really liked that, especially as they got older.

  5. So very true! I remember only ever owning one Barbie doll as a child- my kids used to get a new Barbie every Christmas.

    Also, many people seem to have the mentality of “a spare” for every item they own, just in case the first one breaks or goes missing. This was something I discovered about myself when I first began decluttering.

    Not sure if this is just an Australian thing, but a florist’s “dozen” is actually only 11. So a very sneaky, profit grabbing tactic! 🙂

    1. That is sneaky!!! I too tend to hang onto spares “just in case.” That’s a good reminder I need to look at that again!

  6. Great post Sharon!

    I’m with you 100% as well. One can be enough! But unfortunately the influence of commercialization, our comparison with others and greed drives us to possess more. I too like the idea of “less debt, stress, rush and boredom..cleaning and organizing.”
    I do think it’s possible to raise our children to think this way. It will safe them a lot of headache in the future.

    And thanks for including me in your list of resources. Quite an honor!

  7. Sharon I found myself saying yes and yes and yes as I read your post! The positives of having and doing less, can no longer be denied.

    I loved reading about how this conversation evolved by simply questioning the status quo…a dozen roses…sure that’s just what you do right! Slowing down to question traditions, expectations and old beliefs, can open us all up to the possibility one being enough 🙂
    You are so kind to mention my blog, thank you x

    1. I have found myself questioning all kinds of things just lately. It has opened up a number of possibilities. That’s one of the reasons I like your blog so much. You challenge me to do that 🙂

  8. I think you make a lot of great points in this post. I don’t think that a single red rose is necessarily any less thoughtful than a dozen red roses. In fact, I think that what counts is finding a meaningful way of celebrating a relationship, whether that means gifts or not and whether than means doing a lot to mark Valentine’s Day. As it happens, I’ve never got my wife a rose and that’s mainly because I know that she prefers pot plants. In addition, we generally prefer doing something special to mark the anniversary of our first date or our wedding rather than Valentine’s Day. It kind of feels like we’re celebrating something that’s more personal and meaningful to us.

    1. I really like the idea of celebrating your anniversary rather than Valentine’s Day. It is far more meaningful and a lot less commercialized. I can’t believe your son is almost 2. The time is flying by.

  9. That is a good point, often I think less is more. We do have too many toys and clutter we don’t need and could benefit from getting back to basics with lots of imaginary play and family time.
    Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids

  10. Some great points here. We have way too much stuff in our house, both ourselves and the kids. Might be time for a declutter. Thanks for sharing with the #pinitparty. Have pinned 🙂

  11. We are just accumulating more and more clutter. I am having a look around my room, I can already see so much stuff that I think I will use but haven’t used for years. I really agree with your example of rose. Even 1 rose is enough if my husband gives it to me. I know effort (of remembering the event) and love behind his act. And that’s more than enough for me!

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