Tuesday, July 8, 2008


"The future belongs to those who understand that doing more with less is compassionate, prosperous, and enduring, and thus more intelligent, even competitive.”

—Paul Hawken

I really like this quote - it reminds me (encourages me!) why Hubby and I try to live the way we do. We bought (by today's standards) a small house, we try and live below our means (and resist the urge to "keep up with the Joneses"), so other than a mortgage we carry no debt. We recycle, Freecycle, compost and try to generally live in a way that is kind to the earth. We still have a ways to go, but we keep trying to get better.

The "less is more concept" applies mostly to our material possessions. When we lived in the house before this one - I called it Hubby's "bachelor pad" - it had two bedrooms, one bathroom, a teeny kitchen, living room and no basement - a total of 940 square feet. It was tiny! But it was cozy too and except for the limited closet space we liked living there. It was cost effective to heat and cool, not too bad to clean and maintain either - less square footage means less space to clean.
When we were looking for our current house (and I was pregnant) we kicked around the idea of staying put - after all, the family that originally lived in the house (in the 1950s) raised two children there. I don't know where they put all their "stuff" but then maybe they didn't have a lot of "stuff" to store - what a concept!

The people that sold us our current house moved to a home that they built; it is roughly three times the size of the one they sold to us. They only have one more child then we do and I often wonder how the heck they have filled all that space; lots and lots of stuff to be sure. Incidentally they tore down a house across the street to build this mansion and they are now our neighbors - sometimes it feels like we have their hand-me-down house. But when property taxes are due, I'm especially glad to be in the littler house.

I look at this way of living as a challenge - doing more with less; less space, less stuff, less waste and (hopefully) less expenses. Hubby and I were (are) intrigued with a concept that Sarah Susanka writes about in her book "Not So Big House Blueprint" . We hope that the popularity of her line of "Not So Big" books means that more and more people will come to embrace this way of living.

Now if only could get my brain wrapped around the idea of applying "less is more" to my chocolate consumption, but that's another post.


Faith said...

Hello - I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and really enjoy it - especially posts like this one! I agree with you on the satisfaction that comes from using what you have and spending sensibly for what you actually need rather than just want on a passing whim.

Thanks for enjoyable reading!

Faith (up the road in Madison, Wisconsin)

Noelle said...

Hi Faith! Thanks so much for the comment - it's great to hear you are enjoying my ramblings and share some of the same thinking. Must be a midwestern thing :-)
Just curious - how did you come across my blog? Hope you continue to enjoy it!! Noelle

Faith said...

You know, I'm not really sure how I came across your blog, but I'm glad I did. You have lots of topics that match up with stuff I'm interested in - I'm a knitter, try to be realistic about sensible use of resources (cash and otherwise!) and am involved with dog rescue (collies). No kids, though, and I'm not a native midwesterner, although I've lived away from New England for nearly 30 years.


Noelle said...

A knitter too!! Have you been on Ravelry.com yet??? You HAVE to try it - it's wonderful and completely addictive, but I'm so glad I found it!

Thanks for reading my blog - it's nice to know people like you are out there!