This More Than Enough book review focuses on the lessons, like focus and gratitude, learned from the Anderson family’s experience of not shopping for a year.
Everyday we are bombarded with the message that we need to buy more. More clothes. More shoes. More electronics. More home decor. More stuff. Our houses and storage spaces become cluttered, so we try to Marie Kondo our lives, only to fill everything back in a short time later. What if the issue isn’t being unorganized and it’s just that we are addicted to buying stuff?
I recently read the book More Than Enough: How One Family Cultivated a More Abundant Life Through a Year of Practical Minimalism by Miranda Anderson. It’s a book about a family that acknowledged that they had more than enough and committed to not shopping for an entire year. This More Than Enough book review provides a look into the Anderson family’s year without shopping, as well as insights into my own life and shopping habits.
More Than Enough Book Review
“Less Stuff, More Adventure”
One of my favorite lessons from More Than Enough was “it’s not about the money.” When the Andersons started their year without shopping, it was not about saving money. Cutting unnecessary spending can be a great way to save money, which is a great motivator. But the focus here was just not filling their home and lives with belongings. The family’s motto became “Less Stuff, More Adventure” because that was their goal. The money that would have normally gone to Target runs went to fun family outings instead. They gave gifts of experiences instead of more toys, and they made lasting memories together as a family.
I LOVE this concept. It’s why we invest money in memberships to local museums and theme parks. The best memories are made spending time together as a family. As my girls get older, we plan to do even more with them outside of the house. Adventures are a great way to grow their appreciation for nature, history and other cultures. The lessons that they learn and the bonds we build as a family are more valuable than any toy.
Maximize Your Life
I also loved that this challenge wasn’t about punishment. It was about maximizing their lives. Buying less meant being able to focus on the belongings they did have. The easiest and best illustration of this is kids and their toys. When there are less options to choose from, kids are able to sit and have longer focused play time. The same principle can be applied to adults. Too much stuff can leave you feeling overwhelmed and distracted. Whether it’s craft supplies, unfinished projects or home decor. Even having too many clothes can become stressful. You can spend too much of your time just deciding what to wear.
The less distractions you have, the more you’re able to focus and get a job done. Whether that “job” is a craft project you’ve been meaning to get to for months or just getting ready in the morning. That’s not too say that it’s bad to have a lot of clothes or things that you enjoy. But at some point all of that stuff can actually become a mental (or physical) burden.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact
The real lesson in this book is that you can make small changes that really impact your life in big ways. Maybe not shopping non-consumable goods for a year isn’t for you. Instead you may try changing your eating habits to not include so much fast food. Or trying a capsule wardrobe and not spending money on fast fashion.
The idea is to become more intentional with how you live so that you can enjoy what life has to offer you. Stop chasing the consumerism of social media and never feeling like you have enough. Instead, stop and enjoy your life and all of it’s many adventures, big and small.
Examining The Impact of Stuff In My Own Life
Over the past several years, I’ve really examined the “stuff” that we own and attempted to bring in less. Every season, I pair down my closetand get rid of clothes that I never wear. I purge the girls’ toys of the items that never get much play. I even throw out home decor that I don’t use often.
These habits started because I felt overwhelmed. We added a baby, and tons of baby gear, to our house that was already full of toddler gear and toys. It made the house feel smaller and chaotic. Purging helped calm the chaos. We have two kids, and no dedicated play space or office, so space and storage are limited. I purge fairly regularly out of necessity. But I still make plenty of unnecessary purchases. I almost always regret those random impulse purchases because they just add to the clutter.
I’ve realized that less stuff means that I’m less distracted. I’m more productive in an uncluttered environment. I also don’t have to spend as much time cleaning and putting things away. That leaves more time for relaxing and having fun with my family. Less stuff means less distractions, less wasted time and less stress. Which leaves room for more adventure, more purpose and more fulfillment.