Have Less, Do More

I recently came across this phrase, which has been inspiring me a lot: Have less, Do More… During the summer my husband and I began a big project of repainting the rooms of our home, as well as refinishing a staircase. Part of this “re-decoration” also included a lot of decluttering and downsizing. We are a family of two–well, make that a family of three including the cat! Over twelve years together we have managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. More and more I crave simplicity–simple, pared-down surroundings and environment, ease of function, living more mindfully with less. I wish to create more time and space for the things that really matter to me: family, relationships, health, spirituality, creativity.

Part of our downsizing included getting rid of/donating away a lot of things: books & other paper/printed matter, DVDs/CDs, clothing, household goods & gadgets, excess creative supplies. A big item culled in the downsize was our TV. Yes, we ditched the TV!


Here are some startling numbers:

*The average amount of time spent watching television is 5.11 hours ( US statistics found here: http://www.statisticbrain.com/television-watching-statistics/ )
*The percentage of homes with three or more TVs is 65%
*The number of years the average person will have spent watching TV is 9 years

That last one really spooked me! I don’t think we’re that high on all those ratings, my husband and I. We’ve never been big TV-viewers. We do watch the occasional program or film via the internet on a laptop now that we have no TV. We try to be selective in our viewing, though. We are not missing the TV at all.

It is amazing how when you release something, space opens up–physical space, as well as mental space. With no TV (we had just the one) we have a room now rededicated to relaxation and reading only. There is one less item in the house to dust/clean. And I was finding the TV holding a lot of negative energy–especially negative energy from outside our home (think news programs, etc.) No TV is allowing space for more positive things!

No TV for us now equals more time for:

*listening to/appreciating music
*mindful relaxation
*cozy time with a pet

So getting rid of our TV was a move to where less is definitely more! Do you have a TV in your home, and what is your time and relationship to it? What have you released to make way for more of something different or to welcome new possibilities? What sustains and fulfills you?





Tracy is an an artist exploring the path where creativity & spirit meet. She is currently engaged in art/painting, fiber arts, writing and photography. Her blog, A Life of Joy, is a place for creative living & everyday celebrations.

7 thoughts on “Have Less, Do More

  1. Hi Tracy,

    I’m not at all anti-TV, there are some amazing programs on there, nature and science documentaries, and even silly things which I enjoy to make me laugh (Frasier, Seinfield fan here). However, there are countless i’d rather be doing. I’m fortunate to have a curious mind and several hobbies. The Husband however doesn’t have hobbies, other than sports. So when indoors, and after a hard day of work, he just wants to plonk in front of it. I do understand though.
    Now that we have a child, it has made my desire for less TV much more important. And I believe that he’s getting on board with it. I’ve covered the TV in our house, so it’s not in our afce as it were. And as the girl starts her bedtime routine at 8pm, he has plenty of TV for himself.

    Like you, I prefer to pick and choose – so our favourite comedy sitcoms are all on dvd anyway. And we buy dvd films too, or watch online. If we could do away with commercials, what a beautiful world it would be!!! LOL

  2. haha… I’m with you on the removal of all commercials from TV, Monica…viewing would be much sweeter without them! My husband’s family is mystified that we’ve gotten rid of the TV…LOL… They think it’s radical. We’re not anti-TV so much either, really… It’s more a life’s-too-short to sit in front of a box for hours each when when we could be doing more of things we really love. :o)

  3. Kathy says:

    I gave my television away for about three years back in my thirties. The first week was hard but after that I didn’t miss it. I’d love to do it again but like Monica I have a significant other who loves it. Now days my quest is just to limit it to programs that teach me something and/or are really good. No mindless flipping allowed. If we are going to do it, it must be deliberate!!

  4. Vicki says:

    If I could choose between the computer and TV, I would choose the computer and ditch the TV.

    This is my personal choice, though and my husband doesn’t reflect that choice. He is sports minded (cycling and Moto GP mainly) and would have serious withdrawals without his visual connections to them. After all day in front of a computer, the last thing he wants to do is watch sports online in front of a small screen. And fair enough too, he works very hard for his family and I definitely don’t begrudge his downtime.

    But, speaking for myself, I feel the TV generally has too many negatives and less positives. I avoid the news as much as possible – it’s always bad these days. And, if I feel the need to catch up, there’s always Google.
    The computer gives me access to so many lovely people – like you for example, Tracy – that the TV doesn’t.
    The mouse connects me to a world of wonderful people in the blogosphere that the TV remote can’t do.
    Haha – the TV remote is just that… remote. Disconnected.

    I like the stillness in the house when the TV isn’t blaring. I never have it on during the day and I only check in from time to time in the evening to watch a few favourite shows when they’re on – like Downton Abbey, for one or a “must see” documentary.
    And, I dislike commercials, intensely!

    I secretly LOVE it when we have a power blackout!! I jump at any chance to light all my tiny tea lights and assorted candles for a warm comfy glow. And with no TV, there is perfect atmosphere for quiet contemplation interspersed with quality face to face conversation 🙂

    As for paring back, I’m slowly finding myself needing to reduce visual clutter in our home. It won’t happen overnight as there are many fond memories attached to so many items/gifts. But, most are not necessities and I ask myself more and more these days, “would I really miss them if they were gone?”

    I know that when we move again in a couple of years, this will be the opportunity to really declutter and downsize – in every way.
    Hubby and I have discussed this and we both agree that the next home will be so small, with two bedrooms – maximum. It is something to truly look forward to and work towards.

    In this world of up-sizing, I feel I am going against the grain and crave downsizing 🙂
    When I mentioned this to a woman in passing recently, that I want to move from a rambling four bedroom to a one or two (at most) BR home, she was truly shocked. She said to me, “you NEED to keep a bigger home for the kids as they grow up and then keep the house for when the grandkids come to stay”. Oh really?? Not this little black duck! LOL 🙂 Keeping a large house for two people to rattle around in is false economy to me.
    But, her notion is not uncommon, so I’ll leave it at that 🙂

    Thank you Tracy, for the opportunity to comment 🙂 xx

      • Kathy says:

        Love the smiles! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing here Vicki!! I too dream of small. Good on you for following what fits for you!!

    • We LOVE the smiles Vicki! Keel them coming! ;o) And, I’m with you–if I have to choose screen time, it’s computer time over TV/viewing time…I find my online time more rewarding. More and more I appreciate silence. We are surrounded by so much noise all the time… TV noise too. So turning off the TV or getting rid of it, does allow more space for the beauty of silence. Thank you for your very share-fulled comment!

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