SLT 004: Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out


Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out

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In Episode 4, we discuss Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out.

Main Topics:  

Vanessa’s Topic: Benefits to Organizing and Having Less

You’ll save money, have less debt and be better able to handle tough financial times.

  • It’s pretty simple: less stuff  =  less money you’ll have to spend…especially on off-site storage rentals!
  • You’ll cut down on buying duplicates when you’re organized and know what you have.
  • You’ll save on late fees and interest rates if you have a good system of tracking and managing your bills.

You’ll have more usable space.

  • You’ll be able to properly utilize desktops, countertops and your dinner table. And maybe your garage too!
  • Less stuff means you can use the spaces in your homes for their intended purposes and not just for storage.

You’ll help avoid “analysis paralysis.”

  • We talked about this in Episode 3. When you have too much stuff it’s difficult to make decisions.
  • With less choices, there’s less time wasted.

There’s less to clean and maintain!

  • Average home 3 bedroom home has over 350,ooo items in it!
  • Knick knacks and all those other things require lots of dusting, laundering, storage, cleaning and maintenance…and lots of money!

You can invite guests over without hesitation.

  • Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have them over without feeling embarrassed or in a rush to clean it up?
  • Having simple routines and “a place for everything and everything in its place” makes for easy clean up.

You’ll be more productive.

  • Start getting organized by having scheduled routines(mentioned in Episode 2): laundry, housecleaning, meal planning, etc.
  • Helps ensure the “must-dos” get done…plus allows more  time to focus on other priorities or those…“want-to-dos.”

You’ll  have better concentration.

  • Piles of papers, heaps of laundry and sinks full of dishes are haunting reminders of stuff you still have to do.
  • It’s hard to concentrate when your home and office are a mess.

You’ll save time.

  • The average person wastes about 55 minutes per day searching for things…keys, files, tools, clothes, etc. That’s a lot of time over the course of a year!
  • Again, having “a place for everything and everything in its place” helps speed up the time it takes to clean up or find things.

You’ll have a sense of control.  Control = Confidence = Nicer You!

  • Knowing where things are and when important tasks will get done creates confidence.
  • Most folks are ashamed of their clutter and therefore ashamed of themselves.

You’ll have less guilt

  • Don’t you feel guilty when you buy something when you know you really didn’t need it.
  • It’s way more empowering when you can say “no” to those buying impulses and not bring in more stuff.

You’ll have more Joy and be more content.

  • Striving for more and waiting for the day that you’ll strike it rich will deplete the joy you could be experiencing every day.
  • You’ll never be content if you’re always comparing, striving for more stuff, collecting, etc.

You’ll have more time and better relationships.

You’ll have a feeling of calm and peace of mind.

Dan’s Topic: Backing Up Your Digital Information: Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out

Occam’s Razor: “Of two equivalent theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred.”

  • Benedictine monk…William lived in Ockham, England from 1285-1349. William wasn’t the person who came up with the idea behind the razor, but he was widely known for professing it’s benefits, so it soon came to be known for him. The first time the term Occam’s razor was used, was in 1852, over 500 years after Occam’s death.
  • Occam’s Razor Take Away: Try to develop the simplest solutions to problems and challenges. Much like the KISS method, keeping processes, workflows, recipes, you name it, simple, helps you to be able to replicate successes.

Next up is Parkinson’s Law which states: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

  • C. Northcote Parkinson (30 July 1909 – 9 March 1993)
  • Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity
  • Data expands to fill the space available for storage.
  • Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
  • Expenditures rise to meet income
  • The amount of time which one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.
  • The Stock-Sanford Corollary to Parkinson’s Law reads, “If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.” I call that the “Homework Corollary.”
  • Parkinson’s Law Take Away: Realize that the “status quo” can quickly turn into the status “whoa!”  What that big house because you enjoy the extra space? It’ll fill up. 

Pareto Principle: Often called the 80/20 Rule. 80% of the results likely comes from 20% of the effort.

  • Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population
    • Developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. This same 80/20 split kept revealing itself.
    • Led ol’ Villy to determine that, generally, 80% of effects likely come from the 20% of causes.
  • Another way to think about isOrganization: Do you keep the 20% of the things you use almost every day in logical places to maximize your efficiency?
    • Are the other 80% of your belongings getting in the way when you don’t need them? Maybe it’s time to look at how much stuff you really need, identify your vital 20% and pare the other 80% down a bit?
  • Productivity: When it comes to productivity you need to think “systems.”
    • Look at the vital few tasks you do that have the biggest impact.
    • Do you have a system in place for your “to do” list, paying bills, buying groceries, filing important documents, home and vehicle maintenance, etc.
  • More about Pareto’s 80/20 Rule at
  • Take Aways from Pareto: Use Pareto’s Principle to determine key actions that have the most results in your life, your most important 20% of effort, habits, possessions, etc, to learn where you can pare down what you do, have and use.

Use these tools individually and together to your advantage to simplify your life.

The “Thing” Segment:

Vanessa: Michael Hyatt Blog Post:  The Gift of Today-Lessons from a Monk.  This post featured a beautiful video that Michael Hyatt forwarded and wrote about .  It’s an absolutely beautiful video that’s narrated by a monk where he encourages us to be grateful.  Here’s one of his excerpts:

“You think this is just another day in your life.  It’s not just another day  It’s the one day that is given to you today…It’s the only gift that you have right now.  And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.”

Dan: The Decline of Fascination and the Rise in Ennui (on-wee). A blog post by Seth Godin…a fellow Buffalonian and some consider him a modern day philosopher.  Here’s a quick excerpt from his post:

The real opportunity, I think, is in trying to build longer arcs. Now that the cycle of new is eating itself in a race to ever-faster, there’s a bigger chance to make long term change by consistently focusing on what works (and what’s important), not what’s new and merely shiny. What’s important, what’s always important, is useful change.”

Closing Thoughts:

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Links we mentioned in the show:

Get Vanessa’s article on Benefits to Organizing and Having Less.

Very good article on Occam’s Razor over at You’re Making Me

More about Pareto’s 80/20 Rule at

Michael Hyatt Blog Post:  The Gift of Today-Lessons from a Monk.You can find more of Seth Godin’s work at

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8 thoughts on “SLT 004: Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out

  1. Dan & Vanessa:

    Thank you for creating such an inspirational podcast. Love it!

    After years of chasing wealth, collecting “stuff,” and wanting more, we came to ask ourselves, “why?” What’s the point? Contrary to popular belief, it turns out, life is not about “The guy with the most stuff wins.”

    More and more, we’re trying to focus on what’s real in out lives and cling to what’s necessary to improve the quality of our lives and family. Amazing what we can do without.

    Looking forward to hearing more!


    • Marshall- Thanks so much for your glowing feedback! We sure love making the show and we’re glad it resonates with you.

      You are so right…you know what happens to the “guy with the most stuff in the end?” His wife and kids have to figure out what to do with it when he’s gone!

      Congrats to you and your wife for focusing on what’s truly important. We hope you keep listening and we’ll keep trying to put out good content. Let us know if there’s a certain topic you’d like to hear about!

  2. Saw a pin on pinterest and followed to “your simple life together. Enjoyed the Organizing and Having Less …Your dialog was interesting and fun to listen to. I’ve been wanting to have a house of order for some time and keep looking for encouraging guidance to do so.

    • Laura- Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m glad you found us! You certainly can have an orderly house…and once you do there is little else that can make it feel more like a home. I hope you subscribed to the podcast as we’ll be putting out lots of tips with every show. You may also want to get a jump start by checking out Vanessa’s site at, as it’s packed with fantastic organizing tips, too! So glad you’re with us!

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