Making the most of what you have can make you happier. Living with less teaches you to be flexible and creative with your possessions. It's very satisfying to find solutions to problems from within your current resources and capabilities. A more minimalistic lifestyle can give you confidence, resilience and a different sort of happiness than the one that money buys.
How to make the best of:
Smaller living spaces – there's no utility room, separate dining room or spare bedroom in our new smaller house but there's no wasted space either. It's easier to clean and therefore gives me more free time.
People – look for the best in people and you'll be happier. Most people's annoying habits just have to be tolerated and we know we can’t change people. Accept you won't get on with everyone – fewer closer friendships can make you happier than many superficial friendships.
Leftovers – invent new recipes and combinations from what's left in your cupboards and fridge or freezer. Meals made from leftovers are often just as delicious as those made after an expensive supermarket trip.
Kitchen – gadgets are great when they are used regularly but not when they lie dormant in the cupboard. You don't need every appliance going – improvisation ( a rolling pin and bowl for a pestle and mortar) and hard graft (chopping and mixing by hand) are very satisfying.
Ageing– be grateful for the wisdom of your life experiences, the freedom from peer pressure and that feeling of being comfortable in your own skin that advancing age can bring. Accepting yourself and your imperfections makes you a much more attractive person than someone who is very self-critical. Make the most of your best features and don't compare yourself to others too much.
Wardrobe – wearing your favourite clothes more often instead of saving them for special occasions can lift an ordinary day. Putting together a new combination of garments from your existing clothes is very satisfying.
Your current home – every home has its plus points but why do we often dwell on their negative features? Perfection isn't homely – do the best you can to make your home lovely within your budget.
Your mood – learn to be mindful of your mood and accept that some days are more challenging than others. Looking after your emotional health is as important (and contributes to) your physical well being. Be confident in your achievements but forgiving of your imperfections.
Free time – not every moment needs to filled with purpose. Try balancing paid work, domestic work and time helping others with sometime for yourself and doing or not doing whatever makes you happy.
How do you make the most of less? Or what could you live without? Please share.