123: Less Stuff, More Happiness


Questions about the Video File:

  1. How much space does an average American have today compared to the past?
  2. How big is the personal storage industry?
  3. What are the consequences of having and needing more space?
  4. What does “less is more” mean?
  5. How can you live little?


General Questions:

  1. How big is your house? Do you think you need a bigger house? If so, what do you need the extra space for?
  2. How often do you buy new furniture? Why do you buy them?
  3. How many objects can you name in your bedroom that you haven’t used in a year?
  4. How many clothes do you have that you haven’t worn them in a year? Why do you think you have kept them?
  5. Name the things in your kitchen/living room that you can live without conveniently?
  6. When was the last time you bought something you never used? How often does it happen? Can you discover your motive?
  7. What do you think of minimalistic decoration?


Related Quotes:

“If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.” Vicki Robin

“One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.” Francis Jourdain

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” Pablo Picasso

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” E.F. Schumacker

“The system of consumerism may seem like an immovable fact of modern life. But it is not. That the system was manufactured suggests that we can reshape those forces to create healthier, more sustainable system with a more fulfilling goal than “more stuff”.” Rachel Botsman

Related Idioms and Expressions:

  1. Let something go: to give something to someone without expecting to be paid.
  • Let all your unnecessary stuff go.


Related Words and Phrases:

Plenty (pronoun) enough or more than enough

  • We have plenty of space in our new apartment. It is big enough to host a family of 5.

Footprint (n) the impact of human activities on the environment which is caused by using natural resources, producing waste and making pollution.

  • The environmental footprint that human has left in the last five decades is more that the last five century.

Carbon footprint (n) the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a person or organization (used especially to refer to the harm it does to the nature)

  • To live green means to reduce your carbon footprint.

Flat-line (v): being at a low level of standard and not increasing or decreasing.

  • His improvement in learning new skills has flat-lined in recent years.

Dorm (n) dormitory; a place where you live in a college or university

  • Living in the dorm was one of the best experiences of her life. Being independent and enjoying the company of her friends was wonderful.

Ruthlessly (adv): making decision in a firm and decisive manner despite being difficult

  • She decided to leave her current job ruthlessly.

Rig up (ph v) to build something quickly with whatever you have available

  • We rigged up a tent in the middle of nowhere in the heart of nature.

Extraneous (adj) extra, unnecessary and irrelevant

  • We are surrounded by many extraneous objects.

Cut out (ph v) remove

  • Cut everything that worries you out of your life.

Multifunctional (adj) having more than one function

  • I need a multifunctional table for dining and working.


Related Collocations:

By all means (adv) definitely; opp. By no means

  • We should want it by all means.

Space efficiency (n) the maximum use of a place

  • In modern design space efficiency is an important factor, there is no space to be wasted.

Transformer furniture (n): furniture that can be changed for different functions

  • A pioneer transformer furniture company has designed tables that can change to beds as well.
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There are 8 Comments

Do you agree or disagree with the following quote? Use specific reasons to support your answer.

“If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.” Vicki Robin

I believe that human ambitious always plays a key role in human civilization even in technological and industrial progress.
Human development in every aspect is indebted to this fact that human’s nature always wants more. There is a famous quote which says ”The electronic light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.” This aspiring soul made mankind stepping out from their caves and looking for opportunities to better their lives. They used their whole stamina in order to own the world.
But I think this Vicki robin’s quote refers to human greed and this greed to have it all grows like a disease which involves human soul. Actually greed is a strong feeling of lacking something particular and consequently a person can become obsessively fixated on seeking what he/she wants and it could become the deep-rooted feeling of not having enough.
Despite all things that I mentioned about human progression, this craving to anything like position, wealth, power… etc grows like a cancer and takes over principles and ruin the whole life.


human ambitious always plays > human ambitions always play

In my opinion every one of us has felt that in order to be happy we have to change our situations by getting more of everything, for example we want more money, more clothes, more jewelries and etc. That is a mindset that has been with us for years and when we get that "more" we still want more. I read somewhere that is said "No one is going to stand up at your funeral and say she has a really expensive couch and great shoes" so we shouldn't make life about stuff. Eventually i think instead of wanting more we should focus on getting better and improving ourselves.


Eventually i think > Eventually I think

I like the idea and I always try to declutter all the things I don't need any more. Every 6 month I bring out everything from my closet and check if I use them during this time or not, then I get rid of all the useless things I have and I don't know why but it makes me feel well. There's a Chinese technique which is called Feng shui that is based on this idea and it says you should get rid of useless things to let the good energy flows around you because things you don't use would remain somewhere and you wouldn't see them and it causes the good energy stock there and couldn't circulate around the house. It doesn't seem logic but when you try it you will find it right. 

But there are some things that I never use them like mementos or decorative things or even books. They make me feel calm because they have good energy and especially about books! I really don't like pdf books because paper ones are touchable and I can feel it and communicate with it and I don't like living just through my phone or iPad, so it rarely happens that I get rid of some of my books even if I don't read them during a whole year. Although I like the idea that says less stuff, more happiness, I don't agree with it 100 percent and I like using it where ever it works.

Great job Neda!

  • to let the good energy flows around you > to let good energy flow around you
  • It doesn't seem logic > It doesn't seem logical
  • there are some things that I never use them > there are some things that I never use
  • where ever it works > wherever it works

It was a nice video and also the transcript was usefull for learning new some language.
But about the video :
It seems like a good idea in the first place that you want to do the stuff that the guy in the video was talking about, but who doesn't like a bigger house ? I mean I rather having a bigger house with a place for keeping my less necessary things.
I think in the future ( not that far ) we have to face this and use these kind of methods so that we can stow ourselves between other human beings, coz the world's population is increasing so fast and we should expect these homes ahead of us.

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