the enough experiment

Okay, friends. I’ve had an idea brewing, and a book I just read crystallized the vision for me.

We’re going to do an experiment.


You. Me. All of us. (Well, only those of you who want to.)

You might have figured out that I’m all about enough. Just enough. Having only what we need, selling/sharing the rest. Living simply that others might simply live. Minimalism. Simplicity.


I just finished this book on my Kindle (I have no recollection of how it got there–maybe it was a free book at some point? Maybe some of you have it already? That would be awesome!) and really liked it.

It’s called More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity (I know! So great!)

The author’s name is Jeff Shinabarger, and I don’t think I’d heard of him before I read the book, but he’s definitely my people. He loves Jesus, and he’s all about loving the poor, and why not do it in some really creative ways while we’re at it? (Yes please!)

The book is all about examining your life and figuring out where there’s excess (most likely everywhere) and then choosing to be generous with all that excess until it becomes a way of life.


At the end, he suggests doing an Enough Experiment. It can be anything you want really. You can get rid of all the clothes you don’t wear or take public transportation to work for a month or weed everything not-so-great out of your schedule or give away $300 worth of technology you don’t need or… SKY’S THE LIMIT.

And I would love, love, LOVE it if we all did one together for the month of May.

Wouldn’t that be great? We’d all do our own thing, but I’d blog about mine every day in May and you could too (or not) and share what you’re doing (or not). Just a little community-oriented jumpstart. (I know a ton of you want to do something like this, because you’ve told me. It’s just a matter of getting started, eh?)

You can buy the book if you want, but you totally don’t need to. (This is my affiliate link for the Kindle e-book.) I’ll share some things from the book as we go.

You just have to make one teensy little promise: you won’t compare your enough experiment (or your life) with anyone else’s.

There’s no judging here, no condemnation, no comparison, no nothin’ like that. What you choose to do (and it can take a day or a month or whatever) is between you and God (and your fam).

I just know how much freedom I’ve found in enough, and I want the whole world to experience it with me.

Here’s a little video clip to get you excited:

And here’s what I want to know: ARE YOU IN? (if so, leave a comment saying you’re in–and tell us what you’d like to do if you already know)

I’m so excited!!!

50 thoughts on “the enough experiment

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  17. Missy Robinson

    I did this everyday in March (didn’t blog about it) But LOVED IT! I did Instagram all the things going out the door and I could easily go for it again. Perhaps my family would join me?

  18. Krysten

    1) I love you.
    2) I miss you.
    3) I’d love to participate in ENOUGH! Todd and I have scaled down so much over the years and we aren’t big fans of a lot of stuff in the first place. May will be a weird kind of month for us, because we are in the process of selling our home and buying a new one (smaller!! woohoo!) So it’s the perfect time to unload some of that extra stuff that still somehow creeps in! At the same time we might be buying a few practical things for the new home. So it will be a practice of out-and-in, but wayyyyy more OUT than IN. I don’t so much care about how much stuff I have or don’t have, but I do know that the more extra stuff I keep around, the more time I spend shuffling it around (is that organizing?) and trying to keep it all clean. If I am spending time on that, I’m taking time away from the real, actual important things in my life. So, ENOUGH is just one more layer of freedom. I’m starting a bit early… like today.

  19. Cassandra S

    My husband and I have been on a mission to minimalize our stuff and our home. Our issue is having special needs children and a LOT of paper. I’ve hired a teenager that comes once a week and scans and shreds documents for me. We’ve also done a lot of pitching junk and giving stuff away. It always seems like when we get on a good rhythm a HUGE crisis comes up and we take quite a few steps backwards and then it seems like it takes us forever to get back into the swing to get motivated again.

    I’m going to give the challenge a try. Have two HUGE storage rooms in the basement that need to be cleaned out!!!!!

  20. cyndee

    Thanks for doing this, Marla. At first I wasn’t going to join, then I remembered I have a project hanging over my head. I recently re-did all of my photo albums from 1981 – 1999. At that point, I pretty much lost my will to live. 😉 So, when I get back home from spending the first week of May with my grand babies, I will get back to it. God willing, I’ll get caught up! Thanks for lighting a fire under me! 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      Lost your will to live! I know the feeling. Before we moved to our apartment, I condensed my 30+ photo albums into 6 with my most favorite pictures (all 1200 of them–and I stopped printing photos when Nina was 18 months old). Soooo glad I did. Our neighbor kiddos love looking through them, and it’s so nice that there are only 6 to put back (and I don’t even care if they don’t put them back in order).

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  22. Teresa Henry

    I am IN! I just have TOO much stuff. Too much “maybe I might need that someday” stuff. Too many piles, and boxes, and rooms filled, and an unorganized garage of stuff I don’t even know what it is and too many VHS movies….and we don’t even watch them but they were “my kid’s first movies”. And I have too many things I do that don’t line up with the life I know God has for me. I have way too much MORE. I want LESS. And then I will have room for the right stuff!

  23. Jen Hanson

    I’m in.

    For the time being, we’re still living at my in-laws house with a very minimized selection of our stuff. Since most everything is in boxes, 1). I can’t downsize much of anything, 2). At the same time I wonder, “Huh, I’ve done pretty well with just the few things we’ve unpacked (plus the stuff belonging to my in-laws we are using). Soooo… why do we need everything in those boxes?” There might be some major re-purging once it’s finally time to unpack. (Or maybe I’ll just be all giddy about seeing MY OWN STUFF after lots of time moving and living in other people’s homes this past year and I’ll want to keep ALL OF IT. At least until I get sick of it any de-clutter again.)

    Wait. What was the question? 😉

    1. Jen Hanson

      Oh. I know what I need to do – a re-balance of family time and extended family time and time with friends and time with community and time with service and time to just breath and glowing screen time (mostly internet as I’m not a huge TV fan). All of that needs to be re-vamped and re-prioritized. It’s too much and doesn’t leave ENOUGH for what needs to matter most.

  24. Amy

    I would love to join you, but I am in the middle of dealing with my precious son exhibiting signs of OCD and hoarding. We can’t throw away anything in our house without lots and lots of drama, tears and heartbreak. I’m with you in spirit though.

  25. Addie

    I want to do this, but it seems kind of vague and overwhelming for everyone to do their own thing… I mean if Im the only one doing what Im doing then how will I have accountability or someone to say “Addie, really? you know you can do better than that” or “Addie, I know you only gave up one thing today, but I know how hard that one thing was so good job”…. I dont know, Im rambling, but… Im one of those “all or nothing” people – if I cant do everything on the list at one time then I consider myself a failure and I quit (probably why my house is in bad shape)…. so I need rules like “do THIS for today” and thats it b/c then I would have accomplished everything I was supposed to….. ahhhhhh – rambly brambly…. all that to say, I dont know if Im in – I want to be, but Im not sure its possible? What do you think since youve read the book?

    1. Marla Taviano

      This is SUCH a good point, Addie. But there’s really no way for us all to do the same thing since we’re coming at this from so many different starting points (and with different personalities and philosophies). Jeff suggests in the book to find an accountability partner, either someone who’s doing this WITH you or just helping you stay on track. What I’m thinking for this 31 days of May is just to spur one another on, to give little pep talks, inspire each other to keep going. It always helps me to see how something is working for someone else. (And maybe there will be one person interested in doing your exact experiment. Who knows?)

  26. Jeff Shinabarger

    Thanks so much for sharing this with others!

    Let me know how I can help in any way with you or your community pursuing this experiment. Always thankful to see how our stories play a small role in others stories. Thanks for making my night!

  27. Rebecca

    I’m definitely in! I’ve had a desire to clean out my life of excess for quite some time. This is exciting!

  28. Jennifer

    I’ve been itching to do a major purge in our house, but have been struggling to find the energy and (choose to make the) time. Maybe this will help get me motivated!! Phil helped the kids fill a box of toys from the basement- he’s much better at letting go of things than I am. Maybe I should just give him free reign through out the whole house (but what if I’m going to need something he chooses to get rid of?!?!?) Yep- that’s my problem. 😉

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