Recently I have felt a kind of tug whenever I think about the stuff in my house. I’m certain it’s due to the den renovation being delayed and in disarray due to a leak in the roof for nearly four months now. I failed to recognize that in order for those walls to come down, the stuff within them had to go somewhere. So what better place than everywhere else in the house?
So rather than remain frustrated waiting for our roof to be repaired, I decided to focus on that tug a little more. What exactly was causing the prickly feeling I got? It shows up each time I walk through the glamorous S-curve that now exists between the kitchen and my office. A feeling that now accompanies each fresh cup of coffee.
I started looking at the spaces in my home untouched—for now—from renovation. Where was the feeling absent? Turns out, I had to look no further than my kitchen. There was order, empty surfaces, and bright, natural light. Soon I noticed other areas that resembled those characteristics. My bullet journal is meticulous. The items on any of my shelves are neatly organized. My desk, while it does get messy when I’m working, always ends up clean. And, I’ve actually spent time before deleting and reorganizing many pins on Pinterest.
In my mind I put everything next to one another and observed. I prefer having less so I may have a different kind of more. Having less kitchen counter appliances for more open space. Purchasing less groceries by planning more precise meals. Spending less time on the computer for more time reading a book. Simply put, there is desire to just have less in my life. Not necessarily people or experiences, but stuff and things. I want what’s left to mean something and to stand the test of time.
About a year and a half ago I read Mari Kondō’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It hit all the right notes with me before I’d finished even the first chapter. It was this book that prompted me to start looking more closely at quality over quantity in a way I hadn’t before. I wouldn’t need four cardigans if one of them was very well made and versatile. So I started editing.
Editing happens in a few ways. Each season I pair down the clothes I own and donate what I no longer like or wear. I keep the pieces that last and can be mixed into a variety of outfits. Every so often I review the books on my shelves and remove a few I won’t read again. I keep those I know I’ll never tire of reading. And I’m always searching for paper piles scattered about the house to go through to file or shred and recycle. But there’s still a craving for more of less. So I’m taking it a step further with the help of my word of the year Intention.
By practicing intention I ask myself questions to edit first rather than last. What I mean to say is I closely examine what I am bringing into my life and my home. For example, if I see a cardigan I really love, I ask myself if I’d really wear it. (If you haven’t caught on, I love a real, good cardigan.) If I see a vase that would look great with fresh flowers in it do I really need it if I already have four sitting empty at home? It’s really opened a new level of appreciation. Like a good piece of art, I can appreciate the beauty in the things I see around me, but I don’t need it to come home with me. I haven’t gotten very far in this process so I don’t have much to report on yet. But I’ll keep you posted.
Speaking of, if you like what you’re reading, and would rather have one less website to check, feel free to add this URL to your RSS reader. Here’s to more less.