Less is More

One of the most important lessons I learned is that I’m not quite the minimalist I thought I was.  As I browse through issues of Dwell magazine or visit our local Ikea, I’m inspired by the small footprints, how clean and spacious everything looks.  Of course I realize that it’s clean and spacious because of the photo shoot, but nonetheless I envy the open space resulting from the lack of clutter, of excess stuff.  But I struggle with creating less.  I have a set of 12 clear salad plates that I just know I will need one day when I host that fabulous garden party featuring delightful salads, tea sandwiches and petit fours.  Or not.  Because the truth is, I have never hosted a garden party before now and probably wouldn’t in the future.  If I dared mention a garden party, I’m pretty sure my husband’s blood pressure would jump given the disastrous state of our backyard.  Then of course there’s the small detail of patio furniture.  I’m not sure how garden parties work, but I think you have to provide some sort of seating.  The closest thing we have to seating is leaning up against a tree or the side of the house.

The kitchen isn’t my only area of excess and clutter.  There’s the other stuff like clothing or shoes.  Wait, let’s not talk about shoes, that may be taking it a bit too far, right?  Let’s focus on other areas of the house like my daughter’s room.  Does she really need that many stuffed animals?  Where did she learn to hoard?  Why does she think she needs more Barbies?  It’s not like we haven’t already bought her enough to man a small army.  Oh wait, we bought them….We were the ones that bought her every Disney princess Barbie and have bought stuffed animal upon stuffed animal because they’re, well, “so fluffy”.

I can’t even begin to fathom what it would look like for us to move into a smaller house.  Our house is just shy of 1500 square feet which means it’s tiny by Texas standards.  So when I saw the video below I was simultaneously inspired and freaked. 

Pair down even more?  Didn’t I just donate two bags of clothing or sell the 2 extra sets of dinnerware I didn’t use last year?  Could I really do more with less?  Is it even possible to eliminate some of the excess in my daughter’s room without traumatizing her or starting World War 3?  I don’t know but I think it has to be done.  Maybe I should start small.  Get rid of those clear salad plates.  What about you?  Is there any stuff you can edit from your life – not people, stuff?

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