The adage goes “Out with the old, in with the new.” And just when WHEN did we become a culture where new was all the time, every day, sometimes several times a day??? How did we let ourselves get so brainwashed into thinking that new was somehow equivalent to better?
Luciano and I were preparing our house for what felt like the umpteenth renovation intervention. Our entire downstairs was to be ripped out, the floors and walls completely redone. So absolutely nothing could stay. Can you imagine cutting your home in half and taking all the STUFF you had in that half, and adding it to what you already had in the other half? It was just impossible. At the same time, I had been watching some pretty compelling documentaries on where our stuff comes from, who it’s really made by, and where it goes when we dispose of it. It’s pretty sickening. Compound that with us having a real desire to reign in our expenses (just HOW does money fritter away so easily?!) and there seemed to be really only one cure-all solution – Minimalism.
So I rolled up my sleeves, put my Ruthless Pants on, and started attacking every single area of our house, Marie Kondo style, but since this was before I’d watched her sweet, gentle method, it was more of “Have I used this in the last year? The last 6 months? Ok BYEEEEEEE!!!” Clothes, sports equipment, toys, kitchen tools, craft supplies, books, movies, papers, nothing escaped my scrutiny.
The funny thing is, with ALL the stuff we got rid of, you would still not come over to our house and think, “Oh! They’re minimalists. There’s still stuff crammed onto all our shelves. We have piles of drawing and documents and papers and receipts waiting to be treated. There are still things we could (and should!) get rid of, but like any new way of life, it’s a process we’re learning. And while we are learning the joy of clearing things out, we are also learning to really consider what we are bringing back in; will it really bring us the kind of lifestyle we aspire to?
This sumptuous, elegant piece, with its simple curves and plain colors remind me that Minimalism is about only bringing or keeping the things around you that bring you joy, that you aspire to. In this way, we can afford more luxury, better quality, and we do not belong to our stuff.