After I talked to my friend Nina (a contributor!) about her year of living in a bus with her family of six, I was inspired to store all but five each of our plates, bowls, drinking glasses, coffee mugs, and silverware. We don’t have much of that to begin with, but I still felt like we were washing more dishes than seemed necessary for our family of five.
So I pulled out whatever remained, and I stored it in the cabinet above our fridge—out of sight, but within reach when company comes over. And so far, this little mind trick has worked like a charm. (Plus, it helps that three people in the house can’t physically reach that high.)
Not much changed, really—we only have eight plates and bowls total (of each size), and about a dozen drinking glasses. But psychologically, it’s already changed how I see my kitchen. If there are only three dishes on the shelf and it’s dinnertime, someone needs to wash a couple. But now, it only takes a few minutes because we’re using only what we need, right in the moment.
A few weeks ago, I got rid of over half my clothes, and it was more freeing than I imagined possible. I’m back to liking everything in my closet. The excess is gone, leaving nothing but rich abundance, even though I technically have fewer items.
I think this applies to other parts of my life, too. When I step down from all commitments except the ones that truly enrich my family or myself, I actually look forward to jumping feet-first in the ones remaining. When I shun the faux junk chocolate-flavored candy-attempting-to-be-chocolate, the authentic, delectable honest-to-goodness chocolate all but melts in your mouth.
Living with less gives birth to a wealthier life: more freedom to live in the moment, more love for fewer things, more energy to invest in the commitments where I’m truly dedicated, more savoring of the truly delectable.
There’s a solid benefit to getting rid of stuff you don’t need or want—less to clean, manage, and maintain. But perhaps my favorite reason to declutter my life is this:
Everything that remains is beautiful.