Less is More at Home
In today’s world, information overload is a current problem that we are learning to deal with. Some of us deal with it by ignoring or becoming less sensitive to more and more, others try to consciously divert attention and focus where their energy is required in order to preserve it, which can also be quite tiring.
Either way ignoring or preserving our energy to get through our daily information overload can be physically draining and even more overwhelming when we bring that information overload into our homes.
Often we don’t realize we are doing it, but then we accumulate more and more each day and we think that the way to resolve our overload problems is to create more space by extending or investing in a larger home. Some go on to build outbuildings to cope with extra items and others hire external storage units to hold more and more items that we keep accumulating.
It can be tiring just thinking about how much stuff we really have and if we don’t stop to think about whether it is useful or even relevant once in a while, it can soon take over our home and personal lives in the same way that information overload can take over our daily lives in that we either learn to become immune to it or we consciously focus on specific areas that are in use in order to cope.
Our homes can be very subconscious places. Often we don’t see things as they really are or we become so numb to seeing them daily, we often ignore the reality of what we are actually seeing. For busy families even those that do have a cleaner, looking at our homes every few months to see how they are functioning for our current lifestyle can be a hugely transformational task.
It was a famous modernist architect called Mies Van Der Rohe who became famous for using the phrase “less is more” and he was referring to the beauty of geometric forms and the removal of unnecessary decoration in order to reveal the beauty of the functional element behind what at that time was often covered by lots of unnecessary decoration.
It is here that we can learn a lesson from that master architect and also take from it an idea that may be useful in our daily lives and put to use inside of the home.
“Less is more”
If we pull apart this little phrase and use it in yet another way, we can find a little opportunity there that can help our daily lives feel less crowded and overwhelming.
Less is more with stuff
Marie Kondo became famous for her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In that book there is a theme that runs through it which ties in nicely with the idea of how a simpler home can serve you and your life better. The way Marie describes the process of knowing whether to keep something or not is to hold it and to see how it makes you feel.
Consider for example having less clothes, but only ones you really looked after, were part of a considered wardrobe, felt great in or served a function that brought you much joy. It is a simple process that could make getting dressed in the morning much more joyful and potentially less stressful.
Can you see how less can be more at home when it comes to your stuff?
Less is more with decoration
We are well aware these days of the clutter and trinkets we can accumulate through travels, gifts from social or religious events and even just mindless shopping.
What if you didn’t decorate every corner of each room but consciously created a focal point around just a few items that brought you pure joy. That could be a book case, an artwork, a gift from a child or an item that brought you immense joy. Interior designers can inspire you to create beautiful maquets or vignettes in your home so there are lots of ways to display things that bring meaning and joy to your life rather than add to the overall cluttering of a room.
Can you see how less can be more at home when it comes to your décor?
Less is more with furniture
Good furniture can be expensive and so for that reason we are inclined to keep it even when it is no longer suited to a space or even functional, but there are often good reasons to pass on and let go of items that no longer serve you functionally.
Furniture can be a big subconscious burden, because often it is large and expensive we make do with what we have, rearranging ourselves rather than assessing it’s relevance to our current life. Freeing up a room from unnecessary or unwanted furniture can release some of that feeling of information overload in our homes because the physical objects literally make room for breathing space and energy to flow.
Less furniture, less items and less clutter can all add to less cleaning and less subconscious noise, all it takes is a little conscious effort to make sure what you leave behind is just right.
As many a posh hair salon will tell you “It’s not what you take away but what you leave behind that counts”.