Getting Comfortable With Less

DECLUTTERING, A MAJOR BUZZ WORD even before the craze of organizer Marie Kondo, is an important process in any home. And it’s often not just about decluttering physical space. There is the added effect of clearing space in one’s mind. This, to find ways to add more peace and joy into the home and heart. Doing so is not a weekend project, but a journey. It takes baby steps to clear out some of the clutter that lives in your house. Getting comfortable with less means finding just a bit more space and the resulting peace of mind.

Embrace Space

While it feels good to clear out or purge, getting comfortable living with less can be an adjustment, or even set off a chain of counterproductive reactions. When a home full of “stuff” clears out, a void appears and an odd compulsion to fill it. Resist the discomfort of this newfound space and emptiness and rather embrace it. Or look to fill it with new items that are purposeful and meaningful.

Clearing Out

Let’s backtrack a bit and start with the clearing out—a very hard first step. When you have a number of a particular item, say bread boards or coffee cups—guilty on both counts!—it’s hard to know which to part with and then not be drawn to new pretty ones! Think of making more space as your goal and react purposefully, bringing decluttering to a whole new level. Pay attention to items of which you have enough or too many and what would be simple to let go. Go beyond the obvious spaces.

Paring down

As an example, use wooden bread boards. They come in a slew of shapes and sizes, are wonderful to use for entertaining and as decor and quite frankly easy to organize both in cabinets and on countertops. Still, hanging on to 20 (not pointing fingers) when only about five or six are in regular rotation is not necessary. The best exercise? Choose your top eight, which is fewer than the excessive number you already have but still a few more than perhaps you need (just for those special occasions!), and give yourself permission to let go of the rest. The best way to choose is to rid the space of what’s not used regularly or not a favorite. Doing so fulfills a desire to clean out your house but is also a stepping stone to an ever-present awareness of living with what is most important.

Up to the Challenge

Here’s a challenge: In the quest to declutter, look at the less obvious places where pieces are stored and consider what can be let go. Ask how much these items are really needed and what is actually used. This is the next level of clearing space in your home and finding a greater sense of peace and joy.

Be patient with the process and kind to yourself along the way. Set in motion a mindfulness that transforms your home and ultimately your life.


Karen Snyder, WLM Home Editor, is founder and owner of and is on Instagram @sanctuaryhomedecor.
Floral display photograph by Karen Snyder.

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