How much do we really need?

I was packing the other day for my trip to England to celebrate Christmas with family, and before I knew it I had clothes, presents, bags and Christmas food all over the place and I suddenly found myself looking at the stuff in desperation.

How much easier wouldn’t life be if there was less choices to be made. I mean seriously, with all the stuff we tend to have, there are just so much more we need to decide on.

For example in my instance of packing for this trip. I had to choose what outfit for this that and the other occasion, what bag to pack in, that would be small enough to fit into my brothers car ( which is seriously tiny) and still big enough to hold all the stuff I needed to bring (I’m sure we all have been here). And it made me think, how much stuff do we really need, I mean really truly need.

Do we need 30 pens, 16 cocking pots and pans, 12 suitcases and bags, 42 wine glasses, several sets of china, so much cloths that it looks like you are being attacked when you open the closet, that is, if you managed to close the closet doors in the first place, and I could go on…. How much is enough all ready?

Just imagine how much simpler life could be if you had less stuff to relate to. What about: only have a few suitcases (one of each size, that could pack into each other), a closet that only had your favorite outfits in it. For dinners, only the pots and pans you really need to cook, and only you favorite china, glasses and cutlery to put out for guest. How easy would it be to throw a party then? You wouldn’t have to stress over what to put out, what fitted what, does that glass go with that china pattern?

And then some of you might say “but my guest would notice I use the same stuff all the time” Well yeah! So what? Are they visiting you to admire you china, or enjoy your food and company? Why not go with a nice white set (like most restaurants do, since food always looks best on white plates), and then stash it up with different accessories instead.

The same principle can be used on wardrobes. Have some selected key pieces, and change the look around with accessories. If you think about it, we probably do this partly already. The items I use on a daily basis, are the same pieces over and over again, and they represent only a small percentage of my closets. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Why not make these favorite items some of the key pieces in your wardrobe and clear out the stuff you never use.

As I move along into my declutter year of 2014, I’ll be taking a hard look at: how much is enough, what selected items to keep, and how I can streamline my possessions to lighten my load. But at the same time, still have enough to throw that party, dress nice, decorate my home and do the things I like.

What about you? Do you have a need to streamline a little? What will you be doing in 2014?

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