Ever since the wedding of the century, the new Mr Handmade Habitat and I have been trying to simplify our officially conjoined life. Before the wedding, people kept asking us what we needed, what we wanted, what expensive matching dish set our lives could not be without. The answer was always that we didn't really need anything. Not gold dishes, not matching embroidered pillow cases, not new matching couples outfits (which we did see a lot of on our honeymoon).
We live in a generously sized two bedroom apartment with a separate dining room, so we're not under-500-square-feet minimal, but minimal is definitely our goal. Sure we registered for the wedding and we did get a great new crock pot, some new glass pyrex storage containers and a new coffee press -- but as we received, we also donated. We have donated tons of useless things from our apartment. Cleaning out the house is a continual project for both of us and also refreshingly cleansing. The things we never touched, the things that looked bad on our kitchen table or on a shelf all went. Dead plants- gone. Bad sweaters - gone. Never opened Christmas gifts from three years ago - gone. It's hard for me not to be nostalgic about these things, but out they went and out they are still going. Every day is a battle between current decor vs. future decor and current function vs. future function. When function and decor meet in one, my mission has been complete - for the time being, as our home is a constantly evolving living and working space.
Is it that the less you have, the more you love and appreciate the important things you do? I read somewhere recently that your things work hard for you so appreciate them more - take the time and energy to preserve them and care for them well. The less that I have, the harder my things work and the harder that I work for them. It may seem dumb or overthought - but so much of it is where they belong, where they're shown off or where they're not. When people walk into our place, they usually always say, "woah, you have a lot of stuff." But it's not that we have a lot - it's that we really that we have stuff and we care about it, so you can see it when you walk in. Bar glasses - displayed. Magazines - displayed. Candles - displayed. Dishes, vases, mugs - displayed. I'm a big fan of open shelving.
It's living simply and honestly - living without the bullshit. And for a person who comes from some seriously hoarder-y genetics, that is not a small feat.
Remember when I went to this awe-inspiring apartment and set a simple living goal for my life? Now that we've had the time and inclination to make a million and ten thrift store runs, we're finally getting somewhere. Aside from our collections of vintage teacups to be filled with candles and piles of Legos, we've come a long way and are almost at a place where we might be able to use the terms with 100% truthfulness- "organized," "clean," and dare I use - "simple." I know that the constant battle will never be won but at least I can enjoy it along the way.
Pictured above: my freshly painted bedroom. More on that later.