Compliments of Matt Ohio via Flickr

“Instead of more stuff in our already-stuffed lives, we can choose fewer things but better things of higher quality” (Wann, p. 41).

In our mania to outdo the Joneses, our greed to get more results in larger living spaces – but not in ones that are necessarily more tasteful. A larger house means greater fuel costs, a longer commute, more costly insurance, and additional maintenance. What could have been a charming home instead morphs into an oversized, unkempt sprawl.

Even if your space isn’t what you’d consider “cramped,” think first about improving what you have – either through remodeling, replacement, or refurbishing. Just the single act of replacing cabinet knobs can give your kitchen a whole new look.

Decorating is another way to improve your nest. I remember watching a show on HGTV in which two designers completely transformed a room through strategic furniture placement. Once you have things situated, are there accessories or throw rugs that could perk up the place? Are there essential items missing (e.g., clocks, lamps, pictures, etc.)?

Junk multiplies because we don’t immediately take care of “fix it” problems – today dump it, donate it, or make it something you love. Creating spaces that are restful to the eye saves the extraordinary hassle and the hidden costs of moving- e.g., do your really want to sign up for all of those utilities again? Sprucing up your home makes it appear fresh –as in a dynamic project that is constantly changing.

Make a list of things you would like to improve, then delineate your plan of attack– does it include shopping, a home improvement class, a contractor, or a combination? Have a plan for each room – after you’ve “dejunked” all the drawers and carted away all the clutter, what could you enhance by a slip cover, a replacement, a fresh can of paint, or a simple regrouping? Meticulous and consistent care can transform your home into a sanctuary where everywhere you look brings back pleasing memories and glimpses of things you love.

To get a jump start on creating your high quality, minimalist space, engage in the following:

  1. Declutter
  2. Repair/replace/toss damaged items
  3. Give the outdated a facelift – through paint, re-upholstery, or replacement.
  4. Think of new items that could enhance your home experience – have you always wanted recessed lighting? Perhaps now is the perfect time.
  5. Engage in creative visualization, or have an architect help you – what areas of your home could benefit from expansion or remodel?

The concept of less is more begins at home. Work on bettering what you have to obtain a paradise where you are. The grass is not always greener.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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