Have Fewer Things (Plus: A Declutter Secret)

For many people a chic life includes an uncluttered, organized home and a sense of ease that lets you have fewer things.

When we visualize our most stylish and elegant selves, we tend not to be tripping over discarded toys or screeching profanities because we can’t find the phone charger again. No. We picture ordered spaces, clear surfaces, tidy shelves. We imagine a serene smile on our lips because we know if you open that cupboard, everything will not fall on your head and give you a mild concussion, and we feel pretty damned good about it.

This fantasy that we can have fewer things is beautiful in theory, but perhaps you’ve found the reality of decluttering to be a significant challenge. Could this be because you have a psychological block to letting things go? Might you be addicted to your stuff?

When we visualize our most stylish and elegant selves, we tend not to be tripping over discarded toys or screeching profanities because we can’t find the phone charger again.

To Have Fewer Things, You Need To Trust Yourself

If you wish for a chic life but struggle to declutter the mess, to simplify the chaos, to embrace the minimalism you adore on Instagram, then you may be using your stuff as a security blanket. Yes, including the feral blanket you suspect is harbouring multiple life forms.

Although his may seem irrational at first, it has a kind of logic. By keeping all these things around us, we create a literal comfort zone, a buffer from life’s vicissitudes. Our stuff is something we can control, hold on to, focus on. Life is far less amenable to our influence.

But if you want to declutter your home and live a more chic life, then you will need to trust yourself – without your shield of stuff, without your armoury of accoutrements. You will need to rely on you, just you – on your ability to navigate life, to think through solutions to your problems. You will need to see your crutches for what they are, and let them go. Yes, including the splintery ones you’ve had since you broke your leg in 1998.

This ability to trust yourself is the secret to decluttering.

By keeping all these things around us, we create a literal comfort zone, a buffer from life’s vicissitudes. Our stuff is something we can control, hold on to, focus on. Life is far less amenable to our influence.

Trust Yourself, Not Your Things

So how do you trust yourself more? You have to separate your sense of security from your things.

You need to reassure yourself that you will be okay facing life’s uncertainties even without that broken teapot you’ve had since 1982.

That you may want a roll of masking tape and not have one and yet somehow life will go on.

That you can renounce Monica Gellar’s 11 categories of towel and, despite this great hardship, still recover from your mistakes and survive your difficulties.

You need to recognise your addiction to things as a coping mechanism, to call yourself on it, and to put your faith in you instead.

How do you trust yourself more? You have to separate your sense of security from your things.

Benefits of Decluttering And Having Fewer Things

It might also help to reflect on the many joys that come from decluttering and having less.

Here are a few of my favourites.

  • Over the years I’ve pared my possessions down and down and I can attest: it feels uber chic to have fewer things.
  • Fewer clothes make it easier and more fun to assemble chic and stylish outfits.
  • It’s a joy to open doors of closets, pantries, and cupboards and see things well organised because there’s plenty of space to do so.
  • If you have kids, you help them avoid addiction to stuff too.
  • When you swan around feeling stylish, there’s be nothing to trip over.
  • Your home remains guest-ready much of the time.
  • It’s easier and enjoyable to keep your things neat and tidy.
  • Fewer options mean you can enjoy the best of what you have – without guilt.
  • Less stuff makes it much easier to find everything.
  • Your surfaces are clear so there’s always room to whip up a cocktail.
  • You feel less motivated to buy items you don’t need so you save money and time.
  • You feel free.

If you want to feel chic, embrace minimalism, enjoy what you have more, feel less trapped in chaos and mess, then I hope these ideas help you have fewer things and achieve these goals.

Will you trust yourself more with having less?

It’s a joy to open doors of closets, pantries, and cupboards and see things well organised because there’s plenty of space to do so.

Your Chic Life Assignment For Week 2

  1. Is lack of trust in yourself a barrier to decluttering your home and letting things go? If this resonates for you, then write a letter: tell yourself you can survive life without the security blanket of too much stuff.
  2. Make a list of the benefits you will enjoy with less clutter in your life.

This post is part of my 12-Week Series: 12 Ways To Live A Chic Life.
You can receive the weekly posts direct to your inbox by signing up for A Chic Life updates here.

Have Fewer Things - Plus A Declutter Secret

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  • ratnamurti

    June 16, 2020 at 6:37 am
    Reply

    I lived with a sister for a while. She was a hoarder and charity shop fanatic. We had such a cluttered home, no room to […] Read MoreI lived with a sister for a while. She was a hoarder and charity shop fanatic. We had such a cluttered home, no room to do anything, so depressing. I left. For me, I would say that having space gives me a clearer and happier mind. Less visual distractions give me inner peace. But this is just me. Some people love having lots of belongings, but I just can't do it. Read Less

    • Michele Connolly
      to ratnamurti

      June 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm
      Reply

      I agree with you Ratnamurti - a clearer and happier mind and inner peace are the gifts of fewer belongings. Maybe not for everyone, but […] Read MoreI agree with you Ratnamurti - a clearer and happier mind and inner peace are the gifts of fewer belongings. Maybe not for everyone, but for many. Read Less

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The ‘Chic Life’ Philosophy

To live by conscious choice and not convention or habit. To have less, but better quality. To do more of what matters and less of everything else. To live with grace, elegance, style. To show love, kindness, compassion. To experience inner peace and joy…  Read More

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C’est Moi, Michele

Salut, I'm Michele. For me, 'chic' is more than how you look - it's how you do everything. A chic life is personal style, an organized home, elegance, confidence, living well, self-care, minimalism, joyful work, and happy relationships. And it all starts with knowing who you are. Thank you for joining me! Read More