living with less... or how many vases can one person have

Spending time at our cosy country cottage always makes me reassess.
It is a little house and I have consciously furnished it in a restrained colour palette and only what is needed.  I always enjoy how easily we are able to live with less of everything.

At the end of our stay I listed what I truly miss from our larger city home.
  • Dishwasher - top of the list, especially since the cottage is on rain water only and we have to watch our water usage.  A dishwasher would save water & time.
  • The kitchen - just to small for more than 1 person, and more than that, I miss the plates and platters we use regularly, especially when we entertain.
  • The shower - it is totally adequate but more elbow room would be good.
  • A little extra room - just a little so that we don't have to retreat to our bedrooms for quiet and working on projects.
  • Netflix - nothing better than a series binge on holiday, but this isn't one of the cottage's pleasures 

A surprisingly small list, especially considering how much extra stuff and space we have in our city home.  

The practice of living with less
I am always determined to scale back our possessions once we get home, and then when we get home I find it really hard to actually put into practice.  There are things we have collected that I don't want to part with: paintings, books, furniture and objects we really love.  After two moves in three years we have cut back a lot, after all there is no point moving something you don't like or use.  I was quite pleased to find that mostly I really like what we have, and we use it all.  I still feel a little overwhelmed by how much there is though.

Even after a large cull there are still two full shelves of vases and candle holders.  I do use many of them during the year, and am not quite ready to let them go, but there are a few I just think are pretty and wonder whether I will ever use again.  Perhaps I should try and sell the extra bits and put the cash into something I do want.  Last year I sold off a lot of unused items and bought extra Mud Australia plates with the proceeds.  It was satisfying turning boxes of unused stuff into a few things I love and use daily.

We also have a lot of kitchen stuff.  Most we use frequently but there are a few large items we only use a few times a year and I kind of begrudge the space they take up.  But then again I would miss them on those occasions we need them.

I don't begrudge the art, although I know the movers always think how much we have is hilarious.  There are some pieces I no longer want on the walls, but they are sentimental, many done by my mother. I will store them so that my girls can have them in their homes one day.  

I don't begrudge the girls their stuff either.  I like their little collections and they aren't forever.  They will grow out of them.  Although there are two boxes of stuffed animals that my 16 year old just can't part with yet.  Maybe this year.

So here I am again thinking I just don't know what I can let go of, but knowing that I want to own less.

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