in hard edges

editing my life to live more simply

I have been thinking a lot about how much clutter – physical and digital – there is in my life.  For example, this is what my home office looks like:


My wife and I spend a considerable amount of time trying to ‘get things cleaned up’ but I am becoming more and more convinced that there is a more holistic approach that I need to take with my possessions.  The video below is an inspiring approach to both diagnosing the problem and offering some simple paradigm shifts to aid in gaining more out of less.

Graham Hill’s two simple rules are:

1. Edit Ruthlessly – stem the inflow of new posessions into my life.  For every new thing that I get, ask myself if it is really necessary, and will I have consistent use for it, rather than using it for one or two events in a year.  Will I love it for years?

2. Think Small – Hill points out in his talk that Americans have 3 times as much space as we did a few decades ago, and the personal storage industry is a 22 billion dollar industry.  This means that we have more space, but have more shortage of space at the same time.  The way to reverse this trend is to think in terms of ‘space efficiency’ – getting things that are designed for how they are used the vast majority of time, not a rare event.

“Why have a six-burner stove, when you rarely use three?”

Buy things that nest and stack.  Digitize everything I can.

You can see the entire video below – its short but very well worth it.  I will be taking Hill up on his two rules to guide my simplification project.