I live in a small room, in a house--an actual house. This is a relatively odd situation to be in by New York standards. But it works for me, I like it.
I don't own a lot. None of the furniture is mine. There is a desk and a bookshelf and a dresser and I've painted them all, adding a fine gloss atop (which has yellowed, much to my consternation). There is a bed on top of which I've placed one of those three-inch-foam-topper-thing-a-majigs that sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night because I've sunk so far into it that I cannot turn over. I changed the dresser knobs and have painted the cheap planters that the succulents come in black--no need to buy proper pots for them.
There is no closet, which is probably my biggest complaint, but it means I keep my wardrobe neat and whittled on the small rack just to the right of the desk.
I got rid of so much last year and I am so, so, so very glad that I did. But if I'm really honest I'm deeply ashamed of how much I accumulated in the first place. I think about those things still. I do not miss them--it's not that I miss them, it's that I worry about where they are now. I wonder who went into goodwill and purchased them and I hope plenty of people did, but I am more upset by how much I surely added to a landfill somewhere in the world. And as global warming is one of those things that I think about when that three-inch-foam-thing-a-majig wakes me up at night, well...I don't ever want to accumulate so much again.
More is not more. More as an ill that I'm no longer interested in. And let me level with you, once you've had bedbugs to the extent that your life is upended and you are faced with the overwhelming task of getting rid of them (the laundry and the cleaning that then ensues), well, you look at your stuff differently. You think...do I love this? Is this worth all the work of ensuring it is absent of those impossible critters? So now I stand in stores before I buy a thing and I think, if I found myself in that situation again, would this be worth the work (and money) of saving it? And that question is an incredible litmus test. I now have only three pairs of flats I love. I wear them in rotation. I have one pair of fancy high-heels that I think go with everything and will be worn to all weddings from here until the end of time. And a pair of solid tennis shoes. That's enough.
I have two pillows on my bed. Both are for sleeping. I went quite a while with only one, but broke down in recent months and bought one for a guy. Turns out he doesn't need it, but it's probably good to have. There is nothing decorative on my bed.
Plants and nice candles with recyclable glass jars and artwork. That's how I'm building my small home these days. Investing in things that will not end up in a landfill. Investing in things that don't weight me down--things that when I look at I am reminded of who I am and what I believe and what I love. Small things that fill me with great joy.
Less is as it turns out quite a bit more.