Words by Maggie Walton
Photography by Killingsworth Photography

The Journey Towards Simplicity

The start of a new year always has me itching to clean out, to simplify both my home and life. By the end of January, my holiday decorations are put away and I welcome the clean, bare home that remains. After a season of such abundance, of overwhelming plenty, there is something refreshing about a clean slate, a fresh start. Once February hits, I am typically done with the cold weather and eagerly anticipate the warmer temperatures that come with the Spring.

Spring is a season of renewal and transformation in nature, and I always find myself longing for that in my home as well.

I just finished the widely publicized and wildly popular Netflix television series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. For those who have yet to see it, the series describes the “KonMari” method of clean-ing and organizing your home, and of removing clutter that no longer “sparks joy” in your life. I watched the series over a period of a few weekends and was immediately inspired to simplify, to create spaces that left room for our family to live life, unencumbered by the excessive, unnecessary plethora of things that filled our home. Rather than dreading the monotonous chore of cleaning and tidying up, I was excited by the challenge in front of me. I found myself cleaning out every cabinet and closet in our home, purging things that no longer served a purpose to our family. For the longest time, I thought I needed to be more organized. What I realized through this process was that I just needed less stuff.

While the advice she gives seems remarkably simple, the results in my home have been transformational. As I worked my way through each area of our home, I immediately felt lighter. There was room to breathe. The newly created space also gave more visibility to the items I really loved. Family heirlooms, my favorite milk glass collection, even my own children’s artwork became focal points in our home – all things that had been lost in the clutter. Even more importantly, the time not required to clean, organize, and manage our “stuff” provided more meaningful time with my family.

After taking this journey towards minimal-ism and simplicity, the thought of decorating for Spring had me stumped. I felt like my resolve for keeping my home this way was being tested for the first time. When your home is simple and the backdrop is neutral, removing and adding just a few pieces can give each room an entirely different feel. This year I added pops of pink and green to make our home feel cheerful and life-giving. One of the easiest way to incorporate color is with flowers. Whether you use faux florals or splurge on fresh blooms, incorporating some Spring arrangements into your home is the perfect touch. In a powder bathroom that guests frequent, I also love to incorporate a hand towel in a fun pattern that reflects the season, as well as a candle with a fresh, breezy scent that doesn’t overpower the space. Spring is for simplifying, and beauty lies in simplicity. Don’t be afraid this Spring to leave space for something new to be born in your home.