The Things We Can Do Without

House at night

Photo credit: Gabe Rivera

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” Cynthia Occelli


One of the surprising discoveries in remodeling a home was the delight we experienced in the demolition of things. A far giddier pleasure than I had ever imagined swept over us as walls were knocked down, decking and carpeting torn up, ugly light fixtures and mirrors carried out, and outdated kitchen appliances hauled away.

Experiencing space where there once were walls.

With every move of late we are trying to skinny down. Either it is to a smaller space, or we just want to live more minimally.

The less we have, the more consideration we can give to what we bring in.

Much like the backwards way I have finally found to edit my clothes. Except for a few random garments going off to consignment shops and thrift stores each season, I had never made significant progress until now. My formula: do it all backwards. Start with an empty closet, and piece by piece, put in what you love. That’s the only criteria, it must be loved—for whatever reason.

And as many times as I have done it now, it takes my breath away to turn off the dirt road and come down our drive. The property before me appears to drop off a cliff. It’s all water and sky, with my little writing hut seemingly floating.

Someday I’ll be writing to you from a cloud.



Filed under clothes closet, downsizing

4 responses to “The Things We Can Do Without

  1. Christine Ahrens

    Your dream house looks so enchanting and inviting.

  2. Thanks, Christine. It wasn’t always that way, but it’s becoming it. The lot was what we loved originally. A piece of the old growth forest, all the wildlife, quietude, and flashing water on the bay. Heaven on earth.

  3. John Coleman

    Especially nice closing, Kim. Peace, John

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