If you’re looking for a new way to learn how to simplify your life, you’re in luck! In today’s post, we’ll explore the idea of becoming the curator of your life to help you simplify and focus on what matters most.
What is a curator?
The word curate means “to select, organize and look after the items in a collection.”
It’s often used in reference to a museum or gallery. Where the curator edits and presents a collection of items or artwork so you can see and appreciate the best items in a collection.
You’ve probably noticed that museums and galleries usually aren’t cluttered, with many items crammed together in an unorganized fashion. Instead, each item is highlighted and has some breathing room around it so you can better see and appreciate it.
The curator chooses the best items to reflect a certain theme. Editing what will be on display to show the best items, without distracting you with clutter or mess.
Becoming the curator of your life
Although you don’t live in a museum or gallery, what if you took a similar approach in your own home?
Selecting, organizing and looking after the items in your home so you can see, use and appreciate them. Editing what you have so you can more easily highlight and appreciate what’s left.
Making it so you can easily access the useful and necessary items. As well as see, value and appreciate the items you love.
Adding more breathing room and white space to your home rather than allowing clutter, mess and distractions to get in the way.
Elevate the importance of simplifying your life
Rather than thinking of the work you’re doing to clear the clutter as simply decluttering, what if you started thinking of it as curating your home?
Elevating the importance of what you’re doing and being more purposeful with your decluttering decisions. Intentionally choosing what you’re allowing to stay in your home, filling your time and space.
Making decisions to edit the items in your home and only choosing to keep the best. The items that are most useful to you and most loved by you.
Sometimes simply changing the words you’re using to describe what you’re doing can make a world of difference. If decluttering feels boring, frustrating or doesn’t get you excited, maybe thinking of the work you’re doing as curating your life might help!
“Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.”~ Leo Babauta
How to simplify your life with a clear vision for your home
When a curator is creating a new show or exhibit, they start with a strong and clear vision for what they want to create. Clearly identifying what the purpose of the show will be. What they are trying to convey through the items they choose to include.
Knowing exactly what their vision is helps them make decisions about what to include and what to edit out. Curators know that not everything can be included in every exhibit. And also know that not everything is of equal importance. Some items are more important to the vision they are creating and should be given space so they can be highlighted and appreciated more.
The same idea can apply when you’re decluttering or curating, your home too.
Then work to clear the clutter, the distractions and the excess so the most important things in your home can shine. So you can easily access and use the necessary items in your home. And can also see, value and appreciate the things you love and are most important.
Remembering that not everything is equally important and not everything can be included before you run out of time and space to properly use and appreciate it all.
Your home is a living space, but with purpose
Of course, your home isn’t a museum or gallery. It’s a place for you to live, spend your time and enjoy the time you spend there.
But you can still be selective about what you allow to live in your home and edit your space to serve you best.
You can still think of yourself as the curator of your space, intentionally choosing what should stay in your home to help you achieve the vision you have for your home.
Here are some practical ways you can learn how to simplify your life and home by acting as the curator of your home:
Accept the limits of the space you’re working with
The first thing curating your space requires is accepting the limits you’re working with. Whether it’s floor space, closet space, cupboard space, etc. every home has its own space limits.
It’s a lot easier to create a home that functions well when you accept and work with the limits of your space, rather than against them.
For example, if you have to stack your mugs in a treacherous tower to fit them all in the cupboard, that’s a sign you need to edit your collection.
Choose your favourites and let go of the ones you don’t use or love as much. Not only will it be easier to access a mug when you need it. But it will also allow you to see and appreciate your favourites more when they aren’t buried in mugs you don’t like as much!
Edit out what’s not necessary
Beyond accepting your space limits, also start editing out what’s not necessary.
Do you need 30 mugs for your mugs to serve their purpose? Or could you edit your collection down to the best of the best that serves the purpose you need them to? As well as allow you to see, value and appreciate your carefully curated collection more.
Aim to keep the things you truly use often and the things you love most. Editing out the less used items and the things you don’t love as much.
Duplicate and overlapping items are great places to start when editing out what’s not necessary. If you have more than one item that serves a similar function or you love for similar reasons, try keeping your favourite or favourites and letting go of the rest.
Identify what’s working and not working
Another thing curators do is zoom out to look at the big picture of their collection. How it’s working overall, not just as individual pieces.
This is a great practice to do in your own home as well.
Zoom out and look at the big picture of your home and your life in your home. Is there anything that’s not working or continuously seems to cause stress or frustration?
These pain points are great indicators of spaces and routines that could benefit from being simplified or streamlined.
Be a gatekeeper of your space
Curating your space isn’t just about editing what you currently have. It’s also about being intentional about what you add to your home as well.
Intentionally deciding what to add to your collection to avoid adding more than necessary, duplicates or clutter.
What you decide to allow in your home is just as important as what you decided to remove from your home.
Create space to highlight what you love
As you are editing your home, remember to create space to highlight what you love. The goal shouldn’t be to live with as little as possible. The goal should be to create space to use, love and appreciate the things you love most.
For example, if you have a collection of books you love, edit it down to the books you love most so you can see, read and appreciate them often.
But this idea doesn’t only apply to physical items you love. It also applies to the people and activities you love most too!
For example, if you love sewing, clear the clutter from your home so you have more space to sew. If you love to play board games with your family, create space to highlight, appreciate and most importantly use and enjoy your games together!
Opt for meaningful items over “filler” items
As you’re curating your home, aim to include more meaningful items and fewer “filler” items. Filler items are those things you buy that hold little to no meaning, but fill a space in your home.
Instead, create a home that feels meaningful to you. A home that tells your story and holds your history. Rather than a home full of whatever is trending at your favourite big box store.
Even if this means you have fewer items to display, or it takes more time to build a collection of meaningful items, that’s ok! Fewer, but more meaningful, items will make your home feel more special, meaningful, personalized and important to you.
Combine form & function when possible
For the useful and necessary items you have in your home, see if you can combine form and function in them.
For example, choose a coffee maker you can use every day but is also beautiful and you can appreciate the beauty it adds to your home.
Choose lighting that not only lights your space but also looks beautiful and fills the space with the ambiance you’re looking for.
Edit your space often
As you curate your home and simplify your life, also remember that it will be an ongoing process. It’s not something you do once and are done. It’s something you will continue to do as new things come into your home. As well as when your lifestyle, interests, needs and season of life shift and change as well.
Continue viewing yourself as the curator of your home. Intentionally choosing and editing what gets to stay and what can go.
Be a curator of your life beyond your “stuff”
After working to curate the physical items in your home, you can apply the same concept of curation to the rest of your life too.
Start looking for ways to curate your schedule. Noticing what’s necessary and adding value. And start editing out the clutter, unnecessary busyness, unwanted obligations, etc.
You can also start curating your lifestyle. Noticing what activities add value to your life, light you up and make you feel good. Create more time and space for those activities and start editing out the things that leave you depleted, don’t support you, leave you feeling poorly, etc.
You can even apply the idea of curation to your relationships. Creating time and space for the relationships that mean the most to you by editing, removing or scaling back the relationships that don’t feel as healthy or beneficial.
How to simplify and curate your life
It’s easy to forget that you have the power to shape your life in so many ways. From what fills your home to what fills your time to what fills your thoughts. You have the power to edit out things that aren’t serving you to create more time and space for the things that do.
Becoming the curator of your life is a great way to not only learn how to simplify your life. But also a great way to create a life you love. A life that supports you, lights you up and feels good to you!
How does it feel to start thinking of yourself as the curator of your life to help you simplify your life? Leave a comment and let me know!