In this short TED talk, Graham Hill tells simple ways to start letting go of STUFF and getting rid of it. And why it is so essential.

1. Edit ruthlessly: clear the arteries of our lives, cut the extraneous out of our lives, think before we buy, ask ourselves, ‘Is that really gonna make me happier? Truly?’
2. New mantra: small is sexy. We want space efficiency, we want things that are designed for how they’re used the vast majority of the time–not that rare event. Why have a six burner stove when you rarely use three? So, we want things that nest, things that stack… we wanna digitize. You can take paperwork, books, movies, and you can make it disappear. It’s magic.
3. Think multifunctional spaces and housewares: a sink’s combined with a toilet, a dining table becomes a bed in the same space, a little side table stretches out to seat ten.
“Consider the benefits of an edited life.” 
We hear you!


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4 replies on “3 rules for editing your life

  1. Thank you. Refocus time as I deal with a basement full of grown children’s things as well as mine. It is time to liberate.

  2. My husband and I are going trough this kind of editing and downsizing process right now.
    We are both in our fifties, our three children out of the house. We just sold the home we have lived in for the last twenty years and are looking for a much smaller one. It’s much harder than I thought it would be, as it takes time and much patience to start thinking differently. But I am sure we’ll find something that works for us. Thanks for the excellent advice – thinking in those terms will definitely help.

  3. I think that this is right and appropriate only if you live in a nuclear family, or live alone, or are empty nesters.

    This is so very contrary to how humans are happiest living, in large extended families and groups. Then you need 6 bowls because someone is baking dessert at the same time someone is cooking dinner and then there is that bowl of bread dough rising. If you live in a large extended family or group you need those extra pieces of blanket on the couch, you need that huge stacked shoe rack by the front door, you need more shelving, 4 burners on the stove are not enough, not when there is a pot of stock simmering for tomorrow and two different meals in process.

    I use a better metric, is it used seasonally? No I don’t have kitchen gadgets but I do have a mixer, food processor, grain grinder, steamer insert, etc. and it all is used if not monthly then seasonally when the garden comes in. The next metric is if we use and dirty all of what we have for daily use does it fit in the dishwasher and are the shelves now mostly empty. Well then, time to run the dishwasher or to wash that pot. We have two saucepans and two frying pans and one wok, two stock/soup pots and 8 people manage to share all of that with no conflict.

    If it is not used it is given away. I have twice yearly clothing swaps where I encourage food shelf donations as well as household item donations. I do agree with the video and author that in general we, those of us in the US, have too much stuff. But it is often stuff we don’t use on a daily or weekly or seasonal basis.

    yes, my canning equipment takes up enormous space. But it’s used for a month and a half every day or every other day during harvest season. I will not give that up, it holds too much value. But we, we dream we will do that art project or fix that part of the house or dream that we’ll be skilled in something or will finally decorate that room differently so we store those extra items. The real value is assessing what your life is like *now* and keeping what is realisitc *now* it frees you and gives you breathing room where that sewing project nags at you because you thing, maybe someday….

    All too often our stuff represents our dreams, hopes, or history. It prevents us from living in the now.

  4. Thanks for much for taking the time to write.

    I like your metrics a lot and your point about assessing the real value. As with anything, this is about balance and about really looking at what our stuff is about, rather than just acquiring to fill some hole or lack. If the stuff has use, meaning or makes you happy, have as much as you want…but we all know that often stuff, as you say, “prevents us from living in the now”.

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