Summer, it seems, is making me nostalgic. The season of possibility, spontaneity, and play has me spending my days more leisurely, more relaxed, more aware and connected. The season of travel, gatherings, and being social leaves me inspired and longing for more—more adventure, more fun, more purpose. This healthy tension of a relaxed pace and spur of the moment plans is increasing the spontaneity and joy I crave in life, in space, in work.
In years past, I’ve used the extra daylight hours as an invitation to do MORE. More reading, more work, more musts. But this season, this year, is calling me to think about the things I’m spending my time on and surrounding myself with. Am I watering what needs to grow? Weeding what needs to go?
This season, this year, is calling me to think about the things I’m spending my time on and surrounding myself with. Am I watering what needs to grow? Weeding what needs to go?
A Taurus and a design lover, I’m particularly turning my attention to the things and rituals I keep around me. My love for beauty and function makes for a full life, a full house, and a lot of stuff everywhere I look. But more and more, I’m craving calm, connection, simplicity, and purpose in my days. The items I’ve collected + the rituals and tasks I’ve adopted need to check these boxes to find a home in my space and schedule. Rocks from a favorite beach visit make the cut, but pared down to only the best few. Clothes for important meetings and board presentations of my former life do not.
In my schedule, early mornings spent reading and writing before my house wakes—this stays. It starts my day off just right, giving me a moment to check in and process how + what I’m feeling, needing, and doing each day. Hurried afternoons of cleaning up the morning monsoon from art, play, and outings do not. Our house is meant to be lived in, our schedules full and happy, and I’m learning to live with the messy imperfection that comes along with that.
This subtle purging of things makes space for books on art, a bin of special paper for collage, a loved painting of Sofia’s hung on the wall. The schedule simplification opens up my days to be a bit more free to chase fun instead of making up work for myself. And not surprisingly, I’m finding that in the moments when I do need to get work + adult life done, I’m so much more present and in the zone that the flow and creativity are a bit easier than my usual pace of panic and stress.
Everywhere I look I see the praises of Kondo-mania, and the beauty in purging, reflecting, and connecting with your things and deciding what gets to stay. But for me, I err a bit more on the visual stimulating side of life, and can’t even fathom the discipline it would take to keep my daughter’s drawers organized and up to standards. On the flip side of this curated existence, I also see the fashion and home world embracing maximalism with more, more, more! As a well-trained consumer, I love the beauty in the stories and layers that come with this rich sartorial style.
Our house is meant to be lived in, our schedules full and happy, and I’m learning to live with the messy imperfection that comes along with that.
For me, the balance lies somewhere in the middle. I love stuff. Not too much. I love the memories, the stories, the look of a well curated and arranged home and life. I want LESS stuff and things cluttering my home and my days, choosing only to surround myself with things I love, that connect me to my purpose. And this season—this time of extended daylight, of deep growth and change—feels like the perfect time to start applying that filter to life. To stuff. To routines and rituals. To life.
Jill Elliott is a creative consultant, strategist, and thinker constantly seeking inspiration and balance. As a writer, artist, and founder of The Color Kind she seeks to inspire others to live creatively every day. She can often be found making art and messes alongside her 7-year-old daughter and Goldendoodle puppy.