I learned the art of having a cozy home with less stuff – here's how you can too

My entire adult life, I’ve been enamored with house and home and making beautiful things.

Over the years I’ve collected lots of pretty things, learned how to bargain shop for great furniture at low prices and then turn that into something usually really pretty – or sometimes horribly ugly, but that’s all part of the fun.

Somewhere along the line, this need turned into a hobby and the hobby slowly turned into excess without my even noticing.

For the first twenty years of our marriage, Chad and I moved every few years, and the only way I knew to quickly create a home wherever we landed was to rely heavily on accessories like vases, candlesticks, figurines, seasonal decor and pillows. I wanted people to feel welcomed and cozy in my home and I only knew one way to get that feeling.

To me, adding style and coziness meant piling on more cute accessories.

(Myquillyn Smith)

I thought cozy meant heaps, layers and borderline overwhelm when it came to stuff. I wanted all the fluffy pillows, soft throws and candles. I wanted all that stuff because I believed it would help people feel comfy and welcomed into my home.

But that came with a price, the nonstop job of caring for lots of extra stuff and moving it from home to home. My dirty little secret was that my stuff was draining me.

Slowly, my cozy, overstuffed home was beginning to bring me less joy and more exhaustion.

It’s taken me years to figure out what I’ve always heard was true, that too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. I was doing cozy all wrong. Instead of serving people with coziness, I was abusing cozy.

Now, I’ve learned the art and gift of combining warm coziness with simplicity and minimalism. I’m a Cozy Minimalist. It’s the best of both worlds.

(Myquillyn Smith)

Many of us never know we are allowed to say we have enough. It almost seems un-patriotic. Enough doesn’t mean everything is perfect; it simply means you have enough because you’ve met a goal.

Whether in your home, at work, in your closet, on your dinner plate, or in your schedule, you get to say, “That’s enough.” You not only get to say enough, you have to say it.

A big part of our job as grown-ups is to recognize when we have enough and call it out.

We don’t say we have enough because we don’t know how to get more; we say “enough” because we don’t want or need more. We’ve decided to end the quest for more because there’s something we want more than more.

(Myquillyn Smith)

For those of us who have always felt a call to making home, feeling like our house is done and ready for people releases us from obsessing about our home. We can finally move on.

The goal, is to get your home in a place where you can forget about it. Yep.

You’ll know you’ve arrived when you invite someone over and the first thing that crosses your mind isn’t, I wonder what they’ll think of my home.

Instead, your first thought is about your guest: I wonder if they are gluten-free and what I can cook for them for dinner. Or I wonder how she’s feeling since her daughter just left for college.

This isn’t because you’ve come to accept your ugly home or because you are finally past the whole “beauty thing.” May we never get past that – we love beauty! In fact, you value beauty so much, you are committed to the hard work necessary to create a home you love, and now, you get to stop fretting over it!

Being a Cozy Minimalist takes more thought than being a sold-out maximalist or a sold-out minimalist. Your home will serve you and your family best when it’s somewhere in the center of that tension between peaceful simplicity and cozy abundance.

(Myquillyn Smith)

Maybe you are a Cozy Minimalist and you don’t even realize it.

Here’s what we believe when it comes to home:

We believe that home exists to serve people, not the other way around.

We believe it is a sacred calling to be watchful about what comes into our home and purposeful about what goes out.

We believe unique style always trumps trends, and that an uncomplicated home is a blessing to everyone who enters it.

We believe that empty spaces are just as important, beautiful, and useful as filled spaces.

(Myquillyn Smith)

We believe home is an ever-shifting combination of grace, coziness, abundance, simplicity, form and function.

We believe that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

We believe that it doesn’t have to be cluttered to be cozy and that it doesn’t have to be modern to be minimal.

We believe we can have more style with less stuff.

We believe it’s worth it to get our home looking the way we’ve always hoped, so we can use it the way we’ve always dreamed.

Creating a beautiful, inviting home isn’t reserved for decorators, the super wealthy or people with extra time on their hands.

It’s worth the effort to make your home look better, because ultimately it will allow your home to serve better.

Taken from "Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff"  by Myquillyn Smith. Copyright © 2018 by Myquillyn Smith. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.