It’s easy to get wrapped up in the allure of all these home transformation shows we see on TV.
A family, somewhat dissatisfied with their current space, entrusts a designer to work some magic or they recruit an agent to find their perfect home.
There’s always a predictable mix of suspense, anticipation, and inevitably a twist or hurdle that needs to be overcome. Finally, when the dust settles, we witness the big reveal—a home that looks perfect for the pages of a magazine.
But if you’ve noticed, behind the glitz of newness, there’s almost always an unchanged undercurrent: the very same volume of possessions. Sometimes, there are even more possessions. Just repackaged, reorganized, and often, more costly.
I often wonder what the room (or home) looks like just a few months later when the cameras and staged lighting are removed and the home gets lived in full-time. Probably a lot different from that initial reveal.
Behind the new carpet, renovated walls, and fresh paint lies an age-old question: Does the new decor genuinely make their lives better? Or did it just add a fresh cover over the same problems?
Does the new home actually resonate with the owners’ values and dreams, or is it just a new setup that ends up demanding even more maintenance and effort?
Now, I understand that most of us are never going to appear on one of these grand renovation shows. (Although I was once asked to host one for a major streaming platform.)
And almost none of us will be followed around by television cameras the next time we look to buy a home.
However, many people do resonate with the feelings of unease and discontentment within their own four walls. We wish the home was larger, the cabinets were painted a different color, the appliances were newer, or the furnishings were nicer.
When that is the case, feeling trapped, it is easy to think the answer is to acquire more or to upgrade. Maybe that is why these home improvement shows are so popular—we think that’s the answer to solving the discontent we feel about our home.
But what if the answer isn’t moving, bringing in a team of designers, or being swept away for a week only to return to an extreme home makeover?
What if the homes we’ve created, unintentionally, are just reflective of the messages advertisers and marketers bombard us with, rather than mirroring our genuine desires? Maybe our homes have inadvertently turned into storage units for every product that’s been marketed as ‘essential’ to us.
This is where I propose a novel idea: What if the makeover you truly need is entirely within your reach already?
Not the kind that requires you to remove walls or buy new bedroom furniture, but the kind where you deliberately decide to own less. By doing so, you’re not just tidying and changing a space; you’re reshaping your life and aligning your surroundings with what genuinely matters to you.
And here’s the beautiful thing about this minimalist approach:
There is no interior designer required.
No need for renovation teams or real estate agents.
The budget requirement is only $0.
And the time you spend is an investment that promises focus, contentment, and purpose.
Let’s challenge the mainstream narrative that’s marketed to us every day.
Instead of seeking happiness in a new space, find it by redefining your current one.
The simple act of owning less can breathe fresh vitality into your home. And as you clear out the clutter, you might just find that the home you’ve been searching for has been right under your nose the whole time.
When your home is filled with only the things you use and love, you’ll discover a home you love to use.
Maybe the secret to finding a home you love isn’t living in a different home, it’s simply owning less stuff.