6.14.2012

"Editing is The Skill of The Century"



Chance founder Julia Leach's impeccibly edited house in the latest Lonny. Photographs by Patrick Cline.

I recently watched a TED talk by TreeHugger founder Graham Hill entitled, "Less Stuff, More Happiness" that was right in my wheelhouse. I've spent the better part of the past three years thinking/obsessing/writing about this very notion. I'm pretty sold (no pun intended) on the idea that having fewer, more lasting, more special, better made things (and the "fewer" part is key here) is a happy maker...at least it is for me.

Muchness stresses me out. I like to cull, to edit, sometimes (according to Bryan) ruthlessly. In all fairness, this task is relatively easy for me. I'm not overly sentimental about things, and lack of sentimentality is a pretty essential element in any truly successful purge/cull/edit...

But back to Hill's talk and specifically this line which made my ears perk up:

“Editing is the skill of this century.”

Amen Graham.

We just live in a time of such massive abundance, figuring out how to sort through it (whether the "it" is what we're going to wear, buy, watch, listen to, eat, put in our homes...) is really the holy grail, don't you think?

I'm faced with this more than ever in my new gig. It used to be that I would visit stores only occasionally to shop -- maybe a few times a month. Now I'm in stores and showrooms several times a week. On top of all the in-person stuff culling, I'm also weeding through scores of press releases and catalogs and publications, not to mention websites and Pinterest and... (I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.) Let's just say there is a lot of stuff out there friends, and trying to figure out what out of the mass bubbles to the top is like my "Sorting Through the Muchness" exercise on steroids. I feel like I'm some sort of editing athlete in training.

But it's a good thing. The culling is making me smarter (maybe), stronger, more discerning...It's, oddly, making me want less, as there's just something about seeing so much stuff that makes you realize there's always more just behind it. It makes me less "covet-y" and more aware of when something really is special.

Count me in on this editing thing Graham Hill. 100%.

14 comments:

katie//salt+pine said...

That's why I find your favorites so special and impressive. You sort through the muchness with aplomb!

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

I agree with you 100% Less is more. Very thoughtful and I appreciate your insight.

Lostylady said...

Well said!

sittingprettytoday said...

I have been on board with this concept for years. Simpler equals happier for me. Great post.

erin said...

i couldn't agree more. it's funny. try though i might to argue otherwise, if there's one word to describe me, it's sentimental and still, i have no trouble when it comes to editing. for me, it's almost as if the sentimentality fuels the impulse to discern. one girl can't possibly love *everything*!

jessica obrien said...

i've been on a similar journey and it's really ramping up lately as i prepare for new life stages and a potential move. i picked "one little word" for my 2012 and am documenting it on my blog through the year. it's "core" and one of the ways i honor that word is to clear clutter away so i can focus on the core elements of my life and my home that matter.

i've been dumping blogs from my google reader on a daily basis and only check my personal pinterest 1 time a week now. it's a process for sure...

Brighton said...

ummm i love this. you and graham are SO right. I'm about to move into a new house so I plan to do some major trashing on the move!

http://www.brightontheday.com

Emom said...

OH! I so agree.....I need more restraint....smiles

Torrie said...

just concluding a MASSIVE (i mean, massive) purge, and simply want to say- your post is music to my ears.

(now, i must figure out how to *edit my "online world" ... LESS time constantly playing catching up needs to stop.)

Megan Taylor said...

Ooh, Graham Hill sounds like a wise one! How have a never heard of him? I love your thoughts on his talk. Simply lovely is the way to go. xoxo

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

love. this. post.

edit. edit. edit.

April Louise said...

I completely agree with you less stuff gives you a clear mind and surrounding yourself with beautiful, well made items can improve your quality of life even, William Morris believed this! Lovely pictures :)

la la Lovely said...

I was just thinking about editing the other day. How some can edit quickly with out much thought and I how spend forever editing any and everything in life (whether online or in my closet). Of course, I am "that" sentimental type but I'm trying my best to tame and train that side of myself....coming to the realization that that getting rid of an old t-shirt is not getting rid of an old memory is pretty freeing! Love these posts.
xo . trina

The littlest said...

My husband (boyfriend) at the time would often stay at Graham's flat in Soho back in the early 2000s. He was always such an awesome person to be around, inventing new things, traveling, living simply. He has definitely influenced my life in a lot of great ways. So glad to revisit this thanks to you!!

xo elizabeth