A few months ago I moved across town from the house I loved, but could not afford, to a little house that while less loved, was more affordable to my teacher income. This current house is laid out very differently from my last one, one of the differences being more wall space.
My first house had huge windows on every wall in the living room. The windows proudly revealed a fantastic view of the mountains, but left almost no space for my pictures. As a result, they got stuck wherever they fit, in between windows, in the kitchen, and almost any nook and cranny I could think of.
Fast forward to my current house, with less windows and an abundance of wall space. Those same pictures are now laid out across an entire house with ample room on either side. A lone picture in a sea of paint.
The result? A breath of relief. There are places for my eyes to rest. The lack of clutter on the walls brings peace to the eyes and to my mind.
The calm that comes from empty space is something I didn’t realize until I had it. My entire life my walls have been cluttered with memories, pictures, and reminders. There was nowhere for my mind to rest, everywhere had something to think about, to remember, or to even wonder if the picture was crooked or not. I lived my life in a visually busy room, and then house. Until finally, I was forced to spread out and to see the empty space.
Now when I come home after a long day at work I can take a breath and sit in calm. I can decompress from the day without being reminded of all the things past, present, and future that are on my walls. The relief and peace helps to reset my mind and heart for whatever is left for the day.
This isn’t to say that I have nothing on my walls. I have a few pictures that are special to me and remind me of lovely things. However, they are few, and spaced out over my entire house instead of being crammed into one corner.
After seeing what a few feet of wall space can do, I don’t think I will ever go back to the crammed house I was living in. I prefer a breath of calm over a thousand pictures.