The Dining Table Chairs

In our living room stands a black dining table of length 160cm. Roy’s brother, Louis, gave the table to us when we first moved into our new home. As with most tables of that size, I assumed that the acceptable number of chairs to have was six. Very absentmindedly, I travelled to IKEA and purchased 6 heavy black chairs to go with the dining table.

To keep the table aesthetically pleasing, I made it a point to keep all 6 chairs under the table at all times. The unfortunate side effect of this arrangement was that it greatly limited the leg room available when I chose to use the table for other activities like reading or writing. In fact, it was so uncomfortable that on most mornings, I preferred to read my newspapers standing up. The dining table had become a very uninviting place. I hardly used it for leisurely reading or writing.

During the process of decluttering, it occured to me that I was well within my rights to remove some of those chairs. Upon reflection, my family only used two of the chairs on a daily basis. The other 4 chairs were useful when we hosted lunches or dinners but those occasions were very rare.

I decided to move 4 of the chairs into the store room. It was a good decision. Not only has the dining table become a far more inviting place for reading and writing, the clutter of chair legs has also been reduced allowing more light to bounce off the white ceramic floor beneath. The room looks much more spacious and airy. I love my new living room.

Decluttering one’s possessions might seem like a very material thing to do but it certainly has a profound impact on the mind. It imbues one with fresh knowledge of control over one’s possessions and circumstances. In a way, it imbues one with new wisdom to know what can be changed and the confidence and courage to make that change.

In life, we often allow a certain of degree of discomfort and even dysfunction to linger because we lack the courage to address those areas. We either give up too much control or exert too much control on areas we have no control over. Neither is healthy.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I am so happy that my family and I have started this journey of minimalism. Let’s wait and see where this path takes us.