Breaking Up With...My Car

“I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals; I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.” 

 Roland Barthes, Mythologies

Most objects surrounding us are in our homes, cupboards, drawers and this is where a lot of the "decluttering" happens. But there is one mythical object which is both functional and charged with symbolic value: the car.

The Objects Of My Life

"He who knows he has enough is rich" - Lao Tzu

I have started to reflect on the objects of my life. The things I own and have collected over the years. I am increasingly asking myself what I really value and want in my life. What are those "things" that matter? I like the simplicity of the Marie Kondo filter "does this bring me joy?". But for me, I like even better a "what if" approach. "What if", this "thing", piece of furniture, piece of clothing, piece of decoration, piece of kitchenware...etc. Was not in my life/home? Would I miss it? Would I buy it if I saw it today for the first time? Would I be truly happy if it was offered to me as a present? 

Lighten: Stop Adding Stuff!

“Live simply, so that others may simply live.” - Mahatma Gandhi


“Lighten” is about reducing the things I own, use and buy.


My first resolution is a simple decision: not buying any new piece of clothes, shoes, accessories, make up, jewelry for myself for at least the next 3 months. No sales shopping, no impulse buying walking past those shops I love in Marylebone high street or no browsing on the Internet those fabulous Robert Clergerie shoes and those Kenzo bargains on eBay (I am a big second hand shopper of selected designer apparels). I will also stop proactively buying things for my 2 teenagers unless it is something they need for school. But I will continue to buy presents for others, which I love doing!

The First Law of Simplicity is...Reduce

“The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction"- John Maeda

Years before thinking about simplifying my life, I was lucky to listen to a wonderful speech on design by John Madea -in 2010 at an eBay Leadership conference (*during my time leading StubHub International, a subsidiary of eBay). I started to follow John Maeda from that time and read his blog and eponymous book “The Laws of Simplicity” in design.