Cinderella and the Power of One

I was once Cinderella. Okay, not quite. I didn’t have an evil step-mother, or sisters, or mice. Or even a fireplace to clean. But I did do a lot of cleaning.

My mom loved collections. She wasn’t a hoarder, in fact, our home was very tidy. But hanging throughout our home were shelves, and on the shelves were little cups and saucers, vases, thimbles, and spoons. They all needed to be dusted, every single week. Can you guess who got that job? Yup – me – Cinderella.

I pulled each item down, rubbed a soft cloth across its shiny body (unless my mom wasn’t watching, in which case I skipped this step), placed it on a table, wiped the shelf down, and put everything back. It was a long, tedious process that I swore, when I became an adult, would never be repeated. And it hasn’t.

Needless to say, today, I hate dusting. My home contains little that needs wiping down. I have one coffee table, a large candle and holder placed in the center; a side table in the dining room holding one vase; a chalkboard placed in the center of the kitchen island. It’s simple, all I have, and all I want. Because I have made a discovery.

I have discovered the Power of One.

One is a statement. Bold. Strong. Powerful. (Just look at those one-word sentences). One often speaks louder than many placed together. A piece of art in the middle of a wall, a bright vase in the middle of a table, a single trinket on a window sill.

One is important. Significant.

This year, as I reduce my belongings, I am embracing the Power of One. In the bathroom, I have eliminated my extra nail polish, have reduced my shampoo to one I love, and my face cream (which used to be three), is one single jar.

One is easy, no choices to make, no extra things to buy.

I am not stopping on my quest for one.  I will reduce my gift wrap to one simple brown paper, wrapped with simple ribbon. I will own only one set of measuring cups, and only one cookie sheet will sit upon my shelf.

We own so many unnecessary things, so many multiples of the same item. Too many ladles, spoons, and spatulas. Too many of everything. I am as guilty as anyone. But I never want to clean as much as I used to. I never want to be Cinderella again.  

Will you join me in my quest for one?

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16 thoughts on “Cinderella and the Power of One”

  1. Great post! I completely agree on the power of simplicity. Right now, I am working on simplifying my life, belongings, and perspectives. It’s a process that’s ever evolving changing over time.

    1. Jodi, Thank you for reading! Glad it spoke to you. I agree, it’s a life-long process. And like everything in life, it changes as we do. Vicki

  2. Oh, Vicki, I need to pay attention to this. I really should reduce. I am like your mom with way too much stuff to dust. And, I hate dusting.

    1. Karen, Our house faces the south and the dust settles everywhere – if I had a lot to dust, I’d go insane. Try letting go of one item, a small vase or trinket – give it away. Just one. See how you feel. It doesn’t take a huge purge to get started. Just one little step. Let me know how it goes. Vicki

  3. Thanks Vicki. I love this. I own maybe TWO pair of pants. SO Im not totally into the ‘one’ scenario but overall I totally resonate with all of this. Being a fellow writer I think we realize how little of ‘stuff’ we need. Of course without our writing we would be empty? I couldnt live without that. 🙂 Thanks for this.

    http://www.michellemonet.com/blog

    1. Michelle, Honestly, I couldn’t live with one pair of pants, or one pair of shoes, or one shirt. I have to draw the line somewhere. But when I realized how much space was being taken up by things like excess gift wrap, etc., I decided it was time to let go of the extras. As for writing, you’re right, we don’t need much – one computer, one pen and journal. I couldn’t live without it, either. Vicki

    1. Aimee, Thank you! Purging a home of clutter is a life-long process, and to get to one of an item is even more difficult. Let me know how you do! Vicki

  4. I love this idea! I think I’m a minimalist at heart. I’ve started giving away and selling stuff to purge our house of clutter. We live in just over 1,000 sq ft home, so I’m ready to debunk. Thank you for reminding me how important this is for my kids! I have two.

    1. Scout, I think I’ve always been somewhat of a minimalist, though I never knew it before (or what the word ‘minimalist’ meant). I love that you’ve started purging of clutter. It’s amazing how much we gather without even realizing it. I’d love to hear your progress. Keep in touch! Vicki

      1. Thank you so much, Vicki! I feel the same way. We gather and keep so much that we rarely or never use!!! I’m currently purging my clothes. Your body changes so much with babies. I no longer fit size 00 jeans. Lol. I’m probably more materialistic than you are. I’m attempting to sell a lot of stuff versus giving it away. I’m really looking forward to getting my closet back!!!

        1. Scout, I’m not sure I remember what it’s like to be size 0, but that’s okay – babies are worth every extra pound and inch. I’m impressed that you are taking the time to sell your stuff – I didn’t have the patience for that. Good luck! Keep me posted!

    1. Thank you for reading. I’m not sure clutter ever really goes away, but I think once we have it under a little control, it’s easier to keep it that way. Never give up!

Would love to hear your thoughts.