I remember when I moved into my first apartment and I didn't have hardly anything. I was 17 and pregnant. I had my bedroom set from my tween years, a super uncomfortable waiting room couch that my mom bought at an auction at her job, and a 13" TV and VCR that sat on top of a box in my living room. A couple months later my daughter's nursery was furnished with all the gifts that my friends and family provided at my baby shower. Anyway, I remember not having any problems finding anything I was looking for, never bumping into stuff that had no home. Nothing was ever out of place. There was a sense of order in my sparse apartment...but it didn't feel furnished. I had no decor, I barely had anything to put in my sea of cabinets (which in hindsight wasn't really that many), my fridge and freezer were organized because they weren't overflowing with groceries, my bedroom was always clean.
I liked my new sense of responsibility and freedom, but my home felt unfinished. However, I didn't have the funds to make it look the way I wanted. Two and a half years later, I moved to my second apartment and I was making more money and collecting more stuff. I had a little more space in apartment #2 and so I obviously HAD to get more stuff. I had no sense of "less is more". My goal was to cram as many paintings and pictures on to my walls and knick-knacks in every nook and cranny. Some how I felt that knocking over a bunch of crap on my window sills every time I opened my blinds made the house feel lived in.
Now fast forward 13 years and 3 more apartments. I have finally seen the folly of my ways and now know that STUFF does not make a home. I have been working hard over the past 2 years to minimize my belongings. Donating and tossing as much as possible and it has definitely made a vast improvement. Not only in the way my home looks but in the way my family and I feel and interact with one another. Everyone just seems happier and the mood is lighter.
There simply is a lot less stress when there is a lot less stuff.