A discussion about minimalist furniture could actually be about one of two things: It could involve furniture with clean lines and uncomplicated designs or it could be about how to live a simpler, better life with fewer items in your home.

This article is a discussion of living with less furniture.

You might choose to have less furniture in your home as a way of saving money, as a way of uncomplicating your life or as a way of making a statement about how overgrown and commercialized modern life is becoming.

Many people choose a minimalist furniture approach for all three reasons.

Consider your real furniture needs instead of your desires and you’ll soon realize that you need only a few pieces. Here are some things to consider:

Your mattress will be fine on the floor. Headboards, footboards and nightstands are all optional. Unless you have difficulty getting up from low surfaces, even the bed frame isn’t needed. Placing a mattress directly on the floor or on only its matching platform works fine for most of us. You may want a bed frame, but it isn’t necessary.

Your need for tables is very limited. Having a coffee table and an end table in your living room isn’t necessary. In fact, you only need tables where you plan to eat, drink or perform an activity. Everywhere else, they’re just unnecessary distractions that attract clutter. When you plan your ideal minimalist living room, include only as many tables as absolutely necessary.

You need fewer places to sit than you think. How many people live in your home? How many visit at one time? When you add those two numbers together, that’s the total number of seating choices you need in your home. You may want a straight-backed desk chair as well as a comfortable chair for relaxing, but you don’t need multiple seating choices for you guests. Plus, a couple of stashed folding chairs can help you out if you end up with more guests that you were expecting -- without adding clutter to your rooms every day.

Choose pieces you can move around. When pieces are mobile, you can drag them from room to room to perform a variety of functions. For example, if you don’t usually use an alarm clock, you don’t need a bedside table. But if you must get up early one morning, dragging in a side table for your alarm clock (or you cell phone set on alarm) from beside the chair where you use it should be no problem.

Consider convertible pieces. A sofa bed is a big investment, but a futon is inexpensive. If you only have a couple of guests at any one time and only have an overnight guest once or twice a year, there’s no point shelling out for or cluttering your life with a sofa bed. Look for adjustable tables, repositionable lamps and other pieces that can change to perform other functions for you.

Don’t become attached to any piece. Furniture is something that’s supposed to serve you, so don’t become attached to any particular piece. Eliminate those that don’t perform any function for you and acquire new pieces only when you have new needs. There’s nothing wrong with buying a crib when a baby is born, but getting a new glass-front cabinet because you like the styling makes no sense if you have nothing worth displaying in it.

Whether you want to create a minimalist living room or just get rid of the clutter in your spare bedroom, getting reducing furniture is a great way to get rid of some burdens.

Every piece of furniture you own takes time to care for and effort to deal with, but a minimalist furniture approach can free you from obligations and make your life simpler.