Saturday, April 19, 2014

Decluttering Your Space & Sonny D's New Bookshelves

I loved this article, Decluttering – Are You Making These 3 Mistakes When Purging Your Stuff?   I've read a lot of sorting, organizing, and decluttering information, I've even got a couple books, but I keep coming back to this article and re-reading it because it's fresh information for me to think about. I love it because it brings up something different than the standard questions you might ask yourself when cleaning out a space.  I've even shared this article with several friends because I liked it so much.  

I like mistake #1 (thinking that space is the only cost to keeping something) because it forces you to think deeper.  You need to analyze whether you should ditch things even if you have space for them in your house.  Just because you have the room for it doesn't mean you should keep it.  Do you actually use and need it?  If you don't use it currently, do you see needing it in the actual future, not some possibly-maybe-someday future? 

Be reasonable.  Do you need 15 different sets of towels?  Are you ever going to use that old camera now that you've got your fancy new digital SLR and you've already got a camera on your smartphone that you carry everywhere? 

Be honest with yourself.  If there's no real, valid reason to hold on to it, get rid of it.  You'll likely not miss it.  And if you don't love it but you hang on to it for some reason like it was a gift or you got it as a hand-me-down, you need to just let it go.

And if you do keep some things, make sure that you use them and enjoy them.  Like those fancy dishes from Grandma that she only used once a year for Christmas.  Go ahead, pull them out to serve cake at a your next couple parties to share them with your friends. Or eat on them every day!

Other Inspiration on Decluttering: Clean House

I've recently started watching episodes of the TV show Clean House on Netflix, which isn't very realistic but I enjoy it.  What can I say, I like renovation/makeover shows.  The show focuses on a single family that lives in an extremely cluttered house (not messy like hoarders though).  The team of experts comes in, assesses the family's style and needs, holds a garage sale to get rid of their extra stuff, and then the organizer and interior designer make a lot of changes to update about three rooms.  It feels scripted and artificial, but whatever, it's entertainment.

In the few episodes I've watched so far, every single garage sale they host has trouble making enough money, getting people to come to the sale, etc.  Just once I want to see them easily sell most of the stuff!  And the show's cast always offers the families new furniture in exchange for getting rid of specific items but the people are stubborn and unwilling to compromise. The disagreements feel very fake because the professionals somehow always end up winning them over after the mild back-and-forth.  Granted, holding on to all their junk is what got them into trouble in the first place so I can understand their trouble letting go, but they've gone so far as to contact someone to help get things in order so you'd think maybe they'd be a bit more open. 

Another thing I've seen on the Clean House show is people who hold on to things for flawed reasons.  One guy was collecting Beanie Babies because he thought they would be worth something some day, but they were all dusty from sitting in his bedroom for years.  Plus they were just a fad, not an actual collectible.  Or one lady had some fancy dolls, but she took them out of the packaging and played with them, so they weren't worth anything.  One divorced gal was engaged to a new guy was but still holding on to her poufy-shoulders 1980s wedding dress from her first marriage because she thought someday her daughter would want it.  Yes, styles come back around, but not in the exact same way, so her daughter didn't want anything to do with it.   I'm guessing a lot of these people have psychological issues about being too connected with their stuff.  Let go of the stuff, it's just things.  It doesn't get rid of your memories or the good times you had. 

The finished rooms they show off at the end of the program look so nice, it makes me want to hire an interior designer to finish off the decorating in our house.  I think we generally have good looking basic stuff, but I have no idea how to add accessories to our living spaces to truly complete the look. 

New Furniture

And on a related note about getting organized, Husband Jeff made a set of bookshelves for Sonny D's room.   I saw this concept on Pinterest where the narrow bookshelves were placed behind the bedroom door so they didn't take up any extra space. I liked how the front of the books were visible so the child can see all of the covers since it'll probably still be a while before he's able to read the names along the spine.
Our inspiration bookshelves
Here's Husband Jeff's version.  He's been working on them for the last few weeks down in his woodshop in the basement.  I suggested painting them white, but he did some research on the Sherwin-Williams paint site to see what colors coordinated with the existing wall colors of light tan and green and we ended up with this great charcoal grey.  He installed them on Monday night and Sonny D and I immediately filled them with books. 
Sonny D's new bookshelf.
We filled them up with a little over one basket of books.  He's also got a second basket plus a small bedside table of books that don't fit in the bookshelves.  Not sure what we should do with all the rest!  We considered another bookshelf along the wall to the left, but we felt like it might be a bit too overwhelming for a small bedroom. 
Filled with books.
I don't want to get rid of any books because eventually he's going to learn to read, so even those baby books will hopefully be useful when he's starting to sound out words.    

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!