The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Simplify -- Living Room Bookcase


Our Goal

A simple and beautiful house
that the Lord can use as a peaceful haven
for my family and others.

Click here to find out why/how I started!

Hi there!  I tackled one more decluttering project in my home:  the living room.  And really, it was just one half of the living room:  the business side.  This is the north half, with windows facing the front yard, and nice bright light throughout the morning.  Our computer desk is at one side, and a bookcase graces the middle of the wall.  Just two pieces of furniture, but oh what a mess they can be!  Here's what this section of room looked like when I started:

If you're just starting to declutter, this hint will help you--start small.  I'm a natural de-clutterer, so if I decide to tackle a room, it usually doesn't overwhelm me.  But, sometimes I do feel overwhelmed, and need to focus on a small area--my project desk, maybe, or even just the silverware drawer in the kitchen.  Today, it's just half a room.  Here's the bookcase, below.

I didn't handle every item, remove it from the shelf, look at it, decide whether or not it's worthy of space in my home (all good questions to ask).  I did look over every title, every book, and decide that way.  There are things I eventually left on the bookcase for now--homeschool material, for example--which are better tackled later when I have a good chunk of time to devote to it.  I wanted to both declutter and straighten up, so that the space felt friendlier, more open and inviting, and freer, prettier.  There was a stack of paperwork to be filed, so the bulk of my time was spent in the filing drawer--that bottom pull-out which is the coolest thing--filing recent paperwork and decluttering tons of no-longer-needed or outdated paperwork.

The filing is mostly finished.

The computer desk doors can be closed for guests or entertaining, so I wasn't too worried about the actual desk at this point.  Most of my focus was the floor areas and the bookcase.  I had recently removed books (before I took picture #1, wouldn't you know) from one of the shelves, leaving room for the bookends my dad made in high school shop class.  These hold our family hymnals and music books for church.  (Second shelf from the top.)  Also, a few cookbooks and books on photography went in the giveaway pile.  I was able to give most away on Freecycle, and the rest went into a box destined for Goodwill.

My beloved Scrabble game went from the top of the bookcase to the bottom of the basement stairs, where many of our games are stored.  Soon, I hope very soon, all of our games will be housed there, for easy access to all of us and to guests.  A project for later, but not too much later.  :)

Once the bookcase was decluttered and straightened up, I decided to spend a little time on the computer desk, mostly on the cork boards attached to the insides of the doors.  Fernando wants the bills to be pinned on the left side so he doesn't forget to pay them (we have several that are not on auto-pay for various reasons).  I sorted through them, filed some that had been paid, and sorted the rest neatly.

I also went through my wicker magazine basket (between bookcase and lamp, under the clock), which holds mostly music books for flute tutoring.  I had extra magazines stored there (out they went), and a few pages ripped from an advertisement (I took pictures of those to save for master bedroom decor ideas, and uploaded them to Pinterest).

The cork board on the computer desk's right-hand door is mine, mostly photography business stuff.  I sorted through that, filed some things, and threw others out.  I input necessary stuff into documents on the computer--don't you just love storing things digitally?  No paper mess!

Above is the day's finished work.  Remember, minimalism looks different for each person or family.  Since there are six people in our household, I need to defer to them when there are things I'd like to throw out, but they want/need to keep.  For now, everything is neat and contained; I will continue to weed out unwanted books throughout the year, and work on the inside "guts" of the computer desk (Fernando is starting a business, so I expect the computer desk will be due for a makeover).  I also have to find a solution for that clip-on lamp at the top of the bookcase; I need something to light up the computer area when I'm working in darker hours.  Suggestions, anyone?

Remember, start small.  At the end of this day, I didn't want to leave anything messy.  I wanted it to be done, so that I didn't have to finish the next day.  Of course, you can stretch a project out, too, if you need to!  There are no hard and fast rules, which you'll see in my own journey as I handle different spaces in different ways.

Where in your house did you start?  Was is small or big, radical or something minor?  Don't you feel freer, lighter, and more carefree?  I know I do.

Back to life,

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