Suzi’s decorating a new one-bedroom home and has been sharing her ideas & inspirations (& many fails… ahem) throughout the process. Read her blog posts on this: Suzi’s House Project.
If only you could see me as I write this post… I am presently climbing onto my soapbox and preparing to give a didactic little schpiel hehe. There is a major aspect of this move that’s been both a blessing and a curse — and that is the need to downsize the amount of things I own. For one thing, there’s literally NO space for it in the new place. And for another, with the particular aesthetic we’re looking for (rustic, airy, open, minimalist), there’s pretty much zero margin for us to have any excess stuff sitting around, if it ain’t sitting around in its proper place.
While packing up in the weeks prior to actually moving, I made a first cut of all my clothes, books and shoes. I ended up with 4 large garbage bags of things to give away. I was privately embarrassed to realize just how much pure STUFF I owned that I didn’t need or ever use. It was also crazy to come face to face with just how much stuff I bring into my house every year without an equally concerted effort to give away, recycle or discard a proportionate amount of stuff to offset it. The result… an ever-growing amount of crap that I possess that I don’t need. (And I don’t even buy that much stuff, I’m totally Mistress Frugal). Of course it’s fine to accumulate more stuff if you have the room for it, but in retrospect I do think that extraneous material “stuff” can be a subtle psychological weight that we often aren’t aware of until we let it go.
In the week before we needed to vacate the old place, I found myself in a panic. It was crunch time, and it was then that reality sorta possessed me like the she-devil herself. I tore through stuff that I had already looked at before. Any item I was previously sentimental about the last time around, I was like “Nope, I love you man, we’ve had some good times, but it’s time for you to move on in your journey.” Also, strangely, any distress I felt during the act of deciding whether to keep an item seemed to give way to IMMENSE relief at the very moment I decided to give it away. It seriously felt like I was trying to exorcise a clingy demon that I felt sorry for, and once it was gone, I couldn’t believe how much he weighed, much less that I had been carrying him around for so frickin long!
Ok, I’m done. That was my prelude to a shallow little blog post about storage. Having sufficiently downsized now, a major project has been to find ways to store our stuff without creating clutter in the room. After all there are only the two closets in the bedroom and a tiny walk-in washer/dryer closet!
I got this beautiful Japanese sewing basket as a Christmas gift. Prior to this basket, I was keeping all my sewing items in a plastic frosted case, which, while it worked, let’s face it…it was an ugly duckling hehe. Most likely I would have just tucked the box away into some drawer. With this basket, I can now place this on top of our tansu dresser in the bedroom, and not only will it hold my sewing tools for me, it will also go perfectly as a piece of decor! And as a final plus, it will also save that space in my drawer for any other less visually pleasing things that I need to hide.
I had a similar situation with my jewelry (which has been a chronic problem for me all my life hehe). Previously I’ve kept my jewelry crammed into several of those plastic cases with multiple dividers. They work great, especially if you have to move the jewelry, because they minimize the tangle among the different chains. But again the plastic containers are a bit tough on the eyes and they take up space in my drawers. So instead I found a little antique mini-dresser at Antiques ‘n’ Ole Stuff in Brunswick Md. It kind of makes me think of a bonsai dresser hehe. So cute.
With four little pull-out shelves the dresser works great as a way to consolidate all my jewelry. It’s easy to see everything in there so I can quickly pick out a matching necklace, and again it looks nice enough to be an actual piece of decor in the room.
In fact it happens to fit right into one of the units in my IKEA EXPEDIT shelf (yes the kind of shelf that everybody and his brother has one of in their home, especially people with a lot of vinyl to store). I placed it in one of those shelves and it makes for a nice contrast with the drawer and cabinet door units I recently assembled and installed.