Friday, September 7, 2012

Goodbye Guilty Clutter

After about a week or so, the living room is finally cleared. As a reminder, here's the before.

Too many THINGS everywhere. Floating shelves full of photos, bookshelves full of books and knick knacks. Mantle that just wants attractive.

So. I took down the floating shelves (and that shelf in between) and all the photos on them. I donated the frames to Goodwill and put the photos in a bin under my bed. Now I can see them anytime I want, and I know where they are when occasions come around that I might want to display them. In fact, I already have a plan for graduation (she's in 4th grade...I'm an early planner) and how to display the school photos. It's a great spot to just dump photos, of my girls, of family members, etc. I still HAVE them, but they aren't strewn all over the house in frames and on shelves turning them into clutter. In my hall between the front door and back door I have two magnetic decorative frames where I intend to put important pictures that I want to display. Pictures of my new niece, nephew and family photos that I can swap out. They are black frames with a dull silver metal magnetboard. Sort of like these. It works really well. I slimmed down the built in book cases and donated a lot of books to Goodwill. I still need to go through and donate the girls books, but that can wait a few weeks since they aren't in this room.

The big desk is still a problem, but compared to the photo above, the computer has slimmed and we have a flat monitor now. I also work at that desk all day with my laptop so I'm not sure what the long term solution will be. For now, it's ok, the desk is clean and I'll keep it that way. I also intend to swap out the small table (with that Partylight Infinite Reflections on it) with a medium sized curio cabinet. It should give a little height to that wall and it'll be a place for me to put my dad's china (he's keeping it until I'm ready) and the items I have from grandparents that have passed.

We had to patch and texture the wall spots where the floating shelves were. It turned out really well, but when I painted with my saved yellow didn't match. So now I need to paint the rest of the wall so at least the full wall matches. So this Sunday I'll probably paint the rest so that at least the color isn't so obvious. I think the sun faded the color, the paint is still good. And so. Here it is.


I tried to take the photo from the same general spot as the one above. I think it looks pretty great. I love my furniture in here, but it might be about time for an upgrade and perhaps a slightly smaller scale.  I also think I might take down and sell my Partylight pillar holders (I think they're called Sonesta, does anyone know?) because I think they just look like extra unbalanced clutter on the mantle. If I were to put anything on the mantle again it'd be a single medium height pillar candle holder probably. But right now my plan is to put nothing. I even threw away the unity candle from our wedding and I'm donating the holders to Goodwill (shockingly no one wants to buy 1995 precious moments unity candle holders).

My next cleanup is in the bottom left of the picture. You can see the dog cage there, our dogs are still stupid and eat walls and toys and whatnot, so we have to be able to cage them as necessary. I'd love to put that somewhere else. Behind that cage, under the end table, I've got a file box full of the kids last couple years of art projects and paperwork. I need to setup a lightbox and take photos of those things and create a photo book so I can throw out all the actual art. I think I'm going to try to paint the yellow wall AND take those photos this Sunday.  We'll see...

UPDATE:  I did paint the yellow wall, but I didn't take the kid art photos. I'm saving that for next weekend, we have a wedding this weekend and I just won't be up to it. Plus we're storing the in-laws appliances so my normal lightbox spot is taken. It will happen though!


  1. Looks so good! I am soooooo not into clutter. I find the cleaner the space, the easier to think and breathe. And paint does change. If you painted it more than a year ago the first time? You will most likely have to redo the wall. Sucks. But true.

    1. I agree, I just didn't realize that it was clutter in this room because I was hung up on the guilty parts. It's sooo much nicer in here now. I'm surprised I didn't notice before, I'm in here every day working.

      It's been at least 3 years since I painted it. And that room gets a lot of sun in the afternoons so I'm not surprised it changed. I thought maybe I had the wrong paint when I started painting, but I know its right, I'll just do the whole wall and hope it's not super noticeable that the other walls and entire kitchen aren't exactly the same :)

  2. Great job! It looks a lot less cluttered now. Good luck with your projects this weekend :) What's a lightbox and how do you set it up?


    1. It's a small box of fabric that's well lit for photos. Do a google image search for photo lightbox and you'll see. My husband is an amateur photographer so we have the gear for it. I'll probably end up putting up a full backdrop instead - white - and laying the art on it, with lights, and snapping each photo. We'll see if I can get to it this weekend :)

      this link might work for photo lightbox

    2. Thank you! I figured it was something like that. I'm still learning the tricks to make my pics look better :)

  3. I looooove decluttering. LOVE. So much so that when I was pregnant and told Gregg I was nesting, he said, "HOW could you possibly tell? You're ALWAYS nesting." It's fun, right?