Hey, how is it Wednesday already?! I feel like the days fly by when my kids are at school. This year my youngest started Kindergarten so it's the first time in nine years I've been able to have a large chunk of time to get stuff done. I have to admit, the few weeks leading up to school were rough. When all of the other Kindergarten Moms I knew would talk about how they weren't ready for them to go to school I would feel so guilty. I was secretly counting down the days, excited to delve into all of the projects I've dreamed of doing for so long. "Finally getting organized" was high on my list. And lets face it, getting rid of things and organizing is so much easier when kids aren't around. You don't have to worry about them seeing their stuff in the donate pile or finding a way to sneak things into the garbage or recycling. Well before I deal with their stuff I'm still dealing with my own stuff!
Once I decided to remove the bookcases in my Office it was a good time to clean them out and get rid of the unnecessary. I had to be honest with myself about the things I was hanging on to. One major thing I pared down was my books. Now don't get me wrong, I love books and I love decorating with them. I think it is a neat way to get to know someone a little better by seeing what interests them. I had kept many Interior Design books from college. Yes, I have kept my college textbooks from twenty years ago. That sounds ridiculous as I type it! I thought they looked good on my shelf and were appropriate for my Office. I think the biggest reason though is I thought at some point I would use them as a reference. This is really why people hold on to things they don't need (besides sentimental things). We always think, "what if I need this someday?"
So let's just go through a few of these books that have been collecting dust on my shelf.
A Guide to Business Principles and Practices for Interiors Designers: This is so old most of the info in this book would not pertain to business today.
Foliage House Plants: I suck with plants and thought someday I'd read this book and maybe be able to keep a plant alive. I've had it for at least 8 years, haven't read it yet. Anything I want to know about plants I can google!
Concrete Countertops: I love the look but concrete countertops are not practical and I've never sold one.
Guide to Starting Your Own Business: I've started two businesses and never used this book. It's outdated!
These are all of the ones I decided to get rid of:
I've moved so many times over the years and every time I've looked at these two lighting references and said "Maybe I'll need these someday!" I've yet to use them. I'm not saying I couldn't benefit from reading them but it hasn't happened in twenty years so I doubt it is going to happen.
So off to the Goodwill they go...
I could've kept these design books as decoration for my Office. If I had a ton of shelves to fill perhaps they could've added to the visual display. Since I decided to go from the large bookcase to the more minimal floating cabinet idea behind my desk, I really have to use discernment in what I choose to display. I want things that I use, need, and love and obviously these don't fit the bill. I did keep a few of my favorite books so I can still have a little book display but it will be more meaningful to me.
The day I did this I also cleaned out a little table we have by our front door. My husband and I use these drawers to put our keys, sunglasses, etc. I don't love this piece anymore but it is practical and will stay for now until I can figure something else out. It felt so good to simplify and have a cleaner look.
I love earthy and natural things so I collected some branches, shells and acorns thinking this would be a neat way to bring nature in. Well since dusting isn't my best skill it ended up looking gross after awhile. I never loved these glass containers either, just trying to make them work because I had them. (I added them to my Goodwill pile also)
I do love the little water feature I made that is sitting on this table so I let it stay.
If you are ready to do some cleaning out think of a small space to start. Remove everything and ask yourself: Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it? Let me know how it goes. You may be surprised at how good it feels to remove some things!
Here is a little sneak peak of what I'm doing today: