When I first started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have to admit that even I thought it sounded a little bit hokey. Who asks themselves if something brings them joy before deciding whether to banish it from their lives or not? Some things are just functional, right? I still don’t know the answer to the second question, but what I do know is that asking myself whether something brings me joy or not is a quick and easy way for me to decide whether I need that item in my life or not. For the last several weeks, I have been working diligently to decrease the amount of clutter in my world and increase the number of items that bring me joy. It’s been a little difficult because I’ve felt like I was living in limbo, and honestly, I still feel like I’m living in limbo. I’m taking the whole process room by room from a decorating standpoint and item by item from a clutter standpoint. It probably would have been better to declutter all at once and then go back to redecorate, but that would be too easy for someone like me.
I’ve actually been surprised that a majority of my decorating pieces do bring me joy and were worth keeping. So far, most of them have just been hanging in the wrong spot. I decided to tackle the dining room/kitchen/living room first because this area of our house is the most visible to guests and it is where we spend a majority of our time. We’ve ordered a new couch and have plans to repurpose some of the furniture in our bedroom to complete the living room. Fingers crossed we don’t regret buying a couch online. While we are waiting on those items, we decided to conquer the dining room first.
Our table, chairs, and buffet all bring me joy. They were easy to keep. Nathan found a cart that is a mix of darker woods and rod iron and I LOVE IT. This piece was actually the piece that inspired my dining room work. The first step was purchasing new artwork for the dining room. I felt like we needed lighter and brighter. I then spray painted an old lamp that I (gasp) almost got rid of because it was brown and didn’t match anything, got a new lampshade for it, and put together a small terrarium. The artwork that was previously in the dining room has found a new home, so it wasn’t like I just went through haphazardly throwing things out.
I’m thinking that the next step will be to recover the dining room chairs, but for the most part, it is starting to feel complete to me. Right now, I’m sitting at my dining room table to type this instead of in my chaotic office space because I feel that sense of calm that comes from a mostly completed space. Maybe all that hokeyness will work and I’ll be done tidying up before summer. I have a novel to write this summer and it would be nice if my mind was as decluttered as hopefully my home will be.