best of the week: june 27

Some good advice on dealing with your Stuff, not letting it overwhelm, and some more on taking risks with your decor.

I would be interested in reading more about the subject matter. “Common Challenges Facing Middle Class Families At Home”

From April, but I just discovered it. A short historical overview of shelter magazines from the late 1800’s to today.

“Minimalism isn’t about having a set number of possessions. It’s about each of us having the right number of possessions for the way we live our lives.” This is brilliant. A lot of people think minimalism is living without, when in reality it’s trimming down to what we use most often. I’ll be going back to this blog again.

I shot this one evening last week and although I must give the sunset all the credit for looking amazing, I should mention I’m happier with my photography lately. I feel that my framing has improved as I take more and more pictures. Have a beautiful weekend!

Taken by DL

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living room: phase two

Last week, I showed you phase one of my plan to redecorate the apartment. Being in a rental, there’s only so much I can do, so I try to make it look as interesting as possible. I also find a steady layout to be a bit dull, so I change something every few months. Thankfully, Brandon is happy to help(and move all his books a few times a year!). This week, we switched the bookcases on one side of the television and the sofa and TARDIS. Yes, we have a TARDIS. Brandon bought it for my Valentine’s Day present last year. We had a blast setting it up, and it feels pretty great to sit “inside” the TARDIS. I hung some sparkle lights on it around Christmas, and liked them so much, I never took them off. The lights are really great for movie nights.

And now, to the pictures!

Before
Before

Most of the boxes will be going to storage, so I wasn’t worried about where to put them after the fact. Funny thing I always comment on when we do moves like this – the books always look like they take up more space when we take them off the shelves and onto the floor.

After
After

After, the shelves sans books, and some comics boxes cleverly hidden away behind the sofa. I’m going to buy a reading lamp for that side opening because I moved the arc lamp over the dining table. I’m still working on lighting in the space. I know I still need one more for ambient light beyond what I’ve got, but I’m waiting until I’ve got this space plan complete until I go shopping.

I’m sure you’re wondering how we will watch television now. Moving the television was supposed to be part of phase two, but there were a million(maybe an exaggeration?) books on our living room floor and it was far too hot that evening to do too much more heavy lifting. So that’s getting pushed back to phase three, and we can watch tv at the table while we’re eating for now. In the end, the tv and stand will be right in front of the sofa, angled as well. Currently, we can see straight into Brandon’s new office space, and right out the window. Both windows, actually. It’s a pretty neat view.

put in the time

I started writing something to motivate myself, and halfway through realized it could be useful to others. I’m aware it often sounds kind of forceful, but at the time it was me talking to myself, and I need that reality check often. I hope you can find something in it for yourself as well.

~~~~~

You’re focusing on where you think you should be now, but in reality it’s where you might be five years from now. You will get there, but you have to work for it. Gradually build up from nothing. You’re not at nothing, so remember that. You’re further ahead than you were five years ago, and five years from now, you’ll be even further.

Just remember, this all happens gradually IF YOU WORK FOR IT. It will not simply drop into your lap; it will not magically appear one day. If you want it badly enough, it will come to you – AFTER you put in the time.

PUT IN THE TIME. Stop expecting things to happen without your input and effort.

You will get frustrated. You will want to quit a million times. Keep people around you who will push you forward when you have dug your heels in the dirt like a stubborn bull. Sometimes you need outside motivation. Sometimes you need someone telling you that quitting would be the stupidest thing you could do, and that giant dose of reality is really helpful when you get stuck in your head and all you’re hearing is negativity.

If something doesn’t work the first time, TRY AGAIN. Try again a different way. But don’t quit. Do this for yourself and no one else. If you quit, you are the only one who will be disappointed in you.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Just because you’re often seeing them on their best days does not mean they don’t have bad ones. They have the same problems you do, but nobody talks about it enough. Nobody wants to be seen as weak or failing, when in reality it happens more than success. Remember that. The next time you feel like a failure, remember that the people you look up to are probably as completely frustrated as you are. The difference is, they push on. They push past it, and you should too. This bears repeating – DON’T GIVE UP. You can do this. The only way you can’t do this is to stop. You are your own brick wall. Knock that sucker down with a mental sledgehammer and walk tall.

THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL GET WHERE YOU WANT TO GO IS TO MOVE FORWARD.

before and after: anita’s office

Last week, my friend Anita put a call out to social media to help her declutter and organize some spaces in her house. I caught word of her needs and gladly volunteered myself to assist. We spent a lovely Saturday afternoon going through her upstairs office, and I feel we accomplished a lot of good. She came out of it very happy and with a lot of Stuff set to leave the house. And soon!

We started by setting out two boxes(one for items to keep and one for donation), some garbage and recycling bags, and some iced tea(for yumminess!). We picked through the piles of things that had been placed there in the past because they had no other home at the time. When we got to the closet, the door could be fixed and put on its track again. The room looks more put together with that fact alone.

Anita has told me she is planning to buy some shelving to put in the closet so the vertical space is being used functionally. I’m excited to see this in the future!

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Closet Space – Before
Closet Space – After

Moving on to the desk, she went through everything quite quickly. It can be really fun when decluttering choices aren’t difficult! She was so motivated by the experience, she mentioned she was going to hit on one more spot in the office after I left.  There is still dust to tidy up and organization of items she’s keeping, but this was a huge step to being able to find items when she needs them and I’m really proud of her!

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Desk Space – Before & After

If you’re nervous about starting a decluttering project, or overwhelmed at the sight of it, it’s okay to ask for help. Many people just need someone there to keep them motivated. Try not to get stressed if you can’t decide if something should stay or go. You can absolutely have a “Maybe” box. Keep it for a specific time – write a due date on it if you need to – and if you haven’t used it by that point, it’s definitely time to donate or sell it.

best of the view: june 20

I had a job interview this week! My anxiety ramped up to 300%, so I`ll just have to keep my fingers crossed something good came out of it.

Design Tips for Introverts from Apartment Therapy

I found a game where I get to be a cat and knock stuff off shelves. AS A CAT. So, best game ever maybe? They’ve also got a Kickstarter where you can give them money to make the game even better.

Speaking of cats, Max helped me out with the blog this week.

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Editor cat says, “You need to work on your grammar.”
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Editor cat notices a typo.

living room: phase one

A couple weeks ago, I hatched a plan. Also, I was bored and needed to design something. BUT, it was a good plan. I came up with a new layout for the living and dining rooms, and Brandon and I completed Phase 1 this last Sunday. We switched the dining space with the office space, and now Brandon has such a wonderful view when he’s writing. I do too, writing at the “kitchen” table, but this apartment has really great windows, so really everyone has a good view.

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Dining Room: Before
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Office Space: Before
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Dining Space: After
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Office Space: After

What do you think? I think it’s crazy in a kind of brilliant way. And that’s not all I’m planning on moving. But, you’ll have to wait and see what’s coming in the near future. I’m hoping to do a bit of moving every weekend for the next couple weeks. So far, it’s been nice. Just takes some getting used to, but I like it. And we can pull the table out and add more chairs when we have guests. We don’t entertain often, so I really wanted us to have a place that was really ours.

challenges

Having a blog can be a challenge at times. I’m still weighing my options of offering actual opinions. I’ve never been good at sharing those, and will often shy away from really opening up. I have a huge case of “Imposter Syndrome”, and while I’m trying to kick the habit(or at least shut up that little voice in my head), it’s difficult and most efficiently done on a case-by-case basis. Reading “Quiet” by Susan Cain has turned some light bulbs on for me. This is a space for my thoughts and opinions, and I need to remember that. The ideas don’t have to stay in the shallow end. I can dive down deep into my opinions about organizing, decorating, design, and myself.

A couple years ago, I got it in my head to start a business as a Professional Organizer. Sometimes I wonder if I should have pursued organizing harder.  As is my usual M.O., I gave up trying before anything began. I got scared. This blog is a filtered-down version of what I hoped I could offer.

That being said, I’m figuring out who I am through this as well. Not just design styles or how I can minimize more efficiently, but how to design for an anxious introvert(at home and at work), and more importantly, how to find my own voice.