There are days when I get on a clutter purge frenzy.
I could be in the middle of a Parks and Recreation marathon (Netflix will be the end of me, y’all), and I’ll look around the room and suddenly get this itch. Where did all of this stuff come from?!
Having a two year-old doesn’t really help the situation. She finds things buried deep in drawers and in all kinds of hiding places and decides, “I think this will look better catapulted all over the living room floor.”
My purge frenzy this time around though was really cleaning up my own mess.
I’m still a work in progress on the minimalist approach. When I look at a bare wall, I start envisioning what to hang on it. But after living in this house for over a year, I’m starting to realize that if every single blank space had some sort of decor on it, it would feel really cluttered. And I’d probably look around and wonder again why we have so much.
So blank space is good. It gives me room to breathe.
One day in the middle of watching a plot line with Leslie Knope attempting to reason with a crazy Pawnee citizen demanding that Twilight be placed in the town’s time capsule, I glanced over at my faux planked bookcase and realized it was suddenly too “eclectic”.
I confess, I have the hardest time letting go of sentimental pieces. I’m getting better. But all it took was moving a bunch of our books upstairs in our office and utilizing a few baskets in our pantry for some necessary storage.
So I still got to keep the things that are priceless to me.
Like this birdcage from one of our wedding centerpieces with our lovebird cake topper that my father-in-law hand carved and painted.
And a little gold finch he carved for our first Christmas together.
My mother passed down an old sewing machine from my great-grandmother several months ago. It makes me wonder how many Easter outfits she crafted on it. Sometimes I wish antiques could talk.
And in the midst of clearing out a closet from my parents’ house, I discovered a pair of old bookends that I remember always playing with at my grandmother’s house before she passed away.
They belonged to my grandfather who I never got the chance to meet, and those two little horseheads are the only things I have of his.
I thought about polishing them up, but I sort of love the patina on them.
My mom is a librarian and passed her love of books down to me, so when she found these antique art history books years ago, I sort of stole them from her. (Hey, they were in a closet for a really long time. Don’t judge me.)
I accompanied them with a wooden rattle my father-in-law made for my husband when he was born. He made it from one piece of wood and a pocket knife! Pure talent.
The old sheet music that I rolled up and placed under a thrifted clock dome belonged to my mom when she used to play the flute for weddings in the ’80s.
And, of course, I had to find a place for our family Bible too. We use it for devotionals if we can’t make it to church some Sundays.
When I started teaching at a new school two years ago, I bought that sweet little wood framed chalkboard sign (below) that said, “The world is a brighter place because of you.” It was always the message I tried to convey to my students. (Love those silly teenagers, y’all, with all your hearts. One day, they will be the ones taking care of us in our old age.)
It wasn’t until after I bought it that I realized it had a capitalization error in it that bugged me to no end. So I made a game out of it to see which students would notice the error if they stood around my desk. (I can’t tell you how much I spent on candy every month to reward my kids for literature reviews and grammar games in my classroom.)
So now, I feel much more clutter-free. I love that so many of the items on my bookcase are a part of our past and have a story to tell. They’re worth so much more to me than anything I could find in a store.
The baskets at the bottom, of course, are for hiding the toys Olivia decides to toss all over the living room floor. I might be working on fighting my clutter, but I’m afraid she’s a lost cause right now. 😉
Toddler clutter thrown everywhere means she is exploring and growing, and I’m okay with that. Embrace life’s many phases, right? And if my Parks and Recreation is replaced with a thousand repetitions of Frozen, I’m okay with that too.
This bookcase will be appearing in the April issue of Reloved Magazine, so you might be seeing it again! I’ll be posting our master bathroom makeover reveal tomorrow too! All kinds of exciting stuff is happening around here.
Do you have any sentimental items that you love to use in your decor? Do you have a hard time getting rid of the clutter too? Or a toddler who decides to decorate in his/her own way?
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