Day 2 · Decorations, chotskis and other treasures
Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
– William Morris
Decoration = elaboration or amplification.
If you need to buy something to make a piece of furniture you already have more beautiful or useful, it’s time to rethink things.
An attractive piece of furniture should be able to stand alone in its function and appearance.
Decorations usually fall into two categories: those that are strictly decorative and those with sentimental value. Regardless of which category your treasures fall into, (and even though this may sound scary) some of them will need to be removed for just a little while.
You’re going to be using the “Exile Island Removal System” to help take a critical look at all of your treasures. You don’t have to eliminate them, just set them aside for a while.
I developed the “Exile Island Removal System” because breaking up is hard to do.
Sending things to “Exile Island” means boxing up items and books you’re not ready to part with into clearly marked plastic tubs and storing them out of sight (think garage or basement.) Mark your calendar to go through each “Exile Island” box at regular intervals and remove at least one item (ideally more) at each re-evaluation. On Day 4, I’ll discuss ways to prioritize your keepsakes.
Activity – Today, pack up 75-80% of the decorations in one room (including what’s on the walls) and leave them packed away in “Exile Island” for a month.
Enjoy the new minimalism of the space and notice how it makes you feel. I guarantee you will not want to put most of those decorations back out, and you may even want to reduce the 20-25% still on display!
Open shelves demand filling and no one, including yourself, is looking closely at everything you’ve decided to artistically display or jam onto those shelves.
You may want to try removing open shelves from your living spaces and donating or tossing as much of their contents as possible. Box up everything else and send it to “Exile Island.”
There’s no need to tear out your built-in cabinetry (yet ;)) but I’d like you to rethink its’ function and how its’ contents impact your space.
When you’re surrounded by stagnant clutter, you can become stagnant.
If you’re finding it particularly challenging to release your decorations, check out Kristal Marie’s post How To Conquer The Emotions Preventing You From Decluttering. It might help you identify what’s driving your struggles.
Making big changes and taking a hard look at the reality of your every day can be hard, so cut yourself some slack, enjoy the small milestones, and just keep moving forward.
Pura vida, Penny