Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To Declutter or Repurpose...That is the Question

Yesterday we talked about the 3 Question Rule to decluttering...
  • Do I really love it? (is it a treasure)
  • Do I really use it? (has it been used within the last year)
  • Do I really need it? (sometimes we think we need something when we really don't)
I have a storage unit for Christmas decor since we have very little closet space in the apartment...who knew Christmas trees could take up so much space! During the spring clean this year I decided to revisit the 3 Question Rule regarding everything in storage. It's a small unit, but has accumulated goodies other than holiday décor...one of them being my vintage iron day bed from childhood. It's been loved, cherished and used by other family members, but was now reduced to leaning against walls in the corner of my storage room.

I love this bed. It brings back memories, has a classic style that lasts, is highly functional and very versatile. I was hoping to utilize it upon a move into my own home, but don't really know when that will be. So there sits my bed...my sad, lonely bed with it's matching trundle just desperately waiting to be the focal point in a pretty space again.

Day beds are a fave on my list for their versatility, which is why I was having such a hard time parting with it. During the day they serve as seating and then transform into comfy sleeping quarters in the eve. This particular bed has a trundle which offers the option of turning the single sleeping digs into something fit for two. Put them together and it magically becomes a queen size bed. Who doesn’t love the simplicity of a day bed...{sigh}

After going over the questions in my head yet again, I realized it was silly to hang on to something that "might be used one day" when someone else could make use of it right now.  So I brought Mindy (yes, that's her name) out of storage and decided it was time to let her go, but she needed a spruce up.  Coats of black were used to hide the dated style of white and brass and she was graciously staged in our dining room so others could see the beautiful potential of this fine lady (: 

Cushions from our sofa showed the day time option, while a simple "bed time pose" displayed her evening attire.  Please forgive the not-so-attractive pseudo mattress.  We didn't have a twin and the sofa cushions were more than willing to provide a nice stand-in (:  Mindy quickly sold on Craigslist and is now in a happy home giving much love and joy to weary little ones who rest upon her beautiful frame.  Even though I miss her, I so loved the transformation we went through together...I was able to let go of stuff and she became the beauty queen I always knew she could be (:

So if you have items in storage, give the 3 Question Rule another shot.  If there's something you truly can't part with, transform the old into new with a coat of paint and some elbow grease.  Are there any items you haven't been able to release and decided to repurpose?  I'd love to hear about it (:

In Gratitude,

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Organizing, Purging and Those Hoarding Shows

With our upcoming move in just a couple of weeks, the simplifying process we've been through these last few months seems part of a grand design (: When Mom, Grandmother and I moved in together years ago (so we could provide the care Grandmother needed) we had three households and three generations of strong opinions moving into one space. Needless to say we learned a lot about compromise and the art of purging (:

I've always been a clutterbug and a piler. If I can't see it, I don't know it's there (: I love neat spaces and thrive in them, but it has to be a visually pleasing one that offers function and style with easy access to see needed items at a moment's notice. It's the creative spirit in me...seeing inspires. Since we'll be moving everything into storage while formalizing a plan for our new digs, I'm ready to get rid of the last few nonessential items to make the process easier.

Over the years I've been able to hone a system that works for me and stop by one of those hoarding shows now and then to keep myself in check (: For some reason just a few minutes into one episode and I'm ready to clean and toss!! I like to purge twice a year and sometimes more if there's a specific project. I ask myself three questions...
  • Do I really love it? (is it a treasure)
  • Do I really use it? (has it been used within the last year)
  • Do I really need it? (sometimes we think we need something when we really don't)
If the items in question don't fall into any of those three categories, then out the door they go! Charity is the first stop and then Craigslist has been wonderful! So many items that have been hiding in closets are making their way into the light to be sold and nurtured in the homes of others...and making a few extra dollars is a nice little incentive too (:

My great uncle and aunt held tight to the three question philosophy and the "1-in-1-out rule" to create a home that was the model of order. It was a small space, but seemed expansive by the sheer tidiness of it all. Twice a year (spring and fall) they would go through their things to see what would stay and what would go. No room for clutter here (:

The spring sweep brought out cooler seasonal clothing, decor and linens and the fall sweep introduced warmer items with the inclusion of a toy sort to prepare for goodies that Santa would bring at Christmas. The 1-in-1-out rule is a great way to train children in the area of giving and thankfulness. To make space for new toys, others must be donated and usually it was the favorite toy that was given (:

I like that...it's being a good steward of what you have, keeping the space open to receive and honoring the rhythm of the seasons at the same time.  The more I embrace this philosophy, the more I enjoy it - and that's no small feat coming from this former clutterbug (:

So, what's your process for keeping things organized? How do you keep a tight ship or prepare for a big move?

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Curveballs of Life

curve•ball  /’kərv,bôl/
Noun: A ball that is pitched with a snap of the wrist and a strong downward spin, which causes the ball to drop suddenly and deceptively veer away from home plate.

That last part of the definition is most interesting to me...”a downward spin which causes the ball to suddenly and deceptively veer away from home plate.” You think life is headed in one direction and then with the snap of change you suddenly feel like you’re veering away from home.

Change...it's a little bit of a double edged sword for me. On the one hand I find change exciting. A new challenging adventure on the horizon of life just waiting to burst forth with amazing possibilities. But then at the same time I don't like it, sometimes dread it and just downright don't want it to happen. Yes. I'm a complex kinda gal (:

We've had lots of change over the last few years and honestly, sometimes that feeling of giving up just wants to take over. Change in relationships, change in work, the passing of loved ones, a change in life focus, a week ago the passing of my beloved dachshund Reba at the ripe old age of 19 and now an unexpected move in the next couple of weeks for which we are financially unprepared. My, my, my...

Change...yuck. But instead of focusing on the yucky side of this coin, I’ve decided to flip it over and look on these moments in life like surprise parties...you enter the room startled and bewildered, scream your guts out in horror and then once you realize your life isn't in jeopardy (: you acclimate and party on!

The whole essence of life is about change isn't it? Things grow in the spring and wither away in the winter...a cycle that must happen for new growth to come back the following season. Nothing really stays the same, other than an awe inspiring heavenly Father who gently carries us when we experience these curveballs of life. It's up to us to let go and enjoy the ride instead of fighting against the currents.

And so I’m embracing this new phase as an adventure...a magical curveball adventure of soul changing elation. I don't know where we're going, don't know how we're going to get there, nor do I know how we are going to financially pull this off, but I do know that God already has a plan in action and is lovingly guiding our steps (:

So, when you experience those curveballs of life, what advice do you have for those who are going through it right now? What gets you through? What focus propels you forward? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

“You are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.” ~ Psalm 23:4

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