Before the decluttering.
Disheveled much? Magazine piles (1-5) were taking over shelves and spilling onto the floor, things (6-10) were being shoved between the crevices, other things (11-12) that needed to be put away were taking up precious real estate, and still even more things (13-14) that didn’t have homes were strategically (I is so smart) placed above eye level, at the top of the bookshelf.
That was then. Behold the now.
The decluttering and organizing process was a lot easier than I originally anticipated. In fact, once I was able to identify the problem areas (mainly our magazine addiction), the whole process became surprisingly easy and everything just kind of fell in place.
1. Purge of our massive magazine collection. (duh) Ruthlessly. Letting go can be hard, but the more space I was able to reclaim with each magazine I removed, the easier it got to let go of more. I filled a large trash bag, and then some. My beloved collection of Domino magazines made the cut.
2. Arrange books by height (they used to be arranged by subject matter, in alpha order) and readjust shelving heights to correspond with book height.
3. Add a magazine display shelf to both bookcases. Current magazines will go on this shelf. Older magazines will be stored on the shelf below. Establishing this system for our magazines is key. See maintain below.
The upkeep is the hard part for me.
4. The plan is to keep the display shelf and storage shelf current. New magazines will go on the display shelf and older magazines that I can’t part with just yet will move to the storage shelf below. Once the storage shelf gets full, it will be time to purge again.
On a final note, I’m also evaluating my magazine subscriptions. I have three, which I don’t think is a lot…is it? Two of the subscriptions are expiring soon and I don’t plan on renewing them. The third one is a gift subscription. I’m going to try going magazine-less for a month or two before deciding which magazines, if any, I want to subscribe to.
Here’s another shot of the after. I’ll post an update in a few months to talk about how this system is (or isn’t) working out. I also want to add two more rows of photos to the mosaic photo arrangement on my wall. Hopefully I’ll get that done before the update post comes up.
Billy bookshelves from Ikea.
Less is my one little word for 2011. Less clutter. Less obsessing over trivial things. Less slouching. This decluttering project is part of my journey to live with less this year.