I've slowly started purging and de-cluttering each and every room in my home. I'm generally an organized person, but when I run out of time, organization is the first thing to go. Over the course of the past year, I've gone through every room 2 or 3 times, each time letting go of more and more things I don't need. It has been a lesson in awareness of surroundings, and creating intention for each and every item that is in my home. It is the closest I'll ever come to minimalism, and it is something I truly enjoy. When it comes to decorating, the story is a little different. I have defined my personal home style for the most part, but have a hard time figuring out the need/desire to buy every pretty thing I see and use it as a decorative object, and having only things I love/need/use in my home. I've purchased the exact items from a photo only to find out I don't truly connect with the items on my own. This is where I get lost!
In the midst of my confusing purging and purchasing habits, I started reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and sort of feel in love instantly. About 100 pages in, and my views have already shifted on many of the principles I have previously used to organize, de-clutter and purge. (This is the first time where I feel like I'm not a walking example of all the worst-case scenarios....which is nice!)
I thought I'd share one very interesting experiment I did while I was reading this book. Before getting started with the tidying portion of the book, you're asked to describe your "dream lifestyle" and "reasons for tidying" until you really feel like you understand why you are doing this. She goes into much more detail, but for the purposes of this post, that will suffice. Here is what I wrote down:
Visualize the ideal lifestyle you dream of:
Striking the balance between beauty, comfort and usability in everyday life.
- A schedule that allows for focus on hobbies/interests/personal growth
- Freedom from all toxic relationships, people, topics, etc.
- Continually building an inner-confidence
- Not focusing on regret or guilt
- Minimalist-inspired simplicity
- Intention over frivolousness
What do you hope to gain through tidying:
A home that feels “done”.
- Why? I hate excess, waste and clutter. A space that is free of all those things will relieve the guilt I feel for not having a perfectly clean home at all times (no where to put things) or for having things I don’t use which constantly remind me of the money I wasted (or try to use them, even if I don’t like them.) In contrast, I’ll be surrounded by things I love, and therefore be inspired to use my home the way I want to use it without the attention on an incomplete home. This also eliminates the need to buy something to decorate the space.
- Why? I’ll be inspired by my surroundings and free my mind from the distraction of the things around me.
- Why? Everything has a place which eliminates the need to spend extra time organizing.
- Why? Efficiency will allow me to keep up my ideal lifestyle.
After doing this exercise I clearly understood the type of home I wanted. So I took a look at my Pinterest boards and put together some images that went along with the dream lifestyle. I have a fairly distinct style, but I still find myself looking at my Pinterest boards and trying to decipher why I love a few very different styles all on the same board. This time around, the lens I was looking through was instantly different, I could feel it. Here we go:
In contrast, here are some of the images that I have pinned (and loved/considered decorating inspiration) that I now see don't define my "dream lifestyle".
It seems incredibly obvious from the way these images are arranged what my dream lifestyle looks like (clean lines, no distractions, no cluttered decor), but in many ways the styles and colors are similar throughout (take a look at the first set of images, which combines images from both sets). I pinned all these thinking they fell into the same category. I still love and appreciate a variety of styles, but now I better understand my personal vision versus what I just find aesthetically pleasing.
Next step - purge! I currently have a little bit more time in my week to dedicate toward purging my home and I have to say, I'm very excited to focus on my home and creating a space that I love. I'll likely share some periodical updates on my progress. And if I ever figure out a way to take photos and list the room full of things I'm giving away, I'll try to make those available! (help?!)