I hope everyone is having a great January so far! We are staying busy at home this winter by decluttering and downsizing. My husband has been on a big clean out the house kick. I have been willing to jump on the bandwagon, just not with as much haste as he. 😛
We have been very productive in a short time, however. There is a lot being tossed, and I have a lot to donate. If there is still life left in an item, I feel better donating to our SPCA thrift shop than throwing it away. They are always looking for donations! I’ve been going through my clothing, shoes, kitchen items, old toys, etc. When I really look at or handle everything, it’s amazing how much I own. I have hung on to a lot of stuff from my youth that I am gearing up to get rid of. A few years ago it was a lot harder for me to part with my things. I have that problem a lot of people do with their things being an extension of themselves. But the older I get, the more I see that things are just things!
Look at it this way, if you were to have a house fire or flood, you can’t save it all. What is really meaningful? What is most important? Your life, and the lives of your loved ones and pets, obviously. Any *thing* can be replaced. There may be some family heirlooms that cannot be replaced, but at the same time, they are not necessary for survival. Take photos, of everything-and make sure to consistently back your photos and videos up in more than one location! That way, if the original source is lost, you have options for replacing your photos and videos down the road. I personally save everything to my computer, facebook, shutterfly, and an external hard drive. Options.
But back to the original point of the post-FUNCTIONAL SPACES. For those that don’t know me personally, we live in a small A-frame home in the mountains of West Virginia. Moving in with my husband 4 years ago, this was my first experience with living in an A-frame. I have had a heck of a time figuring out how to work with the particular layout. I hadn’t had a lot of success in figuring out how to configure the furniture, and there isn’t much online to help. Many of the A-frame designs I found are HUGE and very modern, with a completely different floor plan than what we have. The great part about my husband pushing us to downsize the amount of things we have, the layout is becoming a bit easier to work with. Everything is centered around a wood-stove, that has been one of our biggest challenges.
(A frame house image from houseplansfree.net)
By removing so many things, we set up our furnishings in a way that opens up the floor and allows for movement and flow. The funny thing is that it “feels” better, too. Almost like a weight is off of my shoulders. We can now comfortably sit in our living room without feeling boxed in, and our dining area is usable again. We’ve gotten rid of a bunch of dishes and rearranged things so that the kitchen isn’t as overwhelmed. My husband has a room upstairs for his hobbies and things he’s keeping, and I have the other side of the upstairs which is a loft for my crafting, baby stuff, and things I’m keeping. It’s all coming together!
The less items you have and/or the better organizational options you have, the easier it will be to create a functional space. Whether you need to clean up your whole house, or just a specific room, usable space is within reach. I really never would have thought it possible in our home, until we started this major clean out project. Now I have a space specifically for my computer to do my blogging, business and schoolwork, I have a space specifically for sewing, and I also have a space for my crafting. It is awesome!
Here are my final thoughts from today’s post:
- Do me a favor, if you also decide to go through a decluttering and downsizing process, try to donate what you can before tossing stuff in the trash. Look for your local thrift shops and find out what items they accept.
- Remember to consistently back up your photos and videos! And do so in more than one location.
- Functional spaces require movement, flow and accessibility. The less you own, the better this system works. Don’t get consumed by material possessions. Only keep what you need and use! Trust me, you will feel better in so many ways.
Do you have trouble areas in your house that are holding you back from full functionality? Do you have a hard time letting go of things? Tell me your experiences!