Soulful home progress report

“Nothing prepared me for the rush I got when that first bag of discards hit the curb. What I expected to be a tedious, and rather onerous, task turned out to be exhilarating. I was instantly addicted. I decluttered in the morning; I decluttered in the evening; I decluttered on the weekends; I decluttered in my dreams (really!). When I wasn’t actually decluttering, I was planning what I could declutter next. The high I experienced while decluttering was like no other; it’s as if I could feel the physical weight being lifted from my shoulders. After I’d been particularly productive, I’d twirl around in my (newly) empty space with a huge grin on my face.”

I could have written that myself! In fact, it was written by Francine Jay in The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life.  Reading her words caused me to nod in recognition.

There’s been no break with my effort to eliminate unnecessary items from our house.  I think if it’s been in the closet for over a year and we never needed it, we probably won’t be needing it in the future.

So far I have made about $800 by selling furniture that was crowding our space, books we don’t need hanging around taking up shelf real estate, kitchen items, etc.  I’ve been to Goodwill and the recycling dumpster multiple times and have given away a lot of things too.  I thought it was hilarious when someone in my facebook trading group asked me if we are moving.

media before after

This is the media console and hutch we sold to someone starting out in her first apartment. It’s going to be the nicest piece of furniture she has! And to the right, an idea of our new tv size. It sounded so big that I had to make sure with cardboard that it’s going to look ok.  🙂

take it away

Taking away the old unit

Having fewer possessions but having a spot for each item has made a big difference so far. Mr. B has even remarked that he likes the progress I’ve made although he jokes that he’s afraid I’m going to sell his clothes if he doesn’t lock them up.  I admit that I’m being rather ruthless right now because I’m tired of straightening up!

shredWeek three of the process is CLEANSE.   By that, Balbes means we need to take those items that bring us joy and take care of them, framing pictures, cleaning silver, etc.  It happens after RELEASE, where we “reconnect with our valued possessions via simple-seeming activities such as dusting, washing, framing, and reupholstering.” I haven’t gotten to that point yet because I am still purging but I did spend a few hours shredding documents that have been piling up for quite a while and it felt good to get those done.  I do like the idea of breathing new life into our valued possessions and I know I will do that.

“As you renew your bonds to what is useful for you, you strengthen your connection to the parts of your history that are the foundation of who you are today and who you want to become.” 

new ottoman

I saw this ottoman on Joss & Main and had to have it! We also have a lovely neutral rug coming.

I’m getting ahead of myself in the SoulSpace process but we have rearranged furniture and purchased a couple of items that we really love. In getting rid of our very large entertainment center, moving our love seat elsewhere, and our coffee and end tables, we have found a ton of space in our living room.  It’s not finished but stay tuned.

patioThe next thing and most exciting update is that we have enclosed our back porch and that has dramatically changed where we spend our free time.  It’s a great place for my daughter to play restaurant with sand.  (So far she hasn’t noticed the junk items I’ve tossed!)

Francine Joy also explained the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule). In this context, it means we use 20 percent of our stuff 80 percent of the time.  I’ve simply decided not to keep much of the other 80%.  She also says that “the things with which we choose to surround ourselves tell our story.”  I am obviously finding many many items that no longer tell the story I wish to tell.

book sortingIf you know me well you know that what I am about to tell you is a really big deal. I sold or donated hundreds of books. There were some that I have been hanging to since before college and I finally realized that I am not going to ever read them a second time. There are so many new books to read! Then there were the ones that I bought for work or photography and I also am not going to look through again. I sold some through BookScouter, which netted me about $50.  I gave away craft magazines and anything that people would want and I gave five huge boxes to Goodwill.

My shelves are still jammed with books but at least I can see what I have and they are not triple stacked.  I may have to go through them again but I can tell you that the ones I kept are the ones I truly do treasure.

I’ve saved the hardest projects for last… the hall closet full of everything I don’t know what to do with, the filing cabinet, the playroom, and finally the garage and attic.

Between my purging, selling, donating, and organizing, and setting up the new sunroom (assembling furniture), I have tuckered myself out!

Tell me how you’re getting along in your own home.  🙂

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10 Responses to Soulful home progress report

  1. Becky says:

    So impressive, Naomi! I can’t wait to see your new enclosed sunroom/deck/patio space!!

  2. Elda says:

    Great job! You have been hard at it. What a great idea to journal your journey with photos too. Awesome!
    Elda recently posted…How is YOUR Method of Dealing with Conflict Working for You?My Profile

  3. So inspiring! I love how your living room looks — colorful and inviting and not towered-over by a huge entertainment unit (as mine is!). Earlier this week I picked up the Marie Kondo tidying book and was reading through it today. I am still waiting for SoulSpace from the library. I’m doing a lot of gearing up and hope to hit the ground running one of these days!
    Heather Koshiol recently posted…Learn: Mindfulness AttitudesMy Profile

  4. Love following along and can I please have your living room furniture Love the rug, chair and sofa lol. Xxx
    Deb @ inner compass designs recently posted…Taking stock in JanuaryMy Profile

  5. Amy Putkonen says:

    Oh Naomi,

    I SO enjoy reading these updates! You are just going to TOWN! How fun. I am going to have to check out that other book you mentioned.
    Amy Putkonen recently posted…I Ching: Hexagram #19 – ArrivalMy Profile

  6. Sue says:

    Wow! what a fantastic job you have done. I truly admire your efforts. Just the thought of going through a project like that makes me break out in hives.
    Sue recently posted…Comment on What’s that? by SueMy Profile

  7. Tat says:

    You’re inspiring me! I’ve done a bit of decluttering and unfortunately I don’t get the rush. It feels fantastic when one area is complete, but I’m also finding it really hard to get myself to do the next bit, so my decluttering sessions are not very frequent.
    Tat recently posted…Just finished reading: Change your life without getting out of bedMy Profile

  8. I LOVE seeing what you’ve been up to Naomi. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and the changes you’ve been making are fabulous. Yay you!!!
    Deborah Weber recently posted…Sweet Adieu January 2015My Profile

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  10. Adil Shezad says:

    I am really inspired from your hard work. I love the colorful furniture idea of a living rool. I haven’t mixed the colors in my living room but now I am going to give it a try as it looks so cool. Thank you for sharing.

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