Simply Simplify

8:17 AM Posted In , , Edit This
I missed Saturday, it turned out to be a driving day for me. Family first, and it was. So here's my simple take on Simplicity. It's different for everyone. For David Henry Thoreau it was abstinence from the of mainstream rigors of society. For me it's organization of everything we use for a designated purpose~(almost have that one mastered), and designating a time to everything else, time management~ (working on this one). To sum that up, "A place for everything and everything in it's place" as well as, "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven". Ecc 3; 1-8.

Organizing the scrapbook room has been very enjoyable. I'm still able to get in there and organize. It's truly a passion. I get really 'happy' when I've found a new, more efficient way to arrange my supplies. I was on cloud nine when I found that white cart at Canadian Tire. No, you're not missing it. It's the black one with a stainless top. I was so excited to use it, my husband tried to paint it outside in -8 weather, the paint froze! That's impatience for you, and a really amazing husband who enables my weakness sometimes. This time was one of those "I couldn't wait" times. Now I have to wait for Spring so he can sand it down and paint it again. That goes to show that both patience and timing play a big part in what you do. "Good things come to those who wait" Hmm, I've heard that one before, oh, that's what it means again!

The art of simplifying for someone who has 'a lot of stuff' is simple, organization and limits. You need to choose the place you will be organizing and what you will be organizing in this place, as well as the type of container you will organize your belongings in. I have chosen to keep everything in the same type of container (in my case rectangular, or square) and the same colour. In my case I chose black leather and lacquer and stainless or pewter accessories to accent. You will see a little colour added with the seasonal flowers I have on my desk, some papercrafted flowers my daughter made, containers with buttons or paper flowers in them, a display rack of glitter~bling~ooh! The other place you will see colour is on the pages that I display in the room. One on the door and two on the filing cabinets. I also have two frames with favourite cards my daughter or I have made. That's it. The only other colours are outside the two windows in the room. I look outside the one and see a beautiful farm with big fields and rolling hills that seem to go on forever. I never tire of taking pictures of the snow, fog, rain or flowers on the same landscape. If I add any more colour it will become cluttered feeling for me. I have seen some beautiful rooms with two colours; black/pink, red/black, blue/green, black/white, pink/white. When you add too many coloured or varied shape containers the room starts to look too colourful and can be distracting to the creative energy for some. I am no expert in learning styles, however, I have noticed that people like myself who are predominantly left brain logical types have difficulty being creative in rooms with too much visual stimulation. Other people who are predominantly right brain creative types have rooms surrounded with visually stimulating items and colour. I feel very claustrophobic in those surroundings. I find it difficult to think or concentrate. They, on the other hand are creatively free and able to flourish in this atmosphere. So, the other day when I mentioned that if I had the space I'd have everything out in the open to access more easily, I don't think I would. Everything would be spaced out more~ wow, that would be incredible, but, I couldn't have too many things 'displayed' for it would clutter my creative flow of energy. A great place to see both types of these rooms is the magazine "Where Women Create" a Somerset Studio publication. You can view some of it online on their website. I buy this publication every month. I love to peruse the photos of other womens' creative spaces. A couple of other great websites to see other peoples' creative spaces are "Two Peas in a Bucket" and "Splitcoast Stampers". When you find their site just do a search for 'scrapbook rooms' or 'scrapbook studios'. You will see hundreds, scratch that, thousands of pics of crafty peoples' rooms.

As I said, I used to have everything in the office off my bedroom. It had a gorgeous view and a covered porch. I loved to sit and watch the sunsets from my comfy chair surrounded by my plastic containers and stacked up cardboard boxes with my teddy bear collection looking down on me. It took me so long to find anything because, although it was organized in containers they weren't uniform in colour and type and very distracting. The room was very full and very cluttered. I was rarely able to pull out stuff and put a card together quickly. It took too much effort. By the time I found what I was looking for my creative energy was gone and I didn't want to do anything. That is what happens in the rest of our home if we aren't careful. Again, simplicity in the home is all individual. People's styles, choice of colours and furniture display our personality as well as our belongings. We must assure that it's conducive to our personal sense of peace just being in it. Some people are very peaceful in homes filled with antiques and although I love visiting museums of yesteryear homes I could not live in those surroundings. So, it's very important to find your style (hopefully one that your family equally enjoys) and stick with it throughout the home. That's why model homes are appealing to so many people. The colours and contents have been professionally chosen to convey a certain feeling and lifestyle to the buyers and it is consistent throughout the home.

That was one of the great rewards we reaped by 'staging' our home for sale. I have considered becoming a home stager, it comes naturally to me. However, I am a person that does have a lot of stuff and it was difficult for me to 'cold turkey' de-clutter. It was done within 7 days (one of the requirements of our contract with the seller of the home we wanted was to have it listed and showing within that time). Everything was boxed, painted, rearranged and 'staged' to model home standards. We had an offer from the first showing! My kitchen cubbie was one of the most attractive things in the home that pulled in that first offer. My husband was working outside and heard the people talking about the glass jars in the pantry. The woman said it reminded her of her mother's pantry she had as a young girl. We have a pantry that has an upper cubbie with 5 shelves of 25 glass jars with stainless, see through lids with everything in them. Baking ingredients such as, flour, sugar, nuts etc. As well as a lower cabinet with two shelves filled with the same jars with granola bars, and snack stuff. This organization allows me to bake or cook on a more consistent basis because the kitchen is so much more organized that it was before. We used to eat out far more often than we do now. I try to keep the same consistency in the kitchen as the scrap room and office, attractive, organized storage. If it won't fit I won't buy it. I use that same philosophy in my scrap room. I have certain types of containers for embellishments. If I can't store it neatly in my containers it can't be part of my room, lol! If the space for that particular item is full, I won't buy any more. I have a filing cabinet drawer of chipboard. It is full. Now when I go to stores and see chipboard, I pass it by and I have no regrets. If it is something that is truly awesome that I 'have to have' then I re-do that part of my space and get rid of something. Like stamps for example. I wanted some more updated stamps so I took some of the older sets that I really didn't fancy anymore and sold them. Presto-chango, room for the good stuff and no regrets! The lady at the lss commented to another customer one day, "Marie won't buy those type of stamps because they won't fit in a box, if she can't organize it, she won't buy it!"Getting back to this home staging business. I couldn't sleep at first, the bedroom felt so empty all of the sudden. With all but four picture frames on my dresser and only two left on the walls, my room felt cold and un-natural to me. My husband loved it! Perhaps because he wasn't attached to the pictures like I was. Still over a year later I have kept the same four frames on my dresser and only two pictures on the walls. The others are neatly packed away in boxes in the basement. I cannot part with them yet. I have been going through things once a week and eliminating those things that no longer have a place. I have taken some pics out of the smaller frames and put them in the scrap room to be transformed into pages that will hopefully be passed on through the generations. I haven't moved my teddy bear collection back onto the hutch in the office because I like the clutter free look we have now. So, they were moved into a rubbermaid box in our storage room, sniff, sniff I can't part with them yet, and I don't want to! Simplicity doesn't have to mean living with the bare minimum for everyone. As long as your belongings are stored in containers that you can easily access when you want them and you don't have to rent a storage unit to keep them, is there anything really wrong with having a collection of something that brings you joy?

I am in the process of organizing my photos on one computer instead of 3 and from about 12 media cards. Then I will be able to retrieve photos easier for scrapping and posting. Then I will post photos of my 'spaces' on a more regular basis. For now I'll leave you with one of my favourites. Talk about 'out of place'! Until next time. Simply.Marie