That is the last box we had left to unpack from when we moved in together just after our wedding 2 years ago. I know shameful. I have a ton of excuses but #1 on the list is old Otis the unreliable elevator. Our move was smack dab in the middle of his 8-month strike. To make life a little easier on our loving friends instead of hiking all of my boxes up 5 flights of stairs, we moved some of my belongings to temporary storage in our friend’s garage. Months passed, leaves turned, snow flew, flowers sprouted, and yet our boxes sat in their garage, untouched. However, they recently gently reminded us that we still had a box or two waiting for us, hence the sudden urge to unpack.
As beautiful as an almost empty box is, our shelves were definitely lacking beauty! Most of the last box were books and bookshelf like items and after last week’s library looking I definitely felt a little lacking in the library department in our household. Apparently our shelves have become a stopping point for spray adhesive, candles, and other decorative pretties that have wandered from their homes.
Knowing full well that books and consequently bookshelves speak volumes (te he) about a couple I decided that it was time to declutter. Starting first with a Donate/Sell, Keep, and most importantly a Keep Somewhere Else pile. Because let’s face it, guests are nosy. They’ll read what books you have on your shelves and as practical as it is, ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility’ is not exactly the conversation starter you want to just put right out there, so those books, along with our journals, premarital counseling books, and the like, all moved to our bedroom.
However there was also a set of books I moved to the bedroom out of embarrassment. Apparently Bernard Cornwall is the male equivalent of Jodi Picoult, every male had read and loved at least one of his series. While the dragon-slaying cover art was a little too much for me, we’ll keep them and love them all the same.
Once you know what books are a must, you can start planning the space and shuffling things around in various arrangements. Here are a few tips to help along the way:
1.Space it out– It’s easier on your eyes and your shelves if you space out your books over several shelves. Organize them in a way the makes sense to you. For me, topic, size, and color.. yep I’m one of those people. As you can see here it’s a system that needs a touch of grace.2. Start at the bottom– Have the bottom shelves hold the most books allowing pictures and mementos take the focus at eye level.
3. Pretty items are nice, pretty items with meaning are even better. Bookshelves are great places to show off family photos, souvenirs from your honeymoon, and bits from life that have gotten you where you are today.
4. Stand back, and take in the view. Review is always an important phase of design and often the most time consuming. By taking a step back, you can see what needs to be moved, tweeked, or taken out all together.
With most projects, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a process. Just because you call it quits for now doesn’t mean you won’t shuffle items around again tomorrow. Even now, after staring at these photos for far too long ,I just had to get up and center the suitcase under the books above, it was just driving me batty!
Speaking of suitcases, they are one of my tricks to living in a small space. You may notice the stack of them beside our hutch, they are FULL of pretty crafty items. Easy to get to and even easier for Cody ignore said shiny objects, win win right?
Wait it gets better.
This group hides the gaping hole in our wall that breaks all sorts of safety regulations. I’ve tried several times to get a cover to secure live wires and eroding wall to no avail, so we hide it. Not a great solution, but we’re both past the age of sticking foreign objects in sockets, for the most part!