Eliminate The Unnecessary So That The Necessary May Speak

Eliminate the Unnecessary

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. -Hans Hofmann

I am still on my simple living kick. In some weird way it feels like the core of everything that doesn’t seem right. I know that it’s not. Maybe  it is because this is something that I can control even if other things seem out of control. Maybe this is where I start.

This pretty much sums up how I am feel about the unnecessary…

“When you’re at home and you look around and see a lot of clutter, you might find that you feel distracted or even unable to fully relax in your surroundings.  Unnecessary clutter has the ability to create excessive visual, olfactory, and tactile stimuli which can make your senses effectively work overtime. What’s more, the clutter can cause your sense to work overtime on things that don’t really matter. When that happens on an ongoing basis, your whole body can react negatively to the stress, including your lungs, immune system, and heart – not to mention your mind. In fact, when you feel overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in your home your eyes can send the message to your mind that you are out of control in your life. As a result, it’s helpful to your overall health to declutter your home, despite the fact that it might feel like a daunting task.” -The 2-Hour Decluttering Guide

In other words, clutter does not help.

Eliminate the unnecessary.

This makes me wonder that if we can create peace and beauty in our home, will it gravitate to the other areas of our life? Will this work in reverse? Will this peace and beauty that we have created in our home, make everything else seem more clear?

Could this be why I feel so drawn to this area in creating a beautiful life?

At the very least, it will give us a place of refuge. Shouldn’t our homes, if anything, be a place of refuge?

Take a look around your home and ask yourself what is your home saying to you. And more importantly, what do you want it to say?

It’s weird. I want to be able to look around my home and it have a sort of bare, but yet still homey feeling. I am not sure if my home says what I want it to say…

homey

minimalist

simple

open

cozy

creative

beauty

inviting

Hmmm.

I think I must want a country loft…with art.

Interestingly enough, I pin a lot of homes like that.

Now to figure out how to get there with a one story, ranch style home. Decorating is not my strong point. I had a friend who said it best. She said that you either have to really know what you are doing or have a lot of money. She is probably right. I knew NOTHING about decorating when I started, and I’ve learned about three things since then.

I guess that is some progress.

Oh, to have just ONE interior designer friend. But since I do not, I am going to try to attempt this myself.  It’s just as well. She would probably not be talking to me anymore after the subject of paint color came up. There has been a mutiny at my home, and no one will help me paint the living room again. ONE time, I changed my  mind, and you would have thought I would have asked them to paint the Empire State Building.

I am just really glad that I changed my mind and didn’t go with the orange. These people would have made me live with it.

But they love me in a million other ways. Painting for me…at least not the same room twice…is just not one of them.

I feel like I need a blank canvas. It’s like trying to paint a masterpiece over an old dime store print.

Yes, I said dime store.

I don’t know why. As if turning 50 next month isn’t dating me enough, I go and use “dime store” print. Lovely.

Let’s just pretend that didn’t happen.

I had a friend who had some flooding/water damage to her home and everything had to be taken out. She said the interesting thing was that after they only brought back in a fraction of what they had, she loved it so much that they decided to get rid of everything else.  She said it was unbelievable what just taking everything out did for her home. I do not think we are reality show hoarders material, but I think we just collect a few things over the years that we don’t need anymore. Our home no longer serves us. We seem to serve it.

Eliminate the unnecessary.

With a blank canvas of nice flooring, paint, the right drapes, and a few pieces of furniture, you can add a few pieces of art, and a few things that really matter to you, and you will have a beautiful space. It doesn’t take a lot. I think ultimately it is a matter of having less.

This is why I am decluttering. I am not about to move everything out of my home.

Decluttering is about more than just cleaning your house.  It’s about eliminating the excess stuff that’s making it impossible to use and enjoy the items that you really want and need. -Sharon Hanby-Robie

I am not a hoarder, but I have just collected a few things over the years that no longer serve me.

Less equals more.

Eliminate the unnecessary.

If I seem overly, obsessive about simplifying, this is why. I am on a mission. A difficult mission for me. I have two sides at war. One who attaches sentiment to EVERYTHING and has too many books, and interests that come with the most stuff; and the other side who is craving LESS. And BEAUTY.  And PEACEFULNESS. I am not sure if you know this, but I am into this whole “creating a beautiful life” thing.

I should probably mention that both sides are ADD.  There is one big party going on in my head.

But I must stay focused. Even on days where I do not feel like it all. Which is almost all of them.

But today was an insanely productive day for my simple living project. Are you ready???

FIFTY-FIVE more things GONE today.

Before you get too impressed, I must confess most of it was old magazines. But, hey, they are still gone.

FOUR bags total gone.

Day 13: 115 unnecessary things less in my life

I am making progress. Imagine if the day that might say 500 less things or 1,000 less things, or 5,000 less things. OK. I am not sure there would be anything left in my home. I just like to dream big.

I fully expect one of you to hunt me down and find out what is going on if I quit writing about my progress. You would do that for me, right?

I am trying to stay focused by reading on the subject and finding pictures for inspiration and will be sharing inspiration and tips.

What is your favorite tip for simplifying, decluttering, organizing, or decorating?

Is this just me, or do you ever struggle with this?

Eliminate The Unnecessary

so that the

Necessary May Speak

Creating a beautiful life,

~Topaz

Simplicity is the Ultimate Form of Sophistication

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
It’s all about doing the math.

I am inspired to simplify my life. Things seem to take from my life more than they give. I am going to adopt this rule for my home:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
-William Morris

Things take time, and I have found that is just not the way I want to spend my time.

Plus I love small spaces like these:

simple-living-simplicity-tiny-houses

I have always loved small spaces. I remember when I was a little girl. My first home was a tiny 2 bedroom single wide mobile home. There was barely enough room to walk between the bed and the wall. After a few years, we moved from a tiny 2 bedroom single wide mobile home to a double wide. I wanted the utility room to be my room. Maybe we gravitate to what is familiar. The size was about the same. And it was the first door on the right. My parents thought it would be best to put the washer and dryer in that room. I had to take a large room. I still love small spaces, but I like them to feel big now.

Perhaps that is growth.

But the truth is I don’t even think my closet will fit into a small space not to mention everything else.

I crave the simple life, but something happens between my heart and head, and they can never seem to come to a meeting of the minds on this idea.

I am not a hoarder, but I have stuff.

Part of it has come from being in one place for too long. For the first seven years of my adult life, I lived in 10 different places and practically lived out of a suitcase. For the last 20 years I have lived in the same place. I definitely accumulated more stuff the latter way.

There is something to be said for traveling light in life, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The other part of the problem is hanging on to the sentimental things of life after you have children. I guess it’s an effort to hang onto what you know is slipping away. Time goes by so quickly when your children are growing up. Everything becomes special.

This conflicts with the other voice in my head. I never seem to look at a large house and have the same feeling as I do when I look at a tiny house. I have seen some amazing things done with the interior of small spaces. They can actually be very beautiful…and very freeing. Plus, I care more about where I live than the size of it. If living in something smaller puts me that much closer to a location I would love, then I am all for it.

Think of the little time it would take to clean it. Who wants to spend their free time cleaning a big house?

The cost of heating and cooling it. Think of all the extra vacations we could have.

The cost of doing some really nice things to a small space would be so much less than what it would cost to do to a larger space.

Everything about it just says freedom.

So this is what I am going to do.

The Simple Living Project (30 Days at a Time)

De-cluttering and Simplifying: 5 Things a Day or 1 Bag a Week

I love the idea of being free. Less stuff. Less work. Less expenses. Less definitely seems to equal more in this case.

I am going to commit to this for 30 days. And maybe another 30 days after that. I don’t know if I will ever get down to being able to live in one of the tiny spaces I like, but I will definitely have freed up some space, time, and resources by the end of 30 days. My goal is to throw out one trash bag of stuff every week. I am going to shoot for 5 things to get rid of every day. At the end of 30 days, that will be 4 bags and 150 things lighter. If I do this for three months, I will be 12 bags and 450 things lighter.

This project can even be done for a whole year.

1 thing a day = 365 less things at the end of a year.
3 things a day = 1095 less things at the end of a year.
7 things a day = 2555 less things at the end of a year.

The great thing about this is that by doing it daily, we make it a habit.

I want to stick with this, so to keep myself accountable, I will be posting my progress on facebook!

Who’s in? Who wants to join me? You can start anytime! Just comment if you are!

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
-Hans Hofmann

Creating a beautiful space,

~Topaz

Read about others who are fans of simple living…
Laura Catherine | Inspired Living Through Art, Healthy Eating, and Adventures

Creating a Special Place

reading-nook_7019Everyone should have one. I have always wanted one. So I created it today.  A beautiful reading nook.

Sometimes we just need a space that feels good and comforts us. When all is wrong in the world, we can curl up in it and feel comforted and safe. This is that space for me.

I bought the vintage-like DVD trunk last year, one of my favorite things. It holds ALL of our DVDs. Actually, this particular one in the bedroom only has a few DVDs in it, mainly a few DVDs that are my favorites. The main one is in the living room and has all of our other DVDs in it.

I stole the lamp from another room. Don’t you just love a lamp that creates a warm feel to a space? A beautiful, espresso brown chair holds the DVD trunk and the lamp, making a beautiful and unique end table.

The chair by the window was my mom’s chair, the same chair that my brother used to sleep in when he would visit my mom. As special as the chair is, it was not my taste at all. And I should be clear. It’s a recliner. I used what I had. I do that a lot.

Well, that and throw things out.

It is two very conflicting sides that are at war.

A lot.

But none of that seemed to matter when I threw one of my most favorite and most comforting possessions that I have ever owned in my whole life over it.

The brown throw.

My only regret when I bought it is that I did not buy more, because I cannot find this exact one anywhere now. That makes me sad. Because when I love something, I have this overwhelming urge to buy LOTS of them. This throw is my safe place. It makes everything feel all better. It does. It is like it is magical.

I am especially looking forward to curling up in this chair as the weather begins to cool. I am happy just thinking about it.

Creating a beautiful life,

~Topaz

Affiliate links (for a couple of the items used):
Quickway Imports Vintage Style Leather CD Case

1,000 CD Double-sided Plastic Sleeve Black