Day With a Camera: Revamping your Space

So it’s been a few months since we moved into our big, white-walled apartment on a lake. I loved it as soon as I saw it.. I’m just contemplating what to paint the walls with the high ceilings (we’re going to need a ladder). One can still however design with color no matter how plain your walls are. I went out on an inspiration run yesterday, hoping to get odds and ends I need for decorating.

I still cannot figure out how I want to store/arrange my DVDs in an attractive way… there are way too many to stack them (I’m talking wobbly tower of doom). Possibly time for another huge entertainment center from IKEA? How do you organize your DVDs and records attractively?

???? Strolling through a kitschy field of flowers~
A bouquet of feathers for the mantel~ My headboard of lights~
How does one arrange DVDs attractively? A bouquet of feathers is just what I needed~

Moving Time and Living Out of Boxes

happy birthday

Remember all those times I complained of not having my own office anymore? Of everything being transitional and having our stuff in boxes and in storage? Well we finally settled down into our new home. It took so much work to get here and I’m excited to get to share it with Colette!

I’m unpacking all of my favorite things. Things I forgot even existed.

Which reminds me of the purpose of this post, to remind you that you also own things you don’t even know exist.

Living without all of my things for over a year (I had my clothes and computer of course!) really helped me pinpoint my hoarding problem. I found I had packed and moved boxes upon boxes of stuff, most of which I didn’t need, to our new apartment. Not that my house was cluttered.. as you can see from the previous articles featuring my first apartments.. but I’ve always had too much to display! So what’s the point?

It really forced me to take a look at everything as I unpacked items one by one.. it made me really appreciate the things I had missed and realized I should donate a lot of the things I had forgotten about.. in getting rid of your excess items you can focus on your favorites OR things that really matter!

most of them

I’ve been clearing and storing.. I have this silly stack of vintage and kitschy cookbooks that I can’t seem to part with but I had to move to the closet because I felt the amount of books was getting a little overwhelming.. I’ve found that rather than collect a lot of something you like to display.. it’s best to display your favorites and possibly part with the rest (unless it’s your hobby, like Blythe is mine).

I like to have people over a lot and I’d rather them see things that really matter to me and my environment rather than a cluttered collection of dusty maneki nekos. Perhaps some of my favorites from Japan and a cute family photo? I have a thing for jars of candy.

Today is the day to get your life in order. To sort, shelve and box. To donate and to reuse. Look around and notice the clutter, notice if there’s anything that you’re not attached to. Make room for favorite things, clear spaces for new treasures.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Fear of Fear

I had originally planned to include photos of every home I’ve ever lived in but of course my computer crashed upon arriving in our new home. Did I say how anxious I am because I’m unable to work or access client files?

I thought you should know, however, that I’ve finally moved into my new office and work will ensue very soon. There is SO MUCH I’ve missed and so much I appreciate now. Most of all you.

French Magazine Clippings: MiLK Home Decor

You’ll be noticing some changes around here.. mostly just cleaning things up and preparing for more change.. there are so many things I’ve wanted to get done but have continually put off!

Don’t throw tomatoes yet! .. remember, I’m a new mother!

I’ve decided that when you’ve figured out how to work with a baby on your lap you must be really driven. Ha!

So here I am preparing a move, trying to work and giving Colette every free moment and busy moment I have. I want to build her a world of dreams and wonderment — color and whimsy. I cannot WAIT to move and finally unpack. I’m starting to forget what my real office even looks like anymore..!

So in the middle of all of this I’ve been feeling the insatiable need to travel again.. and so I’m planning a couple of trips to cities in the USA but I’m having urges for more international travel. I miss my friends and family in Japan and I would love to go on a shopping spree for our new place. A trip back to Paris wouldn’t be so bad either, have you seen MiLK Decor in France? I’ve been EATING home decor magazines lately.

Do you want more??

MILKs
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Rice, the Colorful Home Decor Company

I recently had the delight of viewing rice of Denmark’s summer catalogues. The color and decor is very Jeu de Paumes and left my eyes swelling with sugar and sparkle. Eye candy and color for kids rooms, outside and of course, the home!

I can’t get enough, can you? I’m ready to have tea in the garden with all of these goodies tomorrow.

rice

“Rice is a basic survival product for many people in this world, and especially in the Third World.”
~ Rice

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Cleaning out the Closet

I figured I should write about something I’m currently tackling and how I dealt with it. I’m not just organizing my closet either, I’ve got everything (except my clothes) organized into boxes and in storage ready to move.. this ‘transitional stage’ is quite tough on a ‘nesting’ pregnant woman, but I found that I can feel confident simply by knowing I’ve went through and discarded/donated/saved anything I’ve ever had. I have a lot of junk. When I say junk I mean cute toys and nonsense from Japan, ridiculous amounts of assorted craft tools and art supplies, geeky technological computers and games (mine and my husbands combined), my husbands music equipment, my extensive Blythe doll collection (which includes a Blythe-size-inhabitable dollhouse)… wah!

array of clothing

I used to listen to others with absolute sympathy and little understanding as they complained about having to get rid of all of their Blythe doll boxes and anything they aren’t really attached to, having to slim down their collections, clothes and more.. I just guess being from the Midwest I assumed I’d always have a lot of space at my disposal.

Space is over-rated, having things is over-rated. First thing any psychologist will try to explain to a hoarder is that memories are not items. You can get rid of everything you have except your basic needs and you would still have your memories. Take photos of a cherished item. Store it in an album. There are many ways to reminisce without filling your house with everything you’ve ever loved. It’s easy (for me) to do.. but it’s not good, being attached to any item is dangerous.. Instead use that attachment on people and new memories, a 60s tumbler from your grandmother might be irreplaceable to you, but remember not to confuse the attachment you feel towards your grandma with the item.

It’s hard for me to get rid of anything I had in Japan, I feel if I lose it I’ll forget.. I just love visiting my room at my parent’s house and holding random items from my time there, it’s like the room is actually frozen in time and I’m still that same girl in school when I visit.

Before I move out of state I have to decide what I really do and do not need of course and start living a simple life, stop trying to save everything. After living in cute, tiny city lofts I quickly realized STUFF is exactly what I do not want. I did not want to carry boxes and boxes of junk down that tiny, spiral staircase and into the basement-looking living room. I quickly realized being on my own that stuff was useless — and yes my dolls were still with me all the way.

I do hope to someday have a home with more space, but I’m not ready to settle down yet. I’ve still got a lot of career-obsession driving my life.

Tips ala Real Simple

I found a lot of organizing tips in Real Simple Magazine, these were the ones I found most helpful.

If you are on the fence about an item, “flag” the hanger. As you wear each item, remove the flag. At the end of each season, items that are still marked with a flag should be donated. If the item is in good condition and/or if you paid a lot for it, think about selling it at a local consignment store or online at a site such as eBay.

Use every square inch of your closet. Hang shoe racks on the back of your closet door. Classic belt hangers with multiple hooks are also a good solution for hanging camisoles, bras, or scarves. Always remove sweaters from hangers and fold them. Hangers will ruin the shape of sweaters over time.

It’s possible that no matter how much you try to edit and organize, you just have too much stuff to fit in your closet. If that’s the case, then you need to resort to a seasonal system by rotating your fall/winter clothes with your spring/summer clothes. Out-of-season clothes and kept in your attic or basement or under your bed in storage boxes.