I’m currently reading The Joy of Less: a minimalist living guide* (affiliate link, please see below) by Francine Jay. I love what I am reading so far, especially part one: philosophy. I’ll be doing a full review of the book later in the month. I’m not finished with it yet but I just finished the chapter on the bedroom and I wanted to implement something she suggested right away.
Jay encourages the reader to only keep things related to clothing and sleeping in the bedroom. She says to take out the toys, desks, papers, etc that have made their way in the bedroom and remove them.
This idea was eye-opening to me. It was the spark that I needed to finally tackle the random piles that had slowly been gathering on top of and around my desk. Our bedroom tends to be the spot where I bring things to sort (like our socks). Or a place to hide things I’ve gathered from downstairs while guests are here. That might be fine if it were temporary but the temporary piles inevitably blend in and I ignore them.
This is what my desk looked like before:
I had really high hopes that when I moved this desk into our bedroom, it would provide a place for me that signals “it’s time to get to work.” For a short while I think it did. I put baskets on top of the desk with all my articles on blogging and writing. I believe I even wrote a few posts and writing exercises there at the desk.
It was short-lived. As the way of all flat surfaces in this house – it became a clutter magnet. I piled papers, random objects, and clothes on top of it. I wrote on my laptop downstairs on the couch…as I’m doing right now.
So when Jay suggested taking everything out of the bedroom not related to clothing or sleeping, I knew I wanted to try it. Here’s a brief description of what these piles represent:
- I finally sorted through the monthly bills that could go into the piles for shredding on Earth Day.
- I filed away report cards, child health assessments, and repairs done on our car.
- I threw out little random objects that had been gathering in small piles.
- I made a pile of batteries to be brought to work to recycle.
- I put the photos that I want scanned into the storage closet to be sorted through one more time.
- I made a pile of children’s toys to be brought to their room.
- I put the weights back where they belonged downstairs.
- I made a “module” for my knitting as Jay suggests. A module is just a clear plastic box that you can put one activity’s things inside. When you’re done knitting, for example, you can close it up and put it away in its home (versus leaving it on the living room floor).
Here is what the space looks like after:
I put the desk in the landing outside of our bedroom and storage closet. We don’t necessarily have an office space in the house so I will either use the desk in that space, or I’ll decide that it isn’t necessary and donate it.
We still have our little reading nook with a table, chair, and one bookshelf in the space by the window which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with clothing or sleeping. I find the space relaxing though so I’ll keep it in the bedroom. That’s the place I go in the morning to have quiet time and look out over our neighborhood and city while I read, reflect, and pray.
I made our bed and sat there for a while. It’s strange to have so much unused space, but so far I think I’m really going to like it. It already feels more peaceful.
Have you tried this idea of only keeping items related to clothing and sleeping in your bedroom?
I’ll be linking up to these great parties.
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