Our home has changed a lot over the past year and a half.

It feels much more peaceful and calm and pulled together and meaningful and useful to our family now.  You might have liked it better before and that’s ok because you don’t live here.  I’ve been going through a stage where I want to be surrounded by less stuff.  I still adore homes filled with all sorts of trinkets and collections and tchotchkies but I’m not organized enough to keep my house with them.  I’m finding that it’s much easier for me to keep our home running smoothly when I have less stuff.  And I’m finally learning how to have less stuff and still feel like my house is pretty.  It was hard and I had to learn a new skill.

I had to learn to EDIT.

Yep, for me, getting RID of stuff was actually the key to starting to get the home I wanted.  Ohhh, ouch that hurts!

And although our house looks really different, I didn’t get rid of very many large pieces {although I did makeover most of them}, I mostly got rid of small things, or Little Junk as Emily and I like to call it.  When we were younger and played Barbies for about 8 years straight, we called the box of Barbie shoes and hats and cameras and dishes and sunglasses and plastic brushes and pretend foods and anything else accessory: “Little Junk”.  I looooved, the Little Junk, no surprise there.

My Process

I didn’t start by emptying out a room and selling everything, I started by moving out all of my little junk things that I loved, like pillows and plants and tchotchkes.  I quieted the house.  And when I did I was left with the sofa and chairs and armiore and rug and lamps and tables. I knew I had a problem when I didn’t really like what I saw.  A worn out red toile sofa, lots of black painted furniture, a green hued area rug and a weird layout.  Not to mention renter walls with a pink hue.  Instead of trying to mask all of that with pretty pillows and potted plants, I finally decided to tackle my issues head on.

I moved everything out of the room but the big stuff and then found the best placement for those things. I kept most all my little junk packed away in the garage for a few months so I could concentrate on the big stuff and not get distracted by a cute birdcage.

I’ve written an entire long post about the slow transition from toile to white sofa which will explain how we lived during the SLOW, enjoyable, developed over time evolution of our home.  But, today I want to tell you how or why I was able to get rid of things.

I got MORE of the house I wanted by having LESS stuff in it.

It’s magical irrational decorating math.

Even though this stuff is pretty, I simply didn’t need this many things but I didn’t realize it until I loved my basic items, I wasn’t willing to risk letting them go until I knew I could still love this room.  Now I love it 100 times more without this stuff.

Once we made those changes in the family room {fresh paint, slipcovered sofa placed in a better position, thrifted leather chair, window mistreatments, gallery wall, poster board sunburst mirror, Ikea shelf, pair of lamps from Home Goods, yard sale dresser, moving the tv} I didn’t want to clutter it up with my precious Little Junk. And Little Junk quickly adds up to make A Bunch of Junk.

It was that simple.

Once I liked our basic, big stuff like the sofa and walls and windows and rug and tables~ the small things didn’t matter as much. And I noticed if I put too many small things in the room {like pillows and vases and birds and nests and on and on it goes} they seemed to take away from the look.  Now I want more and more of less stuff.  It’s like I’m addicted to Less.

Most of you already know that secret.  But some of you are like me.  Some of you have gone for so long with something you don’t like you forget that there are ways to change it without buying all new stuff.  And sometimes, those are the best solutions~but they still cost, maybe even a greater cost because they involve risk and creativity and you are right now making excuses why you can’t do it and then complaining about what you do have and what you don’t have. But, I promise the results can be even better than buying all new furniture.

And maybe it starts with Little Junk.

{our house is always in transition, right now my friend Angela is painting our coffee table}

Clearly, I’m no minimalist. I still have lots of Little Junk.  But, it’s probably only 20% of what I’ve had in the past and it’s all past my ruthless evaluation.  If I don’t love it, it’s not here.

Next post we’ll talk more about how to declutter, destuffify, destuficate, quiet the house and edit out our Little Junk.

Do you have a name for your Little Junk?  Do you even have Little Junk or is it just my sickness?