Setting up a Minimalist Home

I’m certain that my level of minimalism probably pales in comparison to others’ but for my family, our current level of minimalism is a huge improvement over the way we used to live.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, we’ve had to buy some things to help us acheive our minimalism goals at the new house.

New sofas are a splurge and won’t necessarily help keep us organized, but the old ones were 20+ years old and an ugly hunter green that would never have matched the paint, carpet and existing decor in the house.  Plus, having enough comfy seating space for the whole family so we can have more family movie nights and more family game nights is very important to me.  Happy occupants equals more productive occupants.

Bookcases.  While I’ve pared my books down by about 90% over the past few years, I still have to have some books.  I can’t NOT have books for our homeschool.  I can’t NOT have ANY cookbooks.  I can’t tell the kids they need to toss their reading material and go digital because we only have two Kindles, after all, and they LOVE their books.  It wouldn’t be wise for me to throw away my collection of Professional Photographer magazines, because there are important articles I reference regularly.  And my small collection of home magazines (I only save certain issues) makes me happy and I’m almost finished cutting ideas out of them and making them into inpsiration notebooks, which make me feel GOOD and help me keep my thoughts ORGANIZED visually on paper, rather than swirling around in my head.

And then there’s our family room TV.  We have a 47″ Smart TV and we don’t have cable.  We have use OTA and streaming, often for educational purposes for the kids.  We have a couple came consoles.  And a small DVD collection; some fun and some educational.  These things need homes.  I’m not ready to part with them because I feel like they enrich our lives in small ways while not taking anything away from us.

I also have a small collection of Willow Tree figurines…they all represent something and I love them.  They are also simple, non-ornate and very organic looking.  I have some other decor pieces that I love…I recently read that when decorating a home it’s important to surround yourself with things you love.  If I love something and it helps impart warmth and whimsy to my home, then to me it’s not clutter but an integral part of my space.

Of course all these things I mention need homes.  After looking at several alternatives from DIY to custom-made cabinetry, we settled with Carson collection bookcases from Target.  Four 30″ bookcases, a 54″ unit for the TV and we have something that looks almost built-in, and will look even better after we finish our DIY bridge shelf.  All for less than half of what the same would have cost in Ikea Hemnes, which was my initial plan.  I also invested in some decorative storage containers from the Martha Stewart collection at Staples, which will let me store the less-pretty of our books plus workbooks and magazines, out of sight.  There’s also plenty of shelving for plants, my Willow Tree items and small framed pictures.  All the things that make our house a home.

Next…my re-purposed, upcycled work-table/coffee table…

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