Do you remember this picture? Oh, I'm sure you do! You probably had nightmares all night long after looking at this picture. And on a decorating blog no less!
I have to admit that even I didn't realize it looked so bad until I stepped back and saw that room through some else's eyes. But, even then, I wasn't quite motivated.
At my age I no longer really know what it takes to motivate me. I used to put something on a list and I wouldn't go to bed at night until I had tackled the project and it was crossed off the list. Boy, have times changed. These days I just move it on to tomorrow's list or, more often, forget where I put the list and what was on it, so I am"home free"
In any case, for whatever reason, I began to tackle this mess even though it was completely overwhelming. I began by removing all of the books and my husband and I did some "selective" editing. I usually pass most of my books along to my daughter and only the ones by my very favorite authors are requested to be returned so my pile wasn't anywhere near as large as his. He also has favorite authors, so after a few tears were shed, he agreed to pass along some of his books as well.
I dusted all of the shelves but if truth be told and I was really doing this correctly, I should have put another coat or two of paint on everything. I guess all the years of pulling books in and out took their toll. Maybe some day, but not this summer!
Then, I grouped them by author and decided to take off all of the dust jackets so it wasn't so "busy". I think all of the colors definitely led to visual over stimulation.
I'm not really sure I like the books with the jackets removed because most of our books come from the book club and they are pretty generic but that does lead to some sense of uniformity, so I'm okay with it for now.
Even though there will be much tweaking before these shelves are done, I think they look soooo much better. I need time to gather up some goodies for the open spots and do a little merchandising on these areas. I will get there.
As I was reworking the shelves, I realized that part of the visual blight came from the large photo albums and various specialty books that I wanted to keep but couldn't really make eye pleasing. Then, I realized that the closet organizer I put in this room years ago-way before the pretty ones came on the market-had holes up and down the length of them. A quick trip to Lowes and a few cuts with my chop saw and I had shelves filling this area. I know it isn't pretty, but no one uses this closet and all it holds in the way of clothing is our old Halloween costumes, Halloween jackets, sweaters, etc. and my 3 outfits from my girls weddings-why I am keeping them, I don't know! There are also a number of larger decorations that currently have no where else to go. As long as no one opens this closet, we'll be O.K.-out of sight, out of mind.
What is not quite so out-of-sight are the books we aren't keeping. I am waiting for each of my kids to come by to see if they want any of them and then they are on to the Friends of the Library. I know as soon as I get rid of them, one of my blog friends will come up with the BEST idea ever for a craft using old books. Oh well, I like to live on the edge! Stay tuned!