Welcome to the November Tour of Organizing Bloggers’ Living and Family Rooms! (See last month’s tour of our KITCHENS.)We live in a 1926 American Craftsman Bungalow in the heart of an Historic District in our city’s downtown.
Our home is around 1700 square feet, which isn’t small, but we definitely have to be frequently intentional about what to keep and what to sell, donate, give, or throw away.
I believe in Gustav Stickley’s principle now more than ever since moving in this home last year.
He was the “father” of the Arts & Crafts Movement and Craftsman design.
It has taken us this whole past year in this house to finally reach the “simplified” point, and actually USE most of our belongings.
We have no “extra” rooms in the house, either. Each space is used daily. And we love being “right-sized” to our house, finally, after 25 years of making a family. Paper is part of modern life, as is the distributing of it throughout a home. But left unchecked, sorted, recycled, it can quickly grow into a bigger part of our lives than we’d like. We only keep two baskets of reading material in the living room.
The rest of our books are kept in the bookcases in our office just off our living room.One for magazines, and one for books that we are currently reading.
These are the magazines that I collect, keep, and refer to often. You won’t find Cottage Living in publication anywhere anymore, but you can find copies HERE on eBay. Cottage Living mags are timeless inspiration to me!
The other magazine I collect is HERE at Life:Beautiful. You may have never heard of it, and I hadn’t either, until… I happened upon it a few years ago in Wal-Mart. Now Barnes and Noble carries it, too.
I love this magazine because it is a combination of Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, the Bible, Veranda, Crafting Books, Devotionals, Cookbooks,
Focus on the Family…
The other basket contains my husband’s and my bibles, journals, Kindles, and daily reference/read books.
The selection is kept simple so we can not only find them quickly, but stay focused on finishing those selections we’ve chosen for the time being.
More corners of our living room. (The sofa and loveseat are IKEA’s Ektorp with the Blekinge White covers.)
The chest below was a gift from my mother-in-love.
It’s an 1880’s jeweler’s chest.
Our newest addition is this 1910 Victrola, a gift from my mom and uncle.
It belonged to their grandmother, my great-great-grandmother.
And the best part?
IT STILL WORKS!
Here are some ways to help you minimize books and magazines in the living room.
It starts with asking yourself and your family some questions, like:
What do we really need to save?
If we put a magazine in the recycle bin, could we find the info contained in it online?
Do we need more than the books we regularly use to be stored in daily-use spaces?
Then, we can take action:
Gather all the piles of books/magazines into one place, like the dining table or onto the floor.
Start making decisions about what you really want to read and collect.
If you’re behind on your reading material, schedule reading time into every day so you can catch up.
If you’re WAY behind, scan the table of contents in each magazine, highlight only those articles you’re most interested in reading, and read those just before recycling the magazine.
Cancel subscriptions to magazines that you are three months behind on. You may receive a refund on the unused portion of your subscription. Or you can change the mailing address and have the remainder mailed to someone you know will love the magazine.
Put a limit on the number of magazines you subscribe to (I subscribe to 3, but I recycle them as soon as I read them).
Don’t keep every issue (unless you still refer to them) of every magazine. Our home’s space is finite, and so should the amount of paper in your home be. Decide on a certain # of issues you’d like to keep and recycle the rest.
For books, if you’ve passed over a certain title again and again because you’d rather read another book, it may be time to donate or sell the neglected book.
Topical no-fiction has an expiration date. Donate or recycle those books that are no longer relevant to current times.
Only keep in your living room those books that are read on a daily and weekly basis.
Remember, you can always quickly order another copy of a donated book (should you miss it) off Amazon, or get it at the library.
Pinterest is like a virtual decorating book… it saves me lots of room in the baskets under my coffee table.
No matter how much you acquire, it’s impossible to have it all. There’s always something newer and better being introduced. Be happy with what you already have.
See the rest of the organized living rooms in our Autumn Tour:
Becky, Clean Mama – Toys in the Family Room
Toni, A Bowl Full Of Lemons – Organized Heirlooms & Collectibles
Becky, Organizing Made Fun — Kids’ Computer Station
Laura, OrgJunkie – Quiet Time Corner Organization
Ginny, Organizing Homelife – Bookcase Organization
Leanne, Organize and Decorate Everything – DVD’s
Anna, Ask Anna – TV Console Organization