Have you ever noticed how one small home décor change can have a domino effect?
We recently replaced the carpet, painted the walls and changed the furniture arrangement in our living room. We moved a large wall unit out of the living room to open it up. It made a big difference. I would have been perfectly fine with selling or donating the piece that had served us well for thirty years, but my husband wanted to keep it. We moved the wall unit to his basement study and put it in the space that had previously contained a couple of short bookcases. That created another problem; thus the domino effect. What should we do with the bookcases?
Thinking out loud can be dangerous.
I have some wall space flanking the fireplace in our upstairs den, so I started brainstorming and threw out the idea of moving the short bookcases to the den. My husband didn’t like the idea at all. He shared his reasons and I could see his point. No big deal. We could put them in his music room downstairs. I was fine with that.
The next thing I know I hear a loud rhythmic knocking sound as he is walking a bookcase up the stairs. I was shocked. He apparently had taken my thinking out loud as a definite plan and carried it out. The problem was, I had decided that I did not want to add more furniture to the den. I wanted to object but you should have seen the determined look on his face.
The deed is done
He put both bookcases in place. They fit well and looked fine. I filled them up with my books which had been stored on the living room wall unit. All was well until I sat down at my desk to work. My office is in the corner of the den. When my eyes get tired of looking at the computer screen I usually lean back in my chair and look left. Previously I would have been looking at a blank wall with lots of white space to rest my eyes.
My immediate reaction was “Oh no! That looks cluttered. What was I thinking?” I found the three rows of tightly packed colored books very disturbing. There would be no rest for my computer weary eyes. My wise husband was (gulp) right, but there was no undoing this. “How can I fix this?”
The Container Principle™ to the rescue!
I found some simple khaki canvas bins at a local store. I brought several home and set about the task of de-cluttering my bookshelf. This is a technique that I have used many times to organize children’s books in my work as a Professional Organizer.
I placed the books with the covers facing the front so that I can just flip through them to pick the book that I want. My shelves are twelve inches deep and many of the books are only four to five inches wide, which means there is a lot of wasted space behind the books when they are lined up in the traditional fashion.
A Little Organizing Magic
Both of my examples are holding the same 110 books. The new arrangement adds white space which is restful to my eyes. The white space is created by the solid colored canvas bins and by the few inches of empty space. Now when I am working at my computer and I look left to rest my eyes – they can rest – on the canvas bins.
So tell me, which book arrangement do you like the best? Leave your comments below.