clearing corners, finding peace

The nagging sense of clutter, the slight unease of the light off the white walls, the chaos of a few toys on the floor — they have vanished. Our living room has become a zen zone of calm. It is clean and yellow and it glows from the leaves falling from the trees outside and covering the rocks just beyond our window.

E finished painting last weekend, with a toddler in tow. And we moved masses of furniture and toys and more to the storage space. E and her sister went and bought lots of baskets and containers for the bookshelves. For it turns out that as much as I love books, they are too small of units. They clutter. When they are stacked inside wicker baskets lined in a bookshelf, that creates bigger units, less business, at least in our apartment.

It all came out of the painting. Once the walls were yellow, E could put up the curtains, which meant the curtain rods no longer stuck up from a corner with a bunch of extra picture frames, which went into storage. Once the walls were painted, we could see where more shelves worked and where we needed fewer pictures on the wall.

After months of blathering about compact living, I think we might finally have accomplished it. The children already play in newly opened corners, our cool rug dominates the room the way it should, the walls reflect the rocks and trees and light outside the window, and that window is a big reason we live in this small space.

I never knew we could get more simple. I guess that is the lesson. You always can.


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