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The Slow Declutter Continues…One Living Room Shelf

In this post, I explained how I need to do some decluttering, and described how I made some space on a shelf in the Tuff Shed.

A few days ago, I continued what I will call my Slow Declutter. I got rid of…wait for it, wait for it; you might be astounded…

four Mother Earth News magazines!

Okay, so that doesn’t sound like much. And it wasn’t. But sometimes when you get rid of just a few items, it opens up organization and storage options that weren’t there before.

Check out the two tall bookcases in the living room.

Bookcase number one:

Bookcase number two:

Two things have been bugging me about them. First, all the picture books (see first photo) that B seems to have lost interest in. Will he ever want to look at them again? Of course, I would keep most of them in case of grandchildren, but in the meantime I would pack them up in a box.

Second, the mess of magazines. In the photo just above, check out the second to bottom shelf. Lots of back issues of Ranger Rick magazines slopping underneath and next to a science kit. Again, B hardly ever looks at the magazines anymore.

And the ugly pile is an eyesore, right in my face when I sit down to relax in my rocking chair. I wanted to make it go bye-bye.

But when I did this bit of decluttering, I actually wasn’t aiming to move the magazines. I began by going through the bottom shelf of this bookcase:

The first thing I did was to go through two notebooks, a folder, and the Mother Earth News magazines (the red you see on the right at the bottom), which supposedly held critical homesteading information I didn’t want to let go of.

I cleared out the folder – recycling almost everything in it; I hadn’t looked at its contents since before moving here – and then went through each magazine.

Out of all the articles – and there were eight or so that had been ripped out of other magazines and stuck inside one of these that I’d kept intact – there remained only one that I wanted to keep, the one about the makeshift ways of storing root vegetables outside in the winter.

After dumping the magazines into the recycle bin, I went through the DVDs and reorganized them so that the most frequently watched ones were in the front, and the rest were stacked in the back. Everything else stayed more or less the same, but between rearranging the DVDs and getting rid of the magazines, a large gap remained.

Just big enough to stow all of the Ranger Rick magazines!

Now, that shelf looks like this:

Here’s what the shelf that previously housed the magazines now looks like:

Neat, huh? One of the reasons I didn’t like the magazines there was that they were burying the long, brown box. This box contains a rock collection which nobody, but nobody was ever going to look at as long as they had to take the trouble of moving all the magazines out of the way first.

So if B suddenly gets a hankering to spruce up on a bit of geology, he’ll no longer have any excuse not to. 😉

Whatever happens in the realm of his education, I am happy that I can sit in the rocking chair now and not have to face a paper chaos.

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