Monday, February 9, 2015

Living/Family Room Organization – Photos and Mementos on Display

So far, we have vacuumed top to bottom and organized our media and books. Today’s topic is the photos and memorabilia that live on horizontal and vertical spaces. If it is flat, items end up there that do not belong there. As I always have you start an organization process, take everything off the surfaces. Wipe down or dust the bare surfaces. Have your recycle, donate, trash, and somewhere-else bins handy.

The only wall-mounted photo is of my youngest son and me in caps and gowns, holding our Master’s diplomas. Despite our age difference, we received our degrees one week apart. I have to admit, I am proud of our achievements. 

My wall space is incredibly limited, because I hung my television on the wall. I sometimes regret that decision, but the alternative would have it taking up horizontal space. Instead, the pictures on the horizontal surface. I have a large whiteboard sitting on an entertainment center; it is covered with photos much like many people’s refrigerators. That, along with individually-framed photos, sit right beneath the television, so I see them often. They are all on an entertainment center.

Wendell with afghans I made for his parents.
What I find difficult, I am sure others probably do, too – editing the photos down. One of my mother’s tricks was to store some photos behind the front one in a frame. Instead of crowding many photos on a surface, she regularly rotated the photos. Overall, I think the photos that should be displayed are those that absolutely speak to you. Other photos are stored in albums on a bookcase shelf. They are easily accessible, but it keeps clutter down on horizontal spaces.

My mementos include a jade, covered bowl, which I received as a present for taking care of the grand-dog, a metal leaf dish (another present) filled with colored stones, and a large, decorative, candle holder. My living room also doubles as my home office, so many of the surfaces have items for that purpose. I feel my living room is too cluttered with office paraphernalia, so that will be my big edit this week.

It does not sound like I have too many knick-knack type things, but that is because I have not told you the worst part. Less than 20 years ago, a teddy bear collection was started when I received two for Christmas – from two different people. It has grown to about 15 (or so) stuffed bears and 50+ figurines. They all reside on top of my bookcases, video cabinets, and kitchen cupboards. I do not think they are taking up any space that I would use for anything else, and most of them have a story that brings me joy.

And that, I think, is the most important thing about our displayed items – they should bring us joy. If something does not bring you joy, think about whether it should have a place of honor in your living room. If not, it should go into one of the four sorting bins.

I write this blog based on my own experience or in an effort to answer questions. Everything that is in my living room has been covered. What am I missing in yours? Please comment below.