When we sold Mom’s condo recently, our realtor gave us some advice about how to “stage” her home. Less is more, he advised. That meant emptying out the place to allow the rooms to seem more spacious and airy. It also meant leaving only a few well-positioned items on shelves that previously were crammed full.
Whether it’s “staging” or feng shui concepts, the experts agree that decluttering is a key first step to making your home look better. If it works on a place that is being sold, why not try it on a home that is still being used?
I decided to apply the approach to the shelves in our study. Over the years, new books, papers, photos, and various random objects were deposited there until they were overflowing. It was really bugging me, so on Saturday I decided to tackle the shelf project. The papers were stored or pitched, the photos taken away, the random objects were thrown out or placed with more care, and the books were carefully evaluated for likely future reading. We figured if we hadn’t read one of the later books in the Clan of the Cave Bear series at this point, we probably weren’t likely to do so now. Through that process, three bankers’ boxes of books were taken off the shelves.
When I was done, I was happy with our work and thought our shelves looked much better. The study felt like a better place. A feng shui expert, or a realtor, would probably say that we still have a ways to go — but it’s a start.