Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Conquering Space

Guess what color my hyacinths turned out to be? Some things you simply cannot escape. . . . I have never grown them before, and had no idea what a lovely fragrance they have! They have added so much to our celebration of spring.

Since these sunny pictures were taken, there have been blustery and rainy days blowing even more of the Chinese Elm seeds around that you see strewn on the ground everywhere here this time of year. The trees are very successful in our dry climate and grow like weeds. 

But most of my time lately has been spent reclaiming space indoors. My work space looks out onto the patio on one side, and a small dooryard on the other. It is only natural that I would have a hint of the garden on the desk in front of me as I work too.

My major task is to reclaim this office space from the years-long catch-all it has morphed into over time. It is very like living your life backwards, only with lightning speed, depending on how fast you can sort through it all. Photos, financial papers, old hobbies, travel keepsakes. I went and bought a shredder, and have donated reams and tubes of art supplies to a local art workshop, with loads more to come! Goodwill is my new best friend, along with any library and book shop willing to lighten my load.

It is not for the faint at heart. And it is a real slog, even if you are dedicated and keep up a good pace. Rewinding decades of minutiae takes time. Getting rid of good and useful objects tied to nostalgia takes nerve. The high number of decisions made in a single session is itself a demanding exercise. In only one room!!! And I found that staring at a hideous space for hours of my day was adding to the aggravation. 

What you see here, and in the photo above, is my solution to keeping my sanity while I keep to the task. I created a temporary buffer. Sort of like the cement barriers to protect traffic that you see in a highway construction zone! Haha! I covered this antique oak office cabinet with a linen curtain after I finished emptying the 45 small file drawers of their contents. While it is awaiting a delivery trip cross country to its lucky new owner, its new cover surface is giving me something more serene to look and erases one huge item off of the to-do list!

I also covered the big clunky teacher's desk, and shielded a portion of the still-in-progress book shelves nearby. If you have been sent to stand in a corner you can at least decorate it to suit yourself! Haha! With my satellite radio and good speakers going, I am really beginning to enjoy working in this room these days. 

Much more peaceful now while a work in progress.

A view to the garden.

The shelf with pots used to have a row of text books. The tin tile is lowering my heart rate while reducing the visible noise ongoing.

I recently found this fantastic Guy Wolff pot at a flea market.

. . . and rescued my forgotten pups from a dusty box. 

The covered card table holds an easel with a cork board that blocks clutter and can change art. Simple, and easy to whisk away. The shutters in back hide a tower of vintage suitcases still needing to be sorted through. More linen hides the printer. These are the buffers my brain seems to need to bolster me through, one box or drawer at a time. 

So I am carving out a good space in this too-energy filled room amid the reverberations of my own sometimes chaotic past. The happiest memories and the worst somehow thrown together within the space of four walls. 

The work goes on.

 Conquering space.

 Even if some of it is just inside my own head.

Hey. All the best to you with your own spring cleaning!

So nice that you stopped by!



  1. I admire you for tackling those jobs. My husband has been doing the same thing sorting 60+ years of papers. Do we really need to keep our very first phone bill when we first married? I, on the other hand, just want to sit and sew. Enjoy the Spring weather this week. Sally

  2. I have been doing a major clear out of my house as well. I recently found my taxes from the 90s! It is crazy the stuff we keep. Good luck!

  3. Jacqueline, we are living the same "nightmare". Ha! It's a daunting task, indeed! I'm glad you are growing hyacinths. They are so fragrant. White is perfect for you. The deep lavender are my favorites, but white makes me smile too. My back shade garden is white, but my sun garden is mostly lavender shades with a touch of white and of course the bluebonnets which are blooming now.
    Happy spring!

  4. What a beautiful post!Love your flowers and all your pieces!The porcelain dogs are my favourite ones!Thanks for sharing!Maristella.

  5. I've missed you - so glad you caught us up on your Spring cleaning. Makes me feel inspired, but unlikely that I will get at it. I'm simply waiting for the leaves to pop!

  6. Cleaning and sorting such things is overwhelming at times but afterwards you always feel good about it. Hyacinths do have a great smell! I just bought a pot of daffodils that aren't blooming yet and look forward to watching them open. My outside bulbs are on their way up but it will be a bit before I see them blooming. Your little dog collection is sweet. Love the spaniel- I have a soft spot for them!

  7. I guess it's in the air for us all to be getting rid of old papers and things we have had tucked away for years.
    I have been doing the same thing,
    Who ever gets that cabinet with the drawers will be a happy person.
    I am thinking of taking lots paper items to local craft studio for students on campu where I work. I already threw away a trash can full then thought maybe someone will want them

    Your studio is so cozy, thanks for encouraging me to keep going, not familiar with the Wolf flowerpot you mentioned I'll look for one now

  8. It's a beautiful and inspiring space. Good luck with the clear out.

  9. I have rooms I want to finish organizing and do a bit of rearranging. Always seems like there is something to do.

  10. You almost inspire me to think of spring cleaning. Ha! Good luck in your efforts.

  11. Your lovely white furniture is all I have eyes for. Ah, those dogs are adorable too. Don't you love when you find things you've put away and forgotten?

  12. Lovely post and I love your blog. You have inspired me to get busy in my own little world. Thanks so much and enjoy this beautiful season!

  13. Ahhh!...Spring is in the air and we see the dregs of winter everywhere!!! Sounds like your off to a very good start. I too, will be making some very tough and quick decisions soon. Horrors of horrors my garage has to be emptied to facilitate a renovation. But oh the space I will have when done is well worth the letting go!

  14. Oh Jacqueline, we are so on the same page but you have actually taken the plunge! I look at it all and shudder. I think I should soon take a before photo and post it and that might (just might) hold me accountable!

    But it will be so worth it, won't it? And look at all the lovely treasures you can see to brighten any day?!

  15. I am starting to do the same thing. There's too much stuff. Good luck with your spring cleaning. Have a wonderful Easter.


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