Today, I am going to finally share with y’all my living room. A couple of months ago, I took on the Catholic Minimalism Challenge and pretty much went through every room of my home. By the time I got to the living room, I was burnt out. I was burnt out because we all slowly started getting sick, the distraction from Thanksgiving and Christmas, but mainly because I did not pace myself. Now that we are over the plague and we’ve started putting the house back in order from all the Christmas festivities, I am finishing up the living room. Before you read on, you can check out in more detail how my living room looked like before here.
As we were going through the CMC before, the living room became the storage place for all the junk. All the piles of give-away bags or items we did take the time to sell would get piled up by the front door.
Because I was obsessing over every other part of the house, the living room was greatly neglected and it got really ugly really fast. Here is a glimpse of the chaos (this was right before Advent/ Christmas).
Upon examining the living room and assessing what we wanted to get rid of, we realized that the majority of the storage furniture, like the cabinet and tv console, was mainly being used as a place to throw random stuff. I quickly determined that any furniture that wasn’t really being used as it should be was just taking up more space than they were actually benefiting us. So ultimately we got rid of the cabinet that was by the front door and rearranged it a little bit to open up more space. Here is a look at the second major haul we had to the thrift store. Not everything in this picture is from the living room but you can see three drawer plastic bins and cabinet that was by our front door were let go.
Here are some more things we purged before Thanksgiving.
We parted with a few extra throw blankets, we had about five throw blankets and we do not need that many. We actually very rarely used them. I decided to only keep 1. I did part with a few books, DVDs, and CDs. I got rid of any extra bins that weren’t being used, fall decorations I wasn’t that big on, some more clothes, trays I had gotten for the kids that were never used, and Bradley’s old cubbies.
The toys originally took up three under-the-bed storage bins but just before Christmas, we got rid of almost all the toys, and what was left fit into one of those bins.
All of the above is the progress I did before the holidays. Now that we’re past the Epiphany and all the Christmas decorations are up, I finished the living room!! Here was my setup during the process.
The huge grey storage bin was used for throwing whatever did not belong in the living room but was not give away. The black trash bag was for things to get rid of. I kept any paper stuff in the brown paper bag for my husband and me to go through later.
I first conquered the “entryway”.
The bottom cubbies hold (left to right): DVDs and CDs (until I figure out bins to put them in over by the tv), hats and gloves, empty (not sure what to store in here yet), and the last bin holds the kids’ Religious Education bags and Mass bags.
All of our coats/ jackets were hanging on one of those over the door hooks which got overly crowded, the kids had the hardest time grabbing their coats down, and it was impossible for them to put them away, so we added two wall coat racks on the side. The taller one is for Daddy and me, and the bottom is the perfect height for the kids. We ordered them for a great price on Amazon. These are the ones we ordered. Next to the cubbies is a big basket we use to store our shoes in. Everyone only has two pairs of shoes, play shoes, and a more dressy pair for church, except Avila and Ignatius who only have one pair. We still haven’t had a chance to put up all the children’s baptism photos but we were able to get a new lamp. It’s really cool because the lamp has a USB outlet built in it and the cubbies will also serve as a charging station for phones, pads, and the laptop. I love the way this part of the living room looks now!
Our toys have doubled since Christmas and I am content with the number of toys they have. Their toys still fit mainly in three of the under-the-bed storage bins under our couch. We have a bin for girly toys, a Lego bin, and a bin for boy toys. Because Ignatius received a lot of bulky toys, we did buy a bin just for his stuff.
The fourth bin under the couch is now where we keep Ignatius’ cloth diapers.
I went through all the religious items and literature that was piled up in my corner curio cabinet and was able to get rid of a lot. I donated any religious stuff to our church. I also figured out a way to show off some of the Holy cards I’ve been collecting over the years.
Here is our TV area.
The shelf above the TV used to be on the wall near the couch but we decided to move it because the cats kept jumping on it. I have a quote from Saint Therese of Lisieux that I made up here there that I thought was a great reminder of what I am called for… sanctification. The owl was something new we bought as a Christmas decoration but decided to keep out.
Our now minimalized living room as a whole…
Sterling Jaquith, author of the book Not in this World: A Catholic Guide to Minimalism, started the eight-week Catholic Minimalism Challenge again! You can read more about the challenge at her website HERE. I am planning on starting the challenge again to see what else I can maybe weed out. Especially now that it’s been a couple of months, I think I’ll have a better idea of what else I can let go of but my main focus this time around is finding a home for everything. I will post updates on all the rooms soon.
The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one gets.Saint Teresa of Avila
How perfect is this quote for Catholic minimalism! I had to have this up in my home.
Here’s a little bit of behind the scenes, as I’m straightening up and taking pictures of one corner this is what the kids are doing in the other: