Redecorating and Decluttering the Living Room, Office, and Dining Room: Days 2 and 3

Day One of the Organized Simplicity ten day program was a sweep of the whole house, collecting items that were obviously trash, needed to be put away, or donated. I didn't take pictures of that, so we'll pick up at Day 2 and 3, The Living Room. For me, that included the office, the dining room, and the actual living room. 

Way Before
It's really shaky, and the camera makes my voice sound weird, but here's the house part 1, video taken right before we moved in, so it's all nice and clean and uncluttered.

This is a picture I took of the room that was the dining room when we first moved in. We switched the office, consisting of a large bookshelf and a desk, with the dining room so that the dining room was closer to the kitchen. 

Here's that same wall, now with the bookshelf and desk. When we first moved in, I unpacked the books and arranged them by topic on the shelves. Until Brian could get used to it, I marked the topics so Brian could find them with sticky notes, as you can see in the picture below. 
I liked being able to find the books on a similar topic all together, but I didn't like how cluttered and random it looked. I considered organizing them by color or size, like these pictures from pintrest. 

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

When working on each room, the book says to take EVERYTHING and put it in one central location out of the way. By everything, that means...everything. 
"Remove everything but furniture, rugs, and curtains, and put it all in one central, roomy location." -Tsh Oxenreider, Organized Simplicity pg. 131

I cheated, because there was no way I was taking down ALL of those books on the big book shelf. But I did take down most of the non-book items, and I dusted around the books. 

It was much faster and easier to clean with all the stuff out of the way! After moving everything, I started at the top with the ceiling fan and dusted down, then washed the windows and blinds, and finished by cleaning the floors. I listened to TED videos while I worked, and it made the time pass quickly.

Here's the bookshelf in progress: 

I decided to keep the books arranged by topic, but within each topical section wherever possible, I arranged them by color. It's subtle, but it looks put together. 


I slowly re-introduced decor items to the shelf. I didn't want to put back anything I didn't absolutely love and want.

I added some leaves and fall sprigs:

That isn't the only book shelf in the office. Unfortunately, I didn't take a before picture of this one. Those letters were in a pile on the top shelf, the marble bust wasn't there, some large candles were. The bottom shelf was just magazines, and there wasn't really anything else on it except the black box containing stationary. 
The marble bust fit better in this room, in my opinion, because it's a little more formal. Ideally, I'd put the LOVE letters on the wall, but I didn't have time to mess with that this time. I moved my school notebooks from a cardboard box to the shelf, and my filing system, which was hidden under my desk before. 


Final touches: leaves and candles. The leaves are from the dollar store. They came in a big bouquet for only a buck, and I snipped them apart so I could spread them out. 

Remember seeing this in the video? This had two shelves then, and it drove me crazy because I couldn't figure out a nice arrangement. Finally, I took out the shelf and just made one big open area. It took me all week to arrive at this arrangement, but at last, I'm really happy with it! 

This used to be in the living room area, but we moved it to the wall where the bookshelf used to be. It's perfect for storing board games and fancy dishes, right next to the dining room table, where we use them!

Here's the dining room table after being decorated for fall:

And here's my favorite thing about this house: 

The beautiful floor! 

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that picture most of the time. I have to sweep every day because of this guy: 

But he's cute enough, it's worth it. 

Here's the sell and give piles after days 1-3: 

It was slow work, but finishing those rooms was very motivating. I couldn't wait to tackle the kitchen next! 

Linking up with Works for Me Wednesday!

Day One: Organized Simplicity
Days 2 and 3: Redecorating and Decluttering the Living Room, Office, and Dining Room
Days 4 and 5: Cleaning and Organizing the Kitchen and Pantry
Day 6: Decluttering and Organizing the Bathrooms
Days 7 and 8: Redecorating and Organizing the Bedrooms
Day 9: Redecorating and Organizing the Master Bedroom
Day 10: Organizing the Linen Closet and Entry Way

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