I’ll admit – I LOVE interior design. I debated heavily in college whether that was the route I should go. A beautifully decorated space was comparable to art in my mind, and I wanted to be a part of that. In an ironic turn of events, I wound up on the minimalist/simple living path and am now training to become a certified professional organizer.
For those in a similar boat as myself: love interior decorating but trying to embrace simple living, here’s one idea you may love: Recycle old furniture items to create new spaces.
One thing with Professional Organizing we try to avoid bringing more in to make a space functional. We’d prefer to use an item currently in the home over purchasing something new. This was something, even before training to become a PO, I enjoyed doing. It’s an affordable and ecofriendly way to spruce up a space, and for someone downsizing it’s a great idea. If I find I need something, I prefer recycling a piece of furniture I currently have or checking out places such as CraigsList or Goodwill. I can always fix something up to my liking, without spending a fortune to do so.
During my downsizing journey I’ve found myself being more and more creative with items in my home. If I want to switch up my decor, it’s as easy as painting a few tables and putting a few new pillow cases on my existing pillows. I no longer feel the drive to run out and spend hundreds of dollars to redo a space. Recycled furniture has become a big staple in my home and I’ve even begun helping out friends recycle their pieces as well. You can recycle just about anything and you don’t need to use an item strictly for it’s intended purpose. A table could be turned into a bench, and a bookshelf could be converted into closet organization.
For example, recently I found myself needing a desk or some form of writing center more and more. I occasionally work from home and do a lot of freelance writing. Sitting at my dining table (another recycled furniture piece) was working for the short term, but I found myself constantly distracted. I needed a designated space where I could mentally shut every thing around me off, and I needed to be away from the main traffic areas. I decided to create a three-in-one room. The room I originally used for storage, before I decided to practice simple living, has been completely decluttered and now serves as the guest/office/workout space. I’ve removed all the TVs in the home with the exception being the living room – so no distractions here!
Once I had my designated area, I began searching for a solution for my desk. Luckily I still had an old coffee table that I hadn’t found a new home for yet. I decided to turn this coffee table into my desk. You can see the before and after of this project below.
Once I removed the top decorative pieces, I filled in the holes. I then installed new legs ($21.50) and applied a new coat of paint (free, I already had the supplies). I opted not to install any drawers or shelves, to keep me from cluttering up the space. A small organizer is under my desk where I store a few pens, some paper, a flash drive, and batteries. On my desk you’ll find a small desktop organizer that holds my few notepads and a digital camera. My chair was a Goodwill find, for $20, and my mouse pad is a tile left over from a home renovation project with a few felt pads on the bottom. Easy, cheap, and functional. In the window, the black blob is my cat (haha).
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).