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Decorating Should Not Come First by LaJoyce Kerns

Organizer shows are popular on television right now. You know, the ones where a team of people descend on a messy house and spend a frantic weekend clearing clutter, organizing and re-decorating a room or two. Usually someone who lives in the house has requested the services of the commando organizers. These shows fascinate me. I guess it's because the houses are so beyond messy and cluttered and disorganized that my own closets look pretty good in comparison.

Anyway, the last show I saw featured a couple with the usual collection of knick-knacks and keepsakes and old clothes and broken what-nots. This particular show required each of the homeowners to select a favourite item they did not want to discard. A yard sale was held and each person tried to outsell the other. The money collected from the yard sale was kept separately for each and at the end of the sale, the money was counted. The person who sold the most got to keep his or her treasured item. The other person lost whatever item had been selected as the favourite.

In this case, the man lost. His treasured item was a stuffed animal that his father had signed. His father is deceased and the little stuffed dog was quite special to the man. The man had tears in his eyes as the organizer yanked the toy away from him. I thought that the man's wife would surely offer to relinquish her item, which did not have a sentimental connection, but no.

Now, I'm all for organizing and tossing out old or broken or unneeded items. A good decorating plan almost always starts with clearing the clutter and cutting down on items that take up storage space. I also believe that decorating means creating beauty, convenience, comfort, and a sense of belonging to the space we live in. We should not have to give up the things that have meaning to us, that touch a special place in our hearts, for the sake of a decorated room. The things that we cherish have contributed in some way to the creation of who we are now. If you banish the treasures, do you banish the person?

I'm not saying that nothing gets tossed. Some items are just things that we have grown accustomed to having around. We might miss them a bit when they are gone, but they aren't really treasures. Maybe it has been too much trouble to sort through, box up, decide what to do with, and ultimately dispose of. Or maybe, like me, you think that as soon as you get rid of whatever it is, you'll discover the perfect use for it. These aren't treasures. However, if you get a strong gut reaction when you think about disposing of a particular item, put it aside. If you're anything like me, you have a great pile of stuff to sort through and you likely won't get that inner "no" with everything. Remove the things you feel comfortable getting rid of and congratulate yourself for getting that far.

An important point- if you are decorating (or organizing) a room for someone else, you must be sensitive to what is important to that person. It may look like an old worn stuffed animal to you, but it might mean more than you know to someone else. Decorating should not take first priority in our lives.

About The Author

2006 by LaJoyce Kerns

LaJoyce Kerns is the creator of the website: http://www.decorate-bedrooms-for-less.com where you can learn how to decorate a bedroom on a budget.


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