On dark and gloomy days with nothing but rain, I pick my projects with care. I needed a project that kept me indoors, required little sunlight, and, most important of all, could be done with what I had on hand. The top of our dresser and the jewelry box that calls it home met all my requirements.
I had the Mister buy me the jewelry box as a birthday present when The Bombay Company went out of business in 2008. (Look! They were bought and are now a privately owned Canadian company.) He thought it was a strange request, and asked me twice if I was sure. Of course I was sure! I was sure I couldn’t fit one more earring in our thin, barely functioning top dresser drawers. I don’t know if it’s operator error, a product malfunction, or the way it’s supposed to be, but the drawers open about 2/3 of the way out. It’s difficult to store items in the drawers, and impossible to easily reach anything in the back. That’s why they look like this.
The perspective is deceiving in this picture. They open about 6 inches, and yet are the same depth as the rest of the drawers. We’ve looked for locks, stops, and safety tracks but haven’t found a thing. I guess top drawers aren’t meant to pull out all the way.
In 2008, it didn’t occur to me to purge our top drawers. I was just starting to acquire an interest in simple living, voluntary simplicity, and intentional living. Buying another container to contain more stuff seemed logical, and by the time I realized it wasn’t, I wanted to tackle areas with more impact. So the evidence of a life lived somewhat chaotically continued to pile.
(Sorry about the wall-eyed pictures. I don’t have the right lens for these tight quarter shots.)
The usual. Empty. Separate: Trash; Donate; Keep.
The wonky drawers received the same treatment.
Unlike most of my projects that require 800 trash bags, empty boxes, or laundry hampers, I was able to collect all the trash in one Target bag. If you consider an entire Target bag of trash collected for years in two drawers and a jewelry box, it’s not nearly as comforting.
I could easily get rid of the jewelry box and fit everything inside the two drawers, provided I find jewelry compartments to make containing them and accessing them easy. I held off on that because (1) it would be a budget breaker and (2) I’m not sure that is the route to take. I want to think about it for a while and see what would make most sense.
I’m excited I have room for more jewelry! That sounds silly, perhaps, but I love jewelry. I haven’t bought any in a while because I didn’t want to add to the clutter, not realizing that if I did a simple, 45 minute purge I would have plenty of room for pieces I would use and love.
This project isn’t about living at the bare minimum like some Russian prisoner, scooping out thin grewl from a wooden bowl with a day old piece of bread crust. Nor do I anticipate whittling down my possessions to less than 100 items. Thanks, but no thanks. This is only about creating in an intentional home and living an intentional life. I like jewelry, so I will continue to buy jewelry–from now on I will be more conscious of getting rid of jewelry, too.
The vase in the first picture was the first thing I got rid of. I bought it years ago and had it on a sideboard we later sold. I felt guilty for not using it, so I moved it into the bedroom. I never liked it (I bought it 7 years ago when I thought I could live with aqua in my house) but didn’t want to admit I wasted money. I put it in the sell/donate pile today. This project is about owning and moving past your mistakes, too.
This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.
Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment.
A few guidelines:
- Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
- Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home.
- No links to giveaways, please.
- A link back to this site is always appreciated. There are buttons to add to your post or sidebar, too, thanks to the lovely Alex, of Type A Calligraphy. Just copy the code and insert into your blog post or sidebar while in html mode.
- Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.
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