We have been in our new home for 3.5 months and although there is still so much to do [hello, dirt backyard!] it feels so good being in our own space. Phase 1 of unpacking + purging + donating has been successfully completed [ok, so I still need to do some purging in my studio]. It can be overwhelming trying to get settled in a new home especially when you are surrounded by a sea of boxes. My game plan was to get rid of all the stuff we didn't need/love/want. I literally walked around the house trying to fill up as many garbage bags as possible. Needless to say I made at least half a dozen trips to Goodwill with a trunk full of bags. I also wanted to make sure I didn't bring any furniture into the house that I eventually wanted to replace in the near future [in my book near future = within two years]. So when the movers delivered our shipment I had them put all the unwanted furniture [goodbye, desk + bookcases from graduate school!] in a corner of the garage [closest to the garage door for easy access]. A few weeks later I called Habitat for Humanity and they sent a truck to pick up our old furniture. I was also fortunate enough to have a pregnant friend who was in need of baby gear so I was able to give her our entire set of baby furniture. Phew! In my book it is always better giving it to a friend or donating it to a non-profit because it goes to someone who really needs it and it also saves me the time from having to take photographs of it and trying to sell it on CraigsList. Even after unpacking + purging + donating there are always a handful of boxes which contain items you don't necessarily need on a daily basis but might be difficult to get rid of right now and in our house those boxes are put in the garage. If I kept them in the house they would drive me crazy and I don't want them to take up valuable storage space. Appah built a big shelving unit in the corner of our garage which is perfect for organizing our long term storage boxes. So after completing Phase 1 what you have left inside the house is the stuff you need/want/love and Phase 2 is all about organization, finding a spot for everything. Aside from my studio + Appah's home office, the house is fairly organized. Of course I am a firm believer of spring/summer/fall/winter cleaning where you repeat the whole purge + donate + reorganize cycle.
Right now I am in Phase 3 which is decorating + personalizing your space, the best part in my opinion. No more looking at artwork other people chose [I had to take down all the artwork in our temporary corporate housing and hide it in a closet because it was so hideous] or trying to ignore the ugly sofa [the ugly throw pillows were also hiding in the closet]. I have a stack of artwork + pile of frames and my plan for this month is to hang something up in every room of the house. I re-framed a few of my [many] Yu-I prints [above] and plan to hang this trio in the living room [once I commit to the furniture layout, Martha, I need your help!].
It is amazing how long it took me to hang anything up on the walls of our old home [3 years?]. When we moved to Busan I was determined not to put it off, granted it was a much smaller space but I had all the artwork + photographs up on the walls within a month of moving in. Last week I was sorting through some photographs I had taken on our recent trip to Seattle and three photographs popped out. They were all taken at the PACCAR Pavillion at the Olympic Sculpture Park. I love the colors and unposed subjects. And then I did something crazy, I printed the photographs out, framed them [a good reason to have a pile of frames on hand at all times] and hung them up in the boys' bedroom all in the SAME DAY! And yes, I patted myself on the back because it is all about the little victories in the life!