Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year: New Beginnings

Happy New Year, everyone!  I am excited about 2014, and have a lot of plans to make it the best year ever!!

Continued healthy eating, exercise and weight loss are on my list as always...but this year that is a subset of my main goal.

"Use what you have."

It's as simple as that.  Use what I have.  Doesn't sound like much of a resolution does it?  But guess what?  Through the last few months of organizing and decluttering I have discovered (as I am sure you would as well) that I have an abundance, and a lot is going unused.  Plus, I am spending a lot on things I really don't need!

What do I mean by that?  Well, because my husband and I have lost both of our parents, we have inherited all kinds of wonderful things for gracious living....linens, silver, china, etc.  Plus, we had our own.  Most of it was packed away.  Not any more.  It's out and laundered, ironed, polished, sorted and stored where it's secure, but accessible.  My goal....to use it all this year.  That should mean a lot of elegant meals!  (The same thing goes for clothes, books, CD's, DVD's...you name it.  We have more than our share...)

Speaking of elegant meals, I realized my dining room was going unused except when we had company. Our house is a French Provincial design, so the dining room is situated at the front left of the house with only one door in/out. This is great in one way, because I can close that door and keep the dining room beautifully clean (no desk on the dining room table for me!).  But, it also means it's not used as much. Plus, I have a very long table, so it often feels odd for the four of us to eat around it.  After giving a couple of parties this Christmas, I started to think about the flow of the dining room and the placement of the pieces in it.  I also started thinking about my grandmother (whose table it was) and her wonderful (much smaller and cozier) house.  She used the table a lot more than I do.... And then I remembered!  She always took the banquet ends off the table (a drop-leaf) and used it in its simpler form, unless she had company.  That worked perfectly...and now we are using the dining room!

Table with banquet ends

Table for four

Banquet ends go against the wall when not in use.
Easily moved back and forth!

You will notice in the pictures above that the gilded sunburst mirror has moved.  That's because I remembered ("Use what you have") that years ago Miss Betty gave me two frames that had come down through the family, but (according to Miss Betty) had their canvases removed during the "War Between the States."  I suppose they were removed for safe keeping, but they have long since disappeared.  The frames, which were in bad shape, were restored/re-gilded about 10 years ago and have been wrapped in cloth in a plastic bag ever since.  I had completely forgotten about them...and they are the perfect size to go on either side of the window!



In these frames, I am putting paintings of my great-great grandparents, Elizabeth Hunter McMeekin and John Wesley McMeekin of Fairfield County, South Carolina.  Not sure if the frames came from the McMeekin, Ragsdale or Stanton branches of my family, but I have daguerrotypes of these people and I think a good portrait painter could do them justice!

 

It is a GREAT feeling to finally bring order to things...and give things away that we no longer use.  I know they will be blessings to others, and will no long be "noise" (clutter) in my house.  As I told the amazing organizing coach I am working with, I want my house to be a symphony...everything in harmony.  Clutter doesn't allow that to happen...too much competing noise.

More on this topic tomorrow.... Have a great day, all!

Cheers,
Liz

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