Let me back up. When we married five years my husband and I bought a house, my first. It was what we could afford and it was shabby and in need of painting. We settled on a pale blue, a compromise with my less-color-adventurous husband and stepson but I didn't really like the color. It felt cold.
The kitchen and downstairs bathroom were poorly laid out as well as unattractive. In 2018 I used some of my inheritance and to renovate those two rooms. The contractor stripped everything to the studs, taking down an unused chimney that took up lots of floor space. My kitchen is beautiful and functional, a joyful place for someone who loves to cook. I am thankful for it every day. The bathroom is elegant and warm.
Now the living and dining rooms literally paled in comparison. After many rejected paint samples, the Ace Hardware paint lady helped me find the perfect color (Dorset Gold by Benjamin Moore). With the kitchen I had learned to paint the ceiling first, then the trim and finally the walls and decided these others rooms deserved the full treatment. It took a while. I found a chandelier and dining set on Craigslist and treated myself to a lovely area rug for my birthday. To my eyes the whole downstairs is now warm, welcoming, and beautiful.
On Craigslist I found a dresser we could turn into a "built in" for the nook in the corner. I sanded and painted it then added some blingy knobs. My husband helped me frame it in so it looks like it's always been there. Voila! Storage that sparks joy. After he tidied his clothes they all (winter and summer) fit into the built in. This whole project took several weeks. I had already bought a new loveseat and re-upholstered our ratty ottoman.
Those projects completed, I started painting. I hated the highly textured ceiling but couldn't change it. It was awful to paint. Then came miles of trim. It turns out I hate painting trim. Finally I painted the walls a lovely grayish blue that goes with everything in the room. I took all of our newly tidied clothes out of the closet and painted it. That was a pain because both ceiling and walls had that same texture. I painted our en suite bathroom as well.
Now it looks harmonious, calm, warm and cozy. I wake up to beauty every morning. It sparks joy. I had not expected Tidying Up to lead to yet more painting this soon. Reconnecting with what brings me joy pushed me to change my surroundings so that every room in my house now sparks joy.
That may seem like a small thing but my work as a hospice chaplain is very stressful. Anything I can do to make my home more serene helps reduce the stress. Mess is stress for me so tidying up has helped. Calm surroundings help. Beauty feeds my spirit which needs feeding at the end of the day. Order and beauty are part of the daily bread of my soul requires. This Tidying Project has spawned many other projects but the end result is less stress and more serenity.