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Less Surface Clutter, More Art


During the month of October, I’m following along with Edie & Ruth on their 31 Days of Less & More journey. I’d love for you to join in by reading the posts and completing the projects, or just sit back and read along each day.

Less Surface Clutter

As you probably already know, I’m not really into surface clutter. In fact, Ruth & I are a lot alike.

I’m positive that some people would come to my house and think it’s entirely too empty. But we love the uncluttered look. Here are four reasons we don’t have a lot of clutter:

1. It simplifies things because I have less to clean up. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to take care of.

2. It makes things easier to find. When you don’t have as much stuff, it’s easier to put things away.

3. It provides breathing room. I love wide open spaces — they allow my soul to breathe and make life feel calmer.

4. It saves money. The less you buy, the more you usually save. Plus, the less you have, the less you have to pay to maintain.

More Art

That said, I’ve come to actually love having a few things on my walls. I like to put things on the walls that remind me of wonderful memories, inspire me, or make me smile.

{Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve really ever physically hung anything on my walls — my friends and family are so great to help me out there! If it weren’t for them, I doubt I’d ever actually get anything up on my walls. It’s completely not a core competency of mine!}

Photo Canvas Deals

There are always incredible photo canvas deals floating around the internet and they are a fantastic way to pull off a big wall-hanging on a budget. I took advantage of one of these to blow up a photo I took on that amazing cruise my husband and I took. This photo hangs in our beach-themed bathroom and is a constant reminder to me of a special memory.

More Art

This is my favorite wall in our home. I smile every time I look at the beautiful faces of my children and I am reminded that the years are fleeting as I see how much they’ve grown up since we had these pictures done late last year (the one with them in green is with their cousin and was taken three years ago — amazing to see how they’ve grown up since then!)

Photo deals abound on the internet or in the newspaper. We usually use a coupon or a Groupon voucher to get a great deal and I only get professional photos done of everyone once a year.

You can purchase frames at the dollar store (you can paint them to match your decor, if you’re handy like that!) or with a coupon at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Then, just switch out the photos every year or six months — and you have wall art on a dime.

Oh and that Family decal? I purchased it with a Groupon voucher. Love it!

For more on this topic, check out Ruth’s post on Less Surface Clutter and Edie’s post on More Art. I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed!

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  • Courtney says:

    They have pretty cute decals like that at dollar tree also.

    • Crystal says:

      How well do they work? Anyone tried them before? I’d love to hear if they are as good as the more expensive kind.

      Thanks for the tip!

      • Kelly says:

        I got dollar store decals and I’ve bought the ones from Kohl’s and Target. The ones I bought at Dollar Tree are the only one I haven’t had to rub back down! They work great and are a fantastic deal! I used them in my daughter’s room, and they are great!

      • Mindy says:

        I’ve used Dollar Tree decals multiple times over the years. They look great and last (no more fiddling with it once you apply it). I’ve purchased really nice and pretty decals that also say “Family” and “God Bless This House”. Can’t beat a dollar decoration!

    • Tia Robertson says:

      I just saw them at our local Dollar Tree as well, would like to know how they work, since I’ve been buying them locally for upwards of $12 each!

  • Tricia R. says:

    Great post! Your pictures look lovely. 🙂

  • I have followed your blog for awhile now. When we moved it to our new house 2 1/2 years ago, I kept it simple using the “Don’t have anything in your house that doesn’t make you happy or is useful” quote to guide me! A while back a friend of mine was at my house and asked how my house is always clean. I do not like to clean….AT ALL…. so it is not that I spend my time cleaning it. I think my house just appears cleaner to her because it is not cluttered. 🙂

  • I love the tip that you’ve shared in the past about not having furniture that is a magnet for clutter. I think that is so key in preventing (and having to clean up) clutter.

    When we sold our house a year ago, we got it all staged so nicely (read: zero clutter, zero unnecessary furniture). We LOVED it and thought “why didn’t we have it like this for ourselves?” Right now we are living in my in-laws basement (with our three kids!) so we can pay off student loans as fast as possible, so it seems there is clutter galore (mostly storage in the open, theirs and ours, it’s a basement after all) and I am excited for the day when we have our own clutter-free space (but very grateful at the moment or the generosity of my in-laws).

  • Rebecca C says:

    Yep, we love Dollar Store frames around here. I take photos myself (or use a coupon for professional ones), edit them as needed, print them off on nice photo paper with our printer (bought specifically because it prints photos well), and put them in $1 frames. Easy peasy and cheap. We also scan or print off concept art from games/movies that we enjoy, and other such pictures.

    I used to think I had to have expensive photos taken, then professionally printed, then hung in $20 frames, so my walls were totally bare. Sure, my art may not be the best thing out there, and certainly not “chic”, but it looks a lot better than bare walls! And I’ve never had someone come in and say, “Gosh, you used really cheap frames, huh?” 😉

  • Ginger says:

    I’m a surface clutter hater, too! 🙂 Less is more – and way less stressful! I love your photo wall – so precious! I’m probably TOO liberal with hanging things on the wall – my hammer, drill, and screwdriver are my best DIY friends! Stick with me and we’ll get you hanging stuff, too. 😉

    • Crystal says:

      Just one more great reason to love you. 🙂 I have visions of someday being a handwoman. 🙂

      • CJ says:

        I have never had much luck with Dollar Store frames, but after reading the comments, I am very excited to try out the decals! I love your stance on less clutter, I am working hard to implement this in my life, but finding it difficult! You are an inspiration!

  • jamie says:

    I am trying very hard to become a clutter free home! I hate the clutter with a passion. I want everything to have a place and unless it’s decor it needs to be hidden! Slowly purging stuff as I realize I never use it and finding ways to store the stuff that needs to be kept! Some day I will get there! 🙂

  • Ada says:

    I am so thankful for this series! When I first stumbled on Ruth’s website a few months ago (from the infamous “TOYS” post) I read through most of her stuff. You gals resonate with me! Here’s to letting go and less clutter (even in a house with 3 girls under 6)! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  • Emily says:

    What if your surface clutter IS art? =) I have a dining room table covered with pictures and clay items my kids have made for art in our homeschool. I have NO idea what to do. I have a plan for hanging up the pictures, but what to do with the clay stuff? Suggestions?

    • Flo says:

      Take great pictures of the child with each piece of art and set up an album on FB or, even better, print them in a photo book from one of the online services such as Shutterfly (look for coupon deals, of course.) Then, let the child do what he or she wants with that piece of art.

  • CJ says:

    Does anyone know what part of Dollar Tree you can find the Wall decals? I looked at my local store, but I am thinking about going to a bigger store tomorrow and would love to find some! Thanks!

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