Creating a Beautiful Home - Alexandra Stoddard First I must declutter then I may actually be able to use the suggestions in this book ;)

Later: Whew, my house is mostly uncluttered for the first time ever. What a horrible, tedious and never-ending process it was. We filled a dumpster with old crap and gave away tons of stuff through freecycle. I think my kids were beginning to get worried they'd be next. My new rule? For every new thing brought into the house at least one (maybe two) things must be set free or kicked to the curb. I am *never* going to go through this again.

So, I'm about halfway through this book and though it was published many years ago I've discovered we've unknowingly decorated our house with many of her suggestions such as the white trim, painting the walls and filling the house with colors and things we love, natural wood floors, minimal window treatments (well, that one happened because they were the cheapest and I hate those poufy things that they sell for windows), etc. Either I'm out of style (probably the case but see if I care) or our color choices just happened to be timeless choices. She does a lot of repeating from chapter to chapter and I don't agree with some of her ideas such as tables filled with writing paper, pens, candles, lamps, bowls filled with potpourri, quilts on the wall, etc. My style is evolving into a minimalist type and that all seems like too much furniture and needless clutter for me.