The other day when I was pulling branches to the burn pile from the just-pruned apple trees, I found a bird’s nest. It was an old nest, abandoned last fall, but still seated snugly in the fork of the just-trimmed branch. The brown grass of the nest was accented neatly by a single strand of briliant green Easter grass.
I whimsically imagined the bird’s satisfaction at its cheery find. How the bird worked to get the thread of color woven into just the right place in the nest. Maybe it even stood back to admire that finishing touch to its cozy work of art.
Today I felt like that bird, rearranging bits and pieces around my place, exclaiming with pleasure over my finds, and then surveying the result with satisfaction.
It was a simple enough project. My husband had two bookshelves on his side of the bed– nice enough shelves but a bit overwhelming for the space, not to mention cluttered. Meanwhile, my 17 year old was in need of a bigger bookshelf, and my 10 and 12 year old daughters had been campaigning for awhile for a bookshelf in their room.
I went through the books next to our bed, deciding on some to toss (old magazines and 80’s home décor books, anyone?), some to swap, and some to put into the kids’ bookshelves. I ended up with one bookshelf empty, which I moved upstairs to my 17 year old’s room. When she does some decluttering and rearranging of her own, her old, smaller bookshelf will go downstairs to my younger girls’ room. An improvement in three rooms of the house. For $0.
As fun as it is to occasionally buy new things for our house, there’s often a twinge of guilt over spending money that could have gone elsewhere, or sometimes even money that we don’t have.
I’ve come to realize that it is just as much fun to find creative ways to use what we already have in a better way. Decluttering. Repurposing. Maybe even finding some long-lost thing: today it was a book my husband forgot he had, and was on the brink of (re)buying.
That bird and I– maybe we’re easy to amuse — but my hunch is that in the long run we’re both happier because of it. And our homes benefit as well.
(* Bonus points if you identify the book from which the title of this post comes.)