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Making the house work for us

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
My main focus for our home is always to simplify and to declutter. I want our home to work for us instead of us always working to keep up with our home. Less stuff. Less to organize, clean, pick up...etc. Am I right?!?
Over winter break I was on my usual mission for the beginning of each new year to get this house in order. I cleaned out closets. I organized drawers. I tossed so many things that I can't even remember what I threw away which means we didn't need it in the first place. While I was in the midst of the great clean up of 2015 our basement flooded. UGH. At first I was really upset that we had all this work ahead of us to now clean up the basement along with the rest of the house but then I realized it was truly a blessing in disguise. It was just the excuse I needed to just throw more things away! I have to say its so much easier to let something go when its sopping wet on a basement floor. Yuck.
When I declutter it pretty much all goes so how do I decide what stays?
These are the questions I ask as I purge my home.....Would I buy it today? Do I think its beautiful? Will I miss it in a week from now?
Yes, I have sold or thrown away things that I regretted.... for like a second. Seriously, I am not sentimental about stuff and I know I breath clean air when my surroundings are minimal and cozy. Not cluttered.
When its all said and done, in the end you won't remember the stuff anyway. Its the people and the places that you go that will make your memories sweet. Don't waste your time managing the stuff when you could be making memories.
There is nothing like the feeling you get when you know you have empty closets in your home. Yes, empty because you don't need all the crap you are hoarding inside of it.
I decided that if I bring something in to the house then two things must leave. Yes, two! I also don't shop anymore unless I have a plan. I know exactly what I am looking for before I head out. I have a list and if I happen upon something I have been wanting but didn't know I was going to find then I make a promise to myself that I will sell or give away whatever I am replacing it with. It's working and our home is becoming more thoughtful and less full everyday. Its wonderful. I am also replenishing my wallet in the process which is also good!

Now that the house was in finding its way to less stuff and the closets were all cleaned out. I started really thinking about the fact that we not only needed to keep up with our mission of less but also really make our home work for us in every way!
I needed to rethink the space inside these walls. How could we get our home to meet all our needs? First, I had to figure out what those needs were? I grabbed a sheet of paper and with the idea in mind to not over think this too much ( I can obsess a little over this kind of thing) I started jotting down our needs.....
We have a five bedroom home with the fifth bedroom on the main floor. Sometimes this room is a playroom and sometimes its a guest room. Which always involved a ton of rearranging every time we had guests coming and lugging a mattress up and down stairs multiple times! So dumb.
My office is next to the downstairs bedroom and to be honest I wasn't ever in there. Most of the time I was doing my work from the kitchen table, bed or in the living room. I had an entire room in my home that wasn't even being used and we were lugging furniture around the house every few weeks. So dumb.
Another room that wasn't being used was our dining room except for thanksgiving and the occasional birthday dinner. But I loved the way it looked! It was such an inviting and pretty space and the first room that guests saw as they entered our home. I didn't want to lose all that. But what was I trading for it?
I knew what needed to be done and today it happened. I said goodbye to my pretty dining room and moved the table and chairs in to the kitchen. I wasn't going to get rid of those...heavens!
I swapped them out for the kitchen table now turned desk and added in the arm chair. I can now use this space for when I really need an office and it still looks inviting to guests.  But we can still pull in the large table and use it as a dining room come the holidays. Easier to move tables for company then a dang mattress...am I right?!?
{before}



I think I can handle the room like this and I like knowing that its going to work so much better for us in the long run. I do miss my pretty table and chairs in here but I also know that I will get used to it in  the kitchen. 
The other changes that I made was turning the playroom back in to the guest room and my old office is now the kids playroom/craft/computer room. All in one room!
I've been thinking a lot lately about how I grew up sharing a room with a sister that was nine years younger than me in a home that we had one living room and one kitchen for gathering and only two bathrooms for five people and you know what? It was fine!! We actually thought we were doing pretty good considering we actually did have two bathrooms as opposed to some of my friends that only had one! What the heck has happened that we as parents think our kids should own every room in the house? Since when did having their own rooms not become enough? Why must they now have a bedroom, playroom, craft room, media room, etc. all full of toys and their stuff and do they really need all that stuff. I believe this is another post to come shortly. 
 This might sound cruel to some but my husband and I have decided to take our house back. 
I should of been clear, when I said I wanted our home to work for us...that meant the adults..ha!  

{photos of the playroom and guest room changes coming to the blog soon}



10 comments on "Making the house work for us "
  1. Your dining room looks great as an office! Love this post. It reminds me of when I did the same. I turned our dining room in our open plan house into a play room for the kids. That way, they always see me and I see what they are up to. My kids are under 5 so it made sense for us. And I didn't need to large dining tables within 20 feet of one another.

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  2. That was a fantastic read! I agree wholeheartedly and we're on the same, albeit a little slower, mission. Making this home work for US is our focus and its so exciting. I can't wait to see the other rooms.

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  3. I love this! It makes me want to throw everything in my house away and start fresh. A problem that I have is settling for cheap, spur of the moment items to decorate and fill my house with, instead of waiting for well made items that I really, really love.

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  4. Love this and cannot wait to see pics of the other rooms!!

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  5. I love how you just get things done! Your room looks great!

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  6. Love it! Couldnt agree more!! I have zero toys or kid related stuff in our family room but they have our formal dining/sitting room for play and kid friendly space. Its nice to have some boundaries and eliminate "unneeded" rooms like a formal dining that we NEVER would use. ;-)

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  7. THis is awesome!!! I made some major changes after reading the KonMari book and im so happy with the result in my home!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  8. Amen and amen and amen! I don't have kiddos yet, but always working to declutter. I like the dining room office switch.

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  9. I so agree with this mentality! The hardest part for me is donating things that are still in good condition that I spent $$ but don't have a use for. When you say 'replenish your wallet' - are you selling these? Consignment?

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  10. Agreed! My seven year old asked me the other day why they dont have a "play room" like their cousins house. I said, "you do have a play room! You just get to sleep in it too! Isnt that fun?!!!" Haha ... I do think that it is so easy to get carried away and let the kids take over the house but I personally cant relax in a house that feels like im living in a Toys R Us.... Less is definatley more ;)

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