Banishment of the game room blinds

We moved from a suburban neighborhood where I could see into 5 other people’s homes from my back deck, out to the country where we have more than an acre of privacy and tons of trees (and if you can believe it, we paid a lot less for this house than the previous one). One of the perks is that I can’t see into anyone’s house from my backyard (and no one can see into my house). Because of the awesome privacy I was able to take the blinds down in our family room and not worry about any Peeping Toms.

I have enjoyed being blinds-free in our family room so much that I got a wild hair and took down all the blinds in the game room as well! (The fact that they were broken and completely disgusting made the choice a lot easier.) Our game room also faces the backyard, so we have a lot of privacy (I will keep the blinds on the front of the house though because you can see into our house from the street).

I think removing the blinds has made a big impact already. Here’s what the windows looked like when we bought the house. We quickly took down the curtains, but the blinds stayed up for several months afterward.

I am planning on hanging curtains in the game room though because it is nice to be able to make it darker to watch movies or play video games. Also, whenever we have people stay over, they sleep in the game room, so they might not want the sun to wake them up at 6am. I have to figure out what curtains to hang, but I really love the way these red curtains from ikea looked in our last game room when we staged the house to sell, so I might do this again. (They will need an extra black-out layer added though.)

Anyone else blinds-phobic? I never thought I’d be the type of person to remove all my blinds, but seriously, I love it. The sun just flows in freely now. And I don’t know about you, but the weather really affects my mood so the more light the better.


     

Every day I’m shuffling

Hi! Before I get to today’s post I have two quick things:

1) Today is Ben and my 15 year anniversary!! Holy cow. That’s like a milestone or something. We were young and stupidly in love when we got married (I wasn’t even 19 yet!), but it was the best decision we have ever made. I can’t imagine my life without my partner in crime. Happy Anniversary, babe.

Engaged and now:

  

2) Thanks for all the feedback on my last post! I am going to try to blog more, but with less content per post. I like touching base with you more frequently, so thank you for your opinions. I’m a week in and already failing miserably. I am going to be all anti-Yoda for a sec though and say that I am TRYING!

Okay, so, today’s post…

Our son’s room use to look like this (after a lot of painting, that is!):

And like this:

Two facts about my son: He plays the drums; and he loves Legos. Well, the drums are freaking loud, and I was getting tired of looking at them in our “piano” (aka dining) room (and because I have other big plans for that room now), so I moved them to his bedroom. They didn’t really fit though with all his other stuff and things were cramped. You see, this lovely Lego storage I created takes up a bunch of space:

He hasn’t been as into Legos as much lately (he’s almost 12 and things like magic card tricks, Origami, and Rubik’s Cube solving take up way too much time) so when I asked him how he felt about moving the Legos to the game room, he responded with a resounding “YES! PLEASE!!!”

All that to say I drug the Legos to the game room so the boy would have more space in his room.

When we moved in I contemplated storing the Legos in the game room (it makes sense to have all the toys in the “toy room” but didn’t think they’d fit with all the other crap in there). But they actually fit perfectly.

And obviously we are still working on this room (we haven’t done anything but plop furniture down since we moved in) so try not to judge me based on the terrible paint job.

Now that the Legos are out of the room I did an entire furniture flip-flop in the boy’s room. I don’t generally like having the bed bombard me when I walk into a room, but after several attempts at furniture placement in this room, this current layout seems to make the most sense.

Across from the bed are the drums, and next to it is his shelf which I have placed on it’s side. I have a love/hate relationship with these ikea shelves. I love that they are cheap and hold tons of stuff, but sometimes the shelves are too big and they don’t hold things as cleanly as I’d like. Also, just overlook all the random photos and artwork stacked around the room. We are still deciding where to hang what.

The drums have been in his room on a trial bases for about a month, and I have to say, I really prefer them in there. He likes it too. As for the Legos in the game room, I’ve avoided removing them from my boy’s room because I prefer I only step on Legos in one confined location, so we’ll see how this Legos-in-the-game-room setup works once friends come over and have unlimited access to dumping piles of Legos all over the place. They seem to get played with so infrequently these days that I’m hoping it won’t be an issue.


     

Let the decrapification commence

Downsizing almost 900 square feet of living space has pretty much kicked my ass. I’m not complaining to be in a smaller home; I’m actually thrilled to be in a smaller home. Those stairs and all that space in the last house almost did me in. Too.Much.To.Clean. It was never ending. We’d spend our entire Saturday each weekend just getting the house picked up – and I’m not even talking about deep cleaning.

So yes, the smaller house with no stairs is awesomespice. The reason it kicked my ass is because I downsized 900 sq ft of living space and I have too.much.crap. This house has one less bedroom (no office for me anymore), one less bathroom, one less living room, and one less garage bay. The kitchen is smaller, the kids bedrooms are smaller. Everything is smaller. Which is great when I’m cleaning, but not so great when I’m trying to find a home for all our stuff.

Moving in left most of our rooms looking like this:

Too much stuff and no where to put it. First world problems, I know. I sound like such a brat even complaining about having too much crap. And if you can believe it, this haul is after I had a garage sale before I moved.

Honestly, if it were up to me we’d probably own very little and live in an RV. But I’m not the only one in this family. And the kids are old enough now that we really need to settle down and stay put while they work their way through middle and high school (boo, I love moving). After that though? Maybe Ben and I will backpack through Europe. Or rent a little studio apartment in Manhattan. Or buy that RV we’ve always talked about and become nomads. Ah, to dream!

More stuff and no where to put it:

Daughter’s room before we painted it and I cleaned it out:

Losing my office has been the biggest adjustment. I like decor, and I like crafty stuff, and I literally have no where to put it all.

Instead of going out and buying more storage and shelves and cabinets to hold everything that I will probably never find a use for, I abandoned any attachment to said items and started a “garage sale” pile in the garage.

The pile has grown to take up about a fourth of the garage. I’m so ashamed. Me, the self-proclaimed minimalist, has this much stuff. It is officially my “Monica closet“.

On the plus side, I can’t claim 100% of this crap. The previous owners kindly left me all the items you aren’t allowed to throw away – at least 30 cans of gross paint and a few car batteries. Thanks guys! I’m so excited that I get to deal with this. And, yes, that is just oozing of sarcasm.

In addition to all the large items, there are multiple moving boxes packed with smaller decor.

I’d rather have one large Monica Closet though than a house full of crap weighing me down. Hallelujah the place is clean!


(The piano is to the right where you can’t see it, and the drums have been relocated to the boy’s bedroom where we can’t hear them as loudly.)

The bedroom is clean now too. What a huge relief. Bedrooms are suppose to be where you go to relax, and mine just stressed me out. And OBVIOUSLY I still need to paint in here.

No more big metal shelf full of crap either. Now I have a small pile of frames that need to be hung and a few baskets. So close to being crap-free.

And the game room…

When you glance in, there’s no crap to give you hives.

I put a shelf in here for all our board games. Eventually I think I’d like to do some built-ins with doors for all this type of stuff.

Even the shelves/entertainment center are/is clean. Not really very organized or pretty, but free from the piles of crap we don’t need filling them up.

And just because I assume you are curious, here’s a view looking into the hall from the game room. That black hole is Ben’s office (haha, literally! It will suck you in and you may never escape alive!).

My sister and I are going to do a joint garage sale at her house because now that I live in the country and not a big suburban neighborhood I doubt anyone would come out here to shop in my garage. We’ve been trying to coordinate a date for a month now. Between my kids sports games each weekend and her being extremely pregnant, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to clear this pile out of my garage. We were hoping for this month, but with winter coming I doubt we’ll actually sell anything until the spring.

Before and after pictures are my favorite (I think I mention this in like every post I write?), so here they all are side-by-side. I would live in an empty house if I could. Not sure Ben or the kids would be too keen on that though.

Piano/music/computer/future-office room.

  

Master Bedroom:

  

  

Game room:

  

So, are you a minimalist or a hoarder? Or somewhere in the middle? Do you have a “Monica Closet”? Be Honest! lol Do you prefer your home packed to the gills (pretty home decor tastefully decorated included) or would you rather own less?

I prefer to own less because it makes it easier to keep everything clean. I don’t love cleaning, so I figure if I don’t own all the crap to begin with I won’t have to put it all away. I hate crap pretty much because I’m lazy and hate cleaning. It’s true.


     
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