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.


     

Shelf Swap. Like Wife Swap but better.

You guys, I am checking in today with some earth shattering decorating. Prepare to be blown away. Are you sitting down for this?

I have been trying to get my daughter’s furniture to work in her bedroom, but the furniture was purchased for her previous room and it just would not work. Every time I walk in there I’m like, “Urgh. Uck. I can’t stand this room.”

Well, yesterday I had an epiphany and it involved these bookshelves I stuck in the kitchen. Somehow having you guys look at everything on my shelves is making me feel really vulnerable. Yes, I own Twilight and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Let’s just get that out in the open right now. I am a tween trapped in a 33 year old body. I blame my childhood. Also, my kids are huge slob kabobs who refuse to put away their craft supplies in an organized manner. And yes, those are three animal heads and a cotton candy maker on top. I have high standards when it comes to decor.

Here’s an older zoomed out photo for layout context. And, again, yes, I don’t bother even cleaning dirty dishes off the table before posting pictures of my house on the internet. Classy. Speaking of slob kabobs, I’m pretty sure they learned it from me.

Here’s the earth shattering part. I moved the shelves into her room. Yes, they are still shelves. No, I didn’t paint them. Yes, I’m using them for their intended purpose. Hmm, I suppose this wasn’t so earth shattering after all. Carry on. And I apologize for the big mooning from Mr American Girl pony. He’s so rude.

They fit perfectly on either side of the bed. I am totally digging the look. Now I just need to buy a wide-angle camera lens so you can actually dig them too. (I did actually use a tape measure before I unloaded them and drug them across the house into her room. That would have totally sucked if they didn’t fit.)

Once the shelves were in I just wanted to get the room headed in the right direction so I brought in the dresser I bought for her at Salvation Army last month that has been sitting in my garage waiting for me to paint it and to fix 4 of the drawers (the sliders on the bottom of each drawer have come unattached. Easy fix but I’m lazy too busy being a mom to over-scheduled children). Hence the reason there are no drawers in said dresser. But it fits! And it looks good! Thank gosh considering I bought it on impulse without measuring anything.

Finally, the room is starting to feel cohesive. I can breath easier now.

One happy surprise is how the gray (Slate from Restoration Hardware) on the back of the shelves is bringing out the gray in the newly painted greige walls. Now I’m digging the SW Accessible Beige even more.

Now that I have the shelves in place I really want to add some sconces to either the wall behind the bed, or on the sides of the shelves themselves. I guess you’ll just have to be in suspense until I pull the trigger on that. Also, artwork. This child of mine is an artist and has boxes of art, so she and I will probably put together a gallery wall of her creations. She is very excited about it.

So I suppose in the end it wasn’t earth shattering news, but it is progress. Sometimes I feel like blogging about my house is so trivial compared to real life, but it’s therapeutic for me and you seem to like reading it, so here it is. I have made progress on the house in general this summer, but nothing pretty, so I just keep avoiding blogging about it. But this is real life, and my real life is a mess, so hold tight and I’ll try to catch you up to speed on the progress of the fixer-upper; ugly photos and all.


     

Goodbye green. Another room gets painted.

This summer has been so busy, but believe it or not, I’ve actually gotten a little bit of work done around this new (to me) house. I’m currently in that awkward phase where everything I do is so boring to blog about but necessary (aka painting every room).

So, shall I just get on with it then and get to the before and after pictures? I think I shall. This time on the agenda is my daughter’s room. Let me jog your memory with a before photo. Try not to lose your lunch.

Yup. Neon green. In semi-gloss I might add. I’ll admit, all the white along the baseboards and the rectangles on the wall were my fault from when I painted the baseboards using a spray gun, but the green paint I refuse to take credit for.

I am still kinda shocked we managed to live with the room in this condition for more than two months. There has to be a record somewhere for that. My poor daughter. This final before photo shows where I painted the bifold closet doors (that I ended up sticking in the attic anyway… doh!). It really ads a nice touch to the focal wall behind the bed.

Are you dying to see the afters? Me too. My eyes are burning having to look at those before photos again.

I went with Accessible Beige again from Sherwin Williams (in satin finish). I used it the first time in my son’s room. I also painted the ceiling in SW Alabaster (flat finish) and hung a brand spankin’ new set of blinds. I’ll round up the blinds info and give you the deets soon on those.

I know it’s not the most crazy fun color ever, but after starting at these crazy colors for more than two months I just really need to get this house entirely neutral so my brain can even begin to process where to go from here. I have been overly stimulated and I feel like I need to live in a nice calm atmosphere for awhile. Also, call me boring betty but I just really love the look of nice crisp neutral walls as a base and then bring in accessories that are bright fun colors.

And cry me a river, but my daughter is so over the pink. She is begging for purple. Time for a complete room overhaul I suppose (all the work I did on her accessories from her last room. Waaaaaa.) At least decorating and crafting is the fun part.

Her room is still about 99% undecorated. I at least have the bed made (give me some credit!). There are exactly zero items hanging on the wall and even the furniture placement is still negotiable. I did purchase a dresser recently that is sitting in my garage awaiting its makeover.

And because nothing is more fun than a side-by-side before and after comparison, here ya go!

Mind blowing, I know. It does help that the before picture was so terrible. Going from white to beige would have been so boring. I should thank the previous owner for being so bold with their paint selections. It makes for a better reveal.

And for all your pinterest junkies out there (raising my hand slowly), I whipped up this image with the paint color name on it in case you want to bookmark this color. No pressure but it’s there if you want it.

Okay, so I have been working on the hall and the hubster’s office too. As soon as I can steal away a few computer minutes I’ll show you those areas as well. Hopefully (finger’s crossed) this Friday morning, but it seems whenever I promise to post on a certain day I almost always get thrown a curve ball, so no promises. Just high hopes.


     
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