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.

Recreating model home decor {decorative moss rocks}

One of my favorite things to do is browse through model homes. They are chock full of decorating ideas that are usually very appealing to most styles. I have learned so many little tips and tricks about decorating and styling a home simply by walking through model homes and taking lots of photos.

In a recent model home crashing I saw the simplest decor that had a big impact. I just had to recreate it the second I got back home.

Can you believe it’s as simple as a bowl full of faux moss rocks?

I saw this simple wooden bowl filled with basic fake moss rocks and just knew it would be perfect for my piano room. It helped that I already had the rocks and the bowl at home in my stash.

I found these moss rocks months ago at the Dollar Tree. I have looked for them since then with no luck. However, I saw a box of moss rocks last week at Target that will work just fine.

On a side note, if you see these rocks pop up at the Dollar Store again in the future, let me know, k? They are the perfect cheap versatile decor item that you can never have too many of. They look great in glass vases, wooden bowls, lanterns, wreaths, etc.

I scored this large wooden bowl at Target last year on clearance and have been stumped with what to do with it since then. It is large and deep and besides using it for salad I was really at a loss as to how to decorate with it. Thank goodness for the moss rocks!

I used four packages of moss rocks but I probably could have used at least 8 packages. To make up the difference I wadded up a bunch of tissue paper and stuffed it in the bottom of the bowl before I added the rocks.

This new cute little decor is the perfect addition to my side table between my two chairs. I love how the green moss really pops out against the red in the pillows.

Isn’t the wood grain on the bowl just fabulous? This whole ensemble just gives the perfect amount of earthy vibe to our piano room.

I still can’t get over how simple this addition was to recreate. And I’m kicking myself that I had the bowl and the rocks just sitting there for months and never thought to put the two together until now.

The moss texture on the fake rocks is so soft and fuzzy. When anyone sits in the room they instantly gravitate towards picking up and playing with the rocks. Kids and adults alike!

So there ya go, a simple easy to assemble decor addition that really makes a room *pop*. It’s always fun to be crafty and make stuff, but sometimes the simplest things end up being my favorite.

What are your go-to decorating accessories? Do you like browsing model homes? What is your favorite decor item in your home?

Enjoy life and have a great week!

Like, OMG. The piano room actually has curtains now?!

Four long months ago I proclaimed I was going to hang curtains in the piano room.

Sounded simple enough. Hell, I already had the curtains. How long could hanging two curtain panels really take?

I tried them out by hanging them on the wall with some tacks…

They were waiting for Noah’s Flood, so I tested out some gray fabric I picked up at ikea. Yup, this little plan I hatched was going to work out perfectly.

I even added this little curtain project to my list of 24 projects I should have finished by now (project #6) {aka I’m a huge procrastinator}.

So why is it freaking January 2012 and I’m just now mentioning them again?

Because of my life mantra – Nothing I do is as easy as it should be.

Really, there were only two tasks to complete this little should-only-take-an-hour-or-so Project: 1) buy and hang two curtain rods, & 2) attach fabric to the bottom of the curtain panels. NOT THAT HARD, ALLISON. Srsly.

And that’s where things went horribly off track…

First off, the panels were dirty so I carefully read the label and washed them as directed.


When I pulled them out of the dryer, to my horror the toile fabric SHRUNK. Like, a lot.


Oh, this is for real, folks. I can’t even make this crap up.


All FOUR panels shrunk. In a moderate temper tantrum, I threw them on my floor and ignored them for a week or so. But then the curtain bug bit again. There had to be a way to salvage these curtains.


Yup, I went all Freddy Krueger on them and hacked the lining right out.


I had originally planned to use only two curtain panels (though I had 4), but once they shrunk to all hell and then I removed the lining, they seemed really sad and thin, so I ended up using two panels per window (I used all 4 panels instead of just 2).

Well, this pretty much screwed me on the gray fabric. I had enough to cover two panels, not four. No biggie… I headed back to ikea to buy another yard.

{Here comes big issue #2 with hanging these dag-gum curtains}

FAIL. Ikea has been sold out of that gray fabric for four freaking months now!

So now they look like this:


Because of the shrinkage, they are now waiting for an even bigger flood than before. {Maybe I should give up on the ikea fabric and just go get some at the fabric store…}

Well, there has been one semi-good thing to come from all this.

I bought and hung two curtain rods!


I say “semi-good” because, well, I bought these rods and hung them before my DIY curtain rod was even dreamed up…

If I could go back in time, I’d do one long rod on the windows in the piano room (like the DIY one in the dining room) instead of the two shorter rods. {sigh}


Eventually I may swap these out for one long one, but for now, these are paid for and hung, so I’m just gonna go with it.

So, now that I’ve been all Debbie-Downer on the curtain rods, let me tell you all about them!

I found the two curtain rods at Wal-Mart for $14 each.


They are nice rods, but man that $2 conduit pipe rod sure sounds nice right about now…

So anyway, I bought two rods from Wal-Mart…


…and also two packages of rings with clips ($7 a package).


I attached the rings the same way I explained here to create a faux pinch pleat.


That’s pretty much it. After four long months, the rods and curtains are finally hung, but I still can’t check this project off my to-do list because the bottom of the curtains are unfinished.


It’s all good though. This large randomly placed basket with no use hides the unraveling edge pretty well.


On a good day, the piano room and entry way are looking pretty good. Not finished, but better than before. (Ben is in a band, so the piano room is usually littered with at least 2-3 guitars, a large amp, a banjo, and his Russian accordion. Yes, I’m married to a musical wiz. I gave up trying to compete years ago. (I play the piano. But, of course, he does that better too!))


I have exactly two sets of curtains hung in this house (pathetic, I know). And you can see both of them at the same exact time:


I like the way the toile looks in the piano room, but man, I just adore my orange curtains. I could wear them I love them so much. 😉

Posts are always WAY more fun with a good ol’ before and after, so here ya go!



I’d say that room looks pretty smokin’ hot compared to the “before”. Only a few more tweaks until I can check it off the list!

I guess in four more months I’ll update you again when I finally have the gray sewn to the bottom of the toile curtains. lol

And, as always, thanks for reading! Make yourself at home. :)

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