Decluttering is ALWAYS a goal of mine. I always feel like I have too much clutter in my life - not only physical clutter - as in 'stuff' - but cluttered lives as well. Too much going on - not enough time to accomplish everything - makes my life feel cluttered.
My house is tiny - and this leads to accumulated clutter very quickly. We don't have a lot of storage - or closets in our house - so I am always looking for creative storage solutions - pieces of furniture that do double duty as extra storage - shelves, baskets, etc - that give extra space. We just purchased an ottoman for the sunroom that has a shelf underneath as well as a small amount of storage inside - it will be perfect for magazines, the remote controls etc. Here is a picture of it from the manufacturer. I may look for some baskets to fit on the shelf to hide some of the items I want to store there.
I am also a big believer in under the bed storage. My kids always had several under their beds - for toy storage or off season clothes. I use one under our bed for off-season shoes and extra bedding.
Right now most of my house is very organized. Because the house is tiny you can see most rooms from the downstairs hallway. Therefore the 1st floor rooms are almost always straightened up and clutter free. Once in a while newspapers pile up right before recycling day - I need to find a solution for this.
But our 2nd floor and the basement are out of control right now. And it is driving me crazy! Our 2nd floor has only two rooms. The steps open right up into our bedroom - which is huge! There is also a small bedroom off of ours -which has been used as a nursery as well as an office area. Right now it is a room in transition. It eventually will be a craft studio for me. All my supplies are in there - some are even organized - but there are piles of other supplies as well as books, magazines, pictures and the ironing basket and ironing board. My husband's closet is also in this room. My goal is to switch out closets with my husband - move his stuff into the closet in our bedroom and move my clothes to the closet in the craft room - then all my stuff will be together.
Once his things are out of there I think it will be easier to organize since I won't have to share space. I have some ideas for how I want it organized - but need to really sit down and think about what I want to do in there. All of this will most likely happen after the new year since December is such a busy month.
Each night I am trying to take a small area in the house and declutter - even if it is just one or two drawers in the kitchen or a closet. Small steps!
Life is busy...lots of home improvement projects going on...once we finished the new room (sunroom...family room....not sure what to call it) it made the kitchen look shabby. I like the cupboards but the flooring needed to be replaced...so we extended the cork flooring from the family room into the kitchen...which required the removal of a 300 lb radiator and the tearing out of the old wainscoting and putting in new. So of course then we needed to repaint...the kitchen and down the hall. It's all done. But the change in color meant the red jelly cupboard no longer matched...so it has been repainted and will be finished tonight. We still want to replace the countertops...but that is one project that will NOT be finished before Easter.
So needless to say I am tired...two rounds of painting Saturday with a trip to do some birthday shopping for our DIL, a trip to Troeg's Brewery - a weekly event to fill our growler - RyePA - Scratch #18 - yum!!! Then lunch out with the hubby...had a great greek salad...a trip to Tar-get...and back home for the 2nd round of painting. Today meant more painting, grocery shopping, cooking and yardwork...I am exhausted. Plus the hubby replaced all the old outlets and light switches...it all looks great.
Saturday night I settled in with my knitting - diminished rib cardigan - one sleeve to go - and a pomegranate martini - so good! I mentioned last night on Face-book that I was drinking a pomegranate martini...unfortunately my MOTHER is also on face-book and read it and was teasing me about it today - she's keeping tabs on me through face-book...the perfect reason that I have not "friended" my children...they don't need me keeping tabs on them!
Tonight...a little knitting...some really bad TV and off to bed...exhausted.
Our new room is nearly complete. Flooring is in – finally – this was the big hold up. It came in 3 weeks later than expected and held up lots of other projects.
Our contractor – Mark – says he will be done this week.
Can I tell you how much I love this room already? It is 16 x 20 and has 11 windows and French doors. The room faces south and gets great light. It will do double duty as a dining area and small family room area. Plus it has a nice closet – which is a luxury in our older home. We have never had a coat closet or a place to put the vacuum cleaner. This closet will be heavenly!
Because we have never purchased a brand new home we never had to make all the decisions that come with building a home. Or have a brand new space to start fresh with – not try to convert some one else’s space. It has been fun – picking windows, lighting, flooring, furniture, etc.
We chose cork flooring – which I LOVE. It is so much ‘softer’ than hardwood or laminate flooring. There is cork on both sides of the floor which seems to cushion the floor. It feels great under foot. We chose cork because we have original hardwood floors in most of our house. It was impossible to try to match this flooring. Because we will extend the new room flooring into the kitchen and down the hall, we wanted something to complement the original floors. This looks wonderful with the old floors.
We still have so many decisions to make. We did not want curtains in this room – but decided on bamboo roman shades. These need to be ordered. We need some furniture – we have a brand new table with 6 chairs – and ordered another server-type piece to match. Now we need pieces for the family room end of the room. We really don’t want it to overwhelm the room – just want 2 chairs – on the small side – with a table in between. And a TV stand – as my parents bought us flat screen TV for this room. It is so hard for me to visualize everything together when we are buying pieces of furniture.
We repainted the room this weekend. I absolutely LOVE the color - burnished sable by Ralph Lauren. The room glows! We moved the table and chairs in this weekend and now I can get a better picture of how much room we have left for the 'family room' side. The table looks great in the room. My goal is to keep the table set all the time and change pieces out for the seasons.
Don't mind the blue painters tape or molding that still needs paint.
How come I can make lists and lists of everything I want to get done but they never seem to get done?
I have lists of things that need to be done around the house. Adding a brand new room on makes other things in your house look shabby.
I have lists of things I want to knit and tons of yarn to do it with. But I get bored with projects too easily and then start something new. Ravelry does not help this situation – there are too many gorgeous ideas.
I have lists of gardening ideas. And plans drawn out and plant lists.
I truly think I am ADD. I get overwhelmed with what needs to be done or what I want to get done and then nothing gets done.
So – my new hope is to try to make small lists – ones that are not overwhelming. My husband is helping me with this. He has gotten more involved this past year in making choices for the house and garden. In the past I planned everything and made all the choices – mostly because he was busy coaching one kid or the other in a sport. Now that we are mostly empty-nesters he has more time and we have more time together. So having another person helping out with some of my lists helps. He is also much more realistic about things than me. He can see the big picture but not need to have it all done at once like me. He keeps me grounded.
He is also very patient. Like yesterday – when I came home to our new cork flooring in the addition – which I LOVE by the way – I panicked because the color we picked to paint the walls clashed with the new floor. When we picked the wall color we did not have a sample of the flooring with us. Big Mistake! When he came home and saw the walls he agreed that we would need to change the wall color…no big deal…it’s just 2 gallons of paint and one days work. So calm…unlike me who was so upset. So tonight we will meet at Home-Depot after work and choose a new wall color – armed with flooring samples this time. Plans are to repaint this weekend as we both have a three day weekend.
New Room check list – choose a new wall color – done.
I have been joking with Carrie from CA about the weather. She commented on her blog that it was cold there - 43 degrees. It has been in the teens here in PA and I am loving the cold weather. We even had a small amount of snow this past weekend...enough to make me hope for more...but after our youngest son gets home from college on Thrusday!
Winter makes me want to eat soup! Every weekend I make a pot of soup and eat it all week for lunch plus one night for dinner with a loaf of good bread. My hubby likes soup as well but can't eat it all week long like me. I could literally eat soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner - EVERY DAY! Any leftovers get frozen and handed off to my father-in-law who I always send home with tons of leftovers so he doesn't have to cook just for him.
I found a listing of tons of soup recipes on this blog. I have copied lots of the recipes to add to my favorites. Most of the time I don't use recipes - just wing it with whatever ingredients I am hungry for. Today's lunch is Pasta E Fagioli- a recipe based on a copycat of the Olive Garden's soup. I love their salad as well and found a copycat recipe for their salad dressing ...may have to try that out as well.
Our addition is now under roof and has all the windows in - all 11! The electrician was in to start yesterday and will finish today - with lights and heating. The french door gets delivered today as well...so maybe Mark - our contractor - can work in a heated room tomorrow. Drywall should be almost done by the end of the week! See my UGLY garage in the background! That gets sided this spring - come hell or high water!
We live in a tiny cape Cod style house...it is really tiny. But I love it and it never seemed too small. While our kids were growing up -even with a household of kids and their friends it always worked. Well now we have a daughter-in-law and hopefully someday another one and of course grand kids. So despite the fact that it is just the two of us most of the year, we are adding on a room. We have wanted to do this for a long time but the timing was never right.
Well we bit the bullet and contracted to have a 16 x 20 addition added to the back of our house. Thye started yesterday. Today - I am off - and they were here bright and early and poured the contrete foundation and delivered 4 skids of croncrete blocks. We have picked out windows - huge ones to add lots of light - siding and are still working on a flooring choice. It is exciting and scary - to write a check for that huge amount...but it will be worth it in the long run. Until then our back yard looks like this: