When inspiration strikes

It’s difficult to predict where inspiration will invade. And honestly, I’ve always believed it is less about the source and more about being receptive to the influence. This week I have found inspiration in two, rather traditional, places.

While browsing the new bookshelves at my neighborhood library, I picked up the book Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik. Beautiful, full color photos with clear directions for turning your house into a home. The projects are often inexpensive and easy yet look finished and chic. Truth be told, this book looks like my DIY board on Pinterest but there is always something better about having a book to reference (that is probably just my inner librarian trying to break out of this new mold I have stuffed her in). There are several projects I am itching to try!

But first…

I need to get organized! Last year we donated an incredible amount of clothing, furniture, and other household miscellany. It was liberating and at the time it felt massive. Six months later it feels like more could be done. Scratch that… MORE CAN BE DONE! As I begin the second year of trying out this stay-at-home-mom thing, I feel crushed by my home and all the stuff in it. It is also time to take a look at what my future might be and let go of the things I think need to be kept for that uncertainty? eventuality?

31daysbutton2

While cruising Pinterest this morning I happened upon a blog with 31 days worth of posts to help get organized. It is probably the most practical organizing blog I have come across (and trust me I’ve read a bunch of ’em). The suggestions are not only practical but cost efficient and look great, not cheap which is exactly the direction I am hoping to head. A few of the posts helped me to rethink my hoarding tendencies and what I’m teaching lil’ A about the accumulation of stuff.

With this guide I feel confident I can begin to make our home more of a useful, comfortable place and then feel ready to tackle to room by room decorating that I’ve been dreaming about.

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Get Organized {Thinking Positive}

Getting organized has been an 11 year battle. When we got engaged in August 2000, I moved home to save money and my whole house full of stuff went into storage in my great-grandmother’s garage. A few months later, in April 2001, she passed away meaning I had until the end of May to move it all into a storage unit. Added to my possessions were some substantial pieces of furniture that K and I were inheriting and many surprises boxes. These surprise boxes were all the items that my grandmother and aunts either didn’t want or didn’t know what to do with (I just opened the last of the surprise boxes a few days ago).

When we married and finally moved in together in August 2001, we put my stuff, his stuff, my great-grandmother’s stuff, and all the wonderful gifts we received as gifts into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. One bedroom was floor to ceiling unopened boxes. Fast forward 2 years and we move into a tiny cottage that had been his grandparent’s home for 50 years. We gained a bedroom and a sunroom and lost a bathroom. The sunroom became storage central. We were never really organized in the 3 years we lived there and unlike at the apartment, we couldn’t just shut the door to the chaos.

I had high hopes of finally getting it right when we purchased our house in 2006. This time we had 1,600 sq ft of space! No reason we couldn’t get our shit together. This time around it wasn’t space that got in our way but everything else and we let it. We closed late and moved in a week behind schedule. For some crazy reason we had agreed to host a surprise party for K’s mom now only 3 weeks from move-in day! Ack! 6 weeks after move-in we learned I was expecting Lil’ A. My pregnancy was awful and I spent all but about 4 weeks sick. Very little was accomplished during this time and really only things related to baby. Then it was baby and focusing on careers and now 6 years later I’m finally in a position to get organized.

Phew… with all that background out of the way…

Here is my first of five think positive goals

Get Organized!

I have been working on Project Basement since last week. The goal is to purge, clean, and organize. I want to be able to use this space rather than it be dedicated solely to storage. There will be 4 distinct areas… a play space for A, a sitting area with a tv that can double as sleep space for guests on the hide-a-bed, a studio/crafty space for me, and a laundry/storage space. There will also be plenty of room if K decides to move the home gym system from the garage.

Pinterest has been a huge source of inspiration! I’m almost down with the purging and cleaning stage and can’t wait to get started setting up and organizing.

Craft room inspiration!

Once Project basement is complete, I plan to finish organizing the rest of the house. The former nursery will cease being a playroom and become an actual guest room/dressing room for me. I’m excited about the ideas I have for this room!

Guest room inspiration                       LOVE these colors!

So now I have to stop thinking about how much work all this will be, how exhausted it will make me, how little help I’m getting from K, and the fact we have no money to do everything I’m dreaming.

I will think about how less stressed I will feel because the clutter and overwhelming presence of stuff will be gone, how useful this will be for my family, how much more comfortable my guests will be while visiting overnight, and how I can finally get to all the crafty projects I’ve been itching to do.

Happy thoughts!

Tomorrow… I think positive about getting paid.

Don’t open that cabinet!

It is in my nature to organize things. I’ve always loved grouping things and it only made sense that I became a librarian.

We purchased our current home in October 2006 and three weeks after moving in I was pregnant with lil’ A. I was exhausted and morning (read: all day) sick and unpacking was done for only the bare minimum. Once she was born, nothing got accomplished! Now 5 & 1/2 years later we still do not really feel settled even though this is most likely our “pine box” house.

With all this extra free time, I am slowly beginning to make our home more livable. Please don’t confuse looking lived in with livable. This place definitely looks lived in. I swear we are a bad weekend away from being on Hoarders. By livable I mean that our home works for us and not against us anymore, that everything has a place and actually makes to its home. It also means recognizing that it’s not all the stuff that will define us.

I love the 40 bags in 40 days concept. Using that as an inspiration, I have been reorganizing, cleaning, and purging. Today I tackled the space under the upstairs bathroom sink and my drawer.

BEFORE

  

I am so embarrassed to share these photos but I really want to chronicle this journey. I have no idea how we found anything EVER! We just piled shit upon shit upon more shit. Can you say chronically disorganized? At Target this afternoon, a clearance item happened to catch my eye and inspiration struck!

AFTER

  

I purchased 5 items to help make this transformation and spent less than $20. My inspiration piece is the 3 bottle wine holder inside the cube ($9). It was on clearance for less than $4 and I instantly thought it would make a great storage piece for curling and flat irons. The little tubs ($2.99 each) fit perfectly on the moveable shelf and contain hair ties in one and clips/bobbie pins in the other (before these were EVERYWHERE! they were supposed to be in an old watch box but clearly that wasn’t working). Once I was able to purge and organize under the sink I was able to clean and reorganize my drawer. For the first time in months my make-up case actually fits in the drawer!

I’m encouraged by this accomplishment and tomorrow will be moving on to the cabinet above the toilet that holds all my nail polish and supplies and the hall linen closet. Stay tuned!