Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 15: Putting Things Away

Putting things away after I am done using an item tends to be the hardest thing for me to do. Not because it is a difficult task, but because it is one of those things that just gets put on the backburner because I have something more important to do at that exact moment. I am not sure it is always a matter of having time. Sometimes I think it is a matter of not wanting to do it. Sometimes it is difficult to decide where something should go. As I work on the living room (yes, I am still working on that project), my focus has switched to ensuring that everything has a very specific location and that it is very clearly labeled. I figure if it is clearly labeled the likelihood of it actually getting put back in the right spot will increase dramatically... which will make everyone's life here in our home more pleasant, because we won't be searching for that one thing that was put in that one spot. Once we get through the house room by room, we will be able to start purging ruthlessly. My reasoning for that is currently there isn't a lot of storage in our home, and not everything has a spot yet, so it is hard to know whether or not we would use it, since a lot of our belongings are stored away in tubs in one of our two closets. It is a project that will continue to take time, but for today, I am going to focus on labeling what we do have. I am borrowing my mom's label maker for this project. If I don't get a lot of it done today, I will be continuing on with it tomorrow. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 14: A disasterous Kitchen trial

I was going to blog last night, and then I was annoyed with the fact that I burned two pans of cookies. So, I was kind of bummed to be writing about that... so I decided to come back to it today. Burning one pan of cookies, totally makes sense. I get distracted and start working on other things... so, sometimes things get burned at our house. The one pan that didn't get burned did turn out delicious! I made Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies, it is super easy! 1 can of pumpkin puree, 1 spice cake mix, and 1 cup chocolate chips. Mix all the ingredients together (I used a hand mixer). Spray/ grease the pan, and use two tablespoons to make "drop cookies" Bake at 350 degrees. The time says 20 minutes, and the first two pans got burned at 15 minutes and the pan that didn't get burned baked for 22 minutes. So, watch them carefully. They should look like raisin hermits when they are done. You can tell that they are done, if you touch one in the center and it springs back. I will add a link to the site where I found the recipe later today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 13: Growing Pains

I am having trouble writing everyday, because of how life gets in the way. I am still here and I am still chugging along, though I will probably will end up writing a little into November just because I want to complete the task of writing about my house for 31 days. It is a good exercise for me in consistency, and not only practicing my writing but continually improving it. I am not going to stress out about writing everyday because honestly it stresses me out, and I don't want writing or my house projects to cause me so much anxiety. I am just going to keep writing for 31 days, which might just take me into November, but I am okay with that. The weekend was spent on Saturday with a huge push to get projects completed. I did write about that this weekend, and Sunday was spent returning items that we were not going to use and purchase baskets for a variety of items that we do want to use. Corralling our stuff is so important and I have been purging off and on this past year. To me going through and sorting all of our stuff has helped to make our house a little bit more home-like. We live in a smaller house (I have no idea what the square footage is) which has both good and bad points. Slowly our house has been turning into our home. Our house most definitely has some quirkiness, but that is alright with me. Slowly the personality of our house and us are being brought to life on the walls and in the rooms. It is something that cannot be rushed into, because that is when silly mistakes about what you like and what your family needs are made. Turning a house into a home is like the adolescent years. There is a lot of growing and evolving that happens, whether it is personal style or the needs of your family. You just have to be confident that eventually you will get there. It isn't always fun, but there are things about home ownership that are not fun (like frozen water pipes, boxelder bug invasions etc.) But in the end it will be worth it. Much like my current project this evening... laundry. It is a dismal chore, but it is so rewarding when it is done and you have choices again about what to wear. You just need to keep chipping away at it. Laundry is the choice tonight because it was starting to create chaos in the laundry area of our bathroom. Tootles!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 12: Another shopping day

Today wasn't a day that was planned, it was more or less a day that just happened. My mom and I and a friend of ours ended up going to Ikea again today. We needed the drawer bases to complete our shelving project in the living room, and we had things to take back that just weren't going to work in our living room. I find that you never truly know how things are going to work/ look until you get them home. So, my day was spent looking at baskets, and kitchen drawer shelving etc. I love looking at all of the ideas that they have, but what I really like is the fact that I am starting to imagine things in our home and can see a little bit more of what our style is. I am off to bed, because I am working tomorrow. Tootles!

Day 11: "Making a List, Checking it Twice"

It is not Christmas around here, nor am I starting to plan for Christmas. Though, I am excited to start decorating for Christmas in about a month and a half... anyways moving on today towards the real purpose of today's post. I was able to cross things off of my project list. My mom and dad came out once again today to help me with the living room project. My dad put up the doors for my shelving, we put up the upmost shelves, I carried down the majority of my books from downstairs, I put away my books on the shelves, I put away board games on the new shelves, and the little bookcase was moved to the porch for now, and my mom and I rearranged the furniture, a curtain rod was hung up along with the curtains that belong on it, my dad hung up our living room mirror with my mom's help. I was in charge of telling them whether or not it was centered over the couch. There were also some kitchen projects that were completed today, but I will give you more on that later. It is great to start seeing progress. I felt like we were continually taking steps backwards in our effort to make any sort of progress. I can finally see the living room in our home, it is starting to show some of our personality, beyond the fact that we picked out all of the colors. There are some more decorating projects that I would like to do in here, but I want to continue the process of bringing down things from my office upstairs. When I have all of my boxes downstairs here, I will work on organizing them a little bit more, but today's goal was to get the boxes downstairs and put away on the shelf. I would like to also make labels for the boxes, but that is something that will be happening a little farther down the line. Tomorrow's goals in the afternoon after church are: 1) Finish bringing down the rest of the boxes from my office. 2)Organizing my boxes in a way that makes sense (I don't really know what that means yet.) 3. Figuring out what art I want to put up where in the living room. Our wall space is getting filled up with a lot of fun and meaningful pieces that we have (and bookshelves). I just don't want it to feel overwhelming. I am going to have to see what can be put above our heater (we have propane heaters in our house) and how far above the heater anything hung up on the wall needs to be. I have a couple of ideas of what could be put up in that spot. I love the looks of eclectic gallery walls, and think that would be the perfect space for one. It is after midnight here, so my post will be posted as of the 13th of October, but all of these tasks were completed with the help of my parents on the twelfth. Tootles!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 10: Putting it Together

I am not always a very patient person. I like to see results as soon as I start working on something, but the problem is that with house projects that rarely if ever happens. You would actually think that I would learn that by now... especially with house projects. Twice when I have picked out paint colors I have wondered what in the world I was thinking. The first time was with my kitchen, as I was prepping to paint I had opened up my paint container and instantly though OMG! What am I going to do with this? I had been shooting for a coral color, but had pepto pink in front of me. I decided to just go with. In the end I loved the color! Sometimes, turning a house into a home is about patience and taking small steps. Like today I put in the shelves for one unit and was able to move the books that I use for work to their new home! I am excited to have more time to work on it this weekend! I am hoping to get my "fun" books moved downstairs and placed into their new home. But, for tonight I am going to bask in the sunshine of getting one aspect of a very large project completed!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 8 and 9 in Review

Not everyday is exciting in the world of editing your home, and quite honestly yesterday was one of those days... I had a lot of work things that needed to get accomplished and so we just ate left overs and put things through the wash. It is part of life and it is part of homemaking, but I was exhausted and I still needed to post my assignments for a professional development cohort that I am part of. It's okay because in the midst of trying to make this our home, we have to live in our home. I also realized that I had a meeting that night 2 hours before I had to be there. Day 9- Tonight my mom, dad, and one of my uncles came out to our house to anchor the shelving to the walls. It wasn't a task that my mom and I could do on our own. They made sure everything was secure and everything was plumb and ready to roll. I am really excited to see how they will look as I am able to start organizing our belongings. Pictures will be coming soon of the finished project. I'm off to bed with visions of house fairies dancing in my head! Good night!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 7: I would travel 100 miles..

Through this challenge of focusing on/ blogging about my house for 31 days I have noticed that there are a lot of things that my house has going for it... like a spacious master bedroom, bathroom, and living room and there other things the house does not having going for it like 2 small upstairs closets that are packed full of boxes from our year ago that are just waiting for a home so that they can be used and adored. The storage issue is easily taken care of. I bit the bullet yesterday and designed a shelving unit from IKEA. Now that we have all of the products actually at our house there are some fine tuning that needs to happen. It seems to happen to me a lot. I have all of these great ideas, and yet when it comes to fruition I need to re-evaluate how it is actually going to work out. I am excited though, because I feel like we are finally getting one step closer to having a home. Yesterday, my mom and I drove her truck to IKEA. When we go to IKEA it is usually an all day trip. I live approximately 100 miles from the nearest location... so we set off in the morning and made it home around dinner time. I think that IKEA has some brilliant ideas for storage and utilizing small spaces, that can be translated into smaller homes. I also don't think that you have to use just their products because you can use their concepts to adapt it more to your taste. Having everything in a very modern style doesn't really fit our house style or location. We are located in rural Midwest. I am excited to get started putting together the rest of our shelves. So, last night my mom, dad, the Doc and I carried in the IKEA haul and started putting together the shelves. I was on paper and Styrofoam control mostly last night, so at least that mess was cleaned up as we went along. I am off to put together shelves and see what we have going on for the day! I hope everyone is very productive today!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Days 5/6: A slow start

Today is a foggy, dreary, chilly day. It is hard to find motivation for anything other than staying in bed/ napping/ reading all day... but I am moving on to a new project today. Our bedroom is at stand still until the other rooms are ready and things can be moved to where they need to go. When we moved in things got put it rooms where it would seem like they would fit. There wasn't always tons of thought as to where things should be moved. So, our bedroom currently holds two pieces of extra furniture. One dresser will be moving to a different bedroom, and one shelf will either be kept or given to someone else. I haven't fully decided what I want to do with it. I just know that I don't like it in our bedroom. But, my husband needed a place to put clothes and so it was repurposed for his clothes as a temporary solution. That is the problem with our house, there are a lot of temporary solutions and nothing super permanent. Neither of us are enamored with how our house has been laid out, but at the same time we don't feel like there is a lot of solutions to the problem either. This creates a feeling of stuckness. I want to love our house, but I don't have gobs and gobs of money to be spending on home organizing systems. So, sometimes I feel defeated before I even start on a project. I need to think outside of the box and be thrifty with what we do have or purchase quality items that are going to stand up to the test of time. I firmly believe in purchasing quality items for things that are going to be with you for a long time. I am not however going to rush out and buy a whole bunch of items that I don't truly need. What I discovered this morning while reflecting on our house is that the house project won't be linear. Our room is not as I thought that they would be. The rooms are so interconnected since we have a small house. The other aspect of that is we didn't really plan out well how we were going to use each space or the layout. That my friends is a HUGE mistake. I haven't loved how we laid out the house in terms of how we will use each room. Though, it has taken me a year to get to the point of wanting to change it. The master bedroom: I moved the bed along a different wall, which makes the room a little easier to "zone", but the Doc doesn't like it. He says it makes the room look smaller. I did convince him that we should try it for a little while, and if we don't like it, we can move it back. The furniture layout doesn't have to be permanent. If the Doc really ends up hating where it is at right now. I just wanted to try out a couple of options. It also provides you with a different perspective. The temporary furniture has temporary spots. The goal is for them to be ready to be moved to their new homes by the end of the month (or shortly after, I will need help moving the furniture around.) I vacuumed until pieces started coming off. It is a very temperamental thing, and I wasn't super patient with it. So we will have to finish vacuuming at a later date. I did find a bag of garbage in our bedroom... receipts, and other things. So, there is definite progress in here. The room needs: more lighting, screws to tighten/ replace dresser handles, curtain rods (2) and curtains. It also needs the third dresser that belongs up here. Today, I am going to be working on the upstairs office. A lot of these items will be moving downstairs to the living room, and so I need to be decluttering in here so I know what kind of shelving I will need downstairs in the living room for all of our odds and ends that we keep down there. What is your plan for this Saturday?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 4: A day of hiccups

So, yesterday I was going to fix the handles on my dressers with screws... but they were too short. My husband was going to pick up longer screws, but he headed from a farm instead of town so no screws today. He isn't totally sold on moving the furniture. Apparently there are clothes all over creation. I am not totally sure what he is talking about, so tonight I am going to make sure that all of the clothes are put away, so that in a little bit we can move some of the furniture around... Wish me luck! I will update with pictures when I get that done! Tootles!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 3: Little by little

On my way home from work I was thinking about what I love about our bedroom... and though it has taken me a lot of time I really do have quite a few things that I love about our bedroom: I love the slanted ceiling in our bedroom, it gives it some unexpected character I love the nook that our very large closet created. I love the color combination of the jade-ish green walls, tan-ish carpet, and the bright white ceiling and trim. Even after are a year I still love our color choices for our room. It feels welcoming and very relaxing. I love our windows, they look like an older style even though they are brand new energy efficient windows. I love the space that we have in our room, I want to use it in a more efficient manner. These are things that I love about my house, but what do I want to change about our bedroom? I want to give it some personality or more likely our personality... it really is just bare minimum right now. The doc and I did put up a the beginnings of a gallery wall, we also have one decorative shelf that is up. Other than that the room doesn't seem to have a lot of personality. There is furniture that must be in the bedroom like our bed and our 3 dressers, but I keep feeling as if "zoning" it will help make it more multifunctional. When I am cruising the internet for inspiration I find that I truly do love the look of it, but I don't want our room to become a cluttered mess. We do need curtains and more lighting in our room. It gets very dark in there if it is cloudy or nighttime. It does not have an overhead light. After looking at my Pinterest Board I noticed a pattern of bright, airy, colorful things, that have a hint of luxury and island flavor. I feel like it is a weird mishmash of things and yet it seems to work together somehow. I really want a storage ottoman for our bedroom for all of our linens (not that we have very many, but they are unhelpful buried in our closet in behemoth plastic tubs). I also really like the idea of moving a small antique secretary desk into our bedroom to hold some stationary items etc. with corner shelves above it. Tonight will be spent tightening screws on our bedroom set that have seemed to come loose and clearing off the nightstands. I might even be able to convince my husband that we should move furniture. But, I won't necessarily hold my breath on that one. Maybe if we do just a little bit at a time the change won't seem as overwhelming. What do you love about your house? What do you see that needs to be changed so that it is more functional for your needs?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 2: My house, my plan

Everyone has a certain strategy when starting a new project... except me. My strategy seems to be rushing into it, and hoping that it works out great. The majority of the time it does work out; but there are times when mishaps and hilarity happen. Exhibit A: I forgot the doors to my Ikea shelf and then had to drive 90+ miles back into the city to get them...but I wasn't borrowing my parents' truck so the doors were perched precariously over the passenger seat. I drive a Mercury Sable and in a lot of instances every square inch counts. Then again my mishaps have created some great memories... my husband was picked up from the airport, we got the doors, everyone survived the trip home. Yay! Success! I want to be intentional with these house projects because I want to make sure that we are using all of our furniture and beloved objects to their fullest potential. I want our space to reflect who we are and our lifestyle. We are very casual/ informal people, who like to have fun, and want to use all of our space and belongings efficiently. We live in a house that is very small. I can never remember how much square footage our house has but it is tiny. We have a 3 bedroom 1 bath house that is super old. We need to get creative with the space that we have so that our family can fit comfortably. Today is the first anniversary of moving into our house. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of our stuff is still in boxes hiding into our closets because we are not any closer to feeling 100% settled into our house. I want to have made strides in getting us settled by the end of October. Week 1: 10/2/2013- 10/6/2013 Master bedroom Week 2: 10/7/2013- 10/13/2013 Living Room Week 3: 10/14/2013- 10/20/2013 upstairs office Week 4: 10/21/2013- 10/27/2013 Kitchen Week 5: 10/28/2013- 10/31/2013 Upstairs closets/ Front porch You might be looking at this plan of attack and wonder about the bathroom and the other bedroom. Part of the bathroom is a much bigger project than I am able to tackle by myself. So, I will be waiting on that one until the doc is able to participate more fully in that endeavor. The other room is the Doc's home office and so that it a space where he needs to be a more active participant in the organizing/ cleaning etc. of that space. We have different organizational ideas of setting up a workspace. These differences really do tend to balance us out. Are you a planner? Or are you a go-getter? Or are you somewhere in between? I would love to hear from you!