Friday, January 11, 2013

House Makeover in a Day

Okay, don't get too excited. We didn't remodel or anything.
But yesterday, Michael and I both got crazy and tackled all the problem areas of our home. We did something for every room! I love having a handyman around. :) Michael did all the heavy work.
Sorry these are crummy phone pics. I'm not feeling well, so I'm too lazy to try and get some nice ones.
The kids were super good all day, which was really nice. They played together and stayed out of the way while we buzzed around. (Oh hey, see those dishes at the sink? I washed them all. In addition to everything else we did. I'm quite pleased).

 I don't have Before pictures for any but the last of these, 
but I think we'll survive not knowing what stuff looked like beforehand.


Problem Area #1: The entryway. 
We got in a dumb habit of tossing our coats on the couch, and the lineup of shoes by the couch edge always turned into a scrambled mess that reached into the living room. Annoying! Now, it is tidy and put together with designated space for those things. Ahhh.
PS: that pile of things on top are things I need to take out to the car...they're not a regular part of that. 
 Problem Area #2: the Calendar
I guess this didn't even used to be an area! I had our old calendar by the pantry, and that meant walking around the table to the trash can to look at it, which was a nuisance if I had to check something for my harp students. Now it's all organized and attractive and accessible and visible. 
Problem Area #3: the Fridge
I don't like cluttered fridges. And mine was very cluttered. I put up with the magnet letters because they're awesome for kids, and I had Ender's drawings on the fridge because his drawings are awesome...but the result was not awesome. The fridge looked like a magnetic trash can or something. 
I still need to sort through all the junk above the fridge, but that can wait a little. 

Problem Area #4: the Fish Tanks
With this one, I actually do wish I had a Before picture just to show you how hideous our previous fish tanks were. They were meant to be cool the way they could be stacked like apartments, but they were just so ugly. I can't even find an image on Google for you. Imagine plastic canisters turned on their sides, looking super uneven because of a huge lid-like piece on one end, with knob things sticking out on each end, and an ugly round hole on the top. And then imagine a ton of mold inside those canisters because they were so hard to reach into for cleaning. I did not care if our fish died, I was not excited about yet another cleaning job.
So I requested that we simplify. Here are our beautiful new tanks.

Problem Area #5: the Bathroom
I know nobody wants to see my bathroom. Or maybe it's just that I don't want anybody to see my bathroom. :) In any case, it's clean, so as far as bathrooms go, we're safe here. This wasn't as much of a "problem" as it was just not pretty. And it still kind of isn't, what with the economic suspension rods at different heights. But I'm happy with this set up because...split curtains open the space and make it seem lighter and larger, and they even offer some extra insulation during showers because they cover the gaps on the sides where cold air likes to seep in. Even though the curtains are white, which can seem very sterile and boring, our tiny bathroom benefits from the illusion of space that white creates. So there you go.

Problem Area #6: the Kids' Bedroom
In fairness, this room was mostly a problem because we had the recliner in here to make room for the Christmas tree. But it wasn't that great looking before that anyway, so improvement is always good. The kids are playing with LEGOs in their circus tent, so you can't really see how their room is really opened up with the new furniture arrangement. Um, so maybe there's no point in including this picture. But we did work on this space, so here it is.
 And this is the corner of the room...

Problem Area #7: the DVDs
This isn't the most attractive solution, since we have some awkward furniture placement in that corner because the dresser on the left (cut off in the pic) is centered under our TV. This was a problem area because with so many movies, we were double-stacking all over the place, and I had movies on that bottom area where I change Scarlett's diapers. She enjoyed sabotaging those movies. So that needed to change! Now, it's her changing stuff. Perfect. (And I do like the DVD tower; we're still double-stacking on one shelf, but with bulky VHS movies that I haven't copied onto DVDs, that kind of can't be helped yet).

Problem Area #8: the Plant
Our beautiful Majestic Palm plant died a slow death. Finally, with one weak branch left, we've replaced it. This new one was a fourth of the cost and looks healthier than our old one did even from the beginning. I love having plants! Plants do something magical for a room. (They're good for your emotional health as well as your physical health, too...and we've got a water "mist-ifier" in the corner behind it that adds a lot of...uh, I don't know, mood decor? Anyway, the sound of water is good for you, too).

Problem Area #9: the Computer Desk
This was the biggest nuisance of all. I hated this area. I reworked it so many times trying to make it visually pleasing and practical for use, but every time it just exploded on itself in mess-inducing ugliness. Big stress factor. This, my friends, is the Before picture:

And if you don't think that's so bad, try digging through it every day. That's a "clean" version of how it usually looked. Not enough room for the mouse, papers and stuff everywhere, two mismatching table things to hold it all, bla bla bla. There's more. I'll spare you. 
Here's the After picture, and it makes my heart sing (especially since we got it $100 off):
Even with our behemoth of a printer, this is perfect. I adore it.

So all of this kind of happened, but my mind had been working up to it for some time, gauging the needs of the house. We did all of this yesterday, and we did even more! We practically gutted the house of its junk. There are still a few more Problem Areas that need my attention, but they can definitely wait. They're more the type that just needs serious organization. Yesterday, we took down the Christmas tree and put all the Christmas stuff away. We cleared out the closet in the TV room, and even though it's still not pretty in there, it's organized and free of junk. At this point, that's what counts. Michael also moved and rehung a picture for me so that we could put the Calendar Area together, and even though the house got astronomically messy in this whole process, it got cleaned in the end, too. It feels so good. Those big stressors are no longer nagging on my mind! I love my tidy entryway. I LOVE my tidy computer desk. I love my tidy, organized home. It makes my brain feel less crazy.

What are your house's Problem Areas? Are they easy to fix?


  1. At first glance I didn't even recognize Scarlett. She is getting so big. That seems to happen way too fast. Love all of your new organization. I love the calm a clean home creates. It really does help focus the mind.

  2. Those are my favorite kind of fixups because they are relatively easy to do and have such an impact. Tidy organizedness makes me happy.

  3. Sweet Q! I'm so sorry I haven't been keeping up with your wonderful blog. I LOVE all the changes you made! I've been pondering solutions to our own home's problem areas, and it's been annoying and puzzling, but this gives me hope that I can be creative, too.


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