Monday, November 22, 2010

[Little] Man Cave

I've been curiously absent for nearly 2 weeks. The reason is because I am buried up to my eyes balls in the biggest organizational/purging episode of the century. The huge ordeal was brought on for a few reasons.  These things were bothering me:

  • Why can our family of 5 go on vacation for days on end with only one small suitcase each, yet we have extra THINGS that fill our 1,600 square foot house?

  • I feel stress when the house is messy and cluttered and at peace when it is picked up and clean. How can I keep it that way so I function as a happier wife and mother?

  • WHY CAN'T I FIND ANYTHING? A pen, scissors, craft supplies, a bill that was due 2 days ago, tissue paper for a gift I want to give, that shirt I KNOW I bought for Mandy's birthday 3 months ago, white thread to fix a button, scissors (again!), a flashlight, batteries for the flashlight..... it goes on and on.

No matter the size of our houses, there is always going to be a way to arrange the spaces that is the most functional. The way things were wasn't working. I tried doing "The house that cleans itself" method many times, but never followed through with the steps:

  • Pray through your house and ask for God's guidance.
  • Get your family on board. I could not have done this big project without my husband's support, encouragement, and strong muscles (he moved the big desk downstairs, Rem's room upstairs, and the craft cupboard into another room).
  • Make a list of what clutter collects in a trouble area. Define what needs to go in that space (if I try to re-train myself, if doesn't stay organized).
  • Purge. And purge some more.
  • Give away. I had so many things I wanted to give to this person or that person. The really important things I put in a gift-give-away-box, the rest I just gave to our local second-hand shop, Help and Hope 2 Others.
  • "If it is not serving you, you are serving it." My friend Season told me this and it hit me hard. There are so many things in my home that I have been giving service to, causing me stress, and for what reason?
  • Sort. General piles work best for a really bad mess -- mine was the craft cupboard and it was hard for me to keep it general like, craft supplies, pictures, kids craft stuff, school, office, business -- I tend to get stuck micro-organizing and get discouraged when I haven't made progress. I had a friend come help me and she kept me on task!
  • Put-away box. For all those things that already have places, but need to return to their home. If you walk around putting them all away at that moment, I'll get side-tracked and start cleaning the grout in the entry-way. The put-away box has been a life-saver.
  • Organize each GENERAL pile into catigories, but keep them broad. I've found that I can't put everything away quickly and consistently if things are micro-organized. Use boxes and containers you already have and make a list of what you need with dimensions after you already know what needs to go where.

There are lots more tips in the book and it is a great way to organize your home. I am still in the process and doing things the right way this time. Slowly but surely, I will have a functioning house.

So now for one reveal (Rem's room):

The floors are painted pine in dark blue and I stenciled a filigree around the edge back before I had children and had enough time to watch paint dry.

This room is at the top of the stairs and was formerly the "Gun Room." It was storage and Jeff kept his reloading supplies and gun cabinet in there. It also became the catch-all for all the stuff I didn't know what to do with. At a mammoth 6.6' x 10' feet and no closet, it isn't ideal for much. Jeff moved his stuff into the guest room and organized and purged all the "what do we do with this stuff?" stuff. Now we have a guest/gun room -- isn't that normal?

For Rem's room, we needed his crib, changing table, his clothes, diapers, sheets, storage for his "too-big" clothes, "outgrown clothes", and dirty clothes. That should fit in a 6.6' x 10' room, right?

It all fit! There is even enough room to make it pretty -- or as pretty as a Man Cave will allow.

I bought a rug and that was the only expense ($40 for a 6' x 9' rug at Bi-Mart). The tiny room is right above the dining room and we wanted to dampen the sound a little. It works well and cozies up the place too.

I painted and that was more of an ordeal than it should have been. Thinking I could mix white and brown to make mid-brown, I ended up with a gallon of pink paint. The end wall ended up brown, a delicious chocolate color I stole from my sister's kitchen redo. Thanks, Lou! The rest of the walls are just cream-ish. Boring, but Rem told me he doesn't care.

All other decorations were moved from one room to another, downstairs to upstairs. The wall being slanted made it tricky to hang some of the stuff, but I got over it. His room is cozy and warm and perfect for him.

 Easy-going fellow that he is, he doesn't need much: food, shelter, and his favorite toy, the toilet plunger. I wish I was kidding. On my list today is to find what the baby boy did with the toilet plunger... it is MIA and that's not a good thing.

Room number one is functioning beautifully. And that leaves a nice sized room downstairs (with a closet) available for.....

Stay tuned for the pictures of my next project.



Carissa said...

I hope you make it into an office/craft room! I would love to have a room for the desk (ours is in the kitchen here) and a place to keep the sweing machine!

Miss ya!


Season said...

This looks awesome!!!!!! I really really love it!!! I don't think you really needed my help. Just a jump start to get going! You are doing great. I can't wait to see the rest! I definitely think decluttering and being able to find the scissors when we need them helps us be more patient Mommy's.

Laura said...

I have a guest/gun room, it is perfectly normal!

Dan & Hillary said...

I won't tell your neighbor that you keep your guests with your guns;-) Great Man Cave! He'll need some quiet space in the coming years... or now.

Shawna said...

I love that you can still see the scroll work you did on the floor! I always wonder "Where do people put gifts while you wait for the birthday or Christmas?" In my house remodel project I requested a multipurpose family entrance. I can't WAIT for it. I might have to hire a professional organizer to come and set it up initially but I agree, I feel much more at peace when things are in order. That's why I go to my Mom's every chance I get! What a wonderful room!

Janelle said...

Inspiring....I need to do a total purge and organization after the move/remodel. The baby's room is so cute!

Jill said...

I want Rem's room! Old houses are great for fun spaces like that - kuddos to you for turning it into a fun place for your boy! Can't wait to see what else is up your sleeve!

Sara said...

The room looks great! The shape and size remind me of John's old room. Do all of Rem's clothes fit in those four little baskets?? I so wish I could figure out how to make myself purge better!

Sara said...

One more thing: Ben was totally into the toilet plunger a few months back too! Must be a boy-stage! Ha!