We have a strange layout to our home, and somehow we have two bonus rooms. We currently have one of them set up as a playroom and one was set up as our office.
It was a beautiful office but we never used it. Entire weeks would pass without us even setting foot in the room. We decided the office would better serve us as a family room.
We eventually plan to put new furniture in this room, but after buying new furniture for our living room, we need to wait a bit before buying more. In the meantime, we need to save some money and decide what we want to purchase. We just moved our old furniture to the family room.
It’s not perfect. There are things out of place and there is a mess in the corner. But it’s a room where we can hang out and be comfortable. It’s a room we can relax in and not worry about messing it up.
Our eventual plan is to add new furniture, a new light fixture, new flooring and an entire wall of built in bookshelves on the back wall.
We have used this room a thousand times more since it became a family room than we ever did when it was an office.
What changes have you made to add function to your home?
We’ve been blogging here for a good five years now, and in that time, we’ve had a lot of questions from readers. One question we’re often asked is this: “You all seem to always be doing something to your house. How do you do so much?” Today I’d like to share how we prioritize our projects.
1. Do projects a little at a time
We just did a small remodel of our master bathroom. We replaced mirrors, hardware and light fixtures. We eventually plan to replace the bathtub and surround and flooring as well, but it simply isn’t in the budget right now. So we started with the cheapest, easiest items on our “master bath to-do list” and we completed those.
2. Find cheaper options for the things you want to do
We love carriage house garage doors, but we neither need nor want to buy a $2,000 garage door at the moment… so we took to Amazon and ordered faux Coach house door hardware and a faux window kit for $50. We spent far less money something that looks like the real deal.
3. If you can DIY it, do it.
Custom closets are expensive, but my dad and I built this closet organizer ourselves for $100. It only took one day and it was a fairly simple project. We saved a lot of money by doing it ourselves AND it was a lot of fun.
4. Before you do any part of the project, ask yourself these questions:
1. Who will it benefit?
If it’s something that will benefit everyone in the home, bump the project up higher on your to do list.
2. Can I do the project in phases, or must I do it all at once?
If a project must be done all at once, but it’s small, it’s probably OK to raise it on your list. If it’s a big project and you can’t do it in phases, it’s probably expensive and should be lower on your priority list.
3. Do I need to do it, or just want to?
Projects that you want to do, no matter how much you want to do them, are never as important as the projects you need to do.
5. Save money for the things you can’t afford right now
Even if you can’t afford the things you want at the moment, save money until you have what you need.
I don’t know about you all, but I’m crushing on farmhouse entry ways at the moment. I’m a sucker for natural light, board and batten trim, and somewhere pretty to drop my bags and kick off my shoes. This week, I found four lovely farmhouse entry ways that spoke to me.
I love this entry way for lots of reasons. I love the shaggy rug and the wooden bench. I love those big baskets for shoes and I love the little topiary in the olive pot. The blanket and pillow make the space look inviting too.
Do you know what day it is? It’s kickoff day for our annual 21-day organizing challenge! This week, I’ll be sharing my own cleaning and organizing challenges, as well as showing you my progress….and offering a few tips along the way.
Remember, you don’t have to do an entire room or an entire dresser, closet or cabinet. You can focus on a small part of a room or closet, or even one shelf or some drawer. It’s completely up to you.
I really need to tidy up our entry way and I’ll be sharing that tomorrow.
I also need to pay some serious attention to the cabinets underneath our kitchen sink and the girls’ bathroom sink cabinet.
Our pantry needs some work as well.
The playroom just got purged and organized after Christmas, so it just needs to be straightened up.
And lastly, our linen closet. It used to be so neat and now it’s in need of a serious straightening up.
So, now you know what I’ll be sharing on the blog this week. Happy organizing, and don’t forget to share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge.
This is the time of year when many of us resolve to do something better, or to be better at something. We commonly desire to do different things, like visit a new and exciting vacation destination, or stop worrying about something, or the ever popular “lose weight.” While I have some personal resolutions this year, and I will share those, I have some resolutions for my home and for my blog. Some people would just call these things a “to-do list,” and that’s accurate as well. Whatever you want to call it, I’m more than happy to share them with you.
Personal and family
A healthier, more mindful, and better me
Things have not been the greatest on the homefront. I’ve struggled with mental illness and it has taken a toll on everyone. This year, I’d simply like to learn more about my anxiety and depression, and work toward finding a healthier balance. I’m journaling a lot, I’m reading a lot, I’m in therapy, and I’m learning to handle things through a different lens. And it’s helping, but there are a lot more bridges to cross.
I was in a good place with my diet and fitness journey, but my recent bout of bronchitis and pneumonia really took a toll on it. This year, I’d like to work out at least 5 days a week and get back on my Trim Healthy Mama journey. So far, I’m doing well. My oldest daughter has become my biggest cheerleader and my running buddy.
I’m also working to make more time for what’s truly important: my family and myself. I am practicing saying no and trying to do less. I’m working toward not worrying so much about the trivial things in life- the messy rooms, the dirty laundry, and the crowded to-do lists- and enjoy the little girls who made those messes and that dirty laundry.
And lastly, I’m spending more time reading. I’ve always loved to read and I often find that I’m reading things for work and things to my children, but I rarely read for my pleasure anymore unless it’s summer break. I’ve created quite the list of books I’d like to read in 2019. Will I read all of them? Probably not. My goal is to read at least 75 books in 2019.
Home and blogging
So. many. things. I. want. to. do.
First, I plan on sharing the things we NEED to do, and then I’ll get to the things I WANT to do. Doesn’t it seem we are always sharing our wants and needs, and trying to distinguish between the two?
Finish our bathroom refreshers (WANT)
Currently, we have already started a small remodel/room refresh on our master bath. Last year, I installed plumbing pipe shelving, and changed out the builder grade mirrors and light fixtures for two mirrors and farmhouse style lighting. This year, we plan to change out the faucets and begin planning for our next big bathroom project: new flooring and new tubs. We also may entertain refinishing the vanity. We may even change out the mirror, lights and faucets in our hall bath this year.
2. Replace some of our lost landscaping (WANT)
We lost about ten plants in our front foundation gardens and in our backyard to the crazy, overly rainy weather we experienced in 2018. We will be replacing them this year with something new and colorful.
3. Washer and dryer (NEED)
Our washer and dryer is on the blink. We looked at several different ones this past spring, but never truly lit on one we liked. Plus, we figured we could get a few more months out of ours. Well, we did, but we can’t push our luck much longer. So, we’ll be buying a new washer and dryer soon.
4. A living room refresher. (NEED/WANT)
This one fits into both categories. Does out living room function well now as it is? Sure. But…we are still using the same furniture we bought before Emorie was born, and she is now almost 8. It’s taken a beating from both these baby girls, and it’s time to replace it. Plus, I’ve had this gorgeous antique mantle in our garage for over a year now, and I’m dying to have it installed in our living room. This should be happening soon.
Now, for the things I want to do. This list will be far less detailed.
Gather quotes for new bath tubs and bath flooring
Gather quotes for new kitchen cabinets
Finish our built in bookshelves in the office and convert the office into a playroom
Convert the current playroom into a formal dining room
Screen in our back porch
Do you see now why there are two lists? I’m not saving we will do all of these things, but each year I like to decide what I want to do and what I need to do, and try to balance out the lists.