My home is my sanctuary. My haven. my place of rest and the place where my kids and I are FREE to be. I like the quuote from "yours mine and ours"(new version) where she says "home is for freedom of expression, NOT first impressions". Whle I like the freedom in that, I feel like we need balance. My home is finally getting to be a place where I feel I can have guests. About three years ago, we began the decluttering process. I am so ashamed at how bad it really was. But I had made the bedooms and main rooms somewhat functional(but not great!) and the big family room was a complete pit. EVERYTHING went there. So, we began with giant construction grade bags. One for trash, one for Goodwill, one for putting other places(went to the garage for a while), then one for stray dirty clothes. It was awful how MUCH we had that was just not needed or beautiful. Yes, shameful. But I am guessing there are so many of us busy families that feel like that. Overwhelmed, not knowing WHERE to start and just feeling paralyzed. I read a few great books, Don Aslett's Clutters Last Stand, and How to lose 250 lbs this weekend were both good. Peter Walsh's It's all too much was AWESOME! Hannah Keeleys Hannah's Art of Home is great too. But really, when you are so swamped , it is hard to even READ, much less apply that knowledge to your own home! Add to that, my husband and I had very different ideas and standards.
So, I think a step-by-step of "getting your home how you want it" guide is needed. One for the real life people with real budgets, and with very little outside help(* big pet peeve here! I HATE when books say budget decorating, but they spent 15,000 on a single room! I need serious change for 100.00!!)
Step 1: begin with your bedroom!!! use trash bags or laundry baskets(I can never spare baskets for other things lol) for our room, we had reg sz black garbage bags.
After a few months of whittling this down, now my different categories fit into bank boxes which I reuse over and over(and they stack neatly so if you get interrupted they look decent in a corner) Set the kids up with an activity or movie and take off! Bag all those things. Tie them and take the toys to the garage for a while or the kids can put them in their rooms if you want . You are NOT to do this!!!! Goodwill stuff gets taken right to the car!! I MEAN it!!! dirty clothes, take to the laundry room and sort into loose piles of darks, lighs and whites so nothing wet gets seriously ruined by being in a plastic bag too long. trash take out immediately. Books, can be put back on the shelf. Bed needs to be stripped.(if you only have 1 set of sheets, put thse in the wash NOW)Then you take a break because that should have cleared a HUGE amount of space in your new sanctuary.
drink tea, read to kids, check email, eat. . . whatever. Then get back to it. This time, you look at the furniture. Do you really need all the stuff you have in your room? Are there things you DO need? Think outside the box when filling needs. We needed nightstands(have you priced those bad boys lately??) I know my husband is a piler, lol so knowing this, I don't WANT him having a large flat surface next to the bed, NOR do I want him to have another drawer to fill. So, I bought two wooden barstools at Goodwill and painted them barn red. Then topped each with a lamp. His has enough room for his clock, mine has enough room for my glasses and current book. They were 20.00. We have been using them for two years. Another thing-- dressers! another personal pet peeve. I HATE them. They are huge, dangerous, take up tons of space and really only provide a LARGE flat surface for my hubby to fill.(also they are expensive!!) We all use plasti cwhite stacking drawers in our closets. Kids can access them better and (hallelujah!) put their stuff away by age 2! They are cheaper and safer by far. So, my room got whittled down to my bed, my chair, my "nightstands", and hubby's computer table.(ok, that I hate but we are compromising and it may change) So, think a few minutes about your needs. Everyone's master bedroom needs to be a place for sleep, intimate time, and relaxing.(maybe reading) THAT IS IT! Your closet should be able to hold your dressing requirements. Your bathroom should hold your personal things. . . deoderant,make up. . .etc. Those things spread out on a dresser only kill moods and you may not even realize it. I painted my stark white room a nice green that I LOVE. It is muted and it makes me feel rested. If you want a tutorial on painting with kids email me! If you don't want to deal with paint, I understand. Just go with me on the other stuff. Needs:
1. bed(strong, and pretty are good qualities) as big as you have room for!
2. good mattress set
3. night stands
4. light blocking curtains
5. as high a thread ct sheets as you can afford
6. good mattress protector in case kids get in your bed
7. A comfy comforter
8. pretty quilt or coverlet blanket
9. good pillows (only however many you sleep with! throw pillows are high maintenance)
10. a cozy place to sit and reax(if you have room, GET A LOVESEAT!!! it makes a great place to talk to your spouse and sit close, but also as a kid's "sick bed")
11. a couple of things to hang up art or quotes that make you feel good. NO pictures of kids here! Just you and the honey are allowed here picture- wise.
12 a lock on your door!!
* think of what you would like if you could decorate your own room at a bed and breakfast retreat. Then do that in your room! Fountains, soft cozy rugs, pretty bedding. . . . etc
After you have declutteredand organized your room-- then have a little fun with getting new curtains and bedding. check http://www.overstock.com/ I have had AWESOME experiences. my quilt came from there it was 65.00 I think and is Antique Chic. My bed was 184 from there(KING SIZE!) My curtains were wal mart and 14.00 for two panels. Curtain rods came from Big lots. My chair came fom the local antique shop, and was the best 35.00 ever spent. "Night- stands" from Goodwill were 20.00 Paint and texture for my walls and ceiling were about 50.00. All of that was done over time. Because we work within a REAL budget. But having these plans keep me knowing exactly what I need, and what I should spend, and when something is a good buy. My mattress set was our most expensive part-- king sz and several years ago, was 500.00. Beginning with your room gives you a haven, a santuary to come to while you work on the rest of the house later.
So, make your bed with new smooth sheets, fresh comforter and quilt. Light a candle,spray your perfume on the pillows, and enjoy the view. FEEL the peace and quiet. The night we did this, I slept so deeply. The next morning, I woke up and looked around and actually FELT like I had been moved to a quiet cottage bedroom in some antique old B and B. It was glorious. It was after this first transformation, that My hubby began to see and feel differently about the house. This is the beginning of peace in the home. I promise. It offers destressing, intimate time, and real, sound sleep.