Monday, September 15, 2008

Making Every Inch Count (Don't fret, this is NOT that kind of post!)

Please, get your mind out of the gutter. This is so not a post for the Mister. Well, it is, but just not how you may have gathered from the title.

When we moved into our home, it felt HUGE to me, as our last two homes were quite "cozy." Compared to new homes on the market, our current home is quite small, but to me it's still big. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the realization that there is yet another room to tidy/vacuum/dust/etc., and then I wish we had purchased something a bit smaller or with less rooms.

In the past month, the realization that we will soon have SEVEN people living in this house has truly sunk in. Duh Sarah, I know, but I'm a slow learner. Supplementing our already ample supply of toys and books, this school year has marched in a large sum of additional books, notebooks, and art supplies. Suddenly, everywhere I turn I see clutter and poorly used space allocation.

We are not making the most of the inches in our home. Floor inches, wall inches, cupboard inches, drawer inches. All are not well-used, and it is evident to me with the disorganization that is creeping into each room.

"Creeping" is probably a nice way of putting it. Take the dining room, for example. Disorganization hasn't creeped in; it came in, assault rifles blazing, taking the room and everything in it hostage.

Fortunately, I am the daughter of Martha-Stewart's-Long-Lost-Twin-On-Speed. My mom rocks at this stuff, and she has taken pity upon me and my home.

Let the games begin.

First up is what I call "The Persian Conversion," in which we transform our current dining room (painted/decorated in an attempt for a Persian-type look which I don't think I actually achieved) into a home office. This one just about kills the Mister. When we moved into the home, our dining room was a home office. A terribly disorganized, ugly home office in a room painted two unmatching shades of seafoam green. I hated it.

Two shades of what should have been a spiced orange/red color PLUS the re-installation of one brass chandeleir PLUS the dismantling of the huge computer desk (which got stuck in the middle of the basement staircase when we tried to move it) PLUS the re-placement of my old kitchen table. . voila! I had successfully directed the Mister in creating a dining room out of our former home office.

Only with the exception of when we used the room at our annual New Year's Eve party last year, it has never been used as a dining room. Instead, it has just been cluttered with all the paperwork, mail, and supplies that would have been put away in there had it been a home office.

Like I said, I'm a slow learner.

So, in a short amount of time we will be painting over the spiced orange/red color that I never liked, removing the chandelier for the second time in the 2.5 years we've lived here, and storing away the large table. The room is being reclaimed as a home office.

See, I told you that was just about killing the Mister.

This week we're also making better use of our inches in the backyard. The Mister and Bopppa are moving up our fence and adding on to it, so that the entire side yard AND the side garage door are enveloped within the confines of the fence. Meaning that the dogs can go in/out to the backyard through the kitchen-garage door. Meaning that all the mud on their feet can be wiped off on a mat in the garage instead the nice carpet next to the sliding door that they usually enter from. Meaning that I will be a happier Mama with cleaner carpet.

While we watch the menfolk work, Martha-Stewart's-Long-Lost-Twin-On-Speed and I will be turning our sights to the disorganized garage. The thought of a clean, organized garage makes me giddy.

I don't know how the Mister feels about that one yet. I'll let you know.


Anonymous said...

Until you pointed it out, I didn't realize that we've only used the dining room a couple of times for actually eating. Well, if we count snacks in hand while working on the computer or walking through the room with food in our mouths, then we can say it was utilized more.

Anyways, you were going with the Persian conversion? I had no idea. I thought we were just changing the room from yuck to good.

I'm rambling here. Hmmm. The fence- great idea. Can't wait to bring the Mercedes to the sideyard so that I can work on it!!

I'm slow to pick up on things, but I realize what this post is saying- you are preparing me for building an extension to the house. Sacre bleu, you sneaky woman!!!!

=Mr. C

Sawatzky Kids said...

Great post Sarah!!! Even just hearing about your organization and space redo makes me smile! Clutter and poorly used spaces and I have never been friends! ;) Make sure to keep us updated with lots of exciting before and after pictures! :)
Shelly and crew

Anonymous said...

I second Shelly's comment! Great post.

I always enjoy reading your blog and your hubby's comments. He cracks me up!

This Mama said...

You know Sarah, it's funny because I did not even think anything sick until you mentioned the possibility...heh heh.

Send your Mom over here please. I have been held hostage here for quite some time and I cannot find a possible way out of this.

We really do need a bigger space, that is no lie and I am a really big fan of "the not so big space" mentality. Nothing is practically spaced in this house. It is built for students, enough said.So we are going to be finding a new place before we double our numbers.

I went to your fly lady link and I started the 30 days challenge. I stopped after the sink, which I do believe was day one (either that or it was day three and I skipped ahead a few ;) ....was this part of your inspiration for some changes (besides being blessed with a incredible Mother?) I just find the site a little visually unappealing.

Beau said...

I DAILY walk through my house wishing that one of those guys from Clean Sweep would take over! I despise clutter (which I have a ton of) and disorganization. I am so happy for you that you have "extra" rooms for clutter to disappear! I never understood formal dining rooms anyway. My neighbor has a home office in her formal dining room too...she just took the leaves out of her table and that is where her kids do their homework (under a beautiful chandelier!) I think if our garage was organized I would faint (I wonder what it's like to park in one?!) Happy for you...thanks for a good pick me up!