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Monday, December 30, 2013

De-Cluttering, Phase II: the Family Room

The 'Before'
Have you ever been on a long camping trip where you ended up feeling like even your DIRT got dirty? And no matter how much you try to keep clean, you just feel like every crack and crevice is full of grit and your very skin is saturated with filth?

1 British, 1 US TV=too much!
And then. . .that first long, hot, glorious shower after you're home. . .suds and steam and swirling brown liquid disappearing down the drain. . .AHHH!!  Heaven!

That's what today was like, minus the camping trip and the hot shower.

We conquered the family room!

Four people (me, husband, and two oldest kids) spent about 7 hours straight in that room. It was SO much more time consuming than I thought it would be. . .and now I don't know whether to dance for joy or collapse in a big old heap!

The room was a little more packed than usual because we brought down most of the boys' toys from their bedroom (read about that magnificent clean-up HERE!), so there was certainly a LOT more to go through than what was in that room originally.

Too many videos and games!
But even if we hadn't brought all those toys down, it was still packed to the gills and not very organized.  We kind of lost steam after we moved back to the US from England two years ago.  We had the arduous task of trying to blend a storage packed with all of the worldly goods from our 4 bedroom house we sold before leaving for the UK and a 40 foot container we brought back with us full of treasures we had accumulated in our 8 1/2 years there.

I couldn't even remember what was in our American storage, but it sure was a LOT.  By the time we got everything unloaded from the container and storage units, our new house and garage was PACKED.  So much so that it was hard to find enough room to sort through the boxes still stacked in rows in the garage.

Don't get me wrong, we have sold, donated, or trashed a LOT already.  Trouble is, there was just so much there to begin with. . .more than two full households.  It was overwhelming.

So today was an all-out triumph.  We turned a barely functional catch-all room back into a spacious family room.  We carted out so many bags of trash and recycling and donations that I honestly lost count.  We created logical 'zones' for toys and games and organized them so even the littlest member of our family can keep it all sorted.

We then rearranged the furniture, which makes the room feel a million times bigger than before.  We scrubbed and cleaned and vacuumed every square inch of the room, too, so it's as sparkling as it is neat.

And then, the four of us collapsed in the transformed room, exhausted and ready for some dinner, but taking pleasure in the fruit of our labor.  We were soooo pleased and soooo tired, but before we even left to head back upstairs, we were already chattering about which room we were going to tackle next.

Here's to having less and living more in 2014!!

The sofa is now under the window.

Where the cupboard use to be.

Moved and organized cupboard!

SO much more floor space--games/dvds pared down & tidy!

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