the dining room

March 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Posted in After, Before, Moving, Organization, Our Dining Room, Our Home, Projects | 5 Comments

We’ve been doing some serious cleaning and organizing around here to prepare our house to go on the market.  Since the kitchen in this house is practically non-existent and the MacGyver-style bathroom is sure not to impress anyone, we decided that the rest of the house needs to look extra-stunning to make up for it.  We’ve pulled out all of the family photos, boxed up the excess nonsense laying around the house, and packed up anything that should be moved to MI with Jason in a few weeks (e.g., my new dishes).  And I’ve been cleaning!  On my hands and knees!  Yikes.  It took me several hours to go through the dining room and the small room behind it that had become overrun with wedding presents (because there was no room in the kitchen for many of our nice, new, shiny, kitchen things).  It’s embarrassing, really, to have all of those things just sitting in boxes, so when we look for somewhere to live in Michigan, I will be on the hunt for a large kitchen!

Before:

This picture was taken shortly after we moved in… check out the boxes and whatnot all over that tiny room beyond the dining room – yuck!

After:

And now – nothing but light coming in through the windows!  Look at those floors shine!  Ignore the power cord stretched across the floor (we only have one three-prong outlet in the living room, so we use a power cord to work on our laptops and watch TV simultaneously).

The green CD towers in the background are from Ikea, and we’ll be getting rid of them before we move.  Let us know if you want them…

The view from the kitchen I made the curtains!

Looking towards the kitchen – I love the antique chandelier!  I think it’s probably original to the house, given the amount of dust and dirt I’ve cleaned off of it!

And the little room behind the dining room – yikes.  Anyone have ideas as to what this room may have originally been used for?  We’ve used it primarily for box storage…  Check out the messy Before (I suspect I should be too embarrassed to even post this):

And the After:

We imagined that anyone who bought the house and kept the layout as-is could use this room as a butler’s pantry or mini-bar.  It could also be used as an office (but we don’t have any other desks lying around, so we staged it as a butler’s pantry).  We would have changed the layout of the house, and built in a desk and some shelves here.

What do you think?  Any staging advice?  Stay tuned as we continue to stage and clean, organize and pack…

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Childhood Memories

February 25, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Posted in After, Before, Moving, Organization, Projects | 5 Comments
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Jason is in the process of accepting a new job!  Kalamazoo, Michigan, here we come!  Thank you all so much for your support and advice…  As much as this might not be the decision that I would make if I were alone, this is the right decision for the three of us (Barley is psyched to be a Michigan Dogg).  So, we’re going with it.  And it’s going to be fabulous.

Of course, it’s not really that easy.  We’ve got things to organize and pack up.  So many of our things weren’t even unpacked after our move to this house, and I am determined not to move all of these things that I haven’t even used.  So, it’s likely that the focus of this blog will become organization, packing, and moving – no more home improvement projects.  Sigh.  It’s taken a while to realize that my kitchen dreams aren’t going to happen (at least not in this house), and that we’ll not be doing any of the bazillion home improvement projects that I’ve envisioned.

Instead, I’ll be using the next few months to organize and get rid of things we no longer need.  Jason will likely move in April, and I hope to follow next fall after some of my projects at work are finished up.  This summer, I’m making plans use the time I would have spend remodeling to try my hand at quilting (again), to perfect my photography, and to scrapbook (digitally?) our pictures from the last few years.  It’s kind of exciting, I think.

My first project?

These boxes of childhood memories.  My parents were sweet enough to save every project, painting, and paper from my elementary, middle, and high school days in these boxes.  Really nice, right?  Except that these things take up space, and the boxed organization doesn’t really allow for easy browsing.

Two large garbage bags and several hours later, I had it all condensed it all down into a binder and shoebox.  The binder contains plastic 12×12 sleeves, and each memory is stuffed inside one of these plastic sleeves labeled with the year and grade.

While it was heartbreaking to throw 90% of it away, it was equally annoying that the boxes were filling up my closet, taking up valuable space that I need to store current items that I use daily.  Keeping in mind my mission to reduce un-needed, un-looked at, and un-loved clutter in 2009 was all I really needed to get rid of the not-as-good projects and paintings.  Sad to get rid of childhood memories, happy to have it all in one convenient little place to look at as I please!

(PS for those of you following our wedding recap, I just *finally* posted a little ditty on our ceremony.  We’re still waiting on the professional photos, so for now, I’ve just posted the pictures taken by our guests.)

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