/ 2.9.11 / 17 Comments / decluttering , Organization
How to Make a Small Home Feel Truly Spacious
This has been my personal challenge for most of the last 25 years. Only once did we have what most people would call a 'large' home. Lots of kitchen cabinets, two spacious living areas...it was a dream. That dream lasted almost a year.
This last two weeks, I have de-cluttered like a machine, working patiently through every cabinet, every piece of furniture...day by day...room by room. I can't tell you how many boxes we've filled. We've donated five pieces of furniture in just the last week!
I've thought long and hard on this topic...trying to find that elusive thing we call space. It was there, all the time..just buried under a lot of stuff that I thought I really needed to have 'just in case'..or didn't think I could part with.
But Dear Hubby joined me in the 'campaign' and what a difference! He is so much more objective and helped me to part with things I'd dearly loved for many years. Once I got used to the idea and began to experience the sheer luxury of excess space in each room, I was hooked!
(That teenager prancing across the floor is mine. It seems like he was 'supposed' to be doing school..hmmm.. Finally, matching book cases. We got three bookshelves down to two! Yippee! One from the bedroom is now picture here on the right--with the books.)
Now, nothing is sacred--not even my precious books!
After two weeks, I can hardly walk because my feet are so sore..and I fall in to bed with aching legs from bending or sitting cross-legged on the floor sifting through cabinets, but oh the joy of SPACE.
Our home is 1800 square feet or so and we do have an office (though I don't put anything in it) and a workshop (belongs to hubby.) My only storage space is a small potting shed. And that is next on the list! We have five people living in this space and it gets a little cramped. So this transformation was overdue.
After decluttering so thoroughly, I found that I could start 'consolidating' bookshelves and emptying dressers. We got rid of two desks, one very large storage hutch, a 2-drawer file cabinet, two lamps (one with a magazine rack), a dresser, a huge printer and my beloved wooden 'ribbon' shelf. We also donated several small things like a shredder, floor lamp, and beautiful magazine rack. Sniff..
I discovered that the key change needed in the kitchen was to get rid of absolutely ANYTHING that wasn't really necessary. Then I was able to put 90% of our appliances under the cabinet. Our whole kitchen has about 17 square feet of counter top and we needed every bit of it. (This is how kitchen counters look in all those dream home pictures I showed you last week--clean and bare..almost :))
Now, only a few pretty things are on the counter and we can work easily. It's worth a little trouble to take appliances out and put them back again. This was the perfect solution to our lack of counter space!
Hubby has been BEAMING! He's so so happy. In fact, he's so happy that we are going to start painting this weekend! This project has been in the works so long that I thought it would never really happen.
I do hope this testimony to the effects of serious daily decluttering will inspire you to move into your 'new' home too.