Improving the Living Room

Ways to Make Living Room Appear and Feel Bigger

Our house is pretty small, and although I think it's perfect because we are not living beyond our means, it does get a bit overwhelming when it feels like the walls are closing in on me. And part of the reason I get that sensation is that our house is filled with so much STUFF. I feel like I'm constantly downsizing our stuff, but it just keeps growing.

 

#1 – Reduce Furniture

One quick and easy way to make a living room appear and feel bigger is to reduce the amount of furniture. It may seem like an odd thing to do, but for us, it meant moving our old couch out of the living room. Hubbie was kind of against it initially because he though (correctly) that it really reduced the seating for when we have guests over. The reality is that we rarely have people over (ok, actually we probably have a few people over every weekend). So the reality is that when people come over, we typically congregate at the table to eat, drink, talk and play games.

My thinking is that if people want to relax in my living room, they can sit on our little ottoman or pull in a kitchen chair. We currently only have 2 adult recliners and M's little purple recliner. I think it should be fine. If it turns out to be terribly awkwards, I may rethink the whole thing and consider buying a loveseat or newer couch.

#2 – Remove the Exercise Equipment

So that would be a great way to clear space in your living room and make it feel bigger. For us, though, we moved our Elliptical IN from the garage to where the couch used to be. The Elliptical does take up less space, so it was still a spcially economical swap. 

…to be continued…

 

On another note of GSD:

I've been wanting to swap our old couch with our Elliptical for a while, and we finally did it today! It was an amazing feeling! As much as I love the old couch, it has unfortunately transformed into a landing station for clean clothes, toys and blankets. It's rarely cleared off and feels like just "one more job" to keep it in a cleared state. 

My Happy Lists - De-Cluttering

The couch is now in our garage and is a project for another day. But now we have the Elliptical in the living room so that we can do 30 minutes of cardio every day. No excuses!

My Happy Lists - De-Cluttering

Love it! Now we just need to get into a habit of hopping on regularly.

I am officially Gettin' S*&% DONE!

2014 Mantra: Gettin Shit Done!

So it may not be the most classy way of saying it, but my mantra for the New Year is officially “Gettin’ Shit Done” and I’m off to a pretty impressive start so far (for me). I hate to admit it, but I am lazy. Like, very lazy. But not this year. I’m crazy excited to see how much I can accomplish.

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#1: Take Baby E’s swing down, put it in the garage, get out the swivel bouncer, wash it off and set it up.

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Done and Done. This was kind of bittersweet as our little baby is growing up!

Gettin’ Shit Done!

Garage Update 10/24/2013

A couple days ago I shared my List of Garage Projects. And yesterday, I had a plan to complete a few items on the list:

New Plan for Tonight

Ok, so what else can I work on tonight to cross a few of those projects of the list? I'm thinking…return the table saw to the mother-in-law. We should be able to do that! And get the 4 tires in the van for Tyler to drop off for recycling tomorrow. Oh, we could also break down a bunch of boxes tonight so he could take those, too! And maybe swing by and drop a small load of donation to St. Vincent's while we're out and about. That would complete 2 things on the list and prepare to complete 2 other things on the list!! 

It was pretty successful! We did NOT go return the table saw to the mother-in-law. I am now saving that for Friday when we drop M off there for a couple hours for babysitting (and also drop off a load of donations to St. Vincent''s).

What we did accomplish:

  • Goodbye Headboard & Footboard!! I posted it for free on Craigslist yesterday and someone came and picked it up last night. Done and done!
  • Tires in Van ready to get recycled!
  • Boxes broken down and ready to get recycled!

I call that a great success. Anytime we can actually cross something off a list = success!

 

My Everything/Forever List

That's it. I'm doing it. I'm making a list for "everything else" that's never going to be finished because I keep adding to it. Where does this list currently exist? In my head.

Yeah, like many women, I have the running list of everything I need to do, want to do, hope to do, just going on and on and on in my brain. Well, I'm tired of it. It's time to just put it on the list when I think of it (or when I get a second to write). Then I can stop thinking about it and start planning and doing, which sounds pretty appealing. 

Rules of the List

  • Number the list because it's fun
  • When an item is complete, "cross it off" the list 
    • Write a blog post about it and include at least ONE picture
  • Add the date the item went on the list
  • Add the date the item was completed

 

So here goes…My Everything/Forever List

  1. Make a list for a week of work lunches/snacks
  2. Start making hummus (10/23/13)
  3. Start using homemade wipes again (10/23/13)
  4. Re-read the Five Languages of Love (10/23/13)
  5. Design Elliott's birth announcement (he's only 3 months old already!) (10/23/13)
  6. Send pictures to Minnesota family monthly (10/23/13)
  7. Start a "Baby Mamas" group at work (10/23/13)
  8. Go the Seafood Buffet at the CDA Casino with friends (10/23/13)
  9. DONE on 10/23/2013! Go to luncheon and donate to Transition (10/23/13)
  10. Make a bigger breastmilk storage box for freezer (10/23/13)
  11. Redesign MyHappyLists blog (11/21/13)
  12. Write at least once per week (11/21/13)
  13. Start a tradition of weekly date nights with daughter (11/21/13)
  14. Experiment with different eczema treatments for Baby E and myself (11/21/13)
  15. Create a visual tracking at home for goals (exercise & chores) (11/21/13)

 

Simplify for Success

This list is for the things that will help me be more successful by simplifying tasks.

  1. Leave a bag of frozen berries at work (instead of bringing a cup every day and then not bringing them) (10/24/2013)

Garage Update – 10/23/2013

Yesterday I shared my List of Garage Projects. 

Well, last night I attempted to cross off a few items. RESULT? Fail. Utter fail.

Sometimes, when I get my mind set on something and I hit a couple road blocks, I am extremely tempted to just give up on the whole thing (this may be one of the solid reasons I have not been able to park in our garage since buying our house three years ago).

30days

 

Fail #1 – No Returning Wood Laminate

So we have 5 boxes of unused wood laminate flooring. Why? Because they encourage you to over-buy so you don't run short while installing it and because some of the pieces may be broken. So that's what I did, under the assumptiont that I could return said flooring less a "re-stocking" fee. Turns out I had to do that within 30 days of purchasing. Ha! We didn't even START installing it 30 days after purchasing it. What a joke. 

Now I have 5 boxes of flooring in the garage to store or figure out a new plan for them.

freestuff

Fail #2 – Headboard does not fit in minivan

It would if we put the front row of seats down, but that involves taking the kids' carseats out, which for any of you that are parents, you know is like adding another project to the list. Agh. Now I need to come up with a new plan for the headboard, too.

 

 

FREE Queen Sized Headboard

New plan for the headboard: post it for free and let someone come pick it up. There is a small crack in it, but free is free and people love free, right? We'll see how it goes…

 

New Plan for Tonight

Ok, so what else can I work on tonight to cross a few of those projects of the list? I'm thinking…return the table saw to the mother-in-law. We should be able to do that! And get the 4 tires in the van for Tyler to drop off for recycling tomorrow. Oh, we could also break down a bunch of boxes tonight so he could take those, too! And maybe swing by and drop a small load of donation to St. Vincent's while we're out and about. That would complete 2 things on the list and prepare to complete 2 other things on the list!! 

List of Garage Projects

With Winter 2013/2014 approaching, I desperately want to be able to do one simple thing: park my car in the garage.

My Car's 1st Winter

This is my first Winter with my "new" car (2004 Honda CR-V…yeah, that's right, I'm making payments on a car that's almost 10 years old…don't judge me!), and I would love to never scrape a frosty window. Seems like a reasonable goal, right? Especially with a 2-car garage!

We've been living in our house for over 3 years now, and our garage has been a revolving door of stuff. I am absolutely tired of it. I hit my goal over the summer of clearing junk out by having a garage sale and donating everything that didn't sell. So WHY, OH WHY, is my garge still un-parkable?

I Just Can't Do It!

I've spent a couple days working on it and this past weekend I hit a wall. After a mini-anxiety attack, I just couldn't take anymore. It is just too much for me to do. I can't do it. At least not all in one. So I need to break this monster down into smaller, achievable "projects" (projects that to other super-moms out there are just little no-sweat tasks). But hey, I work full-time (45-60 hours/week) and I have 2 precious babies at home (3 months and 2 years) and a hubbie who likes to hang out with me. (On a sidenote, why am I using so many parenthesis in this post???).

Let's Take a Look

Now, this was my FIRST set of Before pictures. I've actually done a lot more work on it since these were taken. But some of the "problems" aka "projects" are still there.

Garage Clutter

Angie's Messy Garage

So let's see what's on the Garage Cleanout – Fall 2013 To-Do List

If I can get through those 6 projects this week, then I'll atleast have some more room to work in. The rest of the garage still has a lot of other projects to complete, like:

  • Clean out and plug-in freezer
  • Move giant TV onto dresser
  • Lay down rugs
  • Move workout equipment onto said rugs
  • Set up "kid area" in "workout area"
  • Consolidate & label Christmas boxes
  • Buy/Build/Install storage shelves
  • Organize tools

And really, a lot of this could be solved with my Spring Goal: Buy a Storage Shed! Then we could put some of our bigger stuff in there: lawn mower, weed wackers (2), snow blower, shovels, rakes, cans of gasoline, bags of fertilizer and weed/feed, and on and on. Until then, I need to shove all that stuff into a nice little corner.