Friday, January 24, 2014

What I've been up to...

I've been making some changes around the house and it all started because of this book!

This book has totally changed my mind about living simply and how less is more!  I am always thinking about what our next house will look like; I had envisioned living in a larger home where everyone would have their own space.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a larger home, but it just seems simpler to have less and take care of less so you have more time with those you love.

In this book, the author writes about the average house in the 1950's which was 955 sqft.  Now,we live in an age that 2000 sqft is the average, with some even larger.  She explains that the larger the house you have, the more stuff you have to put in that house.  The more stuff that you have, the more things you need to take care of and clean.  I know how hard it is to take care of my 1870 sqft home;  the more time that it takes me to take care for this home, the less time I have for things that are really important.

All that to say, it has changed my perspective; and I have gone through each room in our home and purged things that were not needed. I also made other spaces more useful for this stage of life.

One of the things that she asks you to do is define what the purpose is for each room, then decorate accordingly.  You ask yourself two questions for each item in the room.

1. Is it beautiful?
2. Is in useful?

If you can't answer yes to both, then it's probably time to get rid of it (Less is MORE!).

Here are a few updated pictures of our home.

Here is what our dining room use to look like.  It looks fine, and I love our big square table but we really don't have people over that often.  When the five of us sit together at the table, we are far away from each other. I saw a picture on the internet of a family sitting down and holding hands while they prayed.  It was so simple and I wanted to be able to do that as a family. So, I took the leaf out of the table to make it smaller.

The kids have enjoyed holding each other's hands and it has been a special time for us at night.

While I was purging, I had our glider that was in the girls room. Since I changed their room, there was no longer room for the chair.  I ended up putting it in the garage and covering it, thinking that I would use it in our next house.  Our garage is small, and we have no attic space, so most of our things are in our garage.  This chair was in the middle of it all.  I decided that it was time for it to go.  I posted it on craigslist and had someone that was interested.  I really did not want to sell it as I am still attached to it because of nursing my babies in this chair. I decided to find a way to put in our house without crowding our space.

Sorry for the bad picture; this is what it looked like when I brought it into the house.  After a trip to Ikea, I was able to dress it up and fit better into our living room.

I love this space;  it gives me a place that is separate from the t.v. area that I am able to have my quiet time, or read a book.  I am so happy that I kept it.

Here is what the rest of the room look like before:

I definitely like the old way better, but the new way is a bit better on use of space:

These pictures give you and idea of how it looks now.

You know the other rooms in our house have pretty much been changed over if you have been following my blog.  The one room that I have made a change in is the playroom.

The playroom is still the playroom, but it is now more focused on getting ready for homeschool.  I am sure that there are so many thoughts about us homeschooling, but it is something that we believe God wants us to do, and is best for us as a family.  We are taking it on a year by year basis, and if for some reason God wants us to change things up, then thats what we will do.

Here is what the playroom looked like before:

I removed all the toys and bins from the expedite and moved the blue bins and boy toys to Gabriel's closet and the pink bins and girls toys to the girls room.  In the process I got rid of a lot of toys that they were no longer using and taking up space.

Here is what the room looks like now:

I was able to get the Ikea baskets on craigslist for half the price, and they were in great shape.  I tried to make the colors a bit more neutral as I fell like I went overboard on the colors before.

This gives me lots of space to store craft supplies, games, as well as other items that will be needed for homeschool.

I got these white plastic bins at Ikea that hold our books. It's nice to have a place to put them away since we don't have a formal bookshelf, and they will hold all the little books that we have without them falling all over the place.

Here is the desk area that we had before:

While this table was great there was no storage and the kids were too close together which caused problems.

I was at World Market before Christmas; and found a desk there that I fell in love. When I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for the kids.  I texted a picture to George and told him that this is what I wanted for Christmas.  I was able to use a coupon for 25% off the price, and one of the desks was a floor model and was a little beat up so I was able to get it for an additional 35% off!  I'm always trying to find a good deal or use a coupon when I am able.

This is Eva's Desk.

Selah's Desk

Gabriel's Desk 

So, this is what I have been up too.  I have huge piles of stuff in the garage that I have planned to have a garage sale soon to get rid of it all.  

I can not tell you how liberating this project has been to me. Even though you try to pare down some of the things in your home, it does not mean that you can't have the things that make it beautiful and useful. I love each space in our home; truly they all  have a purpose now!

Are there any books that have inspired you lately?


  1. Love, Love, LOVE! Good job Amy at being intentional, and thoughtful with your time, your spaces, and your possessions. You are a great Momma! Love your heart cousin!

  2. Those desks are adorable! I still really want to read this book.