Here is P's room; 98% done! We only have pictures to hang on the walls, and it will be complete. How's that for a snazzy dresser? Solid wood, great condition, and $60 at Frenchy's. Where else? Jute mat, slightly modified cotton curtains over the closet door (which is used for storage of extra bedding and my greatly reduced craft supplies) and Snoopy, ready for a nap on the slightly rumpled bed. (It's such a pain to make the bed with that bed rail!)
The man himself, looking serious next to his tiny closet. It's about a foot deep, and Adam's going to build shelves in it. But we don't have any stuff to put in it yet (yay!) so there's no big hurry.
I've been in a bit of a nesting frenzy during my time at home, and in a similar yet different kind of nesting at work - trying to get all sorts of things done before going on maternity leave. As I've mentioned before, I feel like I must get everything possible done before Son #2 arrives, and things are pretty much in place. His room is all set up, clothes washed and folded in his dresser, and my hospital bag is mostly packed and ready to go. There it is on the crib in Son #2's cleaned, washed, scrubbed, and ready room!

But the biggest thing we've been working on over the past month or so was redoing P's 'big boy' bedroom. It had turned into a storage room, mostly for stuff we didn't use or need. Living in a 110 year old house can present some storage challenges, and my new mantra is "If there's not a place to put it, get rid of it!" Seriously - as silly as it sounds sometimes when you hear or read professional organizers or people on reality TV talking about how getting rid of stuff and organizing what you have will make life better, I think they're onto something. Maybe your whole life won't change, but you will feel better about your surroundings, and will avoid frustrations when you can't find or get to something because of clutter.

Redoing that room has spread to the whole house, and we've been cleaning, organizing and purging like maniacs. It helps a lot that Adam and I are on the same page about 'stuff'. We've also used it as an opportunity to teach 2-year-old P about giving stuff away as we've gone through some of his toys and books with him. I can't stand the idea of getting rid of a child's things without telling them and then lying to them about where it went. (I know that this will become increasingly difficult as P gets older, and I may change my tune in a few years, but for now, that's that.)

It feels so much lighter, more useful, and homey since we've been seriously purging for the past few weeks. All in all, I think we've probably given away at least 15 bags of 'stuff', as well as some small furniture. And I don't miss a single thing.

Here are some tips for getting things organized:

1. Get rid of the 'stuff' that you don't use! Sort things properly: If it's junk that is beyond hope or repair, just let it go and toss it. Recycle when you can, Freecycle when possible, and if it's in good shape, donate it to a charity that can make use of it or give it to a friend who will love it. If it's too large to move easily (i.e. furniture), just set it out on the side of the street - someone will pick it up and use it.

2. Keep your goal in mind. I was picturing a tidy, simplified, organized (dare I say "Martha-fied"?) house where we would be able to enjoy doing the things we like to use the space for. (Note: I'm still picturing this, as we still have a very small amount of stuff to go through, so we're not quite at the very end yet, but I'm hoping that this weekend will be the finish line. Yay!)

3. Keep a perpetual 'donation' box or bag (I have one in the bottom of my closet). If you try on a shirt and think "I hate how this fits", then add it to the box - you're probably never going to enjoy wearing it, and someone else can. When the box or bag is full, drop it off at your Goodwill or Salvation Army, and start a new one.

4. This is perhaps the most important, and the thing which I'm getting better at - don't buy it in the first place. There are tonnes of great things out there, but if you don't have a specific place or use for it, don't buy it. Otherwise, it will just be clutter that you'll feel bad about having spent money on.

5. If done well, this whole process can take some time. And things will inevitably get worse before they get better. Keeping the end goal in sight is key (and having a deadline like an impending baby helps, too!) Having said that, every little bit of time spent does make a difference, so...

6. Start with a small space like a drawer or shelf, and see how much better you feel about it after it's cleaned (like cleaning the crumbs and old takeout forks out of your cutlery drawer - holy satisfying every time you open the drawer!) I think that picturing the outcome is the thing that gives me the most motivation to do any kind of cleaning or organizing. It's completely addictive.

7. A place for everything, and everything in its place. It's not going to magically find a home for itself, so find a place that works for you and how you use it, and stick with it. I think of putting something back immediately as a treat to myself - it means that I won't have to do it later.

Happy decluttering!

One more picture - this is a fantastic dresser which Adam picked up at a local antiques place for his very own. I love it!


  1. I did'nt notice there were added pictures here, very nice. I love the color of P's room. I also love that quilt you have on the crib's railing. Did you make it ? Your home looks so cozy.

  2. Thanks, Vickie! The little quilt is handmade, but not by me - I picked it up at (can you possibly guess?) Frenchy's! You're more than welcome to stop in any time at all! :)

  3. Anonymous2/05/2010

    I've not been able to master #4 yet, but absolutely agree with you about the other points (and doing most of them too). You are so inspiring me!

    I wish our house looks as nice as P's room! :)

    The poppies print is wonderful!

  4. Thanks for the invite Sherrie. You are so kind. And the same goes for you. We definitly have to visit each other at some point. You should be able to find me now with the directions I gave you to the Old Mill. Hopefully soon. And isn't that wonderful, how you found that little quilt at FRENCHY'S, yay Chez Fran├žoise (that's what we call it sometimes just for fun).

  5. I don't know, I think it might be more than nesting. Depths of winter have brought out the same purging and reorganizing urges in us, too! (And oh yes, number four - that's almost the hardest one, isn't it?)

    The last two pics before the dresser - are those your room? Or P's new room? If it's P's new room, I know the colour. But just in case it isn't, do you know the colour?

    We want to paint the entirety of our house ivory. Not "old lady cream" and not "contractor beige" but cool, old-house, ivory. It's a toughie! Especially because the basic design of our house says "old lady" (unlike your "this house is so cool" vibe), so you have to constantly fight it.

  6. Voofa - yes, those are our bedroom. It's the perfect colour I wanted in the first place, after several tries and mistints. So it's a custom colour; let me know if you want me to get the info from the can for you - I can definitely do that for you. :)

  7. Anonymous2/06/2010

    Looking good! Did you paint the floorboards in P's room? I love the look but don't know if I would be game enough to do it.

  8. The rooms look great! I am sure P loves his new big boy room! We are getting better every day with number 4 but we still have a long way to go on de-cluttering. Diego is of the opinion, as soon as you get rid of it even if you haven't used it in years, you will need it...hence the reason why our tiny place is jam packed. Although, the urge to purge is getting stronger every day...I am tired of having stuff piled in my hallway!

  9. "after several tries and mistints" Oh my, I so worry we're headed for that. The *right* creamish ivory is SO hard to find!

    Before asking you to go through such an effort to find your custom-made colour, I'm going to discuss with our favourite paint store lady. Maybe she has a go-to colour we could try. Fingers crossed!

  10. Thanks so much, everyone!

    Madanddave - yes, we've painted all of the floors throughout the house. There was some paint around the outside edge in most rooms, and we didn't want to sand it down and spread probable lead-dust throughout the house. I happen to love the look of painted wood floors, and it seals in any possible lead-ness, so it was a good solution for this house!

    Voofa - I don't mind getting the info for you at all - it's just a matter of getting the numbers off of the paint can lid. :)

  11. Anonymous2/09/2010

    LOVE love love what you've done! You're so prepared and organized!!!

    I agree with keeping words in mind when decluttering. When I moved last time (3 years ago), I kept in mind: simple, organized and quick. And for over a year after the move - when people would tell me about it - they'd say how they heard how "organized" and "quick" it all was. :) If you don't mind, I'm going to adopt your three words to my apartment as I continue decluttering!!


Thanks so much for your comments - I read and appreciate each one! Sorry about the word verification - the spammers found me and it became necessary. Thanks for taking the time to comment!