Lately I have been really frustrated with our house. Nothing major, but I just needed a change in how things look. It seems like everything is getting on my nerves. AJ and I have been trying to work through what is the real problem. We came to the conclusion that it is "stuff". The over abundance of stuff combined with a lot of our stuff is either hand-me-downs or serious thrift store finds/ major clearance items. These things have been great to have and make do, but not all of them fit where were are at in life now or our design styles. We are also pack-rats, accumulating pack-rats to an extreme.
Last night we decided to go to IKEA. This isn't an unusual activity to go wander around IKEA on a Friday night (I know, I know we are dorky, but it is fun), but last night we were really looking at what we wanted to do with things. IKEA has re-staged a lot of the displays in our store, and they are now much more appealing to us and more helpful with design ideas.
We are fairly limited in our budget of how much we can spend on changing things. This means we are still going to have to be very creative and do a lot of hands on time. It also means it is going take us a while to complete everything that I want to do. We have the money set aside each month to tackle some smaller things, and work on a piece of some of the more major products (buying bookcases for the library and building storage in the garage). Some of these projects have already been started and we are still working on them, but others are new wants.
We are also slightly constrained by a few of the pieces of furniture. We can't get rid of some of the pieces, so we are trying to figure out some good ways to make them work in our house. They aren't quiet working the way we wanted them to, but we will keep playing with it. The other aspect of the furniture is that we can't afford to buy all new things, so I can't get rid of the old pieces until we can afford to buy new things.
I have been scouring craigslist lately to try to find what I would like. I have also been spending a lot of time on different design websites and blogs. I have seen a lot of great ideas, and thank goodness a lot of them are doable and cheap/ free. There are some cool ones that I have already tried and really liked them. Others, I have looked at again and decided that just isn't what I want. I am enjoying these parts of this process of change.
I have also been spending a lot of time de-cluttering. I am tired of a lot of the random pack-rat items that we have. I am really thankful that I buy a lot of decorating things at thrift stores or on major clearance, this way when I am tired of it I can take it back to the thrift store for someone else to love for a while. I guess I have paid to rent it for six months to a year, but when most of the things were bought for under $3 it isn't to bad. I have a huge carload of things that need to be taken to the thrift store. There is also a lot of other things that we need to give back to other people, or other things that we have bought for people (we are good at picking things up on clearance for other people, too) that need to actually go to them and get them out of our house. Is it sad that I am really enjoying this de-cluttering? I am really looking forward to going through cabinets, closets, and drawers to get rid of more stuff!