My dear husband, Toyota T., bought this house without me even seeing it. I think he did a great job. He loved two things about this house: the yard, and the family room. This room has windows on three sides, and is on the west end of the house so it gets some lovely natural light all year long.
When we first moved in, one wall was red brick, presumably the outside wall of the house at some point, the floor was 1950’s green patterned linoleum, there was a screen door between the kitchen and the family room and the counter opening between the two rooms was divided with some fancy plexiglass panels. 9 years later, we have painted, added carpeting, removed the door and plexiglass, and incorporated it into the rest of our house, year-round.
Since we all love this room, we have added more and more stuff to it. Finally, at the breaking point, we had two couches, the tv and components, the tv cart, a dresser, several little drawer units, a toy corner, a bookshelf, a telescope, a tub filing cabinet, both computers, a glider, and, finally, a 6 foot by 4 foot desk for me to use (translate: cover completely with stuff). I had added the desk because I thought my problem was that I didn’t have any drawers at my desk. That’s a good one.
As you can see from the above photo, we had this room jam-packed. I finally realized that the drawers in the desk apparently weren’t doing me any good at all since my desk was constantly covered in stuff, and I mean deep.
When I decided to apply “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” I saw that my really big desk was turning out to be neither useful nor beautiful. I began to transport almost everything out of the room. I’ve read that in several books — take everything out of the space before figuring out what you want there.
After removing the majority of the stuff in the room, I ended up with the two couches, the dresser (now holding the tv instead of the tv cart), one table holding two computers and two printers, the tub file, and two drawer units. I also gleaned a table from my mom which fit perfectly in the corner and is now holding several houseplants.
The room is now open, and everyone loves being in here. I think the clutter was really getting to everyone, and even though no one had to use my desk for anything, the heap of stuff was frustrating everyone. I think the thing that finally got me to make a change was that I could never find anything I was looking for. I spent so much time looking for things. It drove me crazy.
The good thing about this room now is that it is REALLY easy to pick up. To get this photo, I had to pick up a wristwatch from the table, and a pair of socks. Otherwise, there’s nothing else in this end of the room and this is where we all sit to watch TV.
The only secret to my success that I can claim is that I have a lot less stuff in this room and it is very easy to see when something is out of place. My family can even easily clean up this room because it is so obvious when something doesn’t belong. I highly recommend it.