New Year, New Kid, New Living Room

Most years when we take down the Christmas tree, I get the urge to shake things up a bit–I hate seeing the empty corner where the Christmas tree used to be, so I compensate by redecorating or rearranging or reorganizing. This year was no exception! But I had another reason too: this munchkin.

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The stage of his life where he stays where I put him is drawing to a close, and open bookshelves/breakable tchotchkes were not going to fly in this house once he begins to move.

(See: this post for the bookshelf scenario we were working with pre-kiddo.)

Not. Happening. This house needs to be organized and simplified, stat.

So Kenny and I embarked on an epic, furniture-rearranging adventure. The bookshelves went to the unused upstairs bedroom, which is now occasionally functioning like an office. So did the navy chair-and-a-half that sat in the front living space.

We then pulled in the couch from the sunroom (leaving the sunroom looking very forlorn; a job for another day) and moved the giant coffee table in front of it.

Why yes, my triceps are killing me.

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I’m not a huge fan of this couch against the wall color, but fixing it is a huge can of worms. Not opening it this winter, nosiree.

I do need to add something over the couch though; currently leaning toward a gallery wall of things I already own (because: free). I’ve set aside these items (below), but can our home handle 3 gallery walls? (1–seascapes, 2–ikea frames).

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Plants, though–those I can handle. They breathe life into a space (sort of literally)! This fiddle leaf fig was mostly dead, down to maybe 2 leaves?, but has miraculously grown about 12 new leaves in the last 6 months. I’m hopeful for it.

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For some simple sprucing and rearranging, I like the fresh look. Perfect for a new year! And perfect for a soon-to-be-moving baby.

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The back living space (it’s a weird room; okay…that’s why we have 2 back-to-back living areas…) is much more open without the coffee table taking up most of the space. We’re thinking this is much more baby friendly and we’ve already enjoyed rolling around on the rug (from Wayfair a few years ago; love their rug selection) with Tad!

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My Christmas mantle is still up… now I call it a “winter mantle.” ;) It’s days are numbered, though. Remember–new year, new space–simpler is better, yada-yada? Stay tuned.

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I do crave a tiny bit more pattern in this space (either on the rug or curtains), so I’m brainstorming how to make that happen for free or very very cheap. Hit me with your great ideas if you have them!

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Still love this blue couch though. Can you believe we’ve had it for almost 4 years?!

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Not pictured in these photos: the baby paraphernalia that has TAKEN OVER OUR LIVES. We’ve tried to resist, but it is just utterly futile. I give up.


New Year, New Organization Ideas from Wayfair

The refrigerator: The key to an organized fridge is bins and storage sets. You can sort like items into separate bins (think yogurts or juice boxes) to keep them contained and easy to grab. Having a matching set of storage containers also allows you to stack pre-made food and leftovers neatly.

The laundry room: Chances are, you’re storing your detergent, dryer sheets, strain remover, and all other laundry room odds and ends right on top of your washer and dryer. This kind of clutter just makes doing the laundry more stressful (and an eyesore!). Get those items up off the appliances by mounting storage racks on a nearby wall.

The kitchen cabinets: Kitchen cabinets themselves are great for hiding away items, but in truth, they’re just empty boxes. By addingcabinet organizers, you can completely transform the way you store things like spices, pots and pans, dishes, soup—everything. Pull-out drawers for lower cabinets will completely change your life.

The entryway: We’re always coming and going, and some days it feels like no one wants to take the time to put their things away. To avoid coats and shoes everywhere, the trick is to make putting them away as easy as possible for everyone. Storage benches double as somewhere to sit to put on shoes as well as a place to toss shoes so they’re out of sight. And if you don’t have a hall closet to hang coats, acoat rack is an easy way to keep coats off the backs of chairs or over the staircase banister.

The desk: You probably have a cup for pens, but what about shelves for paper, drawers for things like paperclips and pushpins, or a place to charge your phone that also hides all the cords? Desktop organizers will take all that clutter off the top of your desk and keep it neat and out of sight so you can clear your mind and focus on your work.

The bedroom: Probably the most underutilized storage space in the bedroom is underneath the bed. There’s a ton of space down there that’s probably already hidden by your bed skirt! With a few plastic bins, you can store clothes for the next season, spare bedding, and even shoes—all the stuff that won’t fit in your closet.

The garage: There’s nothing worse than pulling into your garage, opening your car door, and banging it against the garbage can, a golf bag, or somebody’s bicycle. Just like in the laundry room, the best way to organize your garage is to get things up and on the walls. Try installing some high hooks and shelving (because most of these items you won’t need every day) and a bike rack; a tool holder will keep rakes, shovels, and hoses contained.

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