I began this post on Sunday. Then, all hell broke loose. What I mean is that I fell in the middle of the night during an attempt to get a 13 year old Pomeranian named Ginger to the door before she urinated in the hallway, or on her bed, or on Arwyn's bed or some other place besides the yard. I am bruised up one side in a visible way and down the other in an invisible way as my right side appeared to take the brunt of the muscular damage. My head was also injured as it slammed on the hardwood stair. (You can see the stairs in the top right photo!) Miraculously, Ginger was neither injured nor peed in the house, so there's that.
This post was supposed to be about the living room and it is. It is about my favorite space in our home. It is the entryway and front living room. It is bright and full of sunshine and it is clean. Almost always clean. We all enjoy this space. It is a workout room, dance floor, play and work area. Many days those hardwoods are full of a train layout or a board game or the scene of an elaborate display of American Girl dolls and their accessories. But, at the end of the day, it is clean.
But, this is not always how it looked. This room has served as dining room and office. Truthfully, we never quite got the vibe of the room entirely. The ladder shelves were there and of course, the built-in. I painted the bright colors a few years ago, but we never settled into this room until last fall.
We are working toward putting our home up for sale. It has been a long process for tiring reasons and excuses that I will not list here. But, I am working with a realtor and old friend who called and asked if she could send a home stager to my place. Oooh....really? This woman, Carol Bass, is not only a prominent home stager in the area, she teaches courses and needed a test space in which to work. Uhm....yes please!
I will be honest. I was EXTREMELY nervous. The process of sorting and going to Goodwill and organizing had begun and I had some DISASTERS in my home. But, I put on my big girl panties, cleaned the house, left the disasters and invited her and her team into my home. At this point, I had already packed a box of knick-knacks from this room and had given all of the bookshelves and cabinets a once over in regards to releasing books that we just didn't want or need. So, there was that.
The image below is what the staging ladies walked into:
I know. Not tragic, right? But still, this room is lovely and could be so much more. The challenge has been the orientation of my home and needing to have my office area near the kitchen as that is where I spend half of my day or at least want to spend the day. But, we let go of any preconceived notions and gratefully allowed these ladies to work magic. And, they did in so many ways as evidenced in the collage of photos at the top.
So, where did that leave us? It left me with a big fat mess in our second "living room" that we call the den or simply "downstairs". But, it also left me with an opportunity to make a second sweep of some things, namely my books. The ladies did a great job moving furniture and "deleting" (as they called) some items from the room to get it ready to sell but it also left me me with somewhat of a sense of unease. They didn't know which books were precious to me and which could be put away. They don't understand feng shui or that I had the books arranged in the room in a certain manner to support the bagua. What they did understand was that we needed somewhat of a blank slate, which they gave us in removing so many items. So, I pulled all of the books off the shelves and out of the cabinets, sorted them into categories, removed anything that I did not want in the home and reorganized them. I left the remainder of the room exactly as the ladies left it for me. During this process, I am guessing I let go of approximately 50 books in total, which truthfully, was a huge relief and two less boxes we will be packing and moving to the new house.
The morning that Carol and her team were to come to my home, I nearly backed out. I was in a panic for about 5 minutes, worried about judgement, worried they would break something, worried they would......fill in anything imaginable. But, I knew that I needed this. I needed someone else's perspective. I knew I needed the change. I knew that I needed to experience what my clients experience every time I walk into a home. This space, this "living" room is so much more now. It is comfy and welcoming and it is has been cleared of anything we do not need.
Today, if you have one living room or two, I want you to walk into it and really think about what you see and what you feel. Think about whether or not it is welcoming. Are the seats free of "stuff"? Can you sit down? Do you or your guests have to carefully walk over items in the floor? Are there items in this room that do not belong but have a home?
If so, that is your primary task today. Walk through your LIVING ROOM(S) and if there are items that are present and actually have a home, put them away. If there are SO many items that you do not know where to start, pick one to two points. For example, the seats. Clear the couches, chairs, loveseats, whatever and then clear the tables. You need a place to sit free of items that need to be moved and your tables that are around your rooms need to be clear so that they can be a resting place for your hot tea or glass of wine that I am going to recommend you have later today. If you have children and these items belong to them, you know what I will say, make them put their things away. It's that simple. No, you cannot go outside, swim, watch TV or play on the Xbox until these items are placed in their correct homes.
If I can do it, so can you.
Peace on this February day.
I’m Dana Croy and I am a modern day mama. Balancing family and work is not always easy (not to mention a little self-care). Though being Mama to two fantastic kiddos is a huge part of my life, that was not always the case. I wear many other hats and invite to sit down and find harmony with me.