The Purge, part 1

So I started this weekend with my ‘great purge’.  I’m also just a touch drunk at present since I was so sore from cleaning, arranging, and moving heavy furniture this weekend that I went to the brewery and had *two* beers (yes, I’m a total lightweight) to ease the muscle soreness, so forgive any missing, misspelled, or just nonsense words in this post.

For the first time ever I remembered to take ‘before’ photos BEFORE doing anything *gasp/shock* so you’ll be able to see what I started with to get to where I ended up.  I started on the downstairs guest room and failed office which ultimately required me to do the hallway as well because stuff from the hall had to go into the guest room and stuff from the guest room ended up in the hall.  It’ll make sense when you see it.

This is a good time to mention a quirk of my house.  (oh, by the way, I was wrong on the square footage, it’s only 1,600, not 1,800.)  The house was built in 1932 but was remodeled by one of the previous owners.  During this remodel which seems to have been confined mainly to the kitchen area, the hall that used to lead to the kitchen now leads to a wall.  That’s right, I’ve got a hall to nowhere…

This hall has generally been the repository for all the ‘stuff’ in the house.  It was the stuff hall even when my parents had the house.  I always thought the hall would make an awesome mini-library, put bookshelves against one side and viola!

So when I started on the guest room I knew I’d have to do both because the unassembled bookshelves I bought 5 months ago were still in their boxes in the room and the bed I was moving into the room was part of the stuff in the hall.

Here are the beginning pictures.  It had a queen spring mattress and airbed in it, with a little side table, a desk with a computer that works but can’t connect to the wireless network in the house so is useless for everything my uncle needs it for, a white cabinet with a sh*t-ton of my uncle’s books, and a closet so stuffed with stuff that it literally started to fall out when I opened the doors.  I am somewhat embarrassed to show the ‘before’ pictures, but here they are:

View from the doorway

View of the desk. Mostly buried under stuff and the boxes with the bookshelves.

The closet, with stuff literally falling out.

Hall (to nowhere) with twin mattresses, captains bed frame, and various other stuff.

Saturday I started at 8:00 AM and worked pretty much straight through till 5:00 PM, then today I started again at 8 and worked till 3.  I was pretty sore all over, especially legs, back and abs, but the beer helped.  The cats did not help, no matter what they tell you.

Dexter taking a break from all the hard work he wasn’t doing.

Okay, so… final result?

Hall with new bookshelves. The white cabinet that had been in the room got moved to the hall, the brown cabinet that had been in the hall will get put in the barn to hold various barn-y stuff. I can now get to the door that accesses under the stairs!

Twin bed replaces the queen air mattress

Desk cleaned off (and some of my painted ceramics put on the wall above)

Other side of the desk

And now the part I’m most proud of: the closet!

The upper shelf holds my camping gear: tent, cot, sleeping bag, and a collapsible camp chair.  The lower shelf has my folded up feather bed/comforter.  But the closet floor is clean!  No boxes, no stuff, no junk, just open closet to *gasp* hang clothes!  Which, actually, these will go into *my* closet when I get that cleaned, but for now they’ll stay down here.

As an aside, did you know you can put furniture in a closet?  Really!  If you’re short on floor space but always seem to have room in the closet (if you get rid of all the other ‘stuff’ you store there) you can put bookshelves, dressers, even armoires in the closet!  Especially if you tend to hang shorter clothes like shirts or folded slacks, you have a lot of space underneath you can use.

Back to my redecorating, here is the other side of the closet: the kids play stuff.

Which brings me to the second topic in today’s entry: making a play area for kids when you don’t have any.

Sadly, at 35, I’ve still not managed any of my own.  This really is not how I thought my life was going to turn out, but there you have it.  But I have several friends who have younger kids, and it seems like it’s only natural to have an area in my house they can go have fun when “the adults are talking” because we all remember how boring that is as a kid, right?

It is *absurdly* simple to accommodate younger kids.  Go to the dollar store, buy a box of crayons and a coloring book.  Buy a couple of toys.  Maybe a stuffed animal.  Put them in a box for when kids come over!   (or, you know, take your stuffed animals and Halo figurines out of their boxes… >.>)

First, I assembled a short set of book shelves.  I had an old toy train set that I put in a bin, then took a few toy figures I’d had ‘collected’ over the years from various places (Halo, Lord of the Rings, etc) and put them in there, too.  Add in some stuffed animals, a board game, some dress-up clothes, and an old globe.  Last, I added a blanket and little pillow to snuggle up with and some kid-friendly art pieces, and came up with the above play alcove tucked in half of the closet.

Because all the stuff is inexpensive, there’s no real worry if they break something.  Give them lots of things to get into to explore and play with, lots of ‘surprises’ to enjoy, and don’t worry if anything breaks, that’s the idea.  Just be sure you don’t add anything  you *don’t* want broken!

So there’s my weekend.  A newly arranged guest bedroom and kid’s play area!  And I’m beat!

Oh, two more things:

Here’s the pile of stuff ready for the dump and cardboard recycling.  (I added a bit more to the pile after this picture was taken, but this is the bulk of it.)

And here is (most) of what will be going to Goodwill.  Two large boxes of things.  Even some of what I had originally slated to keep ended up being tossed into these boxes eventually as I re-thought it and realized that no matter how much ‘potential’ or how ‘cool’ some things were, I just was never going to do it or wear it or use it and it was going to go back into the ‘stuff’ collection.

It was interesting to think the whole time I was doing this I was imagining how I could turn this tiny room into a fully functional apartment!  Put a shower and toilet in the closet area, put a mini kitchenette where the desk is, raise the bed and put a desk beneath, or put in a wallbed/desk combo!

It was a good day, all in all! 🙂