Thursday, July 10, 2014

Repurposing and Simplifying

I had several projects I wanted to tackle this summer.  4 closets to paint and 2 bedrooms.  Plus 1 kitchen ceiling.  The closets are done and primer is on the kitchen ceiling, but I'm waiting a few more days to put the paint on because my arm's been in some pain.  


In order to start painting my girls' room, we needed to rearrange the room first.  The girls and I brainstormed where we could the beds.  A friend of my mom's gave me a piece of furniture for my room, so I was able to move a wood colored 8 cube organizer from my room to our schoolroom/den and a white 8 cube organizer to my girls' room.  Then, we removed two enormous bookcases that we had in the girls' room.  We moved their beds and dressers to different spots in the room.  We moved their games.  In order to get rid of the two book shelves, the girls also had to get rid of some stuff.  But, it was okay.  

I sat scrubbing a large sticker off Autumn's bed, while I gave them instructions about how to move things out of the way and go through the process of moving furniture and reorganizing their stuff.  They worked.  Hard. At the end of the day, they were very tired.  But, they were happy with the changes and the results of their efforts.

Now, the room is divided more.  The girls have more space.  We made all these changes without spending any money.  But, Sami needed a nightstand and a lamp because she likes a nightlight and Autumn doesn't. Their beds are farther apart now so it makes it easier for Autumn to shield herself from the light.  

I told Sami we'd look for these things at a garage sale.  But, I went into our school room and found a little table that would work.  I moved one of the desk lamps into Eli's room for his nightlight and then the light in his room (which was more girlish) into hers.  Yay!  Repurposed furniture that didn't cost me anything!  

The only thing I spent money on was some lower watt light bulbs from Home Depot to make the lights give off less light.  


The paint costs money of course and so I had to spend money on that.  But, that's a lot less for a remodeled room than if I'd had to buy some furniture too.  So, I'm very thankful.  

A friend of mine shared with me that she and her husband were waiting longer to purchase new things when something breaks.  They'd made a resolution, or pact, that they would do this.  It gives them time to think about it and figure out what they really want.  I think there are other reasons as well.

My husband and I recently resolved to try and purchase things in stores instead of online whenever possible.  This has had the effect on me of shopping less online and I'm glad for it.  Unfortunately, many of the things I shop for (like homeschooling curriculum) are easiest for me to shop for online, so I can't do that for everything.  But, having to go to the store makes me choose whether or not I really need to get something--whether or not I really have time to go to the store.  It also gives me more time to figure out if I have something else that will work. 

But, there's something else that happens when I wait.  I've realized that it's good to do without for a time.  We live in a society where we can literally have everything now or the next day.  It's kind of amazing and crazy at the same time.  It can easily make us feel like we should have everything we want now--because we can.  When we do without for a time (and the longer the better in some ways), we are so much more appreciative when we receive what we were wanting.

This is the case with my silverware drawer.  When we moved in 2 1/2 years ago, there was a built in organizer in the drawer.  But, it turned out to be extremely annoying.  It constantly slipped and the silverware would get stuck.  I finally came to the conclusion a month ago that I needed to put an insert into the drawer.  Most inserts though don't use all the space in the drawer.  I didn't have time to look for one, so I let it be.  But, then two weeks ago, I came across an adjustable insert at a garage sale.  The gal and I settled on a price of a dollar and I brought it home to clean it thoroughly. After the cleaning, it looked and smelled like new.  Two weeks later, my family and I are still making comments about it when we open the drawer.  We are so thankful for how this little thing makes dealing with our silverware easier to find and put away.  It's also been a good lesson for me.  

I am so glad that the simple changes the girls and I made to their room brought them so much joy and peace.  There is a peace that comes with simplifying.  

But, there was one other thing that struck me in the process of getting rid of these two large bookcases.  The room feels much more open now and my daughters have more room to play.  But, my friend Amy told me an interesting thing that she learned about museums.  In art museums, there are a few things on a wall, not many.  If there were many, it would be hard to focus on each one and really enjoy the ones that were there.  Simplifying helps us to enjoy what we have more.  Taking the big bookcases out and having less in my girls room is helping them enjoy their room more and I am so glad.  

Now, I need to paint it...

So, that's my project for today.

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