When we moved to the countryside over 6 months ago, we put boxes and furniture where we thought they should go. Gradually, we realized that the way things were didn't really work for us. The house didn't feel homely and cosy. It was pretty much unchanged from when we moved in. There were no personal touches, clutter was accumulating and it didn't really feel like we had made it our own yet.
So since we came home from France, we have been rearranging room after room in the house. That involved a lot of furniture being moved from one room to the other, a lot of furniture being moved from one side of the room to the other. Little pieces of furniture, and big pieces of furniture. And of course of lot of cleaning, and a lot of rubbish being thrown out. Magazines from 2007 still lying around (some even older than that). What for? Why do we keep all this stuff. On the off chance that one day, we'll read them again? But to be honest when do we ever read a magazine again? I kept all my cooking magazines, but for all the other types of magazines, I just kept the recipe pages and threw out the rest. Sometimes, you just need to be a bit ruthless. Forget about being sentimental. Stuff just accumulates and you end up buried under clutter everywhere. That candle that has been gathering dust on the mantle piece that you can't light anymore. Chuck it out. Broken toys, pieces of plastic crap that you pick up with children's magazines or in the odd Happy Meal. Worthless junk. Just throw it out.
That's what the past couple of weeks have been dedicated to. Throwing out rubbish, being ruthless and unsentimental, cleaning top to bottom and finally making the house our own. A couple of trips to Ikea (I couldn't reorganize the house without taking one or 2 trips to Ikea!), a small chest of drawers, a new chair for the sitting room and a few cheap paper lamp shades later and finally, the house starts to feel homely, cosy and more importantly ours.
And the most amazing thing is that you don't need to spend a fortune to bring a bit of change to your house. Just look around and reuse what you already have. That lamp that was gathering dust on the playroom table used to light up that plant that kept being knocked over in the hall actually looks great in the corner of the sitting room and you won't have to spend 10 minutes everyday picking up the soil from the hall floor. (Ok, I'll cut the crap. It doesn't look all that great because the plant is actually on its death bed from being knocked down way too many times and not being watered enough. But it would look great with a normal and healthy looking plant). Those chairs that were just taking space in the kitchen and where junk was piling up have now found a new purpose and a new lease of life in the master bedroom. That coffee table that looked a bit shabby doesn't look that bad now, in the corner of the sitting room, half hidden by the sofa that was in the playroom. Just look at what you have and think outside the box, who said that kitchen chairs can't go in a bedroom or that the picture that was hanging in the toilets wouldn't look good on the kitchen wall, that throw that you used on the sofa could look good on your bed. So go on take a good look around and make your living space work for you! It can make a whole lot of a difference!
The girls love their new tidy playroom and their definitely bigger bedroom. I love my new chair (it wasn't an aesthetic decision, I desperately needed a chair I could sit in. Anytime I sat on the sofa for more than 5 minutes, my back would get stuck and I wasn't able to walk properly) and I actually enjoy keeping the house clean because there is less clutter around. So despite not taking any New Year resolutions (I don't believe in them), we have actually managed to make our life a little bit better to start off the new year. What about you? Have you changed anything for the new year?