Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cutting the Clutter

We have decided to stay in the Deer Park apartment for another 13 months. But since we are staying, we have decided to make a few changes. I have to find a way to fit 5 people into 900 square feet of apartment.

First, we are getting rid of everything we don't need, donating all clothes that don't fit and toys we don't play with, throwing away everything that is too worn, torn, or broken. If we wouldn't pack it for a one-month trip, it goes.

Second, if you don't have room for children, just stack them! Bunk beds will be purchased to stack the big kids. Their entertainment center will be moved to the inside wall and they will each get a bean bag chair, which can be easily shoved under the beds for more play space.

Third, storage! Brian is going to build a set of book shelves to put against the long wall in the living room. We'll paint the wall sage green and the bookshelves dark brown. I am re-positioning all the stuff that needs to stay in the kitchen and bathroom cupboards and the closets. For example, the vacuum has a new home in the pantry, and the stroller permanently lives in the car.

Fourth, this many people requires more floor space. I turned the couch to create office space for Brian behind it, so the whole couch can be sat on and the computer desk is not taking up valuable space. The couch will soon be replaced with a loveseat and two end tables.

Fifth, clutter isn't just stuff. We're also cutting the cable. Summertime is full of good weather that allows us and the kids to be outside as much as possible, and if we have to be in, we'll get free RedBox codes to get free DVDs to watch, or play Uno, Monopoly, Sorry, or chess. None of those things rot your brain! Plus it'll save us $50 a month.

How do you cut clutter? What are your favorite tricks for making a small space feel larger? How do you organize your life?

Slowly regaining control,


  1. Ashley- You are doing great work. You will regain control. You will! Miss you! Take care of you and your family.

  2. My problem is trying to make a large space feel homey. But when we lived in that one bedroom apartment it was a tight squeeze. We got rid of large bulky furniture and kept only what we needed. I raised our bed and put of food storage under the bed and under charlotte's crib were all of her clothes in roll out tubs. So when we moved we realized how little stuff we really live with and it was nice to know where everything was and now I can't find anything to save my life.

    As for cutting cable, it is totally a necessary evil in our house. We get whatever thirteen channels come in that we don't pay for, and most of those are spanish channels so I don't watch anything but pbs. That does push you outside and it is so much easier to control what your kids watch if you have no cable.

  3. Thalia- Thanks! It takes work to make your life ideal.
    Mary- That's the thing too, I don't think we need to be watching the Miss America Pageant or South Park or any of that mind-rotting crap. What kind of message does it send to Nat if we watch Miss America? And if we watch South Park aren't we teaching Ben it's funny to be disrespectful and hurt people's feelings? As much opposition I have with this, I think it's really the best option. We all need to be playing outside more. Nationwide, I think.