Wednesday, December 29, 2010

House Blah...

Maybe it's because I'm here all day long every day, but I'm feeling a bit "house blah". Don't get me wrong, I love my home, it's just feeling not quite right at the moment. Like it is never picked up and always cluttered. I feel like it needs a makeover, maybe not so prim, maybe the dark colors are weighing it down. I'm thinking more cottagey might be a nice change, but I have no idea where to begin. AND, one of my new year's resolutions is not to buy anything for myself for the year(I'm avoiding goodwill too), so that would make changing things ultra hard. OH, and we gave up with changing my craft room to a bedroom, after half way through, we realized there was no place to put it all, so now I'm in the process of putting it all back(and organizing it at the same time). We are going to rework his current bedroom somehow and give him a bit more privacy from his brother.

I guess I'm just tired of things ruling my life. I want things more simple. Maybe it's not just a house change I want, but a lifestyle change. I hate the thought of the kids returning to school after Christmas break, I enjoy them home. I want to homeschool, but I am a big chicken and I'm not sure where to start, and failing scares me. I want to do more family things, but chores and what not seem to take over. I know that is my decision, but that is how the things are controlling me. Why have collections of things? What purpose do they truly serve if they are just sitting there?

I know I'm rambling a bit and I don't me to sound down, because I'm not, I'm just realizing that I want to change things, I'm just not sure where or how to begin. I keep dreaming about us living on an old(or new) farm with some acreage, homeschooling, and having a little store of antiques to sell. And hubby would have closer job(or something out of the house) so he wouldn't have to commute 2.5 hours each way to work. I am just not a neighborhood type person. There is nothing wrong with subdivisions, I just don't feel like I fit into them. Problem is, we bought our house at the top of the market, then it crashed, and now it isn't worth anywhere near what we paid, so we can't get out of it. I just really wish hubby didn't have to work so far away, it's draining for him, but with the mortgage, he doesn't have much choice.

Ok, so changing the decor is not going to help things, is it? But I can get rid of things and simplify, that could help with the rhythm of the home. And praying, that can be and is done daily. Hopefully something more local will become available for hubby.

I did check to see how Replacements Ltd bought things, and I would have to ship it all to them on my own dime. There is no way that is going to happen. So I'm going to try locally. And yes, I think it will probably have to go in small lots.

I'm not sure why I'm sharing this all with you, I guess I just need to write things down and maybe some of you know how or what I'm feeling. And for those of you who simplified your life and your home, was it hard? I mean, how did you start and was it difficult to let material things go? How did you choose what to keep? And afterward, were you happier with your home?

I know I seem like I am all over the place in this post, I'm just trying to sort things out in my head. Maybe it's the New year approaching and I'm a person who thrives on change, I'm not sure, I just know that I need some sort of lifestyle change, and I think simple would be better.

Ok, I'm done, no more rambling for right now, I have work to do. And please, I would love some words of wisdom or inspiration.




  1. I have found that the more I read blogs, the more discontent I become with my home. I then need to step back and realize how much I have been blessed. I got rid of magazines for the same reason. Simplifying is never simple. Life in the country sounds ideal, but I live in the country, and I have never met harder working people...ever. If you are really unsettled in your spirit, just start small. You have a beautiful home. You are the epitome of creativity, so no doubt you will make amazing changes without spending a dime. Sorry about the housing situation. I am in Canada, and there was never the crazy bubble that the U.S had.

  2. I wish I had some words of inspiration or wisdom for you.

    Hmmm.. Maybe start with the kitchen and try the farmhouse look you were mentioning in another post. Craigslist is a good place to sell things.

    If you have small things, try posting on your blog.

    I know that in my own home, Winter seems to bring out the worst. I guess it is because the holidays are over and we are inside so much, we tend to notice more etc.

    Maybe just downsizing your collections for now, will bring more space and peace. In the Spring maybe try painting a room with a neutral color and bring color in with your decor and see how you like it.

    Do you have any space in your basement to store your crafts? I can't remember if your craft room is your sewing room too? If not, maybe try bringing the crafts into the sewing room.

    I wish I had some great ideas for you, but all I can say is take it slowly.

    Do you have any consignment shops in your area that may be able to help sell your dishes?

    Well, I hope others come along with great ideas, Janie

    I wished we lived closer, I would love to buy some of your treasures.

  3. I think the things your feeling and talking about are perfectly normal for this time of year. I know lots of people who get the urge to purge their homes of surplus and clutter around the first of the year. I've tried that myself, but it always comes back (and more). I have no advise for you, but think that things will turn out just fine.

  4. Tiff, I too, would love to buy some of your treasures. I think there are a lot of us in blog lan that collect the Folk Art dishes. I have been finding mine piece by piece at Goodwill and thrift stores but it takes forever to get enough to use for everyday ( I have 5 kids ). You should try listing some of your dishes and other things you no longer want on your blog here. You would only have to pagkage them up since we pay for shipping. Just a thought........
    I agree with what Theresa said....your creativity is amazing!
    Have a great day!

  5. You are not alone. I know I am eager to make some changes also. I decided to change some things around, so I packed away a few boxes of collections and decorations for a while....only to find that I really didn't miss them. I am going to try and sell some of my things on eBay....and some I will just donate to the Goodwill. I have decided that I can not consider what I paid or what some of my things are worth....but just be thankful for what I can sell them for. I am on a huge mortgage reduction mission....looking forward to what I am calling "Jubilee". You could try posting some items on your blog...just to see if anyone is interested since you would have to take photos anyway. I totally cleaned out my kitchen area when my husband painted it (while I was in the hospital) and since I was laid up for a while, it gave me time to make my re-decorating plans. I started by putting the things I really wanted in the is now much more simple...and feels so much more spacious...and has way less dust to clean up every week!!! :) I am 46 1/2 years old...I grew up in the country....and hope to live in the country again....while I am still young enough to do the work that goes with country living. God knows what is best for I will continue to trust Him. :) I will offer a prayer for you when I come over to your blog. :)

  6. If you feel like this now...Lord! wait til you're in your late 40's like me! Lol. I, too, hear the word "simplify" in my head lately. This time of year folks tend to feel "blue" after all of the Christmas hype. And since Christmas has been pushed on us since September, they (the merchants and ad-men) kinda ruin if for us. I can't believe I'm saying this but a tabletop Christmas tree is looking mighty fine to me next year!)
    I have lots of interests, rug hooking being paramount as evidenced by the wool in various parts of our home. I have also vowed not to buy more patterns or wool or yarn in 2011 and to try to live by the motto "use it up, wear it out, make due, or do without". The epitome of simplification. We live in a small 2 story colonial in NJ and have no basement. I toss annually when my husband takes the kids to MN. 21+ years of accumulation and we don't need a thing, just some upgrades. With the economy the way it is, I'm glad we're still in our starter home.
    So, Tiff, we all have "stuff"...material and emotional. You'll navigate it the way you have everything else. Prayer is a constant in my life as well. Slunps come and go.
    Your family is gorgeous. And while there are pros to homeschooling, there are drawbacks as well as it can be rather insulated. Our boys attend Catholic schools and it's bolsters the breeding they've received at home with us. But then there's tuition and alot of sacrificing of other things to pay for it. Our choice.
    I love the prior poster's "Jubilee" mission.
    When I worked in the hospital and was feeling a little down, I'd go visit the oncology unit which would provide instant perspective.
    YOUR BLOG provides us out here with an escape from dreary times. And I THANK YOU for that.

  7. I am a wife and mother of four grown children. We also have three dear, very young granddaughters. We have owned four homes in our marriage; the last two were over 2,800 square feet with 3-car garages, storage etc. Although I have never been a packrat, I still longed for a simpler lifestyle. Eighteen months ago, we left our last home in California and moved back to the Midwest. We put everything we were taking in a 6x8x16 POD and moved into a 900 square foot townhouse. Now, that meant selling or giving away a LOT of things. Do we like this change? Yes, yes, yes!

    I think what you are feeling is the weight of things. When we have a lot of stuff, we are then committed to caring for and storing all that stuff. Start small by downsizing some of your collections. Paint a room a light "cottagey" color and see how you like it. Caring for seven children is in itself a huge responsibility without the burden of caring for excess belongings! Take a look at some of the Scandanavian blogs and you will appreciate those serene, uncluttered homes. I guarantee that once you begin to lighten the load, your very spirit will feel lighter too. Believe me, you can still have a charming, comfortable home for your family with a simpler lifestyle.

  8. Oh Tiff - you are not alone - I can so relate and I commend you for putting it forth here. I am amazed at what you accomplish during one day and I'm sure you will find the place where you wish to settle. I think taking time to breath and doing small changes on a day to day basis you may realize in a small amount of time what you have accomplished! I do hope your husband finds something closer - I commuted 1 1/2 hour each one a number of years ago and it just drains you and wears you down. And if homeschooling is how you feel then go for it - maybe you can find some blogs on it and get a feel from others doing it? Anyway - really no advice here either except to say you aren't alone!

  9. Oh sweet Tiff, we've all been there one time or another! One thing about blogging is it's very theraptic and you will probably touch many who feel the same. Change is good, start small. I bet you would be wonderful at homeschooling. Baby steps....

  10. Tiff I can certainly relate to this post. Sometimes I sit in my home and think to myself why oh why does my home not look the way I want it to. Well it should, I'm the one that bought all the stuff in it. Then I get to thinking why oh why did I buy all that stuff in the first place. I agree 100% with what Theresa said about sometimes seeing other bloggers homes makes me more depressed about mine. I wish I had this or that and I wish I would have done this or that differently. I could go on and one. We do this to ourselves.

    I'm thinking there is more to you being down than just the decor of your home. It is your lack of confidence to homeschool and your wanting your hubby to work closer to home that is magnifying your discontent with your home.

    Take a breather. Change some things around in your house and I promise it will be better in time. There are so many of us that understand how you feel right now so come to us anytime.

    Been there and felt that way,

  11. I read all the comments and agree with each one but not one mentioned a week-end getaway with just your hubby. This may sound preposterous but believe me it is much needed in any marriage and it does work in making your outlook on things much brighter. It lightens you up! If it is at all possible. do it. It doesn`t have to be an expensive , extravacant ordeal. Its just getting away from everything and concentrating on each other. Good Medicine for the winter blahs. I hope this helps and doesn`t depress you even more.

  12. When we moved into the new house I got rid of an OBSCENE amount of "stuff". Even though the new house was twice as big as the little house, I knew I wanted to live with what I LOVED and adored.

    I set a rule for myself: In general when I go to the flea market (or garage saling) on warm weekends I take $20. When the $20 is gone, it's gone and I'm done. So when deciding what to get rid of I asked myself this "Would I pay $10 for this object?" Because for me to pay $10 for something at a thrift/flea/etc I have to REALLY want it, that's half my weekend junking budget!

    I don't miss a single thing I got rid of.

    Right now I still keep a donation box going at all times in the house somewhere (the laundry room usually). If something doesn't fit well, doesn't have a "home" or is just plain IN MY WAY, into the box it goes. Then we make a weekly stop and drop off the donations before I even have time to rethink it.

    In the beginning it might be helpful to remind yourself that it was EASY to acquire the stuff and should you find you have gotten rid of something you can't live without it will be easy to reacquire it.

    On changing styles I am not much help though. Clearly my disaster with Miss Thing's room was related to trying to push myself out of my "comfort zone" and frankly I am quite happy in my comfort zone. LOL

  13. Tiff,
    I agree with the others that you are not alone in how you feel. I started feeling that same way some months ago with the need to simplify things in my household. I thought that it was maybe my age catching up with me...not wanting so much to take care of anymore.
    I had a garage sale this past summer and got rid of alot of my little prim things. Also went through all my Fall and Christmas stuff...down-sizing it too. I kept only the things that I really loved and I'm really liking the less is more look that I now have in my home.
    I've been trying to get a prim farmhouse feel to my home for the last year. Not sure what to tell you about blogs with that style as I've had a hard time finding them. If you do a google search on farmhouse decorating...there will be some to look through.
    Just take baby steps and do alittle at a time...I found that way was easier for me.

  14. I went through this a few years ago, and while I wasn't as concerned with selling stuff, I did give a lot of stuff away to Goodwill. I wanted to get rid of stuff, to "clean out" the house and make it neat and simplify my life. I also got rid of things that I didn't LOVE. If they weren't my favorites, or they didn't have sentimental meaning, they went. I didn't really worry about the value of things. I didn't sell anything like my Pfaltzgraff, but I did get rid of a lot of "junk" dishes, cheap appliances, anything I hadn't used or needed for a long length of time. It was emotionally uplifting and cleansing. I did have to take many many trips to the Goodwill, but it felt soooo good. I hope you find that peace in what you decide to do. I hope you have no regrets. Whatever you decide I am sure you will have a beautiful home filled with a lot of love.

  15. It's been very interesting to read these responses! I hope that you find the balance that you are looking for. You might enjoy taking a look at this blog:

    I have really been inspired by her simple, budget conscious style. Yet, it is extremely cozy!

  16. I think we all buy things we are not really in love with. We are just temporarily enamored with them. And we all have things we really, really love. I have a box in my garage that I fill up with those things that I no longer want or need. Sadly, I am able to fill many boxes over the winter. I may bring a few things back in but not that many. And I have a garage sale, taking the leftovers to Goodwill. Sometimes, I have a giveaway and send some of my things along to other bloggers. So, in the end, I think you should remove as much as possible. Box it up and see if you miss anything. Give yourself the winter to adjust. I like decorating with recycled Goodwill items--so cheap. That way I can afford to change as I want.
    Happy, happy new year!

  17. When I read through your list of collections, I see a lot of stuff. And now after reading your post, I can see why you're frustrated. You add in seven children to the mix and a hubby that has to travel so wonder you're feeling frustrated! Are any of your children interested in the things you have? Can you box them up and save the items for them? Go through the rest and they could be listed on Etsy. Slow down your life and enjoy your children and husband. I don't know what ages your children are, but they truly do grow up too fast! Perhaps change the direction of your blog and don't feel commited to showing us finds, but show us how you have cleaned out and scaled down. And as for living in the country...keep up the dream! Look at your finances....if you sold now, would you lose too much or is it that you just know what you paid for it and want to recoop? I don't know that the houseing market will ever be the same as it was. God bless you and your family and I hope that you find your way!

  18. Enjoyed reading your last few posts. I would love to paint my cabinets but I detest chipped paint and I just am so afraid that after a while it will be so chippy and cost me the price of new cabinets. I hope you adore them when they are completed.
    As far as decluttering...if there is something you love like your them for a while before you get rid of them. I did that once...putt all my kitchen decorations away and went with something different and not only did I not like it but everyone who came said they missed my previous some of the old stuff made a the way it goes sometimes!
    I home schooled my children all the way through and our youngest is now a senior...the others are in college. If you truly want to do is a live style change not having a school in your do your research and get will love it..they will love it...and you will never regret is such a blessing to have your children with you all day long. I wish I had been blessed with 7 are so rich! Be blessed. Diantnha


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