Monday, January 21, 2013

Reclaiming my Living Room

It's the last week of this challenge and I am a little bit proud of myself of completing all four weeks of challenges! I know I might not have gone to the level that some people were able to, but with limited budget and time I'm really happy with what I accomplished. My final project might be my most "visual"- as in you can actually see just by walking into the room what an impact it made. This weekend, I reclaimed my living room for its intended purposes-a family area for spending time hanging out or watching tv! {hooray!}

Organizing Made Fun

I failed just a little bit on getting a complete before picture, but I did snap a few of the "problem areas"-and there was definitely more than one. For those of you who popped over to visit from the organizing revolution challenge or new readers. We {the bf and I} live in a small two bedroom apartment with one of his friends. So we have three people's junk shoved in to a small apartment, which means we have mega storage problems. And a lot of the storage items for some reason ended up in our living room.

The first item that I needed to tackle, was the leftover Christmas decorations. I had already packed up my teeny apartment sized Chistmas tree and smashed that baby back into the box it came in. I was pretty impressed with myself after that.

Then I taped it up, to to be sure it wasn't going to pop back out, and put it into the corner of our coat closet. It fit perfect in the space next to our shoe rack.

 I bought these 1.5 gallon zip log back to store my ornaments. They are all unbreakable so I figured they would be safe in the bags.

 Silver ornaments went into one bag...
And blue went into another, because obviously they could not be stored together. At least not in my crazy mind.

So then I had this nice stack of Christmas business to deal with. ugh.

So I called my mommy and asked if my decorations could come live in her basement. I thought about putting them into the garage that we share with the bf's brother, but I wasn't sure I wanted them stored outside in a dirty old garage. 
So my mom said she would take them, and picked everything up on Saturday morning. 

 First project checked off the list.

Next was "the corner", sounds ominous right?? It was, trust me.

That blue bag is the one holding my Christmas stuff, the thirty-one bag on top is holding random stuff, and the box on the bottom holds some of Drew's magazines and baseball cards.

The blue bag was already sent off with the other Christmas stuff, and everything from my thirty-one bag got put away. Which left Drew's box. The contents of this box got transferred into a plastic tote, labeled and off to the garage it went. I didn't want him to have to get of his baseball cards so I put them into a water safe tote so they would survive storage in the garage. Simple solution. 
I also sent a tote of my things to the garage- college text books, that I will want when I get an elementary job, coaching class stuff, extra computer paper. None of it was anything I would need very often, so out it went. I listed the contents on the label of each of the totes so we would both know where things were. 

a few of the things I banished to the garage.
Yes, that box really was just sitting in my living room. Not in that exact place, but still just a lame cardboard box full of junk.

So our corner now looked like this:

ignore the ugly cords, and just look at the glorious empty space :)
Anyone have any brilliant ideas for corralling those cords?? However the cords are better than the stacks of stuff, so I'm not complaining!

Putting away all of Christmas also left my little dresser looking a little lonely...
I had thought that it would make a lovely command center, except that its kind of in a random location.
Between the "dining room" which is right off the kitchen, and the living room, which is actually a part of everything else since there's only doors to the bedrooms and bathroom and everything else is pretty much open.

But I could try it out and see how it works out?

The former home of my Christmas tree, became a new launching space for me, well for now anyway.

It's not so much of a station as an empty space, but it works. Yep, those two on top are still left from Christmas- and the bottom two are wedding/shower presents (however all for the same person). Then my school bag and my laptop bag. Now they have a "spot" when I come home, they go there instead of just where ever I happen to set them down that day. 

 All of this stuff will be leaving with me at some point this week. By the end of my project I had added a few things to the launching area.

The launching station is right next to my desk, which used to look like this- until the start of this challenge when I gave it a good cleaning {read about that here}

I wrapped my living room project up last night after work. I wanted to put out my tray that I had decorated. {read about how I made my tray here}So onto to the coffee table it went. Then I picked up this little hurricane candle holder and candle after work at Target. It was perfect to sit on my tray, to to big or distracting, but still something pretty.

Obviously I needed to set up my new tray before I cleaned up the rest of the coffee table.

I love it!

And a table left with only things that actually belong on a coffee table.

I have one more teeny thing that needs to be done though...

And the pillows, well they are on my wish list, but currently not in the budget.

And of course I did it all while watching a few episodes of Law & Order SVU {my favorite}. Oh, and I dusted the TV and "entertainment center", that totally counts as part of the project right?

Now when you walk into my living room, you see a living room rather than a bizarre storage situation. So much better. But I do want to replace my "launching station" with a pretty bin that I can carry back and forth to the car. I've seen a few at Target that I like and will probably get one the next time I'm in the city.
I'm so happy with my cleaned out living room that we can actually enjoy now!


  1. I like that your launching station is so close to your desk. My landing strip/launch pad is right next to the front door, which makes it convenient for coming in. However, I'm inevitably sitting down at the desk and then realizing I need something from my purse. I'm using an antique washstand for my landing strip/launching pad. I should post a pic to Pinterest one of these days. Good luck in the challenge!

  2. I would love to see a photo of your launching station- we are always looking for new inspiration. It is working out nicely to have my school bag and purse right next to my desk- very handy when I'm working on something at night. But I do want to add a pretty basket (like this one- they come in a taller version that I can't find online, but I would get the tall one. That way my things to haul out to the car (other than my bags) would have a pretty, concealed home.
    I have a wall pocket hanging deal that it by our door. Since we live in an apartment, we don't have a nice entry so I have kind of dual launching areas. When our mail comes in, it goes in the pocket and then I will take it to the desk to deal with. Then when bills go back out they get stuffed in the opposite pocket for someone to grab when they are headed out the door. Our message board is also in the hall-although I think I mostly just write notes to nobody since I'm the only one that seems to read it :)

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