One of my intentions with this blog is to share tips & tricks that have actually worked for me. In doing so, I am going to be honest and share parts of my house that I am not proud of. These spaces didn’t get this way overnight, and during the pandemic the clutter has only gotten worse. We just get really good at ignoring it sometimes. While remembering to take before and after pictures of these projects is helpful to me, I feel that if I share them, even if they are a bit embarrassing, that they can help someone else.

This is the landing at the top of my stairs. Over the past 9 years, it has been an office, a lego-building space, a library (reading nook), and storage space for wayward items. In all of these incarnations there has been a common pattern… it has been a catch-all for things that need to go downstairs or those that don’t have a place to live.

For its next incarnation, it is finally going to get painted (notice the paint swatches on the back wall, that have been there for nearly 2 years already). I feel like if it can find its purpose, it will have a fighting chance at staying clean.

Day 1 (December 30, 2021)

We started by removing all of the books, sorting them to remove those that my youngest has finally outgrown.

The bookshelf will be re-located to a different room where it is needed. Hopefully, the remaining books will find a home in a location where they will actually get seen and used.

The resulting three boxes of books to be donated. These will be released to the universe to friends, and our local tiny library.

The guitars were returned to their proper location and the remaining clutter has been donated or relocated to its proper location. It is nice to have a clean slate to start with.

Soon after we were gifted this cat tower, I purchased a spool of new sisal rope, and yet here it sits as one more unfinished project. Hopefully, with the accountability that this blog provides, I will successfully replace the sisal in order to get a new picture. We will have to see if the cat allows us to move it to a better location though, as he does love to look out that window.

Day 2 (January 1, 2022)

All prepped for painting. A little trick I have learned, is that I use these little paint pads instead of taping off all of the trim. I find that the few mistakes I make can be removed easily since my trim is painted with oil-based paint, and I have had issues even when I spent forever taping everything off.
NOTE: The cat was not a very helpful tool – rating 1/10, would not use again.

Day 3 (January 2, 2022)

Ok, I have finished the decluttering and painting. I still need to steam clean the carpets and help this space find its true purpose… but for now, it will be Pipp’s room. I also replaced most of the sisal rope on his cat tower, gluing it all in space, rather than just staples at the top and bottom. I really like how crisp and clean everything looks as I come up the stairs, so maybe that will be enough to keep us from filling it with clutter again. This only took a couple of days.

BONUS: This project helped me finish the last requirements for my DIY badge (from the Rebel Badge Book)

I am constantly amazed, and a little embarrassed with how long it stayed that way, since these spaces are quickly transformed once I can set my focus on them. Hopefully the rest of the house will follow. Thanks for following along on my journey!