Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fall Cleaning & Organizing: Home Tour

It's been a tiring and yet really rewarding few days. I've been going since morning to night and getting into bed usually after midnight.

What have I been doing? Well...sit back and let me catch you up on my life of late.

First thing...this apartment has turned into a clutter nightmare! It so needed a "make over". I sat down and really thought about what was really a good solution for MY  life...and not about what might be the expected layout of the space.

This is also a good "spot" to stop and just say...I'm very content with my life. I'm enjoying each day (even the really hectic ones)...and an not at all concerned over what other folks might think of me or my home. If I'm happy...that's what is important.

Oh, now don't get me would be great to have more space. Been there...had that, and loved it! My home (pre divorce and retirement) was a 3-story brick with a full basement converted to my sewing "heaven". I loved that house. But, I have learned to love this cramped little apartment too...because it allows me to live within 12 feet of my Mother's front door. My entire family is no more than a few miles away...all can be reached within an hour's drive. So, THAT is much more important to me than any structure can be.

But, if you feel the need to judge...go honestly won't bother me. I'm not living my life for what anyone else might want...but what I want. So, getting back to that "thinking"...I've turned my little oasis topsy turvy!

Let me take you on a little walking tour:

Here we are at my front door. Yep, when you enter my are walking right into my galley kitchen. It is only 7 ft across...but is 25 ft long. It is divided almost in half by the double door size opening to the left (where the flowers are). This was originally a large window on the home and the kitchen area was a 2ft wide porch. The very first structure was a double apartment; kitchen in the enter and a single bath/bedroom on either side. We (the family) have changed it a few times over...the last effort took the small porch off and replaced it with this wider version...which was enclosed. The initial plan was for this to be a living room where I'd enjoy the days...sewing. So, it included many windows.

After a couple of years, it became really apparent that I didn't spend a lot of time in my kitchen...which was the largest room in the apartment...but a lot of room wherever my recliner was. :)

So, we tore out all of the plumbing in the existing kitchen and plumbed this smaller room. Of course, the windows were a challenge...because you can't "hang cabinets" in front of a window.

So, my "organizational solution" was to hang any pots, skillets, etc, that had a handle on the wall over the sink and stove. My actual 'counter space' is that little sliver aside the sink over the dishwasher. I get really creative and use my stovetop and freezer top for big projects. :)

Here is a shot with me standing with my back to the window in the last photo. We are looking back down my kitchen at my front door. My little table (sits four when open) is my welcome area when not in use. If you look closely you'll see that I have some purchased short cabinets sitting on either long shallow tables or wooden dressers. I use the drawers in the dressers for baking dishes, silverware, plastic ware, etc. The cabinets hold my waffle iron, stand mixer, blenders, choppers, baking pans, etc. This leaves the floor under the table open and helps the space to appear less "cluttered" to me. It is a very functional space but has to be kept organized so everything will "fit" into it's pre-determined little spot.

If we turn by the freezer to enter the structure that was the kitchen...but is not the center can see my two bookshelves. These hold all of my cookbooks, bibles, and some family photos. This wide opening is "half-ed" by the small chest freezer on the kitchen side and a tall wooden dresser on the "living room" side. The dresser has the top/back covered with a sheet and huge doily. The top has a milk jug of flowers. Even with this on both sides of this wide opening we have installed open shelves (covered by lace curtains) on either side of this entry area to hold canned goods and other pantry items. Right in front of the two bookcases is the "hallway" which lets us turn right into Aidan's bedroom and laundry or turn left into the sewing room, bathroom, and office area.

This center room is now my little haven. I get away from the laptop and sit and stitch! Of course, the space is the project has to be organized and supplies pulled from the sewing room before I begin. In this photo you can see a bit of my red Irish Chain quilt on my bed (right bottom corner) and the design wall to the left with my Hexagon Quilt blocks pinned in place. The long table is only abour 14" it holds my purse (and some clutter right now). My recliner is in the corner with my pole lamp...3-sunlight bulbs give me plenty of light along with the windows at the end of the room.

The television is in the corner and I have this tray that pulls right up to my recliner so I can stitch and watch movies at the same time. At present, I'm working on a HUGE project...which required me to construct 140 sampler quilt blocks! More about this a bit later on...

but for how, I'm about 1/3 of the way through these blocks...

and have this many more to still stitch on. So, if you are taking a course...and wondering "why" I'm not checking on the class blogs multiple times during the is because of THIS project. Hugs!

Okay, on with the tour!

This is the other spot in the house that takes hours of my day. My laptop! This is the smallest room in the apartment (well, other than the tiny bathroom or the laundry room). It was a walk-in closet when the apartment was first constructed some 40 years ago. It is floor to ceiling shelves on three walls with added little single shelves where-ever I can put them. In the above photo, we are sitting in my chair...and you can see my small television on my antique treadle machine cabinet (it still works!). My class rosters and CQI Round Robin rosters are on the stand to the left of my these are checked each day.

Next to the office is the sewing room. At present, all of the "stuff" that I have taken out of the other rooms because they were actually sewing/crafting supplies are in this room. THIS room is in real need of organization since it has become a "dumping ground" during this Fall Clean Up. But, it will have to wait until I get my second burst of it will take days to go through all of the boxes, plastic containers, and such to re-shuffle and find new space for things. I seriously need to "reduce my stash" but perhaps by Spring Cleaning Day it will be done. :)

You can't see my sewing machine...but if you "sit down" in the little brown/blue chair at the bottom right...and move the 3 stacked shoe-box-size plastic can then sew. :)

Lastly, here is the 2nd largest room in the apartment...the back bedroom. This is Aidan's room and has her table (desk w/laptop), her twin bed and a small sitting area for watching television. It needs some re-arranging perhaps...but I have no "idea" yet. This room may need my daughter's help to get organized. 

While taking this photo, I'm actually standing in front of the washer/dryer combo closet. The "mess" at the bottom of the photo are the things I've pulled from the closet shelves and piled on top of Aidan's bed...awaiting my decision about "where to put this?".

So, you can see by these photos that my home is not fancy...but it is functional FOR ME. I have found that by really using my space...I'm happier in it!!

Hoping you enjoyed this little tour...and are inspired to get up and get busy enjoying your own space!

...(now, I'm off to that sewing contemplate what my blocks should be like to begin stitching my "Fancy Seam Designs" on)...check out the last post for more info on THIS! Hugs!


Dots said...

Hi Kathy, Functional is useful too. I started to declutter. It is unreal how much stuff I have accumulated. Much of the stuff I never touch; old cookbooks, stuff stored in cupboards, closets, in drawers. I'm also retired, and I live in a small place, too. I decided I just needed to rid of my excess. It is not a marathon here, but I did rid of two sacks for trash, and 3 boxes to donate so far. It made me feel better just to move that stuff out. It is a start. I intend to declutter each week until it feels better to me. I find it enjoyable to let loose of the old untouched stuff. I even wonder why I held onto it to start with? I still have a lot more to move out of here. It will be a process.

Serena said...

What a fun tour Kathy! I enjoyed seeing how you make a small space work for you. You don't need a large space to produce so many beautiful crazy quilt blocks.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Thank you Kathy - I loved the tour! Your space is perfect for you and you don't need to worry about any criticism from anyone else. I absolutely LOVE your art installation in your kitchen (I'm referring to the pots)....what an ingenious design element. We live in a small apartment too and it's amazing just how much 'stuff' I have managed to shoehorn into it and it doesn't look cramped at all (unless, of course, you happen in to my sewing room when I'm in mid-project...hee hee).

Robbie said...

It is a good feeling to get organized and reduce isn't it! Thanks for the tour!!! And we can always use inspiration!!!

Robbie said...

p.s. your apartment is perfect for're making it exactly what you need!

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