Yes, after reading such glorious successes as Jessica's and seeing such beautiful rooms as Jen's and hearing about my dear friend MP moving her schoolroom...and listening to Professor Joseph Pearce eloquently urge us to teach our children the value of beauty at the Tampa IHM Homeschool Conference, I caught the summer reorganize-repurpose bug (even Elizabeth caught it)! Consequently, I spent last week, after recovering from being away, coming up with a master plan. My goal was to move my learning space downstairs while creating the least amount of work for my dear husband. I thought carefully how to approach the topic, prayed about my motivation, and cautiously approached him last Friday.
He grimaced. His forehead wrinkled in strange ways. He was silent, reflective, thoughtful. Then, choosing his words carefully, he says, "What do you think about...?" and gave me an alternate plan that, to my surprise, involved moving even more heavy furniture and changing more than just the two rooms I had planned. I admitted I had not considered such options, because my goal was to make as little work as possible for him. Now, I needed more time to ponder my options. He said, again to my surprise, that there were no limitations and encouraged me to think completely out of the box. Hmmm...
Saturday, we kept brainstorming together, bouncing ideas back and forth, while my husband added more cinder-block and 2x8 shelving to our garage for our book business. We would stand in a room together and stare for silent minutes and then share a new idea. By Sunday, we had a plan we both thought could work. I prayed about it, knowing it would accomplish some of my desires for our use of space - (1) I wanted the learning room downstairs near a couch. (2) I wanted all electronics out of our bedroom. (3) I wanted a designated playroom space. (4) I wanted a space where my husband could work on his laptop in the same room as my desk and computer.
We began moving furniture Sunday evening, because we were so excited to get started, and we moved things each evening while I cleared bookshelves and closets each day. By Wednesday, the furniture was all moved. I spent Thursday putting all our stuff back on shelves and organizing closets. Phew! (And, I must add, we both commented once the large furniture was all moved on how odd it was that we did not argue during the planning or moving stages - praise God!)
Here is how we originally used our spaces:
Kitchen - eating table and chairs, play kitchen, easel, butcher-block cart
Living room - two couches, recliner, TV armoire, bookcase, two end tables
Playroom - children's table and chairs, toy chest, two bookcases, dollhouse, rocking horse
Master bedroom - bed and sidetables, laundry bins, large desk with laptop, small bookcase
Spare bedroom - small desk with computer, filing cabinet, two bookcases, printer stand, learning table and chairs, wire shelf in closet
***The children's bedroom did not change at all; we seriously considered switching it with the spare bedroom, but I was reluctant to move happy children who hate change!
Here is what they became:
Kitchen - eating table and chairs, play kitchen, dollhouse, butcher block cart
Living room - one couch, two bookcases, learning table and chairs, easel, printer stand repurposed as art center, two end tables (we also repurposed a wire cart from my closet as a craft cart and hid it in the coat closet)
Playroom - children's table and chairs, toy chest, wire shelf (which I will be covering with a fabric curtain), rocking horse, small bookcase (which is actually between the playroom and living room and perfect to use as a mantel for our liturgical year celebrations)
Master bedroom - bed and sidetables, three bookcases, recliner (we hid the laundry bins in the bathroom & closet)
Spare bedroom - large desk with computer, small desk with printers (we have three), filing cabinet, one couch, TV armoire
I love my home!!! We had hoped to buy a house this year, but we need at least another year of renting before we can afford that. The disappointment in renewing the lease on our townhome definitely prompted some of these changes, but more than that, I did not enjoy certain spaces in my home. And, as you know, a happy mom makes a happy home!
Now that it is mostly organized (some books are still not on the right bookcases and one closet needs a bit of work), I cannot wait to enjoy it! We will gradually begin our new school year next week, so I will let you know how it goes! I am sure the little interior decorating touches will take some time, as I am worn out from all the rearranging, but I already enjoy every room in its repurposed form!
***Maybe I will get around to adding photos, but don't count on it soon. The furniture is in place and things are functional but not yet picture-ready!