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When I first saw Rene’s monthly party idea for January was about getting organized, I thought, “This is definitely for me!”   I went around the house looking in closets, junk drawers (yes, drawers, plural), the girls’ rooms, my bathroom and even considered the garage.  But, something just didn’t feel right.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  All of these areas and many more could use some major organizing in this crazy house.  But, I kept coming back to “Is this what I really need to be working on right now?”

We moved into this house 7 years ago and it needed a lot of work.  There were pink tea cups hanging from the curtains in the kitchen (yes, full sized actual teacups), wallpaper on what seemed like every flat surface and a kitchen and baths that needed updating. Can you see the teacups?  (Yes, that is me, ugh!)


Here are two pictures of our kitchen before.  We had replaced the appliances at this point, because the exiting ones were almost 20 years old, but the major remodel was to come later.



Here are a couple of afters.


Our backyard before.

Our backyard after.

These are just a couple of the major remodeling projects that we have taken on since we moved in 7 years ago.  There’s also the front exterior remodel, our new deck, our bonus room addition and the family room.  So, after all of the projects, I realized that something’s missing.  Many of the big projects are done, but none of the rooms feel finished, if there is such a thing.

I realized that I didn’t need to clean our a drawer or closet, I needed to organize my projects themselves.  I needed to address what my home needs to function better, to feel complete.  So, what did I do?  I made a list.  A to do list of sorts that covers every room in our home.  I organized it by room and space.  This list is very long and impossible to complete in just one year, but somehow I feel better about it.  I feel like I have a better handle on what I need to do to make it work better for us.

My tip today for all of you is don’t try to do it all.  It can be so overwhelming and costly to think about everything you need or want to do in your home.  Make a list by room and start by tackling one room at a time.  Try to finish each room.  This will make you feel better about your space and make it feel more like home.

As I explained here, this is my goal for 2012.  Over the next few months, I’ll share my design work with you, as always, but also my to do list for my own home.  There will be times where things go smoothly and some times will be a bit more difficult.  That’s life.  But, just know we’re all in this together and I’ll help you in any way I can.

Good luck!

I’m joining Inspire me Mondays.



12 Responses

  1. Lori.. I can’t stop laughing about the teacups! That is just about the funniest thing I have ever seen. I can’t get over how beautiful and amazing your house looks now and what it looked like before. That just goes to show you what true vision you have… that is a gift not all of us have. To be able to look at a room – and imagine it another way, and then have the skills to actually transform the room. I can look at something and say ” I like that”, but I have no idea how to go about doing it. Thank you for your blog, it makes it easier to get ideas and think of different ways to do things and make your home more beautiful. And thank you for the picture of the teacups… that made my morning!! I loved it.. 🙂

  2. I also wanted to ask you if you have any good ideas on my kitchen. It is all white.. and we are finally going to get granite countertops and a backsplash. I can’t get new those will have to stay white. If you have any pictures or good ideas for white kitchens… any granite colors/backsplash that will look good… let me know. Talk to you soon!!

  3. You are so right! And when kids are involved, the needs “change” faster than you can move sometimes. Thank you for this – such a great point Lori!


  4. Oh, Lori – those tea cups are cracking me up!! What a vision you had, love your before and afters! Great advice, my list is so overwhelming I don’t even know which room to start in! Seeing it in writing probably helps prioitize, too!

  5. I had no idea you had done so much work to your house – that is incredible! Your home has come a long way in 7 years. You must be so proud of everything you’ve done – at least you should be. And I’ve found that writing things down is very helpful in visualizing a plan and tackling things one (or two) things at a time. Thanks for the encouragement too!

  6. Oh, you are so right… after living in a house for a few years, you almost lose sight of those many small details, such as organization! We moved a year ago, having lived in our former house for 25 years (!). It is such a joy to “start over” and pay attention to the details. If you visit my blog you will see that I am just now getting around to redoing the closets. Laundry room is next up. It is endless, no? But such a wonderful challenge!
    Those tea cups are quite something!!

  7. Oh, this is my life right now (lots of projects to “complete” the house)…and it so nice to hear your words of advice!! Take care, Caroline

  8. Hi!

    Visiting from the Blog Hop! Love what you’ve done! Especially think the chairs are cool and tiling in the kitchen is great, along with the shaped island!

  9. I can totally relate! I have no idea where I would be without my list. And we don’t even own our place….I’m sure that list will get really long someday. I just use my list to find out what I can do and budget for next. It’s great to have it all down on paper.
    It’s really amazing to see the transformation in your home. You have done a beautiful job!

  10. I love your kitchen faucets, what brand are they and where did you get them at? I need a new faucet and I love how yours look! 🙂 Great remodel. 🙂