So, if you have an immaculate and beautifully decorated house..

(19 Posts)
emsyj Sun 13-Jul-14 16:13:23

...how much 'stuff' do you own and where do you keep it???

I desperately want to make my house naice, but I am overwhelmed and it just doesn't seem possible. sad I have some money to throw at it - i.e. we need a new bathroom and can afford to have this work done, but I can't just get someone in and say 'sort out the whole house top to bottom' - I need to get it clean and tidy and then sort out decorating.

Are you ruthless with throwing stuff out?? Do I need to be? All hints and tips on how to have a house like a show home gratefully received...

Mrsgrumble Sun 13-Jul-14 16:28:11

People say it is besutiful and quirky. I don't know if that's true. I have a lot of storage but live in a tiny house. Wicker baskets, expedit, cream ottomans hold a lot of toys etc.

I have thinned out bookcases and have one side of books,, pretty photo frames and colour coordinated boxes (store leads,DVDs)

I am ruthless at decluttering now.. Join the minimalism thread. That helped me a lot. I threw out lots of tea towels, donated plates etc. mugs I didn't love, cutlery I didn't use. I allowed three memory boxes (I have sentimental stuff lie, my hold communion veil, school uniform) so I am not one for throwing everything out. But towels etc... Work out how many you need and dump

Make photobooks. Photograph children's art work and keep one or two but rid the rest.

Then I love candles, fresh flowers every fortnight (lillies or gladioli)

In the nursery I have painted it white . Wooden floors, striped roman blind in blue and white, white cot, white expedit. Then added a wicker chair I sprayed and cot nursery cushions in zara. Funky antique lamp on a distressed white chest of drawers with a wicker basket for nappies and wipes. A gold tissue box holder. Retro first aid tin.

Keep things simple and buy one statement piece for room. Like a queen Ann chair.

We took a week off work and de cluttered room by room into sell, donate and chuck piles. I sell a lot via a local Facebook page.

A lick of paint makes a world of difference.

Agree re photos. We have ones we really like put on canvas.

Also I tend to choose one thing per room and decorate the rest around that. For example in the living room I put up some beautiful hand-printed wallpaper and decorated around that.

Although my house could never be called Immaculately Beautiful

emsyj Sun 13-Jul-14 20:39:37

I have thought about taking time off work but I would have to do it on my own as DH hasn't got any holiday left this year. He has a voluntary job on the side that requires time and so I would be left sorting on my own, which would be okay if there wasn't loads of heavy lifting and I didn't need to sort mountains of his shite also!

I signed up to FLYlady but never did any of the stuff. I think I just want a miracle.

UnexpectedAutumn Sun 13-Jul-14 20:50:33

How much of a project is you house? Ie do most rooms need a lick of paint, or will you need to gut it room by room?

Ours needs EVERYTHING doing to it, so we're doing it room by room. We take everything out of the room, then have it completely sorted (textured wallpaper off, walls replastered, extra sockets added, lights fitted/moved if necessary, then redecorated and new carpet) and then only stuff we WANT in the room goes back. So we have chucked a lot of stuff, charity shopped other bits and put some stuff into storage (so baby clothes, bouncer, baby gym etc)

It has made a huge difference (although we still have a long way to go) as we want to keep the 'new' rooms nice once they've been done, so it feels much easier to get rid of stuff.

General 'housekeeping'-cleaner once a week, kitchen and bathrooms left neat and surfaces clear and wiped every evening, all toys put away before DS goes to bed, and laundry dried in the spare room and put away in drawers every other day, so we don't let things build up as much. Wouldn't say we're perfect, but I can open my door happily and welcome surprise guests knowing the house is generally ok at worst and really nice in the newly done bits!

UnexpectedAutumn Sun 13-Jul-14 20:59:58

Also decorating-I'm quite crap, but have found a palette that seems to work quite well in our house (pale blues, sage green, grey and cream) so we tend to have blue, green or cream on the walls, grey carpet everywhere upstairs to make it feel like it flows nicely, then patterned curtains to co-ordinate. Carpet is expensive but once your walls are straight it's relatively cheap to repaint the walls and replace curtains, so we will be able to change the look of the rooms if we like in 5-6 years or so. Furniture doesn't all match and is a mixture of antique/inherited stuff and newer bits that co-ordinate. Furniture also has the same rule of only things we really love and want to keep go back into a 'finished' room. It has made us realise that a chair can be very good quality or was a kind gift when we were starting out but that doesn't mean we have to keep it ten years later!

Fresh flowers each week also help, and a regular routine of boring stuff like washing towels and bedding (towels twice a week, bedding once a week).

emsyj Sun 13-Jul-14 21:19:11

It was a bit neglected when we bought it as it had been done up when the seller bought it and then not touched for 12 years. Since buying we have replaced all the carpets other than our bedroom, knocked down and rebuilt the (detached!) garage, had the parquet downstairs sanded and varnished, extended the back and fitted a new kitchen. But none of it is really properly finished, no single room looks nice and there are jobs to do everywhere. For example, the kitchen is new but there is no door on the room as we knocked through a doorway that had been bricked up plus the parquet in the hall that was moved/damaged when they knocked the door through is STILL loose nearly 2 years later. I hate it and it makes me miserable coming home, plus it's so messy I can't invite anyone round unless I have about 3 weeks' notice to clean. I just want it to be nice, nicely decorated and clean. It feels totally out of my control. Our front doorstep is rotten, a big piece has fallen out of it. It looks fucking awful and we have money to fix this stuff!!! I ask DH to get the guy to come and fix it (we even know someone who can do it) and he says yeah yeah but it never happens. Am so so so miserable with it all.

Mrsgrumble Sun 13-Jul-14 21:21:09

I'd take dh out of the question and ring the person who can do the work. It is selfish of him not to do anything about it when you are so unhappy

emsyj Sun 13-Jul-14 21:46:35

I have done that with some stuff but I am losing the will to do everything myself. I suppose I might have to tho!

UnexpectedAutumn Sun 13-Jul-14 21:54:35

Make a list, room by room, of everything that needs doing. All of it-chipped paintwork, random wires hanging out of walls, non functioning sockets, ugly light fittings, even just too much STUFF. Then do one room-everything on the list. I absolutely guarantee if you do one room, it will inspire you to get on with doing the rest of them-it has made a huge difference to our quality of life. We have spent money on improvements, but it feels like a proper investment in making our home nice an welcoming. Absolutely worth doing! smile

UnexpectedAutumn Sun 13-Jul-14 21:56:24

And a very cheeky question-how much did it cost to knock your garage down and rebuild it please? This is on my list and I haven't got round to getting quotes in for it yet! No problem if you'd rather not say, of course

emsyj Sun 13-Jul-14 22:02:42

We did actually start a job spreadsheet but the sruff on the list still needs doing - I suppose I just have to accept that I have to do it myself or make peace with it not being done.

The removal of a tumbledown asbestos garage and build of a largeish single detached garage (rendered, sloping tilked roof)

emsyj Sun 13-Jul-14 22:03:17

TILED roof... was about £6k.

BatshitCrazyWoman Wed 16-Jul-14 14:26:24

Friends describe my house as 'minimal', which makes me laugh, as I regularly donate bags of stuff to the charity shop. However, I think because I regularly declutter, nothing ever builds up. I am also very tidy, naturally. Decoration-wise, I like quite simple, light and pared down interiors, which probably helps with the 'minimal-looking' thing.

I firmly believe that every part of a house, cupboards, loft, garage, wardrobes etc, need to be emptied and sorted out at least once a year. That way you don't find something you didn't know you still had, lurking at the bottom of a cupboard. I know what I have and where it is.

Siarie Wed 16-Jul-14 15:16:18

Well me and DH have a very similar style, we love modern minimal with a oriental flare. We are really harsh if we don't use it then it gets thrown away and we pick quality over quantity.

So we invest in nice things but everything has it's place and we won't buy something if we can't place it. It helps having a area for ugly stuff like an attic or renting a storage area.

Every purchase is considered really smile

UnexpectedAutumn Thu 17-Jul-14 12:56:38

Thanks emsy, that's in the sort of region I was hoping it would be!

How has your week been-any house progress at all?

We've realised the cupboard under the stairs has a massive damp patch so have chucked out most of the stuff that was in there, which is annoying but really makes it look tidy! Also getting some quotes together for the next bit of building we are planning and have found some nice curtains fo our spare room.

emsyj Sun 27-Jul-14 16:24:13

This dropped off my watch list but just caught up on 'I Started'!

Not much progress but I have done some tidying upstairs and have finally got a chest of drawers for DD1's new bedroom, so next Saturday DH is taking the kids to the park so that I can sort through their mountains of clothes and make a charity shop pile and bag up the stuff that DD1 has finished with ready for when DD2 grows into it. I am also going to get rid of some of the baby toys, my aim is to ditch a bin bag full of stuff each week. smile

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