Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

Cheery Outdoor Space with String Lights
BHG

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on the progress of our side yard! And that’s because … there have been setbacks and standstills that just aren’t fun to talk about or pretty to look at. Goodness, WHY does everything seem to take so long in real life? I’m telling ya, in my dreams this side yard would be already finished and adorable. But in real life? It isn’t.

Do you ever feel like your house projects are causing more chaos than you expected? Perhaps my situation and resulting daily affirmations will make you feel better (or at least they might make you laugh at my coping mechanisms).

Side Yard Progress - The Inspired Room

Our side yard isn’t finished. Or cute. Not yet. It’s “in progress” but at a very awkward state. And it feels like it’s been more in standstill or even, gasp, going backwards at times, than in progress mode.

It is one thing to have all the visions in your head (or in the blog post) of what it could be, but getting them to happen is another. We have a budget and it isn’t huge or endless. Contractors don’t always work on your timetable. The weather slows things down. Misunderstandings happen that cause setbacks and you have to wait for them to be corrected.

Remember when I wrote the post about being flexible in remodeling? It is true. You’ve got to have some flexibility and be willing to compromise in many ways in order to get things done. Yet, I’ll admit this project is trying my patience. The flip side to being patient and flexible is you also have to be the boss of your own project and speak up if it isn’t right or moving along like you expected. We’ve had to do that, too, in every project that we’ve ever done.

No offense to any contractors or our own, it is just a fact.

This project was to create function and fix safety issues. If you missed the original posts about this project, this area before was unsafe and basically unusable (scroll back through these posts if you need to catch up and want to see what our vision actually was, ha).

Side Yard

It wasn’t about making it pretty, although we do hope it will be quite pleasant when it is all done and even pretty when our finishing touches are put in place (please, for the LOVE it better be, but right now, it doesn’t feel that way).

All we really wanted was a basic flat concrete area (to keep this area clean for our dogs and to cut down on yard work because we have a big yard), steps to the backyard for safety and fences to keep our back yard safe and private. Easy enough?

We thought that would be a pretty quick job and then we could move on!

Silly me. 

I know I’ll be glad we did this in the end, but right now … not so much.

We’ve lived here for seven months and the reality is we STILL have to have chairs and boxes and stuff piled up on the side of our house to keep our dogs in because all the fencing is gone from that side of our property. It is unsettling. The contractors put up temporary orange fencing, but still, our dogs have escaped countless times. We have to set timers to check them every 10 minutes when they are outside because Lily is an escape artist and can find a way out. And Jack will happily join her on an adventure, if she shows him how to get out.

Exterior Concrete Porch Removal

So, that’s the reality of remodeling or even just creating a home. It’s sometimes messy. Messy messy messy.

I wish for Pinterest sake I could just give you instant AFTERS for everyone’s enjoyment (and mine, ha). THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! But, I still have glimmers of hope that we will round the corner and suddenly everything will look rosier. I know the contractors will pull it together and when they do their part, I’ll be glad we tackled this project first because we can enjoy it this summer.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep my faith in this side yard’s potential. That’s what you’ve got to do. Keep pressin’ on toward the goal of what it will be, even when it is in this undone, messy, awkward, stalled, not-pretty-stage that seems to be going on forever.

If you are discouraged or feeling like your house will always be a wreck and never come together like in your dreams, don’t lose sight of the goal in the “adventure” of getting there. Remember the potential of your home and your projects and keep pressing on.

I recommend having your own personal daily affirmations for your unfinished projects to help you keep the faith and your sanity.

Here are my daily sanity affirmations for my side yard, adapt as needed for your situation. :)

Navy Wicker and White French Bistro Outdoor Chairs - World Market

1. Cute chairs for morning coffee will make the long wait and stress worthwhile. 

I picked up two adorable chairs for our morning coffee in the side yard. I bought a set of these two French bistro chairs on sale at World Market, 15% off until April 17th! They reminded me of these Serena and Lily chairs that I love.

Carson Wall Sconce - Matte Gray Outdoor Barn Light Wall Sconce from Rejuvenation

Carson 12″ Wall Sconce

2. Charming lighting will eventually come out of the boxes that are piled up taking up the entirety of your office and will actually be ATTACHED to the house.

All Weather Gray Wicker Solano Sectional Armless Chair - World Market

3. Using what you have will help save the budget and soon enough you’ll actually be SITTING on your chairs and no longer using them as fences.

We already have these great sectional pieces from World Market, and depending how much space we have I think we’ll put a few in the courtyard! Scroll down to see the chairs on the back porch of our last house.

Pretty Small Deck

4. The umbrellas that are now covered in mold because they were accidentally left outside all winter in the pile of junk that you used as temporary fencing will eventually be clean and take their rightful place on the patio to shield you from the elements.

Yellow Dutch Door - Heather Taylor Home in Domino Magazine
Domino – Heather Taylor

5. The door you have to keep bolted shut so no one will exit the house and promptly fall off the porch will eventually be able to be opened SAFELY. In fact, you will even be able to open just the top part of the door if you want to just feel the breeze, for instance, because IT WILL BE A DUTCH DOOR.

Industrial Outdoor String Lights

6. Visions of string lights will no longer be just dancing in your head, they will dancing over head in your newly completed side yard.

Sunset View - The Inspired Room

7. Soon you’ll be enjoying that sunset while sitting ON the patio, instead of just staring at it longingly through the windows.

Small Backyard Deck Ideas

8. Dogs and people will soon once again be relaxing together quietly outside on the porch instead of jumping through holes in fake fencing and running around the neighborhood trying frantically to rally everyone back to safety.

9. You will not always have to live in fear of the sound of your porch roof potentially falling down in a windstorm because you will have actual posts that are bolted to the porch to prevent mishaps like that from happening.

10. Your new neighbors will no longer think you are crazy because at some point they won’t be able to actually see into your backyard to confirm it.

So, what are your chaotic home project affirmations? Share them in the comments so we can all have a little comic relief when we need it :). Please, tell me I’m not the only one. Ha.

Habits for an Organized Home {My New Book: Make Room for What You Love!}

Make Room for What You Love - New Book by NYT Bestselling Author of Love the Home You Have and The Inspired Room - Melissa Michaels

I‘m so very excited today to announce that I’ve written a brand new book, one that is very near and dear to my heart! I’ve been wanting to share this for so long! The past several years I’ve been on a focused mission of streamlining and simplifying my life and learning habits for an organized home. I knew for years that keeping too much of the wrong stuff impacted how I felt and functioned. Yet, in my effort to declutter, I’d get rid of things from one closet only to fill up another. Clutter and chores threatened to steal the space and joy away from things I really wanted to invite in to my home and life. I was tired of trying to keep up with stuff. I knew what I was supposed to do, but I just kept spinning in that crazy cycle of clutter and busyness.

I was finally over it. It was time to make changes that would stick. It became clear that if I was ever going to  live a more simplified purposeful life, I would need a new mindset and to adopt new habits. Over time I began to make deliberate changes and became more purposeful and intentional in making room for what really mattered. I’m happy to say I haven’t looked back!

While my house still isn’t perfect (nor will it ever be, life isn’t often as ideal, simple or even clutter-free as we might want it to be), I feel so much more equipped to make better choices every time I’m faced with a decision of what to keep and what to let go of. Once I committed to a new way of thinking, “stuff” stopped controlling me. I have a plan of action that keeps me focused every day on what matters.

Make Room for What You Love - New Book by Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room

As we were moving into this house (literally), I was also writing this book to share what I’ve learned through this journey of decluttering, organizing and simplifying our home. I’m super excited to finally reveal this exciting news and officially share about my upcoming book today! My new book is called Make Room for What You Love and it will release May 1!

You can preorder my book now at Barnes & Noble or Amazon and it will be shipped to you when it releases! Hooray!

The inspiration and encouragement in this book was (ironically) poured out of my heart and soul at a time of juggling so much stuff (moving has a way of reminding you that you still have too much stuff that you thought was a good idea to keep, until you have to carry it in and out of houses, moving trucks and storage rooms). I should mention here as an incidental side note, that I don’t really recommend writing a book and moving at the same time. But I can tell you that in spite of how busy I felt in that season, the passion I feel for the message I was writing made it my favorite book to write so far.

The lessons in Make Room for What You Love have been such huge game changers for me personally, both in my home and how I view stuff that clutters my life.

Whether you struggle with stuff or just want to find renewed passion for your home and what really matters to you, I hope you’ll find encouragement, lots of grace and new inspiration in the pages of this book.

Make Room for What You Love - New book by NYT Bestselling Author of Love the Home You Have and The Inspired Room - Melissa Michaels
I’m so happy to have the opportunity to share my resolve to not let the wrong stuff be the boss of me! What we have in our home and life should inspire us, not weigh us down and discourage us.

This book isn’t about how to become a minimalist in style or how to get rid of everything you own (not that there’s anything wrong with that idea!), and it’s not even about how to organize ALL THE THINGS.

Make Room for What You Love - New book by NYT Bestselling Author of Love the Home You Have and The Inspired Room - Melissa Michaels

Make Room for What You Love is an inspiring guide to inviting in what really matters as you learn to declutter with confidence the things that hold you back.

Make Room for What You Love offers motivating home habits to adopt and practical tips for simplifying your home so it will serve your family well and inspire you to achieve your dreams!

The book is divided into ten chapters to encourage you with specific goals and a new mindset for success! You’ll find a practical “challenge” section at the back of the book, designed to set you up with a doable plan for success in decluttering and organizing your home.

Join a Launch Team- Make Room for What You Love

I’ll be sharing more about this book in the coming weeks! If the subject of this book, Make Room For What You Love, resonates with you so far, I’d love to invite you to be a part of one of the two launch teams that will be formed for the book! I would be so grateful for your support in spreading the message of this book to people who need it as much as I do! Space is limited in each group, so if you are interested in reading more about the opportunities to be involved, please see the descriptions and the application to apply HERE. You do not have to have a blog to apply to either launch team. See the form for specifics and limitations.

If you’d like to help spread the word RIGHT NOW, I’d love it if you would pin or copy and share the book cover or any of the graphics in this post! MUAH!!! xoxo

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the kindness and support you’ve offered me as I have pursued new adventures. Book writing and blog creating has been such an unexpected joy and blessing in my life. It means a lot to me that you are a part of this!

Click HERE to fill out the form to apply for our launch teams!

You can pre-order Make Room for What You Love today at Barnes & Noble or AmazonPreordering is a big help to authors, so thank you in advance!

A Little-Known Secret of Success {10 Things I Know}

Queensland Homes Modern Coastal Island Decorating
 Queensland Homes  – Bayden Goddard, BGD Architects

Photos Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style

I had a crisis a few months ago. I’m over it now, but don’t worry. It’s not the sort of crisis where you are admitted to the ER or need to be talked off a precipice. But rather, the sort of crisis where you suddenly realize once again, you are feeling in over your head for whatever reason. Perhaps you are trying or starting something new and scary, or perhaps you are decorating a new-to-you house. Decorating can be scary, right? You have to find your own way and might even fear you have to make all the right decisions if you are going to succeed.

Island Coastal Style Kitchen Studio McGeeStudio McGee

I’m no stranger to these sorts of crisis moments. Yes, I’ve moved to quite a few styles of homes so I’ve had to find my own way in new places often. But even outside of home decor, back in the day (when I first started blogging in the darker quieter ages of blogdom) I had a blog style crisis. As far as I could tell, there were basically three kinds of bloggers in the home blog world in 2007. There seemed to be creative bloggers, homemaking bloggers and design bloggers.

Now, likely there were more types of bloggers, or maybe they weren’t quite as defined as I thought. Perhaps I was all wrong and clueless (likely), but that is just what I perceived as a newbie to this strange new world of “BLOGS.” I assumed everyone else knew what they were doing and they were all doing it the right way within the boundaries of those labels.

Coastal Style Blackband Design Master Bedroom
Blackband Home & Design

Since (in my typical indecisive form) I couldn’t decide which type of blogger I was or should be, I just made up what I was going to be and do. I just did what I loved and felt like doing. I made it all up in my mind. That’s scary, but it’s reality. I didn’t have a clue what the correct way was to blog, so I just DID whatever I could. Sometimes I was a homemaking blog, some days I guess I was more of a design blog, but every now and then I was just feeling creative so I dabbled in a few rare and embarrassing crafty moments. Basically, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT. I still don’t. That may be pretty obvious by now, ha, but still, for better or worse, I kept going.

I could go on here and explain all the times and ways over the years I have had no idea what I was doing, but suffice it to say, it’s an awkward amount of times. Was I confident in everything I did in the past? No. Am I confident in everything I do now? Nope.

So why am I bringing this up now? (i.e. Do I need therapy?) 

Maybe, but not really. I’m fine! Really, I just hope it will encourage you to know a little secret I’ve learned. The truth is, I’m not the only one who wings it. Maybe I do it more than some folks, but the truth is NO ONE who is creating something totally unique or brand new to them knows what they are doing at all times. Most people are just winging it until it comes together in a satisfactory way (or it becomes obvious that it is time to try something new, ha).

They aren’t necessarily faking it, they might be, but sometimes that’s what you do when you have no clue what to do but you have to do something. It should be called experimenting with confidence. Even if people might look like they have it all together and are confident in who they are and what they do, inside they often feel like they are just making a lot of it up as they go.

Island Style Shutters Historial Concepts Southern Livingvia Historial Concepts Architecture & Southern Living

People who try new things can learn from their mistakes and what they’ve done successfully in the past. And those mistakes and successes will definitely shape what people know to do in the future. But when they were making the mistakes and heading towards those first time successes, most of the time they didn’t actually KNOW in advance what would work and what wouldn’t. They just kept trying. They might have good instincts, a good eye or good training. Those things are helpful. But perseverance is often a big part of success.

Everyone can assess what has worked for them in the past (or what they have learned or believe to be true about the current situation), but to truly feel pretty confident about what will work NOW, you either have to have done that exact thing before under the same exact circumstances, or what you do will involve floundering a bit through trial and error. New things are just that…new.

Coastal Style Living RoomHouse Beautiful

Every time I’m faced with a new room to decorate, a new house to figure out, a new post, a new challenge, a new budget, a new book to write, a new look to create, a new opportunity, a new idea, another teen to parent :), whatever it is that I have to put my heart into on any given day, it feels like a huge RISK.

I worry that I could totally embarrass myself or fail or stress out if I don’t know everything I need to know in order to succeed. I can start to fear that maybe I’m a fraud. Ha. Not really, but more like I might be a little bit in over my head, until I talk myself down off the ledge and remind myself of the things I already know.

10 Things I Know for Sure

  1. A brave no is just as powerful for success as a timid yes.
  2. I don’t have to do something expected (which eliminates the guesswork and fear about what exactly IS expected!).
  3. I don’t have to worry, unless I am making the type of mistakes that are fatal.
  4. I can seek advice from others and learn from smarter people, I am not alone.
  5. I have already learned important lessons that I can apply to any situation.
  6. I will grow from constructive criticism, but other people’s critical spirits won’t define me or my failures.
  7. There are always people who are better at what I do, but there is only one person who can be me.
  8. What I have to do, want to do, or feel called to do, is worthy of pursuing, even if I can’t do it perfectly.
  9. I can confidently do my own thing in my own way, even if it is through trial and error.
  10. I’ll love the result, be proud of my effort, or at least learn from my mistakes so I can improve going forward.

That’s it. Those ten truths are really what we need to hold on to when we are venturing off into new territory or afraid we might fail.

If you are willing to try something new, you’ll end up a little bit wiser or a little bit braver, or both. 

:)

True Confession: This started out as a post I was going to call Inspired By: A Modern Coastal Island Style (whatever that style is, I might have just made it up). But somewhere along the way, I got inspired in a different way and starting writing a totally different post. Was it about blogging? Decorating Style? Book writing? Trying new things? Success in business? All of the above? See? I have no idea. Awkward, right?

Colorful Coastal Island Style - Coastal Idea Home Historical Concepts
Historical Concepts – Coastal Living Idea House

The Little Known Secret to Success - 10 Things I Know For Sure - The Inspired Room blog

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