Progress Report for the Townhouse

Last spring we shared that my daughter Kylee moved into her first house (remember when she got married? AHH!! And now her first house, oh my heart).

After studio apartment living, she and her husband Lance bought a small townhouse in Seattle (if you missed that news, catch up here!).

My other daughter Courtney rents a room from them in the townhouse and has shared her design plans for the tiniest room you’ve ever seen. She will be back with an update soon, but today I invited Kylee back to update us on her progress in getting settled in their little townhouse!


Entry Hallway

Hello! Kylee, here! It’s been awhile since you last heard from me so it’s about time I shared a few updates from our townhouse! Last time I showed you my simple powder bath. Since then I have been slowly making progress to other rooms in my house.

I recently had a day off from work (which means I was actually home before the sun went down) so I snapped a few peeks of how things are coming along. I’ll let this be just an overview of a few of our rooms and then I’ll be back to share more in detail some of the small space tips and tricks we are using to make this little house our home.

Our home is a three story townhouse (in Seattle every square foot of land counts!). As you enter the front door, you find yourself in a long hallway. We recently painted it white (Swan White by Glidden) for a cleaner and brighter backdrop for our accessories and rugs.

To make the most of this small area of our home, we utilized the entire hallway as functional space, adding some convenient pieces for storage and coat hanging. We don’t have a coat closet, so the more hooks the better, I say! The white storage unit above is from Ikea–it’s the perfect space-saving piece for a small hallway or entry. The cabinet doors tilt out and hold gloves and scarves, reusable grocery bags, shoes, and supplies for Bella, our puppy.

My favorite new addition in this hallway is our colorful Dash and Albert runner from Rug Studio. I just love the pop of color, pattern and warmth it adds right when you walk in the door!

Living Room Decorating with Red Couches - Bella the Labradoodle

Bella’s favorite room in the house is definitely the living room which is on the second level. After many months of basically nothing going on in this space due to a struggle trying to figure out how to get our ginormous leather couches up the narrow staircase (I will finally share that success story with you in my next post–it’s a good one!). Once we figured out a trick to get our couches in the house, the room started to come together.

For warmth, we added the great zig zag rug from Rug Studio to bring a lot of texture to the room. Since our kitchen and living area are all one room, I think the rug really helps define this as its own cozy little area. We haven’t decided exactly what we want above the couch, so for now we’ve settled on a temporary and inexpensive solution by using framed Rifle Paper Co wrapping paper as art.

Bella the labradoodle

Bella couldn’t be happier to finally have furniture. All she wanted was a comfy spot. And we couldn’t be happier to finally have a room where we can invite friends over to sit! We don’t have a dining area (this really is a SMALL place!) so our sofas and coffee table serve more than one purpose.

Master bedroom

Getting our bedroom set up on the third floor was also a struggle. Going up one flight of narrow steps was bad enough, but imagine going up two with large furniture? We have lots of awesome hand me down furniture from parents and grandparents, but so many of the pieces are big, heavy and difficult to maneuver around the tight corners in our townhouse. This is where starting from scratch with new furniture would have definitely been easier!

But being a young couple on a budget and wanting to use what we have, we were determined to make as much of it work as possible. In some cases, we had to resort to drastic measures.

When we moved in, we quickly discovered that we could not get the queen-sized box spring up to the third level. We slept on the mattress on the floor for several months while weighing our options, until we decided to literally cut our box spring in half and then put it back together. Crazy, right? But it worked! I’ll share that tale soon too, it was intense and I have photos to prove it.

Pantry Jars in the Kitchen

While our kitchen is probably double the size of our studio apartment’s kitchen, we don’t have a separate pantry or a lot of cupboard space. And I love to cook! We’ve created a makeshift pantry by putting most of our dried goods into cute jars on the counter and keeping our cooking utensils in a pitcher next to the stove.

Coffee station

And last, but definitely not least, I wouldn’t be my mother’s daughter if we didn’t have a coffee station. She taught me well. Our little coffee station is set up on a hand-me-down wine rack. True to our Portland and Seattle roots, we love our coffee, so it sure is handy to be able to grab a cup as we head out the door to work every morning!

That’s all for now, but I’ll definitely be back to catch you up on the projects I mentioned and to show you more of our home!

Kick Excuses to the Curb {Confessions on Decluttering & Organizing}

Organized Closet InspirationBHG

Decluttering isn’t easy. Even when we start out motivated, if we think too much about our clutter we’ll eventually have to make a decision. And that decision is what always used to derail me from decluttering! Gah.

I am a terrible decision maker. I can’t even decide what to make for dinner or what to eat if we go to a restaurant. I don’t know what to wear when I leave the house. I have issues.

So ask me to decide what to get rid of, what to keep and where to put ALL THE THINGS is like asking me to perform brain surgery. Honestly. It’s been hard for me.

The worst of it is I not only can derail the process by my indecision, but I’m inclined to go shopping instead of declutter! Seriously? That complicates things. More in and not enough out is, well, TOO MUCH.

I have issues. But actually, I just have too much stuff and too many excuses. That’s a lethal combination.

Organized Laundry Storage - InspirationBHG

But, I’m not a hoarder. My house is not dirty or disorderly. It’s not perfect, but we do like to keep it as orderly and clean as we can because it is important to us. We do have organizational systems. Most of our house is not even cluttered with anything but the everyday clutter of life being lived.

But I’m the first to admit our garage and closets still need help. We do have way too much stuff out there and I just haven’t had the time to deal with it, but that’s another story. And another excuse. A good one, perhaps, but they all seem like good excuses.

I think I’m pretty much like other people who just end up with too much stuff, we may not be hoarders, but just inadvertent collectors of things we should just get rid of or give to a worthy cause.

Here are excuses that I’ve uttered myself that I’m learning to kick to the curb:

Excuses for Clutter - The Inspired Room

Right? All the things. All the excuses.

But I’ve come a long way over the years. I’m better at kicking excuses to the curb. I know more about myself, my habits, my bad organizational habits, and what I need to work on improving.

I have found so many solutions that work for me and for our home. I can much more easily get rid of things knowing my history, such as the fact that I’m not likely to ever recover a chair so I shouldn’t collect them in my garage.

So even though I don’t have it all together, I’m definitely happier in my home than I’ve ever been. Not because of how it looks, but because of how it feels. And for remaining areas that still stress me out if I think about them, I have hope and a plan.

I’m continuing to work on the goal of a clutter-free home because I know clutter impacts me in negative ways. The are fewer areas of clutter in our life than ever before. It’s becoming easier to let go of all the things without thinking too much, because the alternative is keeping everything — and that is more stressful than deciding to let things go.

Organized Linen Closet- InspirationBHG

I don’t want to spend my life making decisions about what to do with things. I have too much else that interests me in life. I just want to enjoy my home. I crave that sense of peace that comes from only having what you really need or use, those things that actually bring you happiness or serve a purpose in your home. There’s a peace when you have control over your things, rather than your things controlling you.

Kitchen Command Center - OrganizationBHG

I’ve written many organizing posts with tips I use and that have inspired me. Always start with decluttering, but being organized feels great too. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorites:

The Secret to Getting Organized

A Bag A Day Keeps the Clutter Away

How to Get Organized in a Small House

How to Organize your House with Baskets and Containers

A Plan for Papers You Don’t Want to Lose

My Kitchen Pantry and Tips for Pantry Organization

Pretty and Functional Bathroom Storage Ideas

7 Ideas for Creative Master Closet Storage

Small Space Office Organization

5 Simple Ways to Get Organized

Organizing Entertaining Supplies

Organize Your House: A 12 Month Plan

5 Takeaway Tips from a Small Office

Organizing Your Most-Used House Project Tools

11 Ways to Spring Into Organizing

6 Tips to Kick Start Your Garage Organization

Organizing Craft Rooms and Wrapping Supplies: Small Space Ideas

More Inspiration for Craft Closet Organization

5 Minute Baking Drawer Organization: Using What You Have

UPDATE IN 2017: I put all of my failures, excuses, secrets and successes in my new book on decluttering and simplifying called Make Room For What You Love. 

Inspiring Quotes from the book Love the Home You Have – The Inspired Room – #lovethehomeyouhave

Get free downloadable prints like the quote above here!

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