Since moving into the farmhouse and sharing our journey online, I've had so many people contact me wanting a fresh start.
"I am so jealous that you get to start over."
"Seeing you put the new house together makes me want a fresh start for my house."
"I wish I could empty out our house and start again."
This opportunity to go through every single thing we own and make a decision about whether or not to keep it has been pretty amazing.
Add to it the fact that I get to decide exactly where it goes in the farmhouse, and I am feeling pretty good about our "fresh start".
For now, just hold off on bringing anything new into your home.
Deal with what you have.
There will be plenty of time to buy new things after you've gotten rid of everything you don't love.
2. Set an end date.
This one is something that many people don't think about, but it helped me immensely last summer when I went through and did my big house purge and it's helping now as I put the house together.
Find a date to work towards and mark it on the calendar.
For me, this year, that date is July 25th.
We are hoping to take the girls on a little lake vacation starting on the 26th and I don't want to leave one thing in the house undone.
I want to leave the house all peaceful and put together so when we come home from vacation, it's still all peaceful and put together.
3. Tidy by category.
This phrase is taken directly out of Marie Kondo's book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up".
By the way, I just looked and the book is on sale on Amazon right now for $9.89!
As I came across any photography-related items in the rest of my tidying endeavors, I put them into a box labeled as such.
I did this with all of my miscellaneous categories and dealt with those boxes when I got to that category on my list.
I left a few blank boxes for you to fill in your own random categories, but if you're like me, you'll need more than a few boxes! Feel free to start your own list on another piece of paper or the back! Don't overthink it!
4. Don't start organizing until you're done with several categories.
The temptation is there to start putting everything away before you're done with the discarding process.
From personal experience...don't do it.
Purge first...then organize.
Otherwise, you'll get one area completely organized and find something later that would have fit there so much better.
5. Think in "stations".
I have started to think about my house in terms of where certain things happen.
This has really helped me to get organized and to stay organized (for the most part).
When you begin to think like this, your house starts to organize itself.
Out in the mud room, our beach towels are now housed with the sunscreen & goggles...far away from the bath towels that they used to be stored with in the old house. It just made sense to have them there, instead of taking up valuable room in the bathroom.
When you've done enough categories that you feel like it's time to start some organizing, make sure to keep this "station" mindset.
6. Go quickly!
Don't think too much!
When you pick up an item, ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?"
If it does, keep it! No questions asked!
If it doesn't spark joy, but it's something you need...keep those things too. Toothpaste doesn't really spark joy for me, but I would sure like my family to continue brushing their teeth!
Go with your gut instinct about things.
Try not to think in terms of what you "might need someday".
If it's something you could borrow or replace pretty inexpensively if you ever "need" it again...throw it out!
Donate it, trash it, or give it away to a friend.
Get it out of your house, as soon as possible!
7. Decorate intentionally.
Put your belongings into categories and go through each category, ruthlessly purging items that you don't love or need.
Organize the leftover items into functional stations throughout the house.
Keep the decorations you love and start to think about what other items you might add to your decor collection.
This isn't something you have to do immediately.
I prefer to check Hobby Lobby every month or so and scour their clearance aisle for things that spark joy for me.
I hardly ever spend over $5 on any sort of decoration for my home.
And when I do, it must be a joy-sparking item that I know will fit perfectly into my home!
These two items were joy-sparkers the moment I laid eyes on them!
The United States map that now hangs in the playroom cost me $39.99 on our mini-vacation to Pawhuska, Oklahoma and it was so worth that price!
Every time I look at it, my heart leaps for joy!
In fact, yesterday when I hung it in it's home up in the girls' playroom, I couldn't stop smiling!
I feel the same way about my Farmhouse sign from Hobby Lobby. It's $22.50 now on Hobby Lobby's website! I spent $27.00 on it because it was originally $45.00 and I had a 40% off coupon. Again...so worth the price!
Today, the front door of the farmhouse opened and two high school kids were standing there with a buffet that has been sitting in my parents' dining room for the last several years.
Earlier this morning, before the buffet was delivered, this old pie safe was dropped off at my house.
This one belonged to an older man that lived out by my grandparents' farm for over fifty years. He recently passed away and his son & daughter-in-law contacted us to see if we would be interested in any furniture.
I feel like this piece was just made for this wall in my gathering room.
I finally (almost) finished a room today.
The farmhouse bathroom is now (almost) complete.
I need to hang a picture of the girls and maybe a few other signs, but for the most part, it is how I want it.
So here it comes.
The very first "room reveal" for the farmhouse.
Try to remember that I had some "help" from a certain 3-year-old while taking the photos.
One of my favorite things to think about when I'm starting to decorate a room is what details I can add to really make the room "mine".
Today, I worked on the office nook.
I would say this room is considered "finished", except for whatever I might find in tubs over the next few days.
Hopefully I've got it organized enough now that I should be able to categorize any extra items and put them right away.
Some of the details that I really adore about the new farmhouse office nook include the herringbone plank clothespin board, the Rise & Shine sign, and of course, the typewriter Scentsy warmer.
I love the Farmhouse caddy sitting by my camera and the wire basket from Dollar General holding all of my Bible study items.
My childrens' picture on the "love" picture frame along with the funky desk lamp are both details that I enjoy.
Through the whole process of moving and planning and decorating, I'm trying to remember to take time for the details.
I wanted my office nook to be someplace that I can come each morning to spend time with Jesus.
To be able to load and edit photographs for my clients in a peaceful environment.
To be inspired in my workspace.
To pay attention to the details as I mold the space to fit exactly what I am visualizing in my mind.
I wanted to have a refreshing place to create.
And I think this farmhouse office nook will be just that place.
I've really tried to minimize belongings in our home over the last few years by using specific areas in the house for dual purposes.
An example in the old house would have been our kitchen island.
It had the dishwasher on one side and cabinets on two of the other sides.
The top had a rustic-style organizer where bills, event invitations, and important papers landed.
I had mason jars with pens and scissors in them.
It was sort of the hub of the house.
The problem is that it also became the "catch-all" a lot of the time.
One of my goals for the farmhouse was to have locations in the house that would serve dual purposes, while making sure that these places didn't attract clutter.
This is where I got the idea for a coffee bar charging station.
As our girls have gotten older, they have started to spend more and more time engaged in electronics...mostly their iPads.
We have rules for these and to be quite frank, they often end up on the refrigerator for a week at a time because the iPad is a privilege and when little girls make poor choices, privileges are revoked.
I know that as they continue to grow, we will be dealing with other types of technology...cell phones, computers, and who knows what else.
I knew I needed a central charging hub and I knew that this little space in the kitchen could be the perfect location if I would work it out right.
I ended up finding a really well-made console table at a friend's garage sale in mid-June.
I knew it would be perfect SOMEwhere in the farmhouse, so I bought it.
We had several options for using the console table in this little nook by the basement stairs in the kitchen...a mail drop-off location, more counter-space for use in cooking, or just a decorative table.
I knew that any of those three options could turn into clutter-central.
That's when my sister-in-law mentioned putting our Keurig there.
That really got the wheels-a-turning.
I decided that having a coffee bar on top of the charging station would be perfect. And I decided to be very intentional about what I put there.
In the old house, I always tried to hide the K-Cups.
That's when I remembered these little wire baskets I saw at Dollar General a few days ago.
Now, there is an outlet right behind where the wire basket sits.
Of course, there aren't enough plugs to service a charging station for the whole family...so I mounted a power strip on the wall behind the console table.
Nothing fancy...I literally used thumbtacks to hang it (the farmhouse has plaster walls...have I mentioned that???).
The girls picked out their own washi tape to identify their chargers and we fed them up through the drawer on the right.
I plugged in my iPad and FitBit Blaze into the left drawer and we were done!
A functional charging station inside and a beautiful coffee bar outside.
Yesterday, we spent day #2 at the farmhouse.
On the "to do list" was to finish painting the master bedroom and to get the kitchen somewhat put together.
One of my former colleagues is an amazing painter and volunteered to come down and help me knock out the bedroom walls.
She. Was. Amazing.
She filled holes, painted the edges with her favorite fancy Purdy paint brush, filled in the middle with the paint roller, and even painted the whole closet by the time she left late into the evening. And now it looks wonderful!
After the bedroom was painted, Mr. Farmhouse left and took the two younger girls home and Harlee & I decided to tackle the kitchen.
My dad had gone to Lee's Summit to pick up our new refrigerator yesterday afternoon and it was now safely installed in the new kitchen, thanks to Dad, Matthew, & my brother-in-law, Colby.
We had only three tubs of kitchen stuff to go through and put away, so Harlee and I decided to go for it. We went through the tubs and only ended up keeping one tub of kitchen items.
We put those items away and made a plan for where we would put the rest of the goodies we have left in our current kitchen.
I have lots of pictures for the walls, decorative items for above the cabinets, and other countertop accents.
I'm looking forward to putting all of those things out once we get the final appraisal report back (today sometime!!!) and set a final "for-sure 100% happening" closing date.
I can't wait to share the details of the kitchen project with you!
Until then...here's a preview!
During the process of searching for a home, finding a home, and planning to move into a different home, I have been thinking about several projects that I would like to do at the farmhouse.
A few of these could be completed here at our current home, while we wait to get moved in!
I started today with a project for the top of the stairwell.
When you walk down the stairs, there is a big wall at the farmhouse that you will see. I thought about doing a gallery wall there, but decided instead to do one big canvas print.
Canvas images are expensive, in case you didn't know...so I decided to create my own!
I decided I wanted the girls to have a reminder of the house they have spent the last several years in as they walked down the stairs every morning.
So one night, I had them put on some matchy-match clothes and run out to the corral to try and snap a photo...with my iPhone.
I should really use my big, fancy camera more often when photographing my own children, but the phone is just so convenient.
With Mr. Farmhouse's help, we got a photograph of the girls all three looking at me, with our cows in the background.
I only had to do a little Photoshop work because in the original picture, Mattie's arm was at a really unnatural angle. I just grabbed her arm from another photo and put it on her body.
Here is the image we ended up with from the hundreds we took that night.
And then...I put the gift-wrapping skills that I learned from Grandma Stephens when I was little to good use.
I stapled the two sides up over the frame to start and then did the top and bottom, pulling it tight as I put in each staple.
Admittedly, the iPhone picture was a tiny bit pixelated as a 36" x 48" print (which is to be expected, I suppose).
However, a photo wall-hanging for $37.50, as opposed to the $150-200 that could easily be spent on large canvas wall art is okay with me!
Our mini-vacation to Oklahoma was so much fun. We leisurely drove down on Thursday afternoon. We missed a turn and kept right on going to find a new route instead of turning around.
When we finally made it to Bartlesville, where we were staying, we found a Japanese Steakhouse and enjoyed supper together.
No rushing around.
No numerous bathroom trips with various children.
Just peace and quiet...and my first experience with sushi. Still not so sure about THAT.
We got up Friday morning and enjoyed The Pioneer Woman Mercantile and some boutique shopping in downtown Pawhuska.
I made a few purchases for the farmhouse.
We laughed a lot.
Enjoyed some nice food.
And did some serious walking.
We dropped Mom off to get some work done at the hotel and the three of us girls went to the mall.
By mid-afternoon, we were ready to head back to our room..
We spent some time resting and relaxing, watching television, reading, and visiting.
It was strange not having the seven grandkids running around between the two hotel rooms, visiting with Grams and playing noisily.
It was so quiet. Almost TOO quiet.
That evening, after a quick trip to WalMart, we came back to the hotel to sleep.
"I wonder if they would let us check out a day early." Mom said.
"Maybe. We can always go ask."
So we did.
And they did.
Yesterday morning, we woke up and got around slowly.
We stopped and did a little more shopping (yay, Hobby Lobby!).
Besides the canvas United States map I picked up at the Mercantile, the galvanized metal distressed Farmhouse sign was definitely my other favorite purchase.
You can see how wide it is right now, sitting on my piano music stand just waiting for its new home when we move into the farmhouse. It will be the perfect focal point in the new living room (I think...if that's where it ends up).
I got the other three tin quotes on clearance (along with about 5 others) to round out some various gallery walls I have planned for the house. Acts 2:46 will hang in the dining room, "I choose fabulous" will (of course) be in the Claire Bear's room, and Jeremiah 1:5 will hang in the playroom to remind the girls daily that they are set apart for Kingdom work!
After the "brief" Hobby Lobby stop, we loaded the van up and headed home.
Mr. Farmhouse and the kids didn't know we were coming home early.
The kids were out at the annual antique tractor show in our town and Matthew was putting up hay.
So I leisurely unpacked and soaked up a little more of the peace and quiet before I went to pick up the girls from my in-laws.
Three big hugs from three little girls.
Smiles and dancing from the three-year-old.
"I missed you so much," from the older two.
We probably won't have a chance for another "girls' trip" like this for another year or two, but that's okay.
There definitely is no place like home.
Sometimes you can't go back to sleep after tucking the three-year-old back into bed at 4:45 a.m.
So you decide to do some online window shopping on Hobby Lobby's website.
Sometimes you accidentally put some items in your cart.
And enter your shipping information.
And your payment information.
Sometimes your online window shopping turns into actual online shopping.
I had a plan.
I was going to do a thing.
I was going to BUILD MY OWN FARMHOUSE TABLE for the new house.
I had pinned all kinds of plans.
I had measured and sketched and figured.
I had called and priced lumber.
I was ready.
I was going to build a farmhouse table for like $175. Amazing.
And then, I thought I would just check and make sure I couldn't find one for that price online.
I checked all over the Internet and NOPE, turns out $175 is the best price for the masterpiece I had planned!
I hopped onto Craiglist last weekend just to do a little browsing of any farmhouse tables that might have been around the Greater KC area in the last few months. Just looking for some ideas...some inspiration.
That's when I found it.