In recent months I've been very focused on decluttering this house of ours.
I printed out the charts from Rachel's 2015 in 2015 Challenge in January, and so far I've ticked off 1300 items that have left the house! Some of those were from our "outbuildings" - our workshop and garden shed, but the bulk of them were items from indoors. There have been numerous trips to the op shop, the kerb, and the bin, and I've sold some things on ebay and the local facebook buy, sell and trade group. With each item ticked off, I know I'm making space to do all sorts of things more easily.
There's still a lot more stuff that I could let go of, and hopefully I will in future, but for now I've reached a level where it's possible to keep the living room tidy - at last!
Our living room is an open living space, encompassing kitchen, dining, living, laundry overflow (piles of laundry, not water!) and access to the backdoor/bathroom/stairs. In wet weather you might find clothes hanging on clotheshorses, too. Until this week, Emily has done all her homework and study at the dining table. It's a busy room with a lot going on.
On Saturday, I cleared out every single thing that wasn't a piece of furniture, and put it in the study or craftroom. Since I've decluttered so much, there wasn't much to pick up, and the other rooms had more space to store things temporarily. We rearranged the furniture (did I mention we had 4 sofas in the living room? That story for another post) and added some trestle tables and chairs.
Voila! Seating for 19 people!
We celebrated Mum's birthday with most of our extended family, and I managed to seat them all! No "kids table", no picnic on the floor, no dinners on laps. no kids disappearing upstairs. All those things are fine, but this time I wanted all of us together for once, for a sit-down lunch and a game afterwards. We all squeezed in and ate baked potatoes with toppings, then some paleo desserts and birthday cake. Then we tested our wits with a Family Feud style game and gave presents.
I had planned to fold up the tables after lunch and sit on the sofas, but that seemed too complicated when the time came, so we stayed at the tables.
]The only problem was before dinner, it was a bit crowded, standing around for drinks. I had hoped people might use this corner of the room where we "stored" two of the sofas, but, no. Oh well.
After our visitors left, I organised some more stuff, so there wasn't much at all to put back in the living room - a basket of crochet yarns, a basket of library books ... and Emily has started studying upstairs so the dining table is staying clear. When I crashed with a cold for two days from Sunday afternoon, I could sit and enjoy our new serene and open space. All so worth it!