Sunday, February 22, 2009

Repurposing

It seems that with every transition comes the need to repurpose our space. That can be a rather challenging, and time consuming, feat! It always amazes me when I look back and remember that there used to be NINE of us living in 800 square feet. Can you imagine?

We had seven children in one bedroom. There was just enough space to walk sideways through the two sets of bunk beds that we had in there. Then there was another bed with a mattress that got pulled out from under it when it was bedtime. Also, the kitchen was so small that we couldn't all fit around the table, so Pat and I always ate in the living room; not the best way to teach your children table manners, trust me!

The the upstairs was complete, and the kids all moved up there into the four new bedrooms. We had to be conscious of who shared what space with whom. With that many people we definitely had our share of personality styles. It really could be challenging. You know? The one thing that Pat and I have always found interesting is that we all got along better when we were crammed together in that little space. I can remember thinking that things would get so much easier once we all had some breathing room. WRONG! Things got tougher, and we weren't as close to each other. I think there's something to that, really.

Then we entered the stage of children moving out and moving back in. That was interesting! Nothing like a little upheaval every-so-often to keep you on your toes. Spaces got repurposed on a much too regular basis for a little while there. Now, the four older ones are permanently out barring some unforeseen catastrophe; God forbid.

It has become more easy to downsize and maximize our space now more than ever before. The thing of it is that you look around and wonder just how on earth did nine people ever live in this space? And more so, how on earth did nine people ever live in half of this space? Talk about mind blowing!

The room that is currently the office/music room, after it's recent repurposing, used to be our bedroom, just an office, and a space for transitioning children. Now, it is just the office/music room. It is still "under construction" so to speak. My musically minded son wants me to move the piano in there, too. It has resided in the living room ever since we acquired it several years ago. It's easy to move, but there are two shelves of books that need to be relocated in order to make room for this music maker. Then, there's the empty wall in the living room to deal with, and just where do we put the two bookshelves?

This type of re-purposing is fun, too an extent, and rewarding. There is also another type of re-purposing that is not quite as fun and rewarding. In our corner of the earth it always happens in the garage.

Initially, our garage was a place for bicycles, lawn mowers, gardening supplies, and my husband's tools. Over the years it has held cars in need of repair, quarter candy machines that need to be placed in businesses, the belongings of more than one person in transition, extra furniture after children moved on, now it houses all of the tools and equipment from our closed transmission shop that we are selling. One can only guess how long it may be before we can actually walk through our garage again and for just how long we will continue to be able to pass from one door to the other.

I am afraid to think of just how many hours I have spent reorganizing and cleaning that space. I do know that I will NEVER have a garage sale again. Freecycle and Purple Heart, plus the occasional friend for family member, will be the ongoing recipients of my castoffs. Last year my mom came down to lend a hand, THANK GOD, and we spent 10 HOURS in the garage going from one end to the other sorting, organizing, and setting aside things for a garage sale. What a job that was! We made a couple hundred dollars, and I gave what was left to the church for it's garage sale and some furniture to a young family that just moved in across the street, but it was so not worth the effort. Thanks anyway! I'll just donate it and take the write off at the end or the year, thank you very much!

Being organized pays in so many ways, and giving is really rewarding. So, what do you have to repurpose? What space have you been neglecting to spruce up? Is there a corner somewhere that could use a little love? Do you have things that you haven't used in years? Maybe someone else can benefit from your repurposing. Also, if you have a creative edge and would like a new project visit The Repurposing Roundup for some cool ideas. Give it a shot! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

After note: Since originally writing this post, we did repurpose our space, and I cannot tell you enough how happy we are with the results! The whole energy changed in both rooms. They feel more spacious, welcoming, and useful. It's amazing how much difference so little effort made.

5 comments:

Mom said...

We just downsized from a fairly large house to a small apartment. There's been a lot of repurposing of our belongings, but not our space.

It is easier with less space, though. Easier to clean, easier to keep up with stuff, etc. etc.

Tina said...

I bet it feels good to have less things to tend to and a smaller space to care for. I hope you are enjoying your more simple existence.

TheXMom said...

My husband and I are getting ready to move into our first home, I can't wait to have all the space for just me and my own family. We are currently living with my parents.

Tina said...

Wow! That is exciting. Congrats!

Michele said...

Well....I am where you were years ago! 1100 sq. ft, 3 bdrm home...and 7 kids!
Please say it gets easier....there is no space for us, clothes or anything else for that matter. LOL
I love this post!!!

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