At the beginning of this year, I announced a “Big Purge” in 2018. It was my New Years Resolution to declutter and reorganize our apartment. It was just on Instagram Stories, so you might have missed it. But don’t worry, because you didn’t miss much. After that BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, I never spoke about it again.
The truth is, I started out strong. I met with a woman named Rachel Rosenthal (an organization expert) who promised to help me figure out a better system for all of Mazzy and Harlow’s stuff. She’d hold my hand while we got rid of stuff, tell me what to keep and coach me on where to put it. I know it might seem silly to some to work with an organization expert, but trust me— after eight years of living with my children, it is pretty clear that this is not something I can accomplish on my own.
Rachel had a ton of great ideas, including a built-in for the front entranceway that would give the kids a place to put their backpacks and shoes. You know, instead of throwing them directly on the floor. But while I was talking with her, I realized I wanted to do more than reorganize. I wanted to redecorate too. And talking about redecorating was like a snowball effect, because that made me realize we also need to do some pretty major renovations.
Everything in our apartment is at least 10-15 years old and literally falling apart. The couch everyone always compliments me on has a pretty big rip in an obvious spot.
It is also really discolored due to a variety of substances that we probably shouldn’t mention. But let’s just say, my sister’s old dog (RIP) claimed her territory there once upon a time. My kids (as babies and potty training toddlers) claimed their territory there too. And that’s not even mentioning the consequences of Vomitfest 2015.
The little kid table that everyone says I should probably throw out is covering some major wear and tear on the floor.
The dining room table has a big chunk of the finish removed because I accidentally hot glued a Halloween costume to it over three years ago.
The kitchen appliances are breaking down one by one. First the drawer under the stove fell on my foot and wouldn’t go back.
Then the kitchen sink started leaking and the only way to use it now is with the hose pulled out so the water doesn’t leak all over the counter.
The water dispenser in the fridge hasn’t worked for about five years.
Plus, we simply do not have adequate storage. I mean, the master bathroom has a pedestal sink! Pretty much the most inefficient use of space in an already small Manhattan apartment.
And the mirror above the sink in the guest bathroom isn’t even a medicine cabinet. It’s just a sheet of glass glued to the wall!!!!
So, after that meeting with Rachel, we agreed that I needed to begin my reorganization journey with a search for decorators/designers for a larger renovation. I’ve made enough decorating mistakes in my life to know that this is also not something I can do on my own. There’s a reason you have never seen the brocade curtain installation in our master bedroom that I thought would be an interesting contrast to our otherwise modern apartment. THEY ARE HIDEOUS.
Also, kitchen and bathroom renovations sound a lot more intense than picking a couch in a catalogue.
But, as eager as I was to get started, my search for a decorator was put on hold when I was contacted out of the blue by a production company casting for a new decorating show on TV with a household name designer. (This story does not have a happy ending so do not get excited.) Obviously, I was ecstatic at the thought that we could get all this done for a lot cheaper than I was imagining. And being on TV would be great blog content!!! But alas, the mysterious out of the blue offer disappeared just as mysteriously. I blame my husband for being unwilling to deliver punny soundbites during the video interview process. After being told we had a really good shot of making it on the show, we waited and waited for the final yes or no, but that final answer never came. It’s still out there lurking somewhere.
Finally, I realized that if I put this project on hold any longer, it wasn’t going to happen and I’d be stuck in our apartment for another year while more things fell apart around us.
Last week, I gave up my TV dreams and signed a contract with Home Polish, who was recommended by Rachel. Based on your style, they help match you with a designer and oversee the process. This is not a sponsored post (I WISH)— I am using their service just like a regular person.
Long story short, they matched me with a designer named Emma Beryl and we started the process this week! We are going to work in conjunction with Rachel (who will be sharing her organization tips on the blog) and my plan is to get all decisions made in the next couple months so we can do renovations over the summer while we are at the house.
My husband doubts it’s going to happen. I get it. It’s more than a little overwhelming. Especially the part of moving everything out so we can redo the floors (any advice would be much appreciated!). It’s giving me major anxiety just thinking about it.
But, I need to prove him wrong. I need to feel like I’m in a fresh space again and I want the kids to grow up in a world where they can put stuff away.
First step is always making an announcement to keep me honest. Here it is!
So much more to come…
How exciting! I can’t wait to follow the process! I am not good at decorating either and would definitely need the help.
I live in a 2 bed condo so I’m really excited to see how you’re going to organize and create more storage space!
Way to make an announcement to keep yourself accountable! I love decorating and organizing, so I’m excited to see how your apartment transforms. Best of luck with all the decision making!
Good luck!! I totally get it…as nice as it is to think about a fresh, redesigned space, it’s equally daunting to think about the process, all the details, and the many, many decisions involved. Within the next few months we will be embarking on a kitchen remodel coupled with incorporating a new stairway to our lower level (in a place where a stairway does not currently exist), and creating a new family room out of what is currently a separate apartment. Oh, and creating a newer, smaller apartment to rent out. During all this we will be staying with my in-laws. I’m tired just thinking about it all. 😬
Yikes! Best of luck to you as well!!!
Done is better than perfect. You can do it! 😊
Oh I can’t wait to see the process and get tips for organizing!! I am awful at organization…you should see my office…not to mention my side of our master bedroom. :O
Good luck! I’m living with my in laws right now while my kitchen and bathroom are being renovated and all the floors on my upper level are refinished. But I’m no help, because I live in the burbs with a basement and garage to put stuff (but I still have way too much of it). But, it is still HARD (doesn’t help I’m displaced while 6 months pregnant with a 2 and 6 yo, and this bed is tiny and uncomfortable). So many setbacks and stressful decisions. You’re lucky you have your own space to move to though! My contractor seems to be taking his sweet time with everything (and unplugged my fridge so I lost all my food 😩), but at least next week things should really get moving once the cabinets are in. Good luck!
I love your style so I can’t wait to see what you do with the place! I’m sure it’ll look amazing even though it’s a lot of work ahead.
I’ve been waiting for a blog about your decluttering resolution for months! Can’t wait to see your space transform. Renovations terrify me. Maybe I should use a professional. 😂
This is exciting! We just started the extension we have been talking about since #3 was in his way. He turns five this fall so let’s say I hear you on the delay and procrastination. There was always a reason not to do the work and then our ideas kept changing…. ugh. I am great at pinning stuff and organising cute picture frames, not so good at the big jobs. There are foundation holes all over what was once our decking so I guess we are finally doing it… I am intrigued to see what you do as we are supertight on space here too so will hope to get inspired!
I’m nervous for you too! Gosh I hope it’s all done in the time line you want! That’s always been the issue I’ve seen: Things take longer than planned! In regards to flooring, I’m sure the installers have ideas. They do this stuff all the time! I’m sure it’ll be fantastic in the end!
How did you find the organizational expert? I tried Google previously. Either they don’t exist in my city or I am searching wrong.
Where to start? You have your summer home, but to empty out your apartment would be best. You know the kids are going to grow during the summer, not just their taste in clothes but toys. You can probably get rid of most out of season clothes of Harlow. If you haven’t worn anything in awhile, you could donate to a thrift shop. Remember to get a receipt for tax purposes.
You can probably donate old appliances to a reuse facility. I donated my old washer and dryer to an outfit that refurbishes them for resale. Our utility company takes old refrigerators for a credit on our electric bill. Our water company gives great credits for low flow appliances, shower nozzles and low flow toilets.
Plan your appliance purchase for a Big Holiday sale. President’s Day, Memorial Day, or Labor Day offer big discounts, really big discounts for appliance packages- refrigerator, stove and dishwasher. Some will even offer zero percent financing if paid within a certain timeframe. Also furniture packages occur on holidays, though deep discount places exist for close outs and discontinued items. Shop around. Our local furniture store will match internet prices, too. But only catch if they don’t deliver, so I’d you know someone with a truck?
Your kitchen faucet probably just needs a new o-ring. But you can update it if the pullout section no longer holds up. Change out the bathroom sink with a nice vanity for added storage.
Good luck, I trust you have a good contractor in mind? Shop around and get plenty of quotes.
My only advice is to thoroughly go through things and get rid of what you can. We move every 2-3 years with my husbands job so we are minimalists! Last time we moved we knew we’d be getting a new couch eventually so we gave away our couch. We didn’t have a couch for two months before we got around to buying a new one. My kids are also very limited on toys if I don’t see them playing with it I put it away and if they don’t ask about it for about a month I get rid of it. We also purge clothing annually if it hasn’t been worn in the last year it’s gone.
My house resembles a frat house on the best of days. Our livingroom TV is from the 90s, I refuse to replace until it dies as feel nostalgic (it was our first joint purchase lol). Our furniture is old and falling apart and the floor is cheap and scratched. BUT I also dont ever get mad when the kids build forts, eat in the livingroom, do crafts on the table or floor. I could have expensive beautiful furniture and trimmings in my house; but I prefer the cheap crap, covered in childhood and dog fur, and to live in a home 🙂
You’re making me feel so much better about our house! We have two of those big holes in our couch and our kids keep sticking their hands in them and/or pulling at the strings. Not helping, kids!
Just followed you on instagram. Please check your DM!..I have a question about this topic.