Until I started tackling the clutter in our house, I didn’t realize how much it was literally weighing on my mind. Coming home didn’t feel like a haven, it felt more like a prison. But, over the course of the last few years, I’ve been intentional about de-cluttering our home. There are still areas that I need to work on but I can say for certain – all the time and effort has been completely worth it!
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared a couple of areas in our home along with tips and tricks I’ve used to stay clutter free. First I shared our kitchen and last week I gave you a peek into my closet.
Today I’m showing you how I converted our dining room into a kids’ living room. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “wha?!”. Yes, we turned a wasted space in our home into one of the most used rooms in our house!
Don’t struggle to make your stuff fit in your house – make your home work for you!
For the longest time, I didn’t follow my own rule. I struggled because it was a “dining room” and I had no want or need for a dining room. Our family of five is more of a paper plate, eat standing around the kitchen island while watching football on tv type of family. We rarely host family since the nearest ones live at least three hours away and typically we aren’t home over the holidays.
For years, our dining room stayed (mostly) empty. We treated this space more like a storage room – we kept items to be donated/Craigslisted in this room, extra school and art supplies were stored here, at one point we had an armoire that wouldn’t fit into our bedroom kept here, and other random storage/filing boxes were stored in here as well. This was also the perfect room for the kids to play in.
For years I dreamed of what I would do with this space. Our children are aged 16, 12, and 7. We have a play area/dance room upstairs with a tv but parents of teens will completely understand – you do not want “friends” of the opposite sex hanging out upstairs. But, this only left our current living room as the only other place for friends to hang out and watch tv. But, where would we go? Where would Hope go? The logical explanation took everyone we talked to by surprise – converting the dining room to a kids’ living room!
Without a doubt, this room has undergone the most amazing transformation. By purging and looking at what the kids had and what they needed in this space, we were able to create a space that works for them.
Here are a few before pictures to see what we had to work with.
I look back at these pictures and smile – not because of the fancy diamonds painted on the wall (haha!) – but it reminds me how far we’ve come!!!
There were even a couple of columns to accentuate the diamonds!
The doors to the left lead to a small butler’s pantry.
My #1 tip for containing the chaos is to set your expectations for the space (and don’t be afraid to dream big!).
I knew when we started working on this space that I wanted it to be a kids’ living/study space. Previously Colby and Holden were using our kitchen table to do homework and it was a mess! I wanted to have a designated place for them to be able to spread out and not worry about clearing the space just so we could eat. Second, I wanted it to be a place where they could hang out with their friends. I knew I wanted a tv, a game console, a place to store their board games, movies, and all our Aggie memorabilia.
I’m so excited to share with you the after pics!
Can you even believe it? For nearly seven years, this room sat virtually empty. All I needed was a vision and confidence to tackle the clutter and make my dream come true!
This room brings me so much joy! It’s exactly how I dreamed it – only better!
I had given my grandfather the Aggieopoly game many, many years ago. When he passed away, my grandmother gave it back to me. The game board had been in the box since I had given it to him. Displaying it on the wall made it even more special and it just makes me happy!
I went back through the years and chose my favorite Aggie family pictures and had them made into wood panels at Walgreens. You can find coupon codes for up to 50% off from time to time.
The majority of the room is different shades of gray but I always look for ways to add pops of color.
When going through all the items we wanted to display in this space, we grouped like items so that we would know how we wanted to display them. For the longest time, Colby would seek out Aggie football players after the games and get gloves from them. This basket is full of football gloves from over the years!
In addition to sports memorabilia, Holden and I also added a couple of our special touches!
This space was also the perfect opportunity for me to merge parts of my childhood with theirs. Growing up I spent many summers in St. Louis watching the Cardinals play and I had kept a few items that work perfectly in this space.
We moved all kids movies to this space (along with a Whataburger number 12 that “accidentally” was brought home – per Colby).
Sweet friends in South Carolina sent the kids goodies before school one year and included this picture. I loved it so much that I had to frame it!
Before this room transformation, we had games spread out all over the house. We gathered all of them and narrowed it down to only our very favorites. These games get played with all the time and I firmly believe it’s because they can 1) see them and 2) are not overwhelmed by all.the.stuff!
We also went through all the big kids’ books and donated all but a few fun chapter books that we thought Hope might enjoy one day. We also use this area for their Bibles, devotionals, and school yearbooks.
I still can’t believe this space is in our house! And just for a quick flashback, here’s what we started with:
Having a designated place for our kids to relax, entertain their friends, and a place to do homework was so important to me. This transformation didn’t happen overnight – it literally took years but it was so worth the wait!
I’m joining up with Jaclyn, Keri, and Kate for their Clear the Clutter Challenge. Hop over and check out their spaces! So much inspiration and encouragement to continue clearing the clutter! Don’t give up! It’s so worth it!!!
Have you ever used a room for purposes other than what it was designed for? If so, please share with me! These stories are so encouraging and inspiring! Tackling the clutter truly helps dreams come true!