Our Family Room Looked Boring Enough to Give Me a Heart Attack

So many things are leaving our house. It is awesome. There is a mountain of stuff in our living room that is almost all going out on the curb in the morning so Purple Heart can come pick it up. Purple Heart rules. You need to get rid of a bunch of stuff, but don’t feel like loading it into your car and driving it somewhere, or are fearful of the fumes if you throw a match on it all? Call Purple Heart. You set your stuff outside. They come and get it and they leave you a little paper so you can claim that shit on your taxes. Then they give your stuff to veterans so you can feel like a real American hero. It’s the greatest.

We are attacking the house room by room, because when I try to do little bits here and there, all at once, I burn out and quit and hit the Taco Bell drive-thru. Going room by room, you keep chugging along until the room is done, then you get a huge reward high from finishing a room and you use that as jet fuel to get the next room done. Our bedroom needs help. It’s injured. Injured bad. It’s become such a dumping ground because that’s how we access the attic and also that’s where we keep the floor that I throw all my clothes on at the end of the day. I want to get to work on it, pronto. But we are still decluttering/cleaning the family room, and I need to ride that out until it is complete so that I have the emotional fortitude to conquer our bedroom and (pause for heartburn) our closet.

The basement is leaps and bounds better than when we started a couple of weeks ago, but it still has a ways to go. I took some pictures the day we began cleaning and organizing. I didn’t bother to pick up any mess before I took the pictures to give you an authentic look at the toddler frat we spend our days in. Again, it is not finished. But it is so much better. I’m sitting here right now, typing this, not wanting to abandon ship and live in the much cleaner wilderness.

Pretty much all of the credit for progress so far goes to Adam on this, because he has done everything while I sit and point and eat cereal. He put together new furniture. He removed all the big stuff we decided to get rid of. He cleared the hell out of the laundry room and I have stepped inside several times since then and not been afraid. He scrubbed the walls down so they weren’t covered in five years of soot from our pellet stove. He hung things on the wall after I complained about being asked to tell him where I wanted them on the wall. Adam is the king of doing things and pretty much nothing would be done right now without him.

The family room managed to look boring and incredibly stressful at the same time. We were using an old sofa table as a TV stand. Not steady, not safe, not practical because anything TV-related had to be stacked on the floor. Wires everywhere, it was an ugly mess. How did we baby-proof this? We threw a big-ass baby gate in front of it and told August to keep his grubby mitts off.


Next to the TV is our “built-in” bookcase. If you are unfamiliar with putting quotes around a word, it usually means the word in between the quotes is a lie. We found a bookcase that mostly fit this weird little nook our house came with. Boom. When Adam and I moved into this house, I had a vision of curated, personal items decorating our shelves, making it a visually pleasing focal point in our family room. Then we said screw it and filled our shelves with a ton of shit and stacked more shit on top . It’s still a focal point, but one that crushes me with anxiety and ew it’s ugly feelings every time I accidentally look at it.


Which brings us to our couch. It’s made of cat hair with a fabric under-layer, accented by absolutely effing nothing because I never picked out a damn thing to put on these sand-ass walls. It bums me out to sit here. And I sit here a lot. This seating area should come with a prescription for Zoloft and a sympathetic hug.


And finally, I share with you an entire space dedicated to the things I buy from Michaels and never touch again: my office. I call it an office because calling it a craft area implies I actually make shit once in a while. I do not. But if I wanted to, I could, because this space is filled with every craft phase I have half-heartedly gone through. Printmaking. Needle felting. Sewing. Painting. Scrapbooking. Crocheting. Embroidery. They have all come here to die. I am bad at artistic things. Partly because I don’t like things that I am not amazing at the first time I try them. And partly because I get some kind of psychotic death grip whenever I hold any kind of tool or implement and it makes everything I do turn out like a five-year old with Parkinsons made it. The deck is stacked against me. So I write. On a computer without holding a pencil.


I will leave you all with an inflated sense of self, having seen the hamster cage my family calls home. Enjoy feeling smug about your actual built-in bookcase and your neatly-folded blankets. And maybe throw some ideas my way. Have you recently made some big changes around your home? What the hell did you do with the empty wall space around your TV? How do you make your family room or living room a place you enjoy spending time? Who wants a large quantity of compact discs that I would like my husband to get rid of? Gimme all your suggestions and advices.


One thought on “Our Family Room Looked Boring Enough to Give Me a Heart Attack

  1. Why is there not an option for me to leave a photo with my comment. What’s with mum desks? They always turn into a clusterfuck of things, mine included. Our “family room” is kind of odd, old farm house, I like to think of it as “ikea thrift store chic” which essentially means I buy all the furniture that will serve as a good place to stash and hide shit away.

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