Monday, September 28, 2020

How We Make a 960 sq ft House Work For Us.....And Why It Won't Work Forever

Just over a year ago we moved into our first home! 

Buying your first home is the most exciting feeling, especially when you've been renting an apartment for the previous four years. We were thrilled to finally own our home and be putting money every month towards something that was all ours. We were thrilled to finally have more space and a yard. Everything about it was thrilling, from the time we made our offer to the day we officially moved in I was off the wall excited. 

Don't get me wrong I still love all of those things about our home. I love that we own it, I love that it's bigger than our apartment, I love that we have a yard... but it's not as much space as I initially thought it would be. The day we moved in and I realized that some of the rooms were much smaller then I pictured I was a little disappointed. Which is so sad I know. When we were shoving our bedroom furniture into the largest of the three bedrooms and I realized what little room we had to walk around I was frustrated because I was so sure that buying a home would be the answer to the space problems we always had in our apartment. News flash: it wasn't the answer!

Today I want to share some ways we are making our 960 sq ft house work for us. We've had to get a little creative around here! Then I want to share why it's not going to work for us forever...and what we are going to do about it. Before we get started though I want to say that I am so grateful for the home we have, I don't take it for granted. We are lucky that we are in the position to be able to own our home and a lot of my issues come from seeing huge custom built houses on Instagram, so please take this post with a grain of salt. That being said, here we go!

How we are making our 960 sq ft house work for us

- We are getting creative with food storage

If you haven't heard yet, we don't have a pantry. It makes food storage a little more difficult but we are doing a few things to help. 
  1. We installed a behind the door unit that fits on the back of our basement door. The basement door is right next to our kitchen so it allows us to store things like canned goods, oils, etc without having to take up precious cabinet space.
  2. We only use one double cabinet for food storage. We pretty much only keep items in here that are open. So open bags of chips, open jars of peanut butter, bread, or any sort of snack items in here.
  3. We installed three shelves at the top of our basement stairs. These hold overflow items and other closed containers of items. There's a lot of rice, pasta, and other boxed items on these shelves. 
  4. We utilize our home office to hold any overflow drinks that don't fit in our fridge. This includes soda and bottled water. 
- We use multiple closets for our clothes

My husband has a lot of clothes. I personally think the amount of clothes I have is pretty average but my husband has more then the average guy. (At least in my opinion)

Right now all of his hanging clothes currently live in our bedroom closet. All my hanging clothes currently live in the guest room closet. I recently moved all of Tim's sweatshirts to live with our jackets in the coat closet by the front door. I am constantly rearranging items trying to find the best system.

- I am constantly decluttering

I love to organize and declutter, I think it was just something I was born loving to do. I find myself constantly donating items and looking for junk to toss. For example the other day I moved some items around in our home office and I found myself testing all the pens and highlighters to see if any no longer worked. By constantly looking through items and getting rid of things that we don't want or need I am consistently opening up space in our home.

- We dream up and complete projects 

Any projects we do bring our house closer to being our dream home. Also, every project we complete makes the resale value of our home go up. We got a great deal on our home and know we will make a profit on it if/when we decide to sell. Doing projects makes this house more appealing to us and everyone else. Win all around!

- We are embracing the crazy

We know things won't be like this forever. Some day (hopefully) we will have more space then we know what to do with. We are doing our best to enjoy this chapter of life and feel very at home with our current house.

....and why it won't work forever....

We know this house, the way it is right now is not our dream "forever" home. We didn't purchase it thinking it was our forever home, it was simply a starter home. We live in a coastal town in Rhode Island where the taxes are much lower then the surrounding towns and buying a house in this particular town was our top priority. The neighborhood we bought in was one very familiar to me, one of my best friends grew up just down the street from our current house and her parents still live there today!  It seemed like a perfect situation for us but we've learned a lot since moving in.

Despite having a basement for storage we are very lacking in space. I can think of a ton of rooms that I would like in a future home (whether that be adding them on here or moving to a different house) including; a pantry, laundry room, master bedroom/bathroom/closet, mudroom, garage, dining room.  Not having these rooms make simple things difficult. Not having a dining room means it's pretty much impossible to entertain. We can have a few friends over but we don't have a place for everyone to sit and eat which is frustrating. Without a mudroom we walk directly into either our kitchen or living room meaning there is dirt all over the floor constantly and it's a constant battle to get coats and shoes put away in the closet. 

If we have kids we will be giving up our guest room which is fine since we don't ever have guests but the bigger issue is I will no longer have my own closet. We will somehow need to move all of my hanging clothes back into the closet that Tim has filled in our bedroom. If we have more than one kid, I don't know where we would put them. In the same room together? Give up our home office that I currently work in every day? 

The bigger question is what our future plans are and I honestly don't have an answer for you! I am not sure if we will plan to add onto this house or if we will build/buy a new house in the future. I am personally on team build a new house but that is because I'm spoiled and want to plan the whole thing out and make it perfect for us. I also would love to have more land and have our house more hidden from the road. Right now everyone can see if we are home and see if we are in the front yard. I always dreamed of living in a neighborhood but honestly I think I would prefer living on a back road with more land. I like to spend time hanging around the house and would personally prefer a lot more privacy then we currently have.

I also am hopeful that we will have kids and would love to have a second floor with a playroom for them to enjoy. 

I could sit here and make a wish list of everything I hope we have in a future home but the main point is that we will end up doing something in the future, I'm just not sure which way it will go. For now we will just make improvements that work for us now but will also work for resale if we decide to go that route.

Tell me about your home! Is it your forever home? What is the square footage? Do you ever feel like you need more space?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

My Slightly Organized Kitchen Drawers and Cupboards

Hi everyone! Today I am sharing my "slightly organized" kitchen drawers and cupboards. I am labeling this "slightly organized: because BOY do we have far to go. This is a starting point and I truly hope that one day my drawers and cupboards will be Home Edit worthy but for now at least we know where to find everything!

For now we just have random organizers inside the drawers but I definitely want to create a more uniform look in the future but will be buying items slowly since buying a ton of product does get super pricey. Also, I feel like we filled up this kitchen super fast! We have been in this house for one whole year at this point and when we moved here I felt like we had so much room and now I could use some more space! My mom keeps telling me that everyone feels this way about their home, that there's never enough space but I know our house is on the smaller side so we will have to figure that out one day!

Anyways, let's take a look at what's going on in those kitchen drawers and cupboards and what my plans are for this kitchen in the future.

Here are my first two kitchen drawers. These hold all of our silverware and other kitchen utensils. The silverware organizer is just a cheap one that we picked up from Target back when we first moved into our apartment years ago and it works just fine but I would love one that is lighter and brighter. Also, our silverware is only a few years old but I can see it starting to tarnish. I need to either figure out how to fix that or purchase some new silverware at some point. Anyways let's take a closer look at each of these drawers.

Keep in mind too that our dishwasher was running at this point so some items are missing. I would like to get a slim container to hold all of our chip clips which all just get placed on the side of the silverware. In the back behind the silverware we also need a small container that can hold all the random items that get shoved back there. 

This drawer is full of organizers but also full of a ton of stuff! Tim and I need to go through this drawer together and decide if there are items we can get rid of. When I went through it by myself I identified a lot of items I could get rid of but I never want to get rid of things without checking with Tim since he is the true cook of the house. 

We also have a ton of coozies but I can't bring myself to get rid of some since they came from events we went to. I definitely need to declutter though. After watching Get Organized with The Home Edit on Netflix I feel ashamed that my kitchen doesn't look as pretty as they make others look!

This is our double cabinet that holds some of our food. The rest of our food is on the back of our basement door and on the shelves at the top of our basement stairs. I purged a ton of items in this cabinet right before this picture was taken. We also needed to grocery shop so there isn't a ton in here but honestly I prefer it that way!

This is our appliance cabinet, along with our cutting boards and grilling tools. We have quite a bit and I don't love the look of appliances on the countertops so it's nice that we are able to store them down in this cabinet. 

This is our notorious junk drawer. I don't love the concept of junk drawers, but there is definitely a need to store these types of items. These containers slide around in the drawer and drive me crazy. I need to purchase some museum putty to hold them in place. Add that to the "to buy" list.

This cabinet holds all our Tupperware on the top and our bowls and plates on the bottom two shelves. I love our fiestaware dishes. This is one of the cabinets I feel pretty okay about and there's not much I can do to make it any different!

Our island has two pull out drawers which are great for our pots and pans. I like the way that the top drawer looks with our colanders, pots, and glass trays. It is definitely nice and neat which I appreciate.

The second drawer however.....I'm not sure what to do here. There isn't enough room here for any organizer and we probably have too many pans. Right now it's just a lot of stacking and unstacking items but some day I will find a solution for it!

Also in the island we have three smaller drawers. The top holds some of Sophie's items. We keep smaller treats and some other items in here. 

I am a dish towel hoarder. This drawer is full of dish towels and there are a few molds for dog treats inside there as well. I am not allowed to buy any more dish towels! I always find such cute ones and can't help myself. 

This drawer holds our cling wrap, aluminum wrap, and all our ziplock bags. Honestly we don't use these items all the time so it's nice to have them in a bottom drawer where we don't need to reach for them constantly.

Our corner cabinet holds all of our glasses and mugs. We have far too many for only two humans living in the house. The top shelf looks slightly empty but that's because we had a few in the dishwasher, it is honestly normally full. We definitely don't need anything else in this cabinet!

This next cabinet holds random dishes, measuring cups and mixing bowls. I am in and out of here whenever I'm cooking for the mixing bowls and measuring cups but I honestly don't use any of our serving dishes very often. I love the Disney dishes my college roommate Megan gave us for our wedding but we haven't had much of a chance to use them yet!

Above our microwave we have all our spices. This is fairly organized although I would love to make this look more uniform in the future. I also want to make new labels and have bigger spice jars. 

This little drawer next to our stove just holds our oven mitts. 

We have this little cupboard next to the stove with a super small cabinet door. I just keep a few appliances in here including the blender I use daily.

Above our refrigerator I keep items we don't access every day. Vases are on the left and then on the right we have a ton of water bottles and cups that we received from different events. We could probably go through this cabinet and get rid of quite a bit but that will be a future project.

Lastly, under the kitchen sink! I decluttered this area before taking this picture but I do need to order some products to make this area look a bit nicer. I also plan to put some liner down to brighten this area up. I am thinking about getting some lazy susans for the cleaning products and some containers to hold things like trash bags and sponges. 

So that's a tour of my slightly organized kitchen. I hope that some day my kitchen will be as beautiful as The Home Edit makes kitchens look! I will definitely keep you updated on any updates I make and I plan to get started soon!

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, September 21, 2020

One Year

Guys. It's been ONE year that we've been in our house!!! Can you believe it?! 

One year ago yesterday we started moving in but we actually reached the one year mark of owning our home on September 12th. Let's recap some of the changes that have happened in the last year of home ownership, shall we?

I shared the news that we had officially bought our house and I shared when we moved

Our first project (before even moving in) was painting all of the kitchen cabinets.

I made extensive to-do lists for our house interior and the exterior.

We installed new blinds- finally some privacy!

I organized some kitchen drawers (check back on Wednesday to see inside all our kitchen drawers and cupboards!)

Once that was completed I created some new front gardens. I managed to keep everything alive that I planted! I have been loving having gardens this summer and can't wait to add on next year!

Can you believe we completed all that stuff in our first year here? Tim is currently working on a project right now and I will drop a little teaser picture right here....

Any guesses what we are up to?

Cheers to another year of projects in our first home!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Outdoor Fall Decorating/ Life Lately

To every person who reached out to me through comments/emails/texts after my post last Friday, thank you. It means the world to me that you are here and while my world and story aren't always picture perfect  I am so thankful to have each and every one of you here for it.

On a lighter note today I'm sharing what we've been up to lately...which honestly isn't much! Are you still laying low where you are? In some ways it seems like things are a little more back to normal because I feel more comfortable going into stores, school has started in person/hybrid here, and it just feels like life is a little more normal. However, on the other end of the spectrum everyone is still in a mask all the time, I still work from home nearly all the time, and we don't have a lot of plans besides being around the house! I love being at home so I truly don't mind that part of it, but it leaves me with not too much besides house updates!

This past Saturday my papa and his girlfriend Vivian stopped by to visit us (well mostly Sophie) and it was so nice to have some visitors! Sophie was fairly well behaved and loved being fed a million treats and gaining a new toy. While they were visiting they mentioned stopping at a farm and once they left Tim and I decided to head to a local farm to pick up some outdoor fall decor. We love going to Shickasheen Farm and if you are in the South County area they are a great side of the road farm stand with awesome prices! Our friend Emma and her husband run it along with their family and we loved getting the chance to chat with Emma a bit and pick up a pumpkin and a couple of mums for our front steps. Emma mentioned that they were going to have some more pumpkins soon, so I will definitely be back for some more decor soon!

I love having a bit of fall sprinkled on my front steps. I also recently replaced my front door mat and bought a new buffalo check mat for underneath as well. Both were purchased on Amazon and I love them! Quick question for you, how often do you replace outdoor mats? I am finding that mine wear out super quick, but they are exposed to the elements (no overhang) so I suppose it makes sense. I just assumed they lasted a bit longer, but maybe I just paid no attention when I was younger and living at home!

Oh, football is back! Thanks Soph for the reminder! 

We have been busy drafting fantasy football teams and watching the first week of games. I was quite pleased that the Patriots won on Sunday afternoon and even more pleased when Tampa Bay had a terrible game. Brady and Gronk weren't looking great and I selfishly enjoyed watching those traitors suffer. If you've been around for awhile, you know I have always loved Gronk so I feel a bit betrayed by him. Brady I think all of New England is angry with but I don't know what he expected to happen.

It's nice to have football back on for another bit of normalcy since Tim and I spend most of our Sunday with football on the tv!

We are still going on a lot of walks around here! Tim said to me the other day that no other dog in the neighborhood seems to be getting two walks a day...but this girl does! I have been doing a healthy living program lately and I will talk about it soon, but it is definitely encouraging me to get out and be active every day! 

So that's what's been up around here lately. Let me know what you've been up to!


Friday, September 11, 2020


 Todays post is a super personal one. One that I never intended to write. One that I don't know if I will even post. 

I've been here before, but every time it happens I feel an ache. This time it hurt more.

We have been trying to get pregnant since last June. It has been 14 months or so. When I went to my annual gyno appointment this spring I mentioned that and she asked what I wanted to do and I told her I wanted to wait until the end of the summer and see what happened. She told me to give her a call if I needed her. Well now my self-imposed deadline has come and I suppose the testing begins. 

I feel like a real life Monica Gellar. I love to clean and organize and I struggle with infertility.

Now, I know some people try to get pregnant for years and might look at my 14 month struggle and think I'm overreacting. I know people who don't struggle with getting pregnant don't understand what this feels like. I know that even my husband doesn't understand how much it pains me every month when I feel like my body has failed me again.

I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I've been taking the vitamins, I'm eating healthy, I'm exercising, I take ovulation tests...why can't my body get pregnant?

What am I doing wrong?

Why can everyone else get pregnant so easily and so quickly? 

Why does everyone keep asking me when I'm going to have kids as if it's something that's easy for everyone to do?

Why does it bother me when I hear other people are pregnant? I swear every blogger/youtuber I follow has all been pregnant or had a baby during the last 14 months.

I know I'm not going to get answers to these questions. I even sent a message to a blogger that has talked about infertility extensively and the only thing she could tell me was that she would pray for me. 

I'm sorry this seems like just a whiney, sad post but I just need to send this into the universe and hope for a change in the future. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Fall Decorating!

Well it's officially September and you know what that means.... time for fall decorating!

This past Saturday was rainy and gross so it was the perfect day to haul my fall decor out of the basement and get it set up. I know it seems a little early but this year I was more than ready to change things up in our home since I am home pretty much 24/7 lately! Last fall was our first fall in our home and I didn't buy anything new decor-wise since I had to be so careful about what I had out with a new puppy. After I pulled out my one bin of decor I realized I had a ton of dish towels so I went through and decluttered what I didn't need anymore. Then I realized I don't really have that much decor. I know I don't have a huge space to decorate but I am going to try to start collecting some more decor. 

To see previous years fall decor:

I unfortunately didn't do a post last year on fall decor. I think things were so hectic with moving and getting Sophie!

Here's what my decor looks like so far this year...


On the bathroom shelf I placed this small Hocus Pocus pumpkin which I got at The Christmas Tree Shop years ago. I didn't want to do anything too crazy in the bathroom but putting one small little pumpkin brings a tiny bit of fall to this little room.

I know I didn't use this sign last year but I thought that placing it on the kitchen counter was just too perfect. Hopefully we can keep the kitchen counter clear so this is on display all fall. Does your kitchen counter become a collection area??

These towels look SUPER wrinkled but I had just pulled them from the dryer. These are my favorite fall dish towels and I believe they came from the Target dollar spot a few years ago. I only kept a few fall dish towels because my dish towel drawer is overflowing!

The leaves candle from Bath and Body works is my absolute favorite. It smells amazing and I need to place a Bath and Body Works order to restock! I only have one back up right now and that is not enough with how much I love this candle! 

This half wall between the kitchen and the living room is both fun and challenging to decorate. I love that I can do things like this with the leaf garland but I don't always know what to do with it the rest of the year. Do you have any challenging spots to decorate in your home? 

The table by our front door always is super simple because Sophie knocks into it sometimes. I am risking my Mickey Halloween pumpkin here, fingers crossed it makes it through! This little leaf tray is something I found a few years ago (I can't remember where...) but I love little trays and having them around my home!

I placed this glass pumpkin that my mom gave me for my birthday last year (I think from HomeGoods?), more leaf garland, and my little witch on the tv stand.  

Not fall decor related but I pulled this picture of Tim and I from our wedding out of the guest room and placed it out here. Since we got married in the fall I think it is definitely appropriate and I may keep it out here full time. I am still loving my fiddle leaf fig and despite getting a bit dusty it's still going strong!

I plan on decorating outside in a few weeks once the pumpkins become available. Do you have plans for outdoor fall decorating? I am definitely grabbing some mums, I'm thinking of white and a deep wine color. I will also be grabbing a ton of white pumpkins if I can find them and then maybe some mini orange pumpkins for the walkway. I will definitely share pictures once it's completed!

Let me know what you are doing for fall decor this year and what your favorite places to shop decor are!