So the other day when I shared my scrappy Irish Chain quilt, I mentioned in passing that there’s no longer going to be a mudroom. I know. I kind of just slipped that in there without much of an explanation. Terrible. So today I’m going to explain.
For those of you who may not remember, my family room has been a long, ongoing process. I haven’t done any real decorating in there yet, despite living here for 6 1/2 years, because I can’t seem to get the layout right! I keep fussing with it and fussing with it and still I’m never happy. Last time I made a big change, I had decided that it was just that the room was too darn big, and that no matter what I did it wasn’t going to work unless I carved off a hunk of the room and used it for a mudroom.
It was the first time I felt excited about the room and I even finally got started painting my cabinets green. For awhile it was cozy and comfortable and it actually seemed like it might be the family room I could stick with.
Of course, when you consider where I had come from, it’s not hard to see that it was a major improvement.
(We won’t even discuss what the room looked like when I moved in!)
But over time, the “mudroom” just became a holder for junk. It was dirty and claustrophobic. The stuff was weighing down on us, threatening to topple through the curtain on a daily basis. We couldn’t use the sliding glass door.
I just figured the junk was the problem, so I cleaned it out. Yes, all of it. Some of it I put in the office closet for later sorting, but 90% of it is just gone. It didn’t need to be here anymore. I have gone through so much in the last year, and grown so much in the last year, and one thing that is so very, very clear to me now is that this stuff is just stuff. I don’t need any of it. Sure, I enjoy having things, I prefer to have some things (like fabric), but for the most part? I don’t need it anymore. Once I got to that place, I just gave it away.
But then guess what happened? Somehow, the mudroom didn’t seem that compelling anymore. We kept the curtain up for awhile, and Mr. Magpie even started some preliminary setup for building the wall. We could a secondhand flatscreen TV we were going to hang up. But our hearts weren’t in it. We’re happy watching TV on our laptops. That is, when we watch which is not often. We missed being able to see out onto the porch and have easy access to the garden, especially in the nicer weather.
We toyed with the idea of putting in French doors on the other side of the family room (replacing the window there), but it was going to be a long time and a big expense and as Mr. Magpie pointed out, ruin the whole point of a mudroom anyway!
And then, one day, through some rambunctious playtime, the blue curtain came down entirely. And it was so light and bright and open, that we said, well, maybe we should just embrace this big space. We can make it as cozy as we can and just enjoy it.
So that’s what we’re going to do.
You know what the funniest part is? It doesn’t feel cavernous or uncomfortable now, even though it’s completely a mess with half-done furniture and mismatched ottomans and toys everywhere and a crazy 80’s leather chair.
It just feels like home. Oh, we have plans, of course, and I’ll tell you more about those, but what surprises me the most is how comfortable it feels, even with all the open space. Before it felt like the space was pushing us around, you know what I mean? Now it feels like the space is there to support us in growing, blossoming and thriving.
You know what I think? I think maybe the junk was the root of the problem. Maybe we just weren’t ready for a large room because we were so tangled up with all the excess stuff that was in the house. Maybe we hadn’t grown enough as human beings to handle all of the light and energy that is flowing through that big space. Maybe now we are.
It’s amazing what decluttering can do.
Have you ever been transformed by a change in your amount of stuff?