The Willam Morris Project- Apartment Style

I found out about Jules’ William Morris Project from Nicole Balch’s most recent Honor Roll over at Making it Lovely. Her link brought me here, and that led me here, which led me here and finally here. I know that’s a lot of links, but if you are really interested in this project, they are all really helpful and inspiring. If you are short on time, just click that last one. That’s the post that really resonated with me.

When I went home for a week at Thanksgiving, I started helping my mom clean out the 30-something years of accumulated stuff that is in my childhood home. I ended up extending my visit for a second week because we had built up so much momentum and were really motivated to purge things. We made over 10 trips to the Salvation Army, and the garbage bags and recycling bins were overflowing each garbage night. We had lots of laughs, and some tears, too (jingle the metal chain of a dog you barely remember, who passed away when you were five, and that sound will bring back memories you never knew you had).

I didn’t realize it then, but I’m so blessed to have been able to purge with my mom. We could have very easily decided to watch HGTV or shop or coo incessantly at Eila all day, but we didn’t. We spent long shifts in the basement, closets, and crawl spaces and relaxed at night after a hard day’s work. Had we not done what we did, that would have been 2 weeks worth of purging that my sister and I could have found ourselves doing after our parents’ passing. Granted, there is still SO much more to go through, but I now know that my mother has looked in every box on every shelf and most of the things that are still in that house meant something. Also, I’m just so grateful that both of my parents are still here on this earth (God willing for many more years).

Okay, back on track. Seeing how much stuff we got rid of made me realize I don’t ever want to hold on to every little thing. I am very sentimental and will probably still save random mementos that hold a special meaning, but I realized I don’t need to keep that picture frame a friend gave me that really isn’t me, or the jeans I bought 4 years ago that are no longer my style. Between my trip home and Jules’ motivational posts, I’m ready to hop on board the William Morris Project train!

I feel like my projects will be a little smaller than most others, as we are not home owners and only rent a small 2 bedroom apartment in a 3-family house. We can’t make any major changes, but there is still plenty we can do. Plus, since this is not our forever home, it’s nice to know that we are paring down our belongings for our next inevitable move, yet making our current place as functional and “home-y” as possible.

Hubby has agreed to tackle one “project” a week with me, so maybe you will see a bit more of him over here at this blog of ours. I swear he forgets it exists sometimes…

Without further ado, here is our running list. I hope to add more as we go along.

Living Room (It’s really our Entryway/Living room/Dining Room/Office/Playroom)

Replace area rug (add a pad underneath new rug so Eila has a soft place to play)
Paint trim, doors and walls
Hang something above table
Hang curtains
Wall mount the TV
Create shelving in closet
Purge and organize closet
Spray paint chairs
Purge and organize bookshelf
Make a “landing strip”
Finally get sofa slipcover dry cleaned
Swap shelves on yellow table
Create radiator cover
Create toy storage for Eila
Baby proof

Our Bedroom

Paint trim and doors
Purge and organize bookshelf
Bring clothes to consignment
Create storage system for off-season clothes
Find a way to fix foot board or get rid of it
Nightstand for Andre’s side of the bed
Replace laundry basket
Make reading corner an actual place I’d want to use
Create radiator cover
Baby proof

Kitchen

Find a place for Andre’s art
Paint inside of island (it’s currently only primed)
Donate box of comic books
Tackle recycling bins
Optimize storage under the sink
Baby proof

Eila’s Room

Add shelving above radiator
Make or buy crib skit
Anchor cabinet to wall
Paint or add paper to back of cabinet shelves
Hang quilt rack
Artwork above dresser
Artwork above crib
Organize clothes not yet needed by season and size
Baby proof

Bathroom

Paint walls
Replace shower curtain and liner
Make or buy a new valance that matches this apartment, not the last one…
Replace bath mat
Add storage
Create radiator cover
Baby proof

Front Stairwell

Hang coat hooks
Add artwork

Back Stairwell

Organize storage cabinet
Find a home for random things that have been directly outside the door
Add more nails for Andre to hang artwork/supplies
Create a space to hang broom/floor steamer

Basement/Outside

Create a workspace for Andre
Create more storage space
Designate a space specifically for hand me downs we are not yet using and baby items Eila has outgrown that we will use again.
Clean and store bikes
Install a retractable clothesline for cloth diapers

Whew. I’m not even overwhelmed or surprised by that list. Every single thing on it has been swirling around in my head. I think I will sleep soundly tonight just for having typed it out. I’m starting a week late on the project, but for once in my life, I’m not going to let something like that stop me from being productive! Here goes nothin’!

Up first: Shelving in Eila’s room.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. –William Morris

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