Monday, July 23, 2012

Organizing as a result of Empty Nest Syndrome

I've been in a funk lately. Our youngest has left home and we're now official empty nesters. I'm trying to look at the positive side of this situation though (yes, I'm one of those mothers who is not anxious to see their kids go)...
Anyhow, looking at the positive, I realize I've now gained additional space, and in our tiny little split entry "cottage," that is a huge bonus!

When our youngest was about 16, she asked if she could move her bedroom down to the larger front-to-back Family Room in our basement (which also had its own bathroom). She made a cheerful space for herself down there...

... but this is what it looks like now. I utilized what she left behind, the bench, desk, settee, the artwork and the pillows. I know you've all seen the commercials on TV where the parents immediately get out their measuring tapes and giddily plan the hot tub that's going to go into the child's "once upon a time" bedroom. Not me. I had much loftier dreams! Etsy shop storage space and a packing area!

The view toward the fireplace when this was Court's bedroom...Look at handsome old Spotty sitting in the window. How I miss that big guy. He was a love.

And this is it now. Again, I've left her decorations on top of the "storage shelf" mantel and used her little square side table for the TV she left behind. Why spend money decorating when your daughter leaves a ton of great stuff behind? Of course come winter I'll have to move the TV as it's sitting right in front of the faux log fireplace heater (which really helps warm the room during our New England winter months!).

Take a look at this coffee table. We have a 'swap shop' of sorts at our local landfill and I eyed this little baby for two weeks in a row before it dawned on me that it would make the perfect surface for packaging up orders!!

It's adorable! Yeah, it has some bubbling in the finish and raised pieces of wood here and there, but how can you beat free? I love it!

So this is where things get wrapped and boxed. Oh, the vintage glass ashtray that I use as a coaster was also a freebie :)

And I might as well enjoy some of my inventory before it sells. I wish I could keep these three pitchers. I think they look great on the windowsill! (Oh, and did I mention that this room is OFF LIMITS to our darling Baby cat?)

So going back several years, this was the back part of Court's downstairs bedroom, a nice sitting area. These photos were taken before we got rid of the old carpet and updated her light fixtures.

And back to the present - this is what that area looks like now. Definitely not as inviting, but oh-so utilitarian and necessary! As you can see, Court left that awesome old white wardrobe. I might move that upstairs at some point but right now it is still crammed full of her belongings! (She still has a LOT of cleaning out to do! She definitely takes after her [ahem] mom.) Oh, regarding Baby cat? I let her come down here with me the other day because she really wanted to; within 5 minutes she'd jumped into her old window (on the right), then jumped to the top of the wardrobe, and was just about ready to leap to the top of my shelving unit to explore (all kinds of breakables from the Etsy shop are kept loose on the top shelf!) So I scooped her up and sent her on her way!
See the Ikea wardrobe with the curtained door on the right side of the photo? That used to hold all tons of Court's dresses and shirts...

Again, not so exciting or pretty, but I've found that free boxes are my friends when shipping is a regular activity!

I know many of you run Etsy or eBay shops. Have you ever received an order and not been able to locate the item you sold?? Please don't tell me I'm the only one that has happened to!! I am sorry to say it happened to me on a few occasions. (I guess with over 500 items in the vintage shop and 100-200 in the art shop, it was bound to happen at some point.) Most of the time, after I'd spent hours of precious time searching for the item, I'd eventually find it. However, once I never did and I had to cancel the order (of course I've since found the item). Anyhow, with all this extra space I decided it was time to get organized, so everything was brought down to Court's old room and arranged with a plan.  All of the merchandise was inventoried and put into numbered bins. I typed up inventory sheets of what is in each bin and I keep it updated on my computer so when something sells, I know right where to go. Sooooooooo much easier! And I'm happy to say this project is about 95% complete.

Ah, yes. My other box storage station which mostly houses USPS Priority boxes. And again, look at that darling poster of Spotty. We had that made for Court's old dorm room. When she came home from college, she hung it in her room. Unless she ever decides to take it, here it will stay. Such a sweet face. And see the ribbon hanging from the door knob? That was for Baby to play with back when this was Court's bedroom. Even though Baby's not allowed in here now, it's still hanging there. (Note to self: Baby is not allowed in this room, time to remove her 'toy.')

So that's what I've been up to, rearranging and getting organized! And as I look at this photo I see yet another of Baby's toys hanging from the ceiling (much more visible in one of the above photos). She used to jump to the top of Court's Ikea wardrobe and bat at this cat toy. She was/is soooooo spoiled! haha

Okay, lights out. Time to go upstairs to my other job and do some transcribing!!! Hope you all have a great week - it's going to be another HOT one here in New England!!!

I'm linking to Cindy's Show & Tell Friday at the beautiful My Romantic Home.



Brenda Pruitt said...

You've made excellent use of your "empty nest" space. How is Baby taking not being allowed in that room?

SerendipityRefined said...

Oh holy smacks! WE ARE KINDRED!!!!! I'm so thankful that you found me! Hang in there, girlfriend! We're almost one full day closer to Friday! :)

Susan said...

Wow, Donna. You have been busy. I think your new area is great....very functional. Good for you. Didn't know you sold that many items at once. That's great! Take care. Susan

Sandra@Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls said...

My, you have been busy, and now you have a wonderful space! Just a hint, don't be expecting Court to remove all her belongings, lol. I have four daughters, and I am still 'storing' things they can't bear to part with, but 'don't have room for right now' in their own homes. Not that I mind, it makes it seem they have not really grown up and gone about the business of making their own homes and families. Love that old wardrobe!

Claudia said...

Great job, Donna. It must be bittersweet, having Court move out but channeling that emotion into organizing and making a usable space for your Etsy shop is the perfect prescription for sadness!


Elaine said...

Great transformation. Good idea to keep Baby out of the Etsy area. I have had many items broken by Percy.

Nice to have extra space to yourself. I'm sure your girls are happy you have made the space your own.