Get your family to give your home a surprise DIY home makeover and it will reveal what they really think about you.
I spent the weeks leading up to my parents going on an overseas holiday casing their house and counting the days before they left.
I love my parents. They’re awesome, generous, silly, crazy. But I hate how they’ve decorated their house. It’s a reflection of two parts of their personality I loathe…hoarding and excess.
Every room is a tomb of too many items that don’t serve a function and have no sentimental value.
The same hour they left for the airport, I corralled my brother and sister, and began my excavation.
- I started with all the nick-nacks. Gone.
- I extracted all the excess furniture.
- I rearranged the remaining furniture into a layout that makes sense.
- Then finally, I added some flourish by putting back art, photos, and object d’arts that were meaningful to our family.
The result is a functional space my brother, sister, and I actually want to hang out in – which, trust me, never happens.
No more navigating around a maze of end table after ottoman after occasional chair after a pile of books.
Now we have a comfortable and inviting space that feels like a home, not an antique store’s storage unit.
We’ve spent every night hanging out in the ‘cleansed’ rooms since. We eat together, we hang out together, and we watch our favourite episodes of Daria together.
I’ve isolated all the excess items that were previously spread across the whole house, all into one room where you can’t hide from the excess.
More is not better.
My dad will buy things from Aldi at a ‘great price‘ and then store it in the garage until he has a use for it.
The thing is that, when the time comes (which rarely happens) he can never find the item. It’s lost in the Bermuda Triangle that is my parents garage. If he by some miracle does find it, 9 out of 10 times, it’ll be damaged or not fit for purpose.
He’ll then try to hack the item to make it fit/work. The result is something that doesn’t work quite right and looks sloppy.
I don’t want to live in perpetual ‘maybe someday’.
I want to trust that
when if a need arises, I’ll have the confidence to find the right item for me, my style, and my budget. I can’t predict and plan (and hoard) for every scenario.
If I need neo-traditional end-tables because my current set is damaged, I’m confident I’ll find what I need, then.
My parents have so many great momentos of the family and I want them to see the best of them everyday, not unnecessary souvenirs and items hoarded for ‘someday’.
They’ll be back in 2 weeks and I hope they’ll see the stark contrast between the over-stuffed tomb that was, and the useable space of all the most meaningful items that is now.
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