Hey Guys! How’s it going? As promised, I’m sharing a bit more with you guys about my mission to tidy up this house. By tidy I don’t mean “clean.” I mean go through everything, determine what can stay and what goes, and finding a permanent spot for every item/object/thing.
My go to strategy is pretty simple. I empty the room or area that needs to be cleaned of all its contents – that’s right, every last thing. It’s kind of like moving without the packing.
Next, I consider the space and determine if any of the main pieces of furniture need to be moved out of the space or rearranged. In the case of the music room I decided it made much more sense to have the piano on a different wall. The space is small, apprx 9 x 12 feet. I also added some more Expedit shelving that I had been hoarding since last summer, when the line was discontinued. Once the furniture was in place, I then began to slowly and methodically place the items back into the space. I consider each item determining whether or not it is garbage, can be donated, needs to be moved to a different location, or remains in the space.
I do that for the better part of a day, an blamo! – I’m left with a clean tidy space. Everything in the room feels fresh and new.
The purpose of our “music room” is to house our always growing record collection, while at the same time hosting a growing stash of instruments. The room is used nearly every day. Finn practices piano, Jeff will sneak away to play guitar, and jamz are being played on the record player often.
It was fairly easy to come up with two main areas for the space. The record and stereo zone, and the instrument area. It all just needed to be organized to be cohesive and easily accessible.
The room was in need of lighting. It faces east and becomes very dark in the evenings. Our fam is on a budget, so I decided to come up with the best looking, lowest cost solution available. As always, Ikea had me covered. I was able to use the Ekby bracket with the Sekond black and white braided cord to achieve a easy modern look. I spray painted the plastic tubing flat black and inserted a few of these cool mirrored bulbs. The lights plug into an outlet that operates from a switch!
I would love to paint this piano flat black someday.
Ribba shelves to the rescue. Our number one problem when listening to records is not putting them away when we are done. The additional shelving give us an easy place to display our most recently played records and then hopefully we’ll eventually put them away. Fingers crossed.
Also, BRANDON FLOWERS, you guys! My newest favorite guilty pleasure is listening to the Killers everyday and playing the Desired Effect on repeat. It’s the best pop record disguised as a rock record that you’ll ever listen to.
Now onto a little more different note, or just because I’d rather hide my feelings in a makeover post then actually dedicate a whole post to them. I am having a hard time struggling with anxiety and depression these days. About 18 months ago I began a daily anxiety medication after suffering from lots of anxiety attacks. The medicine did its job. I was relieved of many of my anxieties within weeks. However the medicine also seemed to slowly stifle my ambition and drive. I’ve been aware of this problem for months and it has caused me in turn to feel depressed. Oh the endless cycle! The trauma with my neighbor two weeks ago pushed the whole thing into high gear. It’s been a daily struggle. I am seeing a doctor, and I have changed my routine. I am doing morning yoga daily, walking 4 miles every day and trying not to push myself too hard in the stress department. I’ve been focusing on the cleaning and tidying the house (slowly) as it brings me great peace and rejuvenation. I want to get back to my gardens, they always seem to help center me and give me peace. Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know – in case you were wondering why things seemed so quiet here and there around da blog. This little place on the internet is still my favorite thing I’ve ever made, and I can’t wait to get back to it with a vengeance.
You’re a brave lady. Take care of yourself.
Thanks Kristin, I’m trying :)
You’re inspiring me in all sorts of ways – tidying, design and all around being an awesome person!
Thanks, Ana! This tidying business is addicting.
Good for you, keeping yourself busy and exercising. It really does help. It also helps to remind myself that they are only feelings, and they are not in charge, but giving a day over to them sometimes is totally OK. Hang in there girl.
Thanks, Mary! I am doing everything within my power to make those negative vibes turn into good feelings. It has helped a lot to keep the exercise schedule.
“This too shall pass.” That’s what I remind myself of when I’m stuck in a rut of anxiety and depression. It’s also helpful to know that there are others out there who love home-making and design (although not ALWAYS eager to do so) who struggle in the same way you do. Keep up all the great work that you share with us – and thank you for being so honest. Take care lady!
Hey Regan, I always like that line too. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, it makes me feel supported by a bigger community.
I suffer from winter depression. (I know, we all do to an extent, right? But I do to an extreme. I’ve tried a lot of things – light box in the morning, early rising, morning exercise. I have heard that meditation helps with anxiety/depression. I have’t been able to make that a habit. But this “tapping” exercise takes only a few minutes a day – and I’m finding it does help when I take the time out to do it:
Also, I was completely depleted of vitamin D – that along with fish oil capsules have also helped.
PS: your music room looks great – I love the wallpaper. And I might steal that lightbulb idea – if I do, I’ll link back!
Hey There, Sally! Oh the SADZ (thats what we’ve nicknamed them around here) are the worst – and they are so hard to break free of. Woah, I have never heard of tapping but I think I should give it a try. I’ll do deep breathing exercises when I feel the panic anxiety coming on. I also take Vitamin D in the winter, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try taking a little extra of that now too.
Thank you for your honesty. I’m a daily lurker on your blog and am so amazed by your positive energy and beautiful home. To know that you, too, struggle with anxiety is empowering somehow. Be gentle with yourself and beauty of your family and their love will uplift you.
Awh, Thanks Tara. That means a lot to me. Yes, being gentle is the key these days. I’ve been trying to do so for four days now and I can already feel the difference. My husband has been a great help and a positive force. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, it really so much to me.
Tidying is the best. I recently cleaned out my garage in 111 degree heat. I almost fainted from heat stroke but it felt so so good.
Depression on the other hand is the worst. I’ve been through that too. Like, curled up fully clothed in the bathtub with a hoodie over my head sort of depression. The thing that helped the most was changing my diet. I was a vegetarian at the time and there are studies that show low fat diets can cause depression. I changed to a high fat low carb way of eating, and my life has never been the same. It sounds weird, but it so worked for me.
Oh no, Hot weather and garage cleaning sounds like NO FUN. I bet it did feel good to have it all done though. Good for you!
I definitely have had bad days too – luckily I can usually break free of it within a few days of changing my routine. This time it’s been lingering though. That’s interesting about the diet effecting your depression so much. I often combat bad feelings with eating healthier to know that I am taking care of myself and doing my body good, but I suppose the type of food I’m eating probably has an effect too (duh, me).
I love the listening area. I might attempt to copycat it but my expedit (og) shelves hold my big tv so I’m not sure if I could do it without off centering it or moving my tv elsewhere. Sad life of a small apartment dweller.
Hey Teresa, You’ll figure it out. I’ve moved Expedits all around my house, there is always a new purpose for them. Someday the solution will hit you like a lightening bolt. You could always combine your vinyl storage with your tv/media area too.
Not to minimize what you are feeling, but to the outsider it still seems that you are very productive! You have accomplished a lot this summer! And much of what you accomplish inspires many. Glad you are taking care of yourself.
Hey, Thanks Jen. It’s good to hear that, actually. I have felt mostly frozen by the amount of work I’ve had to do the last few months. I think a lot of that has to do with not being able to officially check the basement off my to-do list as there is still quite a bit that needs to be done. It’s good to know that from an outside perspective it seems like I’m actually being productive!
I am glad to hear that you are taking steps to care for yourself. Sending love.
Thanks, Amanda! You are always so sweet and kind to me.
Our brains and our hormones can wreak such havoc on our lives. It sucks! I’m glad you are still excercising, endorphins can make such a difference. My suggestion would be to try running/jogging. Start slow by jogging slowly for short periods of time cushioned by lots of walking. If you can speed walk for 4 miles then you can jog for a minute. The start will suck–no way to get around it but the runner’s high after is pretty awesome!
Oh man, Becky! I wish I could, and maybe someday I will try again. I just really like walking and I do a good 14 .5 min mile. I can’t stand the sensation of running though, I feel the entire weight of my body coming down on every step. Even if I was super trim I’m sure I would still feel that sensation and it just drives me crazy! You do make it sound easy though, I’ll give you that ;)
I am curious to know what a runners high feels like compared to a speed walkers high.
OMG – is that your FLF from a post a while back? It is looking great. I just got one and am nervous i will kill it. Any other tips or words of encouragement? I also live in MN so finding a sunny spot is always a challenge. Right now the branches look dried and brown? Iis that just the normal look?
Hey! Yeah, it is that same fig! I should do another follow up because I’ve gotten a lot of questions on the last post and have been a bad summer blogger and have failed to respond. I am not an expert but I have had some luck with these guys.
I put mine in a east facing window, although I believe south would be equally as good. You can see my last post about watering if you are curious. I almost killed one of mine this summer by putting it in front of air conditioner. It told me that it was unhappy by having 90% of it’s leaves turn yellow and fall off at the same time. Luckily, I realized that it was not happy, moved it outside, re-potted it and chopped the top off (talk about a shock to the system). Within three weeks I saw three tiny branch nubs and I was thrilled. It’s doing well now! As far as branches looking dried and brown, I think that is how they are supposed to be that way. After they make new leaf shoots they are often green but then the branches will turn brown.
Anyway, I think a post is probably in order, don’t you?
YES! A post would be great!!! I walked into our flower shop downtown yesterday to get some leaf spray and there it was..it was like it was meant to be and the plant Gods had answered my prayers. I have only been dreaming and pining over them on Pintreset for months. I used your blog to research how to care for them and found a couple other helpful resources too. Mine is in our huge east facing window so I hope he likes his new home. I think I need to come up with a name for him so he feels part of the family, thus less likely to die ;)
What’s in the corners where the Expedits come together? Did you just overlap two of them (so there are empty shelves behind that part)? I always struggle with putting shelving in corners!
The room looks great – what a great place to relax and play or enjoy some jamz!
Take care of yourself! I find exercise and breathing exercises so helpful – I hope that the changes you’ve made help you, too.
I am seriously impressed by your dedication to your tidying mission — taking everything out of the room? Examining each item? You’re a rock star! And to echo another commenter, I think you’ve been amazingly productive this summer, but I understand how it feels to not have a definite checkmark next to a big task. But really, you’ve been way more productive with your life than I have with mine, and I don’t even have kids!
I can tell you that the anxiety does decrease with age. I am very comfortable with it now, mid fifties, and attacks are very rare. I always say a “thank you” when they do show up b/c it’s a reminder of what I don’t have to bother with anymore. Also, I’m with Lindy, drop the carbs/sugar/alcohol and add protein/fat. It seems wrong but it’s right. Take a look at Mark Sisson’s site, just start with the success stories, they are wonderful. Finally “mom brain” can be life changing in a bad way, but I do think that is nature’s way. We are always on alert.
Glad I am not alone. This past month my anxiety has reached a peak – so frustrating. I hate how it takes over my thoughts…but I too am focussing on projects, walks, breathing, upping my vitamins, trying to eat better (but its hard to eat when I get anxious). Taking it hour by hour and day by day. Good luck with your journey.
I also live in Mpls and struggle with anxiety A LOT. Based on a referral from a friend, I started seeing an therapy/energy woman in South Mpls. She basically has totally rebooted me! I feel SO much better and never took medication or anything… just listened and put into action her guidance and wisdom–she’s a miracle worker!! I go whenever I’m super overwhelmed and need a little help. Here’s her website–she takes private appointments out of her home–GO. NOW. :)
I used to have terrible anxiety about five years ago and started taking probiotics daily and it completely stopped. I’m obviously not a doctor and it might not work for everyone, but getting my gut right definitely helped my anxiety issues. Hope you are feeling better soon!
I too suffer from depression and anxiety and wanted to point you to a blog post that explains why the months of Sept. and March tend to be particularly hard on some of us. I have the Tmehop app and was reminded at the beginning of Sept. why it was that I was at the verge of tears and I was just standing at the bus stop waiting to head into work…the f-in Autumnal Equinox! http://dooce.com/2011/09/29/autumnal-equinox/
I love reading your blog and am sorry to hear you’re having a tough time. Its nice you shared and are keepin’ it real with us readers. Sending virtual *hugs* to you from the east coast.
Hi! I don’t even know if you’ll see this but whatev. Yeah…. totally creeping on a post that’s almost a year old but I’ve been back reading your blog & I just love it. I really have no idea how you don’t have hundreds of comments on everything you do. This is fucking ridiculous I know but I’ve mentioned to my husband a gazillion times that I’ve been reading your blog & I just feel like.. I can relate to you in so many ways. *Sidenote. It’s stupid but I thoroughly enjoy finding a blogger that’s not afraid to throw in their normal language of fucks & goddamns. It’s actually the first thing I saw on your blog that made me do a doubletake and instantly love. That & the fact that you’re the one that puts the work in & not your husband. I am also that person in our house & people find it weird & it’s annoying. ANYWAY. The last paragraph just really hit me & I had to say hi. My mental state had been on a steady decline over the last several weeks & then I recently had a health-scare (that hasn’t been cleared up yet) & it’s sent me on a tailspin. We’ve owned an 80 year old house in OKC for 6.5 years that I have love/hate/hate relationship with that needs A LOT of work & I’ve been focusing on it 24/7 to distract myself. I haven’t been able to just sit down & watch TV or relax with my husband like usual. I need to be up, working, sweating my ass off, cursing at my GD molding for the paint not stripping after a bazillion treatments, etc. It’s a weird kind of therapy but it also keeps me up at night with a different kind of anxiety soooo.. the rabbit hole. Anyway, sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not alone. In this case since it’s 9 months ago for you, I am the one that’s not alone.. unless you’re currently experiencing this too… in that case… I am sorry. Anxiety & depression is a bitch.
Lady! I’ve read both of your most recent comments, but haven’t had a chance to reply. I’ll admit, the first one did almost slip by me, and I’m glad I caught it. I totally am a fan of the swears, and if I wasn’t so worried about offending some folks there would be a lot more of them.
Anxiety and depression are hard things. After september I stopped taking my meds thinking they were causing my depression, uh no, duh, I was depressed and I needed my meds to not make things worse. Thankfully I’ve made peace with the fact that there are side effects of being on medication (like a lack of motivation and gaining some pounds), but for me, it is just the way it has to be. Things have gotten better, but there are still days every so often. I hope you are doing well, I know that you said things have been rough for you lately, but hang in there, it will get better. It always surprises me that random upsets can rock the whole boat, hard – having an anxious minds makes us fragile people in certain ways. Anyways, like I said, HANG IN THERE, and I’m glad you like it here ;) XO