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family room organization


Now that our new floors are installed in the family room, I am very motivated to clean up the joint.  Things were so busy for me in 2012 that I really slacked on my usual “stuff control” duties.  I knew I needed to clean out a closet, organize the toys, or get rid of clothes that were too small for the boys, but I would feel pressed to get something else done and I wouldn’t do it.  For some reason, stuff stresses me out.  It might be in a closet, totally out of view, but I know it’s there and I don’t like it.

I like the stuff that’s in plain sight even less!



For about a year, we’ve had this toy shelf with locker baskets in the family room.  It’s a piece we built for Cottages & Bungalows magazine and it’s been a great storage piece.  My boys are getting older now, though, and they don’t need to have so many toys in the family room, so today I cleaned out the toy shelf…



…and moved it upstairs to their room.  They still do a lot of playing down here, though, so I wanted to keep the toys they played with most accessible to them.  I cleaned out the dresser under the window and the bottom of the hutch to make room.



That involved consolidating the toys they like and getting rid of the things they never play with or the things they’ve outgrown.



What didn’t fit in the hutch went into the dresser.  The drawers slide out easily and everything’s arranged so it’s easy to find and easy to put away.



I also moved the decorating magazines off the coffee table and put some sketch pads, coloring & activity books in their place along with some crayons.  We had some out for a long time, but the boys stopped using them, so I put them away.


Their artwork is getting so darn cute nowadays that I want to encourage it again.


I did some organizing for myself as well.


That side table needs a little rehab work…and some paint, of course.


My Oma (grandmother) always had a bowl of nuts out in the winter months, so I’m following in her footsteps.  I put some out in an ironstone casserole that’s missing a lid and an English nutcracker I purchased off Etsy.


When I got the hooked Dash & Albert rug for my office, I moved the wool rug I  bought from Target on clearance to the basement.  I loved it too much to get rid of it just yet.  As I was doing laundry this morning, it occurred to me that it would be perfect for the family room.  At 5 x 7, it’s too small for the space, but it’s a nice stand-in until I can find and save for an 8 x 10.  It warms the room up, reduces sound and breaks up the brown of the flooring.



I can start to see how the room is coming together.  Isn’t it cool when you make a change that makes you start to fall in love with your house?


…I still need to reupholster that chair and make a video series of me doing it.  I hope to get to that in a few weeks.

I even set up a new place for me to work on my computer.  I have been using the kitchen counter for years.  I needed to when my boys were younger, because it was out of their reach and it became habit, but now they’re old enough to know not to touch mommy’s computer unless they have permission.  This is the perfect little corner.



I worked hard today…scooting around furniture, sorting things, hauling out trash bags, running up and down the stairs…but it was so much fun.  I can’t wait to tackle more.

Is organizing and moving furniture this invigorating for anyone else?

Oh!  I forgot to mention two things.  First of all, tomorrow, January 8, 2013, Joss & Main will start running a sale of home decor items curated by me!  It’s called French Blue, Farmhouse White.

I almost always buy used and that makes it hard for people who want to purchase MMS style for their home.  I had a great time collectimg furnishings, pillows, rugs and accessories that I would use in my own home.  If you’re new to Joss & Main, click HERE to join.  Even if you don’t shop, I hope you can get some inspiration from the collection I curated.

Second, the winners of Milk Paint Workshop giveaway are…

Christal Wilson wins one ticket to the Milk Paint Workshop

Kelly of wins one ticket to the Milk Paint Workshop

And Nancy (queenmum07) wins two tickets for her and her daughter to come to the breakfast.

I can’t wait to meet all of you this  weekend!

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  1. Denise T says:

    This is a great post. I have to do something about dog toys, stuffs. I am not sure how they should be organized . In a basket? , it has to be something that they can pick up and play with them . I wish they could bring them back to whatever it is.

  2. Denise T says:

    This is a great post! I have to figure out how I should organize my dogs’ stuffs, toys, etc… A basket ? It has to be something that they can pick up from there and play with them. I wish they could be trained to bring them back to a basket when they are done.

  3. wow I love everything!! I love to use baskets and tubs for all the kids toys:) I did this fall go to Ikea and buy two wooden toy bins kind of looks like stairs and I put one in the front closet and the second one upside down on top which made a square full of bins. So now the boys toys all have bins and it looks really nice if the closet door is open. Now I am going to tackle the storage rooms:) Oh I just have to have them all nice to even though you do not see those rooms.

  4. Absolutely invigorating. I need to get on it!

    You gave me an Ahhhh! moment. My mom and dad didn’t have much, but one treat they gave one another was the (for them) splurge of a bowl of nuts accompanied by an old nutcracker that sat on the dining room table all winter long. Both of my parents are gone now, but you made my day reminding me of simple joys shared with them.

  5. aimee gordon says:

    I have absolutely no money for paint or fabric but it is amazing how AWESOME I feel when I deep clean, reorganize and rearrange. I actually enjoy shopping in my own home now. I’ve learned to enjoy the simple things, although someday I would love to be able to afford the MMS paint…..!!!!!!

  6. Tina Emenes says:

    Marion, want to know what the best part about this post is? To see you live with “stuff” too! :) Love it!! I know from experience though, one day my house will look picture perfect and then projects come along and deadlines need to be met and all of a sudden it looks like a hurricane came through. Counters are cluttered, chairs are filled with “stuff” and my floor looks like an obstacle course! Which is where I’m at right now. Soon it will be purging day for me!

  7. Everything looks gorgeous! Finding clever ways to organize and store toys is always a challenge, so I love your ideas. And oh how I love your side table vignette.

  8. Annette says:

    I get so invigorated by moving furntiture and re-organizing my home that once I start in one room, it normally leads to the rest of the house! I go in spurts. My husband, who detests change, gets very grumpy, but I’m so happy that I don’t mind. :) —I think I’m going to tackle the dining room this weekend.

  9. Congrats on Joss & main!

  10. How wonderful for all of us to have your insight and “picks” at Joss & Main! it is like having you as a personal shopper along to shop, or maybe more like a great Girlfriend to help! Could be dangerous tempting. I also love Joss & Main because you can also use it at a tool for inspiration for thrift shop finds or furniture re-dos of our own if not in your budget! I am thrilled that you are now associated with them, but maybe it should be reversed, they should be honored to have you! Good that they have items of all prices ranges, so everyone can find something in their price range! Good News!

  11. I love reorganizing – a fresh start feels so good! And thanks for the pictures of the nuts – reminds me of the bowl of nuts my grandparents always had out. Must be a German thing?

  12. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Legos FTW!

  13. Just to let you know that I find on my wood floors (cherry) when i put a rug down on them the floors will fade and when you lift the rug you will notice where the rug was… maybe moving them often might help?

  14. So I’m on the hunt for locker baskets for the same thing!!… girls playroom shelf!! Any suggestions?

  15. whitney says:

    I beg you not to reupholster that fabulous pink-striped chair, it’s so perfect as-is! I sure wish we lived closer together, I’d trade you for it – I have 2 really great shapely old chairs that I’m planning to paint & reupholster but I like yours better. Fabulous job in re-organizing the space. I’ve been on a culling-rampage for the last couple months, it feels so good. Thanks for all the inspiration, as always!

  16. Rachel says:

    Wow! You make everything look so fabulous! Thanks for the inspiration.

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