Where We’ve Been Living Since Closing on Our New House
We sold our first house on October 10th and ever since that day, we’ve been living in our new house.
Yes, we’ve been living amidst the demo, dust (holy dust!!), and non-stop projects. And yes, the entire upstairs has looked pretty similar to these pictures for the past two months. Sounds a little crazy, right?!
Living in the Basement
Thankfully, this new house has a basement with a full bathroom and bedroom, so we’ve been living in the basement.
Right when we closed on the house we worked our butts off to finish the basement just in time to move ALL of our furniture and boxes downstairs to “set up shop” until it was time to move upstairs permanently. There wasn’t much that needed to be done downstairs other than painting… everything. The trim, doors, ceiling, and walls all got a fresh coat of paint and almost immediately it felt a lot more “us”. Fast forward since we finished painting back in October and this empty room now looks something like this…
We say that it’s like a mini version of our old family room, but underground! We took our family room set from the old house (couch, chair, TV, coffee table, rug) and set it up in the basement. This transition has made living down here a lot more comfortable because it feels so familiar. And the best part is that this setup is staying down here since we bought a new couch for upstairs (yay!!).
Another room that may look familiar to you guys is our current basement bedroom, which looks like this…
We’re still not sure if this set will stay down here as a guest room, or if we’re going to bring it upstairs. Either way, the familiar look has us feeling extra comfortable in our new house (even if we are sleeping in the basement).
But I don’t want you guys to be under the false assumption that everything down here is already styled and looking neat or organized. It’s far from that, not to mention the layer of nonstop dust that coats e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g at ALL times!
First, let’s chat about the bathroom. The previous owner took the mirror with her and we removed the sconces when we painted. Therefore, we’ve been using this bathroom with no mirror (or extra lighting) since we moved in. But most importantly, let’s chat about this shelf that we threw in here to function on an everyday basis.
It’s a total eyesore but I’ve come to accept the chaos and not really worry about it (a big step for a Type A personality like me who likes everything to look neat, organized and stylish!). I’ve actually really come to love having it (did I actually just admit that?!) because it’s SO convenient. Eventually all of this stuff will be hidden in the upstairs linen closet but for now, it works. Well, minus the whole mirror situation.
Without a mirror in the bathroom, I sit on the floor and do my hair and makeup over here every morning. Look familiar? This little corner is currently holding all of our old house’s office furniture. I unpacked a few boxes to make the shelves feel less empty, but I probably shouldn’t have done that since now they are extremely dusty and have become a bit of a catch-all.
The other side of the basement collects random piles of “stuff” and is Matt’s permanent ironing station (yay?). But I’ve come to terms with it for now. The piles of stuff seem to accumulate quickly when we have no permanent home for anything. These past two months have really solidified the importance that everything in my house needs to have a “home” for me to maintain my sanity. It’s the only way things stay organized for us. That’s probably what I’m most looking forward to when we move upstairs, giving everything a specific home so these items don’t pile up over and over and over again.
Thank Goodness for Hidden Storage
Thankfully though, we have lots of storage down here to hide all of the boxes that we have yet to unpack, or even touch. We piled all of our boxes into one of the storage rooms and closed the door behind us so we don’t have to stare at them. This has helped a lot. I know they are there, but because I don’t have to look at them, they really don’t bother me as much as I thought they would.
The other utility rooms are filled with rugs, a mattress and more furniture for upstairs, but because I can close the door and forget about them I really don’t mind… for now. And quite honestly, I really don’t have a choice.
The laundry room needs a lot of love someday. Right now it’s holding all of our paint until we can organize it in one of the storage rooms. We want to keep it inside so it doesn’t freeze over the winter.
We also added this rack to the opposite side of the laundry room, which has been doubling as Matt’s FULL closet, and we’re thankful for the function.
The closet in the bedroom is super big but only has a tiny rod so both of us can’t use it at the same time. Someday we’ll reconfigure it, but it definitely isn’t a priority now. So Matt has been making it work using his mini rack.
The stairs are still a black hole, but we’re actually happy we haven’t touched them since there’s been so much dust, dirt and paint traffic up and down the stairs to the slop sink. Someday we’ll figure out a plan to get rid of the ugly maroon and brown but for now, they’re fine! #priorities
The pew will also head upstairs to the mudroom very soon but it’s a fragile piece so we wanted to wait until all of the construction traffic was gone before bringing it up. Then I’ll have to figure out a way to use the rest of this space (and cover the back of the couch?) but honestly, I’m not worried about that too much right now either. (So much to do, so little time!!).
Getting Excited to Move On Up!
I’m just happy that we’ve been able to stay here during the construction. But if I’m being honest, I will be extra excited when it’s finally time to move upstairs and start ORGANIZING my life again. No more piles, no more clutter, no more climbing up and down the stairs 50 times throughout the day — I’m ready! Our goal is to make this happen before Christmas but worst case scenario, before the baby.
I don’t want to rush anything and end up having design regret so as much as I’m ready, I’m trying to force myself to take the next few steps slowly and intentionally. We’ll see how that goes but that’s the plan.
The Silver Lining
I hope this gives you the idea that things around here have been far from perfectly styled photos. The journey has been filled with lots of un-styled spaces and big eyesores but in the best way ever. I’m sure we will look back at these crazy days in the basement and laugh. We’ll remember the nights we ate our dinner on our tiny coffee table together or the mornings we woke up freezing because we forgot to turn the heat on upstairs before we went to bed.
We have no extra cable TV, no mirror in the bathroom, no extra closet space, no form of organization, yet we still feel like we are the luckiest people in the world. This journey has been a great reminder for us that living simply is what we want in life.
As the baby comes and we slowly transition upstairs, we don’t want to lose sight of this goal. Sometimes simple is good (minus all of the dust and hopefully styled a bit more!).
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.