Breezeway wars: Getting ready for those "before" shots

Breezeway wars: Getting ready for those "before" shots

You may remember my husband's decluttering vacation last January.

He was off and I wasn't, and he decided to tackle the mess in our breezeway and garage. I was a bit nervous about his tendence to throw things out in a rush.

It didn't go quite as far as he had planned, as so often happens with home improvement projects. But It was a start, and good prep for the breezeway makeover planned by my designer friends at HouseTalkN.

The breezeway is still fairly cluttered, but we did dispose of a few things (and unearthed a few lost items, too). And some toys and other childhood debris was set aside for a neighborhood consignment sale (most of which sold, thank you)..

The garage is also fairly organized now, if still somewhat full. We even bought bicycle hooks to hang the bikes. (Those of you who know us will realize what an accomplishment this is.)

The tally from the January purge:

2 bags of girls clothes returned to a friend
1 bike donated at the curb
1 carseat tossed
2 bags of toys/kids jewelry donated to school for Fun Night prizes
3 bags of clothes and 2 bags of (cleaned) stuffed animals donated to charity.
1 bag of clothes passed on to a friend
1 game, 1 puzzle and stack of magazines passed on to a teacher friend (for projects)
1 basket of duplo blocks handed down to my sister, the new grandma
Lots of recycling!

What we’ve acquired in the meantime:
1 snowblower
1 expensive extension cord (see unfortunate related blog post)

Not a bad ratio, all in all.

In the meantime, of course, things got a little messy again. We had to clean up the house for an April First Communion party and the breezeway is the obvious receptable of excess clutter.

And it was in frightening condition for my HouseTalkN friends' impromptu visit a couple of weeks ago to scope out the makeover.

I threatened them with bodily harm if they took any photos before I got a chance to tidy up the place. On Monday night, I finally did, and managed to throw out a few more things in the process.

So, sadly, this is my breezeway in tidied-up shape - all ready for those "before" photos. Essentially, toys along one side, cleats and recycling and miscellaneous "stuff" along the other.

 (In answer to your question, I do not know what the white substance on our floor is. I tried to vaccum it up, but it's not budging. I am hoping it's chalk.)

You can see more photos at the HouseTalkN website this week.

I just hope they are miracle workers.


Julie Wurth writes and blogs about family issues, social services and the University of Illinois for The News-Gazette. Her column appears in the paper every other Tuesday. Leave a comment below,  contact Julie at 351-5226 or or follow her on Twitter at





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