Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I told you that I'd share my adventures in rearranging furniture..

For a while now, I've been keenly aware of the need for a space of my own. Somewhere I can spread out all my work stuff or photography stuff and really concentrate on it. At the moment my space is the dining room table, and having all my stuff out there really contributes to a constant state of clutter and disarray.
I used to be able to handle it a bit better, but lately it's been grating on my nerves. I don't know if it's the new way I'm thinking about things, or the drugs even, but it's making me a little stressed.

Anthony and I had talked about it a few times, with me emphasising that he doesn't really know what it's like, as he has his massive shed out the back as well as his aviaries. Eventually he got the message and suggested that I use Samuel's room.

But after thinking about it for a few days, I told Anthony that I wouldn't really feel comfortable using Sam's room for that. So he suggested that we move in there. And that's what we did.

Oliver was busy with his friends all weekend, so I decided I'd at least make a start. I started by emptying Sam's room. I liked the idea of having memories of Sam with us in the lounge room area, rather than enshrined in his bedroom, so I created a shelf in the lounge room:
My apologies for the quality of the picture, it was dark and I was tired. I'll take a better one soon and replace it.
This is what I've put on there:
  • On top: His Broncos football and stand thingy. He was a Broncos fan, but didn't really watch rugby much. His friends were quite into footy, so I guess that's where it came from (certainly not from us - we're not big sports fans in this house).
  • Top shelf: Gritty Kitty, the stuffed tiger he'd had for years (for a while it was a bed partner, but even though he was well into his teens, it still stayed on top of his cupboard, with a bunch of other stuffed toys; mostly tigers as he had a real thing for them); a lego ship he built; and a little penguin he made in high school textiles.
  • Next shelf: A photo of him as a baby, sitting in his high chair at my parent's place; his key rings, including a bit of twisted plastic he made in year 6; his rip curl beanie; his sunnies; his watch and his wallet (it still has $5 in it - I'm surprised he had any cash!)
  • Middle Shelf: His ashes (wrapped in his Green Day concert shirt); a Living End t-shirt and his year 8 school photo.
  • Second from bottom: His money box (we still out change in it); his Aussie glitter hat; A photo of him with Anthony, his Nanna, Oliver and Jonathon (his half brother); a model guitar we bought for him when we were in Perth.
  • Bottom shelf (not in photo): the clothes he was wearing the day before he died (in a box); the cards and paperwork from his funeral; his baby album.
Next to the shelf is a poster describing Pisces, his star sign. The description is pretty spot on. We'll probably put it up next to the shelf.

I got the idea for the shelf from Kate, a fellow blogger and grieving mum (thanks Kate). The rest of Sam's stuff I packed into a cupboard in the spare room. I'm not going to get rid of anything yet, and it's all arranged in there so we can look through any time we want. I felt a bit funny doing it, but I guess the pragmatist in me decided it was an important step.

As for the other rooms, as I said I (single-handedly - Anthony was busy) moved the furniture and vacuumed and arranged. All weekend.
Anthony and I have moved into Sam's room; a bit smaller, but we really only use it for sleeping (etc!), so it doesn't really matter.
We moved Oliver into the master bedroom and gave him Sam's old double bed. Some people might not agree with this move, but we've actually done it before. When Sam was younger, he had the master bedroom until Oliver came along. We figured that while all adults do is sleep (etc!), kids actually use their room: they play, have sleepovers, etc. So it makes sense that their room is bigger. Of course that's difficult when there are two kids. We had intended to extend Sam's room at one stage, so both the boys could have big rooms, but hadn't got there yet. So for now, Oliver gets the big room.
And Oliver's old room is now my study. It's the only one I haven't finished arranging, but then again, I've got lots of stuff to arrange (I feel a big purge coming on!)

I feel a bit better now (and will even more when I've cleared the clutter from the living room), apart from the absolute exhaustion I felt yesterday (I was asleep by 8:15pm last night). I've had a couple of really good night's sleep in the new bedroom, and I think Anthony's happy with it too.

The only problem now is, I want to repaint and buy some new furniture! We still have the same bright blue and yellow paint in the bedrooms, and an odd assortment of bits and pieces we've always had, and I'd like to do a bit of updating. The first item on the list is a couple of big bookcases for my study. I'm thinking a dark brown, tall sturdy......

We'll see how we go.


  1. you've given me an idea... to put the girls into one room so I can have my own sewing room!

    What's the bet the hubby wont go for it...

    It's nice that you are moving forward without doing anything drastic. all positive steps. I know what you mean about the clutter. I am so over it!!!!!

  2. I agree totally about the clutter issue, and needing your own space. In fact in an attempt to get rid of some of my clutter, I may have a bookshelf you might want to look at....

    But seriously I am glad you are sorting things in a way you aren't finding too difficult. If you need a hand give me a call.


  3. Hi Mel,
    I'm glad I was able to help you in this way, as you've helped me in so many ways already.
    We're glad we put the shelving unit in our main living area, displaying all of Olivia's favourite and most precious things.
    Because Bailey and Olivia shared a bedroom, when we lost Livvy, Bailey couldn't even go in her bedroom anymore. Sleeping in there without Livvy on the top bunk was just too much for her. She needed her own space that she could feel comfortable in, especially when there were so many people in the house in those first few weeks. So although we didn't want to box up Olivia's things, we didn't have any choice- we had to do it for Bailey's sake.

    The largest cupboard in our house is now chock-full of Livvy's things- Her clothes, schoolbooks, her cuddly toys etc. It was a heartbreaking task, so emotional and I felt like I was betraying her by boxing it all up. So when we thought of displaying the most sentimental things, that gave me some peace. It's also great for visitors, as they're able to look at all her things and feel close to her still.

    We moved Hannah into the bedroom Bai and Livvy shared and Bailey now has her own room, with all new furniture and bedding. Most of the things she had on shelves in their shared room are put away as she can't cope with seeing them, but as time has gone on she's taken certain things out so she can see them again.

    I'm glad you've found some peace in your rearranging, too. Lots of love to all of you xxxxxxxxxx


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