Thoughts On Starting Over…Completely

Good morning, friends! Yesterday I finished up removing the recessed lighting from above the bookcase area in my living room, and then I spent the rest of the day cleaning up the mess, organizing my tools, throwing out junk that I’ll never use again, and getting more things ready to go to storage. Oh…and cleaning! My in-laws are coming on Sunday! :)

As I was doing that, it dawned on me that almost none of the stuff I’ve taken to storage is actually decorative things. I have two chairs that I want to reupholster for the new house, and I have a coffee table that I found at Goodwill that I might want to use.

Other than that, I have no furniture that I want to take with me. I want to start completely over from scratch.

And then as I look around the condo at the decorative items I’ve made, I just can’t imagine taking them with me, not only because I have no desire to reuse any of it, but also because these are things that were very specifically made to go in this condo. Do you know what I mean?

For example, the pleated shower curtain that is in my bathroom is probably the nicest shower curtain that I’ve personally ever made…

Shower curtain with pleated ruffle accents

…but I have absolutely no desire to decorate another bathroom in yellow, and I think that this shower curtain is a key part of the design of the condo bathroom, so I have no reason to take it with me.

Even my magnetic framed spice rack in the kitchen seems custom made for this condo…

After all, I did paint the tree precisely so that the branches would “frame” the spice rack! :) I really did!

Anyway, I could go on and on, but you get the point. I look around at all the things I’ve made specifically for this condo over the years, and I can’t imagine taking any of that with me. Not only does they seem to just belong in this condo, but I simply don’t want to drag these things along with me and then feel like I have to force them into my new decor.

I want to show up at the new house with our bed (just the mattress and base, not the upholstered headboard), our clothes, toiletries, a few sentimental items (like our wedding album), our kitchen stuff (pots, pans, dishes, glasses, etc.), my tools, and the big dreams in my head.

That’s it.

Does that sound crazy? Have you ever done anything like that intentionally? I know that there are people who have to start over every single day when it’s forced on them by natural disasters and such. But are there many people who make that decision intentionally? Have you?

I’m so excited about it, I can hardly stand it. :)

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Comments

  1. Peggy says

    If I had your talent and skills, I would totally start over! I am excited for you. It will make great blog content. I bet someone will be ecstatic to buy your condo furnished, too.

    • Amanda says

      I agree with Peggy. I would love to be able to do what you do as well as you do. As a matter of fact, I would love to dwell in the spaces you have made! lol

      • Amanda says

        Oh, and do you think you could do a home tour on you tube…like a video, when you are finished with all the projects you are going to do here? I wuld love to see the whole connection and flow unfold via video/vlog

    • Sharon says

      Hi Kristi;
      Leaving all that decor behind is challenging yet renewing. I lived overseas and was returning to Canada. Decor things you choose for a certain space just do not always fit a new space. Major items like furniture are different and seem to be the bones. Plus I always want to be open to new ideas. love your blog and your ideas are awesome.
      Sharon in Pleasantville

  2. says

    We are moving next year & this is exactly how I feel too. I really just want to start over. We already have our new house in Michigan that we are renovating so I already have a vision in my head of what I want. You are not crazy, unless I am too ;)

  3. Mary C says

    I think what you’re doing is AWESOME! The new owner of your place gets to enjoy their home all the more (and you leave a legacy!) and you don’t have the stress of trying to retrofit old stuff into a new space. I can’t wait to see it!

  4. says

    I can understand this! If we moved, many of our things wouldn’t fit in anymore, because I bought them for this house. I think its exciting to have a new home and decorate it to suit it. A house “speaks” to us and your new home will say something different than your condo does. Okay, that might be a little weird, but I hope you know what I mean! :)

  5. says

    We moved last year from our first house to our second, and brought most everything with us. It didn’t occur to us not to. But now that we’re here, our newer house has a distinctly different style. The size and shape of the rooms are different, of course, and the light is different, but mostly it’s that the old house was built in 1928 and the new one was built in 1988. SO DIFFERENT.

    If I’d left everything behind I think I would have been frustrated in a new town (with an anemic Craigslist), not knowing where to go to get what I needed. But I’m certainly getting rid of one thing after another that I loved in the old house, because they just don’t quite work in the new one.

    I am curious, though, to know what will happen to the things in your condo. If you leave the shower curtain in place, I’m sure the new owners will be grateful. I bet they’ll want the dining nook. But I wonder where “furnished” turns into “failure to clear property”. So I’ll be interested to see what you decide to do with the various things you don’t want to take, when the time comes!

  6. says

    Oh Kristi, I completely get what you are saying.
    We are facing a possible move due to medical bills, job loss and lack of steady income.
    It is up in the air right now but as I look around I told my hubs, whether we put the house on the market or not I would love to have a giant sale and get rid of the majority of our larger furniture pieces, as well as all the vintage things I kept instead of putting them in my booth space. Ready for a complete do over. I finish up my radiation in three weeks and I am ready for a whole renovation, physically and mentally.
    You need a fresh start to implement your creativity in your new home. I cannot wait to see where you take the new space. You do amazing things! The people who buy your condo are very lucky to get a space so perfectly done.

  7. says

    I think the couple/family that purchase your condo would be thrilled to be able to purchase your condo furnished with all of the decor. I would be sure to negotiate that in the price and advertise the condo as fully furnished. It is beautiful and if it were me buying the condo, I would love to purchase it “as is” with decor and all! And, your new house will be absolutely beautiful, as well! You are a great designer and builder. I am sure you will come up with something extraordinary! Good luck!

  8. says

    Sometimes a fresh start to a goes will with a new move. I feel the same way when ever we move into a new home. I start giving away things I made or repurposing them because they just don’t seem to work as well in the new house. I think you should go with your gut. You are talented and will create new amazing rooms in the new house, that you will love and enjoy.

  9. Ann W says

    TOTALLY DO IT!! If you can do it financially – do it – other wise bring the stuff with you – with the FULL INTENSION of replacing it when you find the right thing! I did it last October – and have LOVED every minute of allowing myself to go in a different creative direction than I have ever gone – and find myself really decorating the house with things I LOVE – not what fits the house’s character, not what looks like the front off a magazine – but things I LOVE – if I do not LOVE it – I do not have it in my house! And wow do I LOVE letting myself really come out and grow as a designer! It has forced me to really get to know myself in a whole new way! It has been a breath of fresh air and has been the most “freeing” thing I have done in my life! I think with the direction you and your husband are going – it would be a liberating and freeing moment for both of you! The past is the past – embrace the future!

  10. says

    Yes, I have sold/given every possession I owned (with a few exceptions like you mentioned) and started completely over – not just once, but 3 times. It’s hard to explain the freeing feeling one gets to do that intentionally. Not only did it free me from moving all that “stuff”, but my brain was uncluttered and ready to get creative in a BIG way! Like my blank canvas I paint on, I was free to enjoy the process of finding just the right thing for each room, change my style, colors, and just enjoy the entire process. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

  11. Thatgaljill says

    That actually makes perfect sense to me… Although I might not be quite so minimalist in what I would take with me to start, I would be completely open to replacing everything for the new space.

  12. Christine says

    Yes, I would leave the things and start fresh in your new home. Its a new place with new ideas, lighting, and views! And Yes, I think a video would be great of the condo!! :)

  13. Jeni says

    You have made your condo so beautiful & it reflects your talent & your love for your home. It becomes such a part of you…well done!

    As you sell, it’s hard not to hang on to the emotion, I know. I tried to sell my parents’ home, soon after they passed away. I just could not do it then & had to let my emotions be less raw over time & then I was able to think clearer. I know it’s different from my situation, but your heart is still involved.

    As far as keeping or leaving anything, I would ask myself:
    1. Will the seller keep my things or immediately want the place to be their stuff only like you want your new home to be? (If i were the buyer, please, please leave it all. Love all you have done!) :)
    2. If you don’t want the things & they don’t want them, can you re-coop some of the money by selling the items & make some extra money for the decorating in your new home? (I know you were thrifty in making things, but your time & talent are valuable…things many can’t or don’t want to do. So, be sure you give yourself credit for what you have put into the items you have made & don’t discount the work you did.
    3. Sell Price of condo…two prices one with contents the other without?

    Good luck as you finish & get ready to start again! Thanks for taking us all on the journey. Can’t wait to follow along!

    • Gail says

      I agree with Jeni – if the buyer wants the contents, raise the sell price; if not, sell these things yourself and pocket some moolah for your future belongings/projects! Don’t give away all your hard work!! It’s valuable stuff! There’s a couple of things I would be interested in buying. Bet there are a bunch of us out there, too!

  14. Sue says

    I think whoever purchases the condo furnished (or mostly furnished) would be thrilled. If you live near a college campus, furnished would be a huge selling point. With your talent, you’ll turn your new home into a palace in no time!

  15. says

    I’m all for leaving the condo decorated – it’s absolutely beautiful! and starting over from scratch in the new place.

  16. Carla says

    I have totally started over and it is exhilarating! Plus who wouldn’t want a completely decorated condo if they are starting out. Go for it.

  17. Kim says

    Buying your house is a new adventure, so starting anew, letting the house speak to you and decorating it accordingly is the best part. I can’t wait to see everything you do!

  18. Karla says

    I get it. And I’ve done it. I decorate each home specifically for that home. The furniture is chosen for specific areas and the accessories are specific to that home. A few years ago we bought a fully furnished model home. The only nonpersonal item that moved with us was our baby grand piano. A new to you home is a new opportunity for new opportunities.

  19. Jen says

    You’re going to get a buyer who loves the condo for what you’ve done to it, so that means they would probably love some of those specific touches. And they’d be lucky to have them! I’m sure it’s been said already (I didn’t read the previous comments), but the furnishings are only going to help you sell!

  20. Lysa says

    We are looking to downsize in the future, and being married to a collector, it had been a battle to decide how to handle all the stuff in our 5 bedroom home. At this point we look at everything with an eye towards “would you pay to move this?” Amazing how many things my husband is now ready to jettison junk!

    That said, when we sell the house, we will ask the potential buyer to put a color coded sticky dot on each item they’d like us to leave before we look at their offer :-). I see it as a win-win because I do not want to move 2 60″ LCD Tvs, appliances, armoires, grills, etc cross county.

  21. Ellie says

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. You decorate with a look that suits your present home. When you move to another the décor never looks as good as it did in the old house, so you wind up selling it at a garage sale! I found that even the furniture didn’t fit properly.

  22. says

    Kristi, I am right there with you. We are putting our 2400 sq ft home & 10 acres up for sale & downsizing. We’ll probably be going to something almost half that size. My current furniture probably won’t fit, I want all new colors…I get it!

    I will be excited & inspired to watch how you transform your new home!

  23. Lori jones says

    I agree with the others when they say keep what you like/need and leave or sell the rest.
    We are thinking of buying somewhat soon and the house is, to me anyways, sorta a foo-foo house. Can you describe a house like that??? Haha it’s just a bit more fancy than I thought we would buy. With what you and the others here, I have realized why I have not fallen in love with it. It is because it is a bit foo-foo. And I have always seen me in a house that is less foo-foo. But hubby really likes it so I guess if we get a chance to buy it we will. Got a question then,can a person decorate a foo-foo house with a country theme ??

  24. says

    It will be interesting of the new condo buyers will want those things…. When we were selling our city house, I tried to get the new owners to take some things, stove, fridge, furniture, curtains, ceiling fans etc. They had no interest. They saw my things as “used” and they wanted to buy their own things, new. The only thing they wanted was the three month old under cupboard microwave. No fridge, no stove, nor furniture, not even my curtains that were custom made for the windows. I had to take everything else with me. Good luck! Remember when you move into a house you need so many things and its expensive; mower, trimmer, rakes, brooms, shovels, hoses, outdoor furniture etc. You may want to consider keeping some of your older items until you get caught up…By the time we paid to move, ($3,000) handled all the closing costs, and first months costs, bought paint for the new house we were broke again! And then the septic and drain field failed, as did the dishwasher. And we desperately need a snow blower and didn’t have the money…it was a l-o-n-g winter getting up at 4:30 a.m. to shovel my husband out of our driveway so he could leave for work by 6;30 a.m. 93 inches of snow in December that winter!!!!

  25. Brenda says

    Kristi, the thought of leaving your condo furnished raises the notion of keeping it if you can rent it for enough income to cover expenses, including any mortgage. A nicely furnished rental could be very attractive, I understand that the rental market favors landlords. If it were me, i would also want enough income to pay for a rental agency. You need professionals to be tough with tenants.

    • Gilmer Gal says

      This was my thought, also. If you don’t need the funds from your condo sale to buy your new home, rent your condo, furnished. And definitely get a property manager you have checked out throughly (there are some pretty bad ones out there). They usually do a background check on the new tenants. And I can’t wait until you move into your new, clean slate, home. The fun we’re ALL gonna have! WhooHoo!

  26. Jelly says

    It’s a curse of a creative mind ;). Leave the stuff in the condo, they belong there. I’m sure the future owners will love it! As we all do :))). In your new home you are yet to discover your own personal palette ;)

  27. says

    You are not crazy. That is what I did last year when we bought a “Town House” and are still keeping our farm house. I just brought what I needed and enjoyed finding “new” things that I could make over for this house. I loved it and I am in no big hurry to bring any more “stuff” to this house cuz’ I don’t want junk and clutter here. I just want to enjoy the unclutter of daily living and accumulating of items. Do what your gut is telling you. You don’t need to add extra stress by hauling this stuff with you. Why not turn some of it into cash so you can use it on your new house? Enjoy~

  28. Ruthie says

    I have friends, who, when they bought condos for their children in their university towns, would have been abso-bloomin-lutely thrilled to buy one furnished, especially one as well done as yours.

  29. Andrea says

    Yes, that is precisely how I feel about moving. I never wanted to be one of those people with the big boxy cumbersome china hutch that takes up the flow in the dining room. Or rather any other gigantic heirloom family furniture. With the exception of the hope chest that my grandfather made me. (totally getring chalk painted when I have a garage) We met a real estate agent that talked about the hutch he and his ex wife carted around and when they divorced, neither wanted it. Lol! We currently live in a tiny house. When we move we will be upscaling, but more in the way of layout and an actual closet and pantry storage. With the exception of our bed and night tables and my hobbyroom desk and organization…and our tv of course… will not not be reusing anything, freecycle baby!! I alway joke with my husband I will have beanbags in the new house until we find furniture that meets our needs and space. That may be true… lol

  30. says

    we’re moving from our family home to a condo for just my husband and me next year. I’m an artist and my house is totally designed by me. Very little of this stuff is coming with us. It’s just too specific to this house. I’m really looking forward to it since we’ve been here for 12 years. You’ll get so many new ideas.

  31. says

    You are so brave to leave these items behind. I have so enjoyed all your posts on what you have DIYed in your condo, but I completely get it that you don’t want to take it with you. We lived in our first home for 7 years. During that time, I transformed a teeny tiny starter tract home to something I was really proud of, and darn stylish too! When we moved however, I didn’t want ANYTHING from that house except our bed. The way I looked at it, we were moving to the home we would be in for a very long time. I wanted to start fresh and create a whole new life and space in the new home, without the memories of our old home trying to settle into our new one. Of course this meant we didn’t have a whole lot when we moved in, but I was happy, and still am, DIYing one room at a time. Just think of all the new projects you have ahead of you, and all the really amazing blog posts you can write!

  32. says

    How fun to start from scratch with the design of your new home. You will not be hampered by trying to fit existing items into new visions. The sky’s the limit! So excited for you, Kristi!

  33. says

    I have done something like that but not intentionally. We lived in Tennessee and after my husband retired from the Army we lived in Fl for a while. We purchased a home there but kept our home in TN and I traveled back and forth between the two homes. For the home in Fl we purchased new mattresses and from there I took my time and picked up furniture and accessories when I found something I loved and if you know me you know it all came from junk stores or flea markets except for the upholstered furniture which we bought new. I painted a lot of the furniture and made lots of the decor accessories. That home was totally different from our Tennessee home. When we sold the Fl home I brought very few of the things to TN. The lady that purchased our home said it had Feng Shui. I think that’s because I intentionally did not make it over crowded or too fussy. That was my plan! The home here in Tn has a lot of stuff in it. But I love it and the two homes were totally different so I understand! Sorry this comment was so long!!!

  34. says

    I’ve never done anything like that ~ I’ve lived in the house I’m in now since I was a newlywed ~ I dream, though, of doing what you’re doing. I always imagine moving out of state…somewhere far away on a new adventure ~ maybe some day! I know whatever you do at your new home will be inspiring and beautiful!

  35. Valerie @ Accidental Hayseed says

    We’re trying to downsize with the notion of moving from country property to a condo. Yes, I said condo. So I get what you’re saying about starting over. I look forward to taking as little as possible with us if or when we ever move. For me it can’t be too soon.

  36. Charlotte says

    In my opinion, (whether you decide to sell outright or rent the unit furnished) you should advertise the condo as “designer” (attach a link to THIS blog !) and price it accordingly ! Imagine how many people who have ZERO design imagination !? You don’t want someone to purchase the condo who intends to totally undo what you’ve spent years DOING ! That kind of person will see your lovely designs and implementation as something to OVERCOME instead of EMBRACE ! You want a buyer or renter who is clueless on how to implement beautiful and classy design, but knows it when he/she SEES it ! LOL !

    Your condo should sell at a premium price to the right person !

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