Our house is a little disorganized right now. The dining room table and three chairs are in the living room. The rest of the chairs are lined up against the wall in the hall. The large buffet, the two tall corner cupboards, and the smaller china cabinet are too heavy and bulky to be moved very far, so they are pushed together in the center of the kitchen. Every countertop and flat surface in the kitchen and living room is covered with the dishes and other breakable treasures that are usually stored in these four cabinets.

We have been busy. First we steamed off the old wallpaper and resurfaced, primed, and painted the walls and the ceiling. Then we pulled up the old carpet and pad and installed a new hardwood floor. Now that the floor is finished and the baseboard and shoe moldings are back in place, all that we have left to do is to finish painting the woodwork and take care of any necessary touch ups. We’re hoping to find time to finish the painting tonight… and then tomorrow night we can start putting the room back together.

And hopefully tomorrow will be the beginning of the end of this temporary chaos that has turned our most-used rooms into a combination maze and obstacle course.

We hadn’t planned to do a complete renovation of our dining room right now, but one thing led to another… and another… and another.

We can’t help it… we actually LIKE doing this kind of thing.

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Aw, I ever so envy such a splendid make-over! I hope you made sure to take plenty of “before” pictures so you can go back and marvel at your handiwork after!


So funny to read this post, because I am doing some of the same work to my dining room. I pulled all the old, very dark wallpaper down, and as soon as my husband finishes patching cracks we found in the plaster under the paper, I’ll Kilz and paint . . . hopefully in time to be back in order by Thanksgiving. Why did I start this 2 weeks before Thanksgiving? I guess it helps to have a deadline. Sounds like you’re closer than me! Like you, I’m ready to get rid of the obstacle course.


Oh my it sounds wonderful! I love that you did the labor yourselves. My husband and I took off time from work (lucky enough to have vacation time) and we leisurely painted our tongue and groove in the kitchen… Love it! we had fun doing it, took great satisfaction and all it cost was paint and our time. We cleaned up our hardware because it still looks good only now shiny. Maybe countertops in the future. We did change out a light so far that is it. We can’t help it either we like this sort of thing also. Painted our house 2 yrs ago ourselves and this year helped the daughter and son-in-law do theirs!

Bob L.

This post makes it quite clear that Voluntary Simplicity doesn’t have to mean a life of leisure, surrounded by almost no possessions and skimping on comfort. It can be beautiful and full of prized items that bring you happiness. It can mean hard work to make life fuller.

Good lesson, Shirley.