Oh sugar! I think I just made a huge mistake that took an entire day’s worth of work… 

So we’re on to room number three in the full-house decluttering and I am so ready to be done with the cleaning-out so we can move onto the fun part: a Nordic Minimalist inspired home transformation:

nordic, moodboard, makeover, DIY

If you missed the post on the mood board for our home transformation, check out the full post here.

So one of the biggest motivators for this house transformation is to be able to enjoy the holiday’s coming up. It has been years since I’ve put up decorations intentionally (and not just thrown them where there’s an open space), baked big batches of cookies while dancing to Christmas Music or made hardy winter dishes for family. Having a small house makes this all a challenge as it is, so to add in clutter is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Here’s what this room looked like before 😱 eek!

Dining room makeover, before and after de-cluttering!

As you can see, lots of random things misplaced. To the right is our cat Marlene’s kennel that needs to go and also on that right side is the door to the backyard. There are SO many doorways in this room which make it very difficult to have both a pretty and functional layout.

So here’s what we need for this room:

  • A place to eat our meals at… I know this sounds obvious for a dining room but right now our cats have taken it over so we sit down maybe every few weeks for a meal together when it’s cleared off 
  • A place for the fur-fam’s food and water dishes
  • Storage for glassware, barware and miscellaneous kitchen overflow (you’ll see why when I get to the kitchen)

What we want for this room:

  • A cozy atmosphere for candlelit dinners and wine. Cliche, I know. But it just sounds so amazing with winter on it’s way 😍
  • Even though this is a very small, very awkward space we’d love to be able to have company over once in a while for dinner
  • Lots of shelving for decor and storage
  • A corner bench to function as dining table seating and storage

What we need to keep in mind:

  • As per every room in our home, we need easy to clean furnishings since we have 6 fur-babies that allow us to use their living space 😆
  • This room is a walkway to the kitchen and the door to the backyard, aka high traffic because of the dogs going in and out a thousand times a day. While this is just the cleanout phase, I’ve still been pretty overwhelmed by the idea of designing this room due to its difficult layout.
  • We only have one outlet in this room, ugh… and if that’s not bad enough, our electric is still the old wiring so it’s set in the baseboards and barely holds anything you plug into it because it’s so loose 🤦🏻

The Process:

The dining room didn’t require too much discarding of items, more just putting them where they belong. We also wanted to get rid of our kitty Marlene’s kennel that was kept in here while she was sick so she had her own space, but now that she’s better (yay!) it needs to go. Bye!

Here’s the before and after:

Dining room makeover, before and after de-cluttering!  Dining room makeover, before and after de-cluttering!

Is it pretty? Nope. Is it still tiny? Yup! And while we were able to get rid of the kennel, unfortunately, we’ll still have to live with the litter box for now so we don’t stress her out too much. And let’s just take a minute to see that cleared off dining room table, shall we?! 😂 Who’da thought that’s what they were supposed to look like?

Here are few more shots of the clutter from before:


Pretty crazy, right? No wonder I was stressed all the time.

This cleanout should have been the quickest and somehow I, of course, turned it into the longest and most strenuous. I started rearranging furniture like mad. We had a secretary desk in this room that served as our bar but I wanted to try it as an actual desk so I moved it into the office. I immediately hated it and kept thinking to myself… “oh my gosh, what an impulse decision that took up so much time and rearranging of storage items.”

Then it turned into moving benches around that were storing office supplies and vases to hold the miscellaneous bar items that were now on the floor because I took the desk. It ultimately was a disaster in the 3 rooms I had just finished cleaning🤦🏻 I figured I’d sleep on it but immediately the next morning pulled our original desk back to its cozy spot. However, I did decide to keep the secretary desk next to it as storage. I kept the bench that was holding the tv in the living room even though I hate it, but I like where the previous bench is now better – by the window for the cats.

Overall, it was a stressful day but I’m ultimately happy with the results. Most importantly, we gained a little bit more space in a high-traffic area, have a place to actually sit down and eat meals together, a place for the cat dishes and still maintained our barware storage.

It’s not perfect but for now, it’ll have to do.


And a couple more before and afters just because!



P.S. Let me know what your biggest challenges are in the comments below; ones that you’ve faced in the past or ones that are holding you back from creating the home of your dreams! Also, if you’re feeling inspired, please share on Pinterest so you can reference back!

Room Makeover: Dining Room before and after de-cluttering

Head over here to see how I transformed our tiny living room!

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