Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Shop the Hatton House Studios Store! November 30, 2013

Home Cooked LoveWe have a Goodsmiths store now for the art created here! Proceeds go to supporting the restoration of the house, so you get handmade art AND that feel good thing in helping restore the house!


We do custom murals (with the mural artist behind Simply for Giggles fame!) and are happy to help you with commission work as well in ceramics and paintings. Shop here:  https://www.goodsmiths.com/hatton-house-studios

More items added soon!


Days 24, 25, 26 – Minimalism Game – I Had No Idea How Much Stuff We Had November 26, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 11:43 pm
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wpid-20131126_165114.jpgIn getting ready for my daughter’s birthday party, we converted the front parlor from summer use to winter use, which in the land of no garage means moving the bikes downstairs, which meant that I could then see the lost treasures of Spring gone by. Under a table, behind the bikes, was a huge box. In fact there were three boxes total that were hiding behind bikes (because like coats, we also have more bikes than people in this house). In two of the boxes, there were lights that I bought at a garage sale to change out some outdated fixtures in our rental house. In the third box, there was a giant pile of stuff. I counted: 76 items, all ready to be donated (and 4 items worthy of selling) that I just never got to the Thrift Store this Spring. JACKPOT!

I now realize that I had nothing to fear in this project. I thought this would be the hardest week. Where was I going to find 20+ things per day to get rid of? Now, I’m panicked because in four days, I’ll officially be done, and I’ve done one corner of the cluster f*%& that is our master bedroom. I haven’t gone through all the lotions and potions I keep in the bathroom but never use. And the attic…full of boxes of mystery, that I haven’t even cracked open. I’m pretty sure I could do Minimalism game for at least one or two more months and not be done. I’ve gotten rid of 351 things, and only in a few corners of my world does this place actually look decluttered. I’m going to have to think about how I want to use my last few precious official days…not at all how I expected to feel at this point.

P.S. That’s Pumpernickel, one of the mousers from Days 22-23 in the background, waiting to mail the silverware and collectibles out from our Ebay sell off. Remember my silverware stash?  It sold for $214.05. Not a bad haul for junk in a box!


Day 22-23 – Minimalism Game – Live Mouse Attack! November 22, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:21 pm
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wpid-20131119_215503.jpgWe live in an old house, and we have cats. I have become accustomed to the occasional small bird or mouse delivered to me as a prize. I appreciate this service that my cats provide as a primitive, yet communicative report from my feline exterminators of their chemical free termination of a household pest. I do not, however, want to be part of the process.

When I hear a commotion in the dining room, the last thing I want to see is two cats chasing a mouse around. I know I’m a much bigger threat to the mouse, hypothetically, than the mouse is to me, but I am just not cool with a mouse running through my dining room. I’m also not cool with my cat grabbing this mouse in her mouth with authority, but somehow not killing it.

I know, it’s my fault. I thought “You should take the cat and mouse to the front porch and remove the mouse now.” But I really don’t want to be a mouse killer. I want to draw the line at mouse killer owner, mouse killer enabler. That’s enough, I don’t need literal mouse blood on my hands. How the heck do you kill a mouse? I’m a city girl, and I’d prefer to stay that way. I don’t want to be the sort of practical Iowa woman who knows instantly how to dispatch a mouse ten different ways when faced with one in her dining room.

So I left the cats to their mouse, but those little suckers let the mouse go! Jerks! The mouse, who was very smart, made a break for the closet, which was a horrifying mess of all the things we’ve ever had to hide on the first floor in the past two years, in addition to a minimum of three coats for every conceivable temperature for each member of our family. Once I pulled everything out of the closet in a desperate yet fruitless attempt to give my killers access to the mouse interloper, I realized I had my day 22 declutter opportunity. Which turned into my day 22 and 23, because you wouldn’t believe how much crap you can cram into a closet, and yet still end up with a full closet of stuff you might actually use at the end, but 45 items later, my closet was a little closer to reasonable, and I may have just found my next remodeling project: sealing the holes in the closet and adding shelves to keep stuff off the floor. The closet will not be a mouse refuge much longer, interlopers!


Day 20-21 – Minimalism Game – Flatware From Another Life November 20, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 9:38 am
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$_57Remember how I hate selling things? I have a ton of stuff that falls into that “not willing to let it go/sell it”category. It’s so much easier to put the flatware from the beginning of our marriage in a box and forget about it. It was a really nice set, but looked kinda silly next to the new plates we got in….wait for it….2006. So I’ve had this set of flatware in a box for SEVEN YEARS. Because you could save it for the kids, for the apartment they might have 15 years from now. Or should I sell it to Replacements? Or Ebay it?

UGH! Decision time! Ebay it is. http://www.ebay.com/itm/321251514094


Day 19 – Minimalism Game – Did I Seriously Move All These VHS Tapes? November 19, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 9:26 am
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wpid-20131117_192638.jpgI guess I thought VHS was making a comeback? Or that we would get a VHS player and I would someday take time to watch this stuff again? Er…again…as if “The Devil’s Own” ever got out of the package. (It was filmed in my hometown, and I think I bought it in a homesick weak moment).

OK, so I kept the videos of my senior year play and our graduation video, which I will convert to DVD, and I’m sad that my FIRM videos are no more, but seriously….when did I ever expect to play these?

This Minimalism stuff is pretty freaking cool. I’ve realized a couple things in this process:

1. I had so much more crap that I DO NOT need than I thought I did. I’ve gotten rid of over 231 items, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I need to toss/sell.

2. All that stuff is draining. It sucks the energy out of your life with an emotional weight about 100x it’s physical weight.

3. Getting rid of stuff makes me feel stronger. By doing stuff I’ve been putting off for years, I feel fearless about facing the next big challenge. Who knew getting rid of stuff would be so empowering?

I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel as we get into the big number days, but so far…I’m a huge fan.


Day 18 – Minimalism Game – Closet Cleanout November 18, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 9:16 am
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wpid-20131108_134339.jpgYou’re never going to wear it again. You used to like it, but you haven’t worn it in forever. It’s OK to break up with an outfit that’s not that into you anymore. You used to be OK with that shirt that would ride up, but that’s just not cool anymore. To St Vincent’s Thrift Store with you all!


Day 17 – Minimalism Game – Skin Care Products Part 1 November 17, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:34 am
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wpid-20131117_003729.jpgI have a feeling there will be part 2, based on how I feel when I look at all the products I think I will someday use in the bathroom presently, but for right now, I’m getting rid of the skin and hair car products that I bought before I had to switch brands for my rosacea. Not sure WHY I’m holding onto this stuff…I guess I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Well, it’s leaving now.


Day 16 – Minimalism Game – Collectibles

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 7:30 am
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wpid-20131117_003621.jpgI don’t want to collect china, or Maytag miniatures, or any of this stuff. It’s going to Ebay, along with the rest of my cast of clothes. 16 more items out the door.

Check back tomorrow for listings: http://www.ebay.com/usr/djotzke


Day 15 – Minimalism Game – What Do You Do With… November 15, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 6:33 am
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wpid-20131117_002531.jpgCan we just talk about it? If you’re obsessed with not wasting things, what the heck do you do with your kids’ outgrown underwear? Yeah, let’s get weird. Ewww…not like that. Just, seriously, like everything else, they outgrow stuff long before it’s worn out, the you have a pile of underwear that’s perfectly fine, but donating undies just seems weird. So yeah, ex-undie sizes, I give up, you and I are parting ways. Done.

Halfway through the month. Just getting warmed up.


Day 14 – Minimalism Game – Kids Clothes Are (Not) Taking Over November 14, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 6:19 am
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wpid-20131116_212554.jpgI have the only granddaughter and grandson on both sides of our family. Sure, I’d rather have tons of nieces and nephews, but instead, I have two awesome kids that want for nothing. They have plenty of toys and a great collection of clothing, especially my daughter, who gets hand-me-downs from a friend with excellent taste in clothes. This is a wonderful thing, until they outgrow them. We are still planning to have another child, but it’s taking a little longer than planned to make that plan happen, so what started as a few boxes of extra clothes is now an out of control wild prairie of Rubbermaid boxes across the preserve of our 1000 SF attic. It’s not OK.

So I’m starting slow….a box of my shoes that don’t fit anymore and pants that aren’t at all special cast off by my son, sizes 3-5T. They’re for sale on my Minimalism sale on Facebook. Get these things out of my house folks, right here: https://www.facebook.com/tanyakeith/media_set?set=a.10202251802514841.1073741831.1183778292&type=3

Also, the Ebay page: http://www.ebay.com/usr/djotzke#

Please, buy our stuff.