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Why we hid our TV and have zero regrets
Be thoughtful about what you invite to live with you.
Before we jump in, I have a quick snippet of wisdom to share…I heard a recommendation on a webinar yesterday I loved:
Turn your storage area into a store. Only save things you use and love. You’ll enjoy shopping in your store where everything is already paid for.
So smart. Here’s more advice about storage spaces including my diehard rules.
Ok, on to the main feature!
Why we hid our TV and have zero regrets
What we allow into our house and where we put it dictates how our lives unfold to a surprising degree. We spend a lot of time at home, especially these days, so how the house is set up guides our lifestyle in subtle ways.
This issue details an example from my house, which was actually my husband’s idea—he is so proud of this system.
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So here goes. In my family we are not huge on TV watching. This isn’t a holier than thou position—I LOVE a good TV binge and got through both my postpartum periods with nonstop TV watching. So no judgment if TV features more prominently in your home…this is just an illustration you can adapt to something else.
When we moved into our current home we decided we didn’t want a TV on the main level, but still wanted a way to watch a movie together after the kids are in bed.
My sister fortuitously offered to give us her budget projector setup, which let us try out a proof of concept with no investment (my favorite!). We liked it and ended up buying a more streamlined, upgraded version that fits our space and needs better. Here’s our living room setup:
The projector is portable with built-in speakers (cinephiles we are not). We didn’t want it mounted on the wall and always visible, so it lives and gets charged in a cabinet. We move a side table to the middle of the room and put the tiny projector on top when we want to watch something. The screen rolls up into a wide doorway so it’s not noticeable most of the time.
Why we love this:
It adds a little friction to watching TV and movies — instead of clicking a remote, we have a 5 step process to set things up
Daytime TV watching is a go-no. Too bright to see the screen.
The kids have no awareness of television as A Thing, since there is no physical object to remind them about it.
It kinda feels like being in a movie theater, only without strangers and with our favorite teas and snacks in the next room.
The screen is not backlit like a flat screen TV, so we don’t get much blue light exposure when we watch the screen in the evenings. This is supposedly better for sleep and circadian rhythms.
Full disclosure, we do have a regular TV in our attic for my husband to watch basketball in the winter. He likes to turn the volume really low and practice guitar while he watches, so even then it becomes a fairly positive habit.
My son has an iPad which also lives in the attic. On long days without school, we venture to the attic mid-day so I can meditate and recharge (I’m obsessed with binaural beats) while he watches a show on his headphones. The iPad is out of sight so generally out of mind for him.
I really like how we’ve set up our house to prioritize the things that matter to us and deprioritize the things that we want less of. Other examples:
Our house is a Victorian with lots of small rooms, including two living rooms. We turned one living room into a playroom for the kids (here’s how I keep it organized). Having a kid space felt important since half the family is children, and they sure like to climb and tumble!
We are finishing our basement so we can host guests more easily. I have a lot of friends and family out of town whom I’d love to see more of.
Once the basement is done we’ll have room for a gym space down there, now that we’ve decluttered so much. Physical fitness is a huge priority and I want to make it as easy as possible for us to keep lifting weights as we age.
In short, making a place for the things that matter to you, and getting rid of what doesn’t helps you create the life you want.
This is house-system design at its most elemental.
How do you create an intentional life with your space?