(photo and interior by vicente wolf)
mri asks "When do I say no? I can't afford to put in a new ceiling, buy all new furniture, and install a new bathroom--but I'm getting well-meant advice from friends and family all telling me to. Whenever I say no, I get inundated with dire predictions of doom and regrets. The easiest thing to do is to just ignore everyone but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has that little voice in back of my mind going 'Are you SURE you don't want to do that?' (argh!!!)"
This is similar to mri's last question, but wanted to address it separately. I started this blog not only to counter all the bad advice out there, but the (conscious and subconscious) influencing of every aspect of our lives from what to wear, to eat, how to decorate, how to live. We need to stop listening to others and start listening to ourselves; organize, simplify, and create a space around YOUR life and how you want to live it.
Everyone has an opinion, so when taking advice think about who's giving it. Not to say your friend's and family's advice is bad, but is it good for YOU? Try at first not to take so much advice so you can learn to listen to yourself, but when you do, target people who's opinion on the subject you respect and is relevant to your lifestyle and taste (which most likely eliminated 95% of the people you know).
As far as figuring out what to do, planning is key. This guide* should help you separate out what you need to do versus the things you think you should do. Things you need to do are those things that will greatly impact how you function in the space.
*to get to the next step, click Newer Post at the lower left hand corner of the page