Today’s set of tasks seemed simple:
“Move clothes and makeup upstairs, put everything away, and clean up the mess in in there and my bedroom… plus get my bed linens washed.”
Except I forgot one crucial thing: I have a crawling, curious cyclone of an 11 month old baby.
And OH, she learned to do this today, too:
I got the closet reasonably organized while she napped. By the time she woke up and I was in the swing of things, all bets were off. If I put stuff away in drawers, she wanted to remove them from drawers. The dresser scarf FASCINATED HER and she tried to pull that (and the box on the dresser) off about 10-20 times. If I turned around, she was pulling shoes off the racks. C accidentally left my bedroom door open and I found her trying to climb into the bathtub.
I swear, training puppies is easier than human babies. Thank goodness she’s cute.
When I sat to fold laundry and sorted her pile onto the floor, she tried to help, which was ADORABLE:
With the help of C, I was finally able to corral her long enough to get things put away. All the tools were brought back downstairs.
I hauled some of my makeup upstairs and constructed a sort of vanity over the sink- effectively KINDA disguising the old faucet. We can’t remove the damned thing yet because there’s no shut off valve under the sink 😦 It was put in too long ago…
All the clothes that were in tubs were put up. I haven’t gone through anything in the dressers yet, because I’m not in the mood. This was so overwhelming as it is.
In the end, I got about 75 percent of what I set out to do done, which I am ok with. The bedroom and bedding will be cleaned tomorrow or bust. I will also be sorting through all of my makeup downstairs and continuing to bring it to the closet.
This has been the theme song for the kitchen to closet renovation:
We decided NOT to do a full redo on the closet… for a couple of reasons:
1. We’re freaking TIRED of living like this
2. We have no place to put our clothes
3. We discovered that our kitchen sink lines are SO OLD upstairs that there’s no turn off valve for the water!!! The main also is difficult to turn off and we don’t need the additional cost right now of a plumber.
4. We are going to do a REAL redo of the upstairs bathroom and this old kitchen NEXT YEAR and gut the entire thing- enlarging the existing bath and redesigning the walk in closet.
Anyway, so ghetto closet renovation is what we ended up with!
My friends graciously came and removed the appliances, plus an old airconditioner and toaster oven- which was a great relief! I dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed the disgusting walls and floor… then we put down a large, almost new area rug that the neighbors didn’t want.
Of course, while putting up the closet system, ANOTHER thing went wrong when we discovered (or remembered) that the house’s chimney runs along the corner where the closet was going up. Luckily, he worked that out.
Tomorrow I have to hang clothes, do laundry, put away stuff, bring makeup up, etc. R is back at work til Wednesday, so the big stuff will have to wait til then.
Today was the day when the first coat of joint compound went on the drywall seams and the cracks in the plaster walls were spackled… R did a fantastic job. The room will need 2 more coats and sanding- so no painting for a couple more days, unfortunately.
We will be working on the upstairs kitchen while the joint compound dries. The upstairs kitchen to walk in closet redo is seeming even more daunting than the back room project now… AND we have only ONE WEEK in which to complete this closet room (dumpster goes back on 21st).
R is now thinking that we won’t have the time nor wherewithal to remove the cabinets and sink. We also discovered that the ancient gas line to the stove has a stuck gas valve- so we have no idea how we’re going to cap this damned thing off. I may have to call the gas company.
On the ‘flight plan’ was the refrigerator. I pared down all the ‘art’, school stuff, old reminders, magnets and threw away the bread and crap that R always puts up there to keep safe from the Newfs (if you put loaves on bread on the counter, they WILL eat it- ugh). I normally use stainless steel appliance spray to clean and shine the thing, but a wet microfiber cloth did the trick-followed by a shine with a dry one!
In the midst of the cleaning frenzy, I spied my cousin outside the house on his motorcycle, so I went out there to meet him… he wasn’t there, but I found a banana and small apple near the door. He’s my #1 prime suspect for gnome bestower. He won’t even admit to leaving the fruit! Maisie enjoyed the banana, but she threw the apple over the side of the porch rail…
I continued to work in the kitchen while he was tracing the electrical from the room to the breaker box yesterday.
The cloths worked like magic on my electric kettle and coffee maker!
I tackled the disgusting microwave and the surrounding counter. I almost didn’t do this. SO yucky! I had 27 things to throw away (well, I have to do this daily), so I opted to throw tea boxes and old bread.
Moving the microwave completely grossed me out! I am so angry with myself for letting this go as long as I did.
After I finished the microwave area, R informed me that the electricity in the house was being turned off, so Maisie and I retired to the front porch. She found my mother’s magazines on the couch and started to
tear them to pieces read them. C decided to mow the lawn and take the trash out while our house was dark, too, which was fantastic of him!
After being pretty half-assed about the project this week, the males dove back in with less-than-gusto (but more than the usual half-assery).
I had a ladies’ ‘mom night’ on my porch last night with my cousin, her friend, and bottles of vino- which I sorely needed! I probably could have done without the hangover the next morning, though. I don’t drink much and am a horrible lightweight.
We lost my youngest son to a weekend away at his friend’s, which leaves just the remaining 2 (and me- kinda-since my back is on the fritz again). I am not going to lie, I’ve had to resort to screaming at this point to get anything done around here… I hate that. When I simply asked for others to help, they all ‘had things to do’.
No. FUCKING. Way.
In the end, it’s finally coming together. Thank goodness. The carpet in the back room is even clean enough now (for the moment) that Maisie could crawl around tonight and play while we discussed the future decor.
Tomorrow we go to Lowe’s and buy the thinnest drywall to cover the ceiling and back wall- and new lighting, new electrical boxes, mud, paint, primer- you name it.
My house is 103 years old. Originally, it was built by a German wagon maker as a single family dwelling. In 1929, with the Great Depression looming, the owners turned it into 2 flats. It spent almost 80 years as apartments.
Instead of having a closet off the master bedroom upstairs, I have an extra kitchen that I don’t need.
My oldest son, S, asked if he could move back home a couple of weeks ago. He’d been living in Chicago for many years (he left home 6 years ago). I was suddenly faced with the dilemma of having a boomerang child who needed his own private space (he works from home) IMMEDIATELY. My red room/office is filling in for his work area now, but that isn’t private enough for his needs.
Luckily, the house has 7 bedrooms (actual and potential). I was planning to use the former servant’s room off the kitchen for a guest room/play room for Maisie, but it would better suit S right now. I’d been using that back room as a
hoarder’s paradise clothing room for us.
The back room has it’s pros and cons. It features a built in cedar closet with loads of storage and drawer space, probably circa 1930s-40s. However, the back wall and ceiling have suffered water damage from a previous flood in the upstairs kitchen/bathroom. We will need to drywall over the damaged plaster with thin sheetrock and paint the entire thing. I did the same thing in Maisie’s room upstairs and it turned out great.
In order to turn the small upstairs kitchen QUICKLY into a walk-in closet, I will need to remove all the furniture that’s being stored in there currently AND get rid of the stove/fridge. I don’t plan on any major painting of this room, just clothing storage. After it’s emptied and cleaned, I will be purchasing Rubbermaid Configurations Closet systems in Titanium. Amazon is having a GREAT sale on them right now.
We will probably also buy one of these 10 tier shoe organizers.
I will add a large metal desk ‘island’ in the middle- if it fits- for my sewing machine(s) and sewing notions. R’s parents are giving him the desk and it’s the right size to store my machines and things underneath. This island thing also takes a page from my aunt, who has a fancy island in her clothing room. She uses it for folding, etc (her washer and dryer are also in her room… I want to do this eventually, too).
I don’t plan on PRETTY for that giant glorified closet, just organized and serviceable- we still have that back room downstairs to redo. Besides, not many people will actually need to go into that closet once my clothes are in there. Eventually, when we have the time and funds, we’ll do something fancier… until then, I just want to get this done.
Ok, on ‘paper’ it looks/sounds like we’ve done a ton of things. In reality, as I wade through laundry on my kitchen floor and boxes everywhere else, it doesn’t seem that way.
What we’ve done thus far:
1. Put a large antique cabinet and a few Fiesta Ware vases from the upstairs kitchen in my parents’ antique store.
2. Moved 2 bookshelves from the back room to the basement (I think they’ve been moved to the basement, that is).
3. I threw away another 5 bags of clothes from the back room. I have one built in drawer emptied.
4. Thew the old leather chair away and some other stuff.
5. I BELIEVE some laundry was done- but I can’t be sure.
6. Finally went grocery shopping with an EXTREMELY UNHAPPY TODDLER-$400 bucks worth of groceries bought and were somehow put away.
7. Got the dumpster rental extended for 20 more days
8. Weeded some of my garden and watered plants. Harvested 4 radishes. Should have taken photos, but I didn’t. Plus I did this all with the BABY ATTACHED TO MY BACK in a Korean baby carrier. I would have gotten more done (this was my break time/relaxing time), but she and I were overheating.
R goes back to work tomorrow and I am convinced I will never finish this. I am going to focus solely on laundry tomorrow. The other 2 males in the house will have to assist me, too. I HATE folding laundry. I LOATHE it. I will also work on tossing more clothes out of that back room.
It’s really difficult doing this with the baby. She is very ‘into’ everything right now. We really SHOULD have done this during the 6 months the manny was here.
Hindsight is 20/20…
I am hoping that the boys and I can empty the back room before R’s day off next Wednesday.
In the meantime, I also have to:
1. look for modular closet gadgetry/systems
2. get paint samples for the back room walls
3. empty the upstairs kitchen
I am sure I am forgetting something, but at this point I no longer give a f*ck.
Now that we have 20 more days of dumpster rental (the company offered to extend it for 5 bucks a day- I couldn’t say no), work can go at a much easier pace. This takes a TON of stress off my shoulders. R goes back to work tomorrow and I will not have a lot of help until he is off again next Weds.
We haven’t done anything yet. I was able to have my coffee and relax a bit without a panic attack for once. I haven’t done any grocery shopping in over a week, which also needs to be done at some point today.
Today, we will be focusing on the GARAGE (which is ALSO full to the gills- lots of flooring in there that needs to go), back room, upstairs kitchen, and laundry.
C will be throwing the flooring in the garage out. R wants to focus on moving the furniture from the upstairs kitchen downstairs (and some of the antiques are going into my dad’s antique shop). He also wants to haul dressers UPSTAIRS. I want to get some of this laundry off my kitchen floor.
While R is working this week, we will be doing massive amounts of laundry/folding. I want to empty all the cupboard in the upstairs kitchen (it’s currently packed with teas I haven’t seen in years) and wash them all down. I need to find a place to store the Fiesta ware.
I am still not organized in my game plan, but that’s a start. If anyone out there has better ideas, please PLEASE LET ME KNOW- leave me a comment.
I WELCOME any input. My adhd is not good at stuff like this.
I am just going to call this ‘part 5’, no point in getting OCD about it at this point…
As we were cleaning/tossing out/removing things from the back room, we realized that we had no place to put the clothes and dressers unless we cleaned out the upstairs kitchen… so he went upstairs and removed some of the bigger pieces of furniture. It’s still not empty upstairs, but it’s much better. We have a friend coming to haul the appliances away tomorrow (hopefully).
I know we’re making progress, but I cannot help but feel like we’re taking 2 steps back for every step forward.
The back room is back to being a jumbled mess again. We emptied boxes, threw away at least 10 garbage bags worth of clothing from that room. I still have MORE CLOTHES to go through, believe it or not.
The upstairs kitchen lost antique Hoosier cabinet things, plus a round oak table, and some vintage enameled kitchen tables. At some point R put some plastic shelves up. He is now thinking about buying one of those modular wire closet systems from Lowes, but I think it’s too early for that yet. I need to figure out what to do with all of my Fiesta ware (most of it vintage) and the rest of the actual kitchen stuff that I no longer use. At one time we used both kitchens- don’t ask me why.
The most important part at this point is TO FILL THAT DUMPSTER UP. We need to throw away as much as we can-
We’ve decided to keep the dumpster for a few days longer, at least, to ensure everything gets tossed that needs to.
Laundry was started and I need to fold things, but am too tired to go down the flights of stairs to the basement to retrieve the clean things tonight. I am doing huge loads of whites and I probably should go to the store to find blue-ing (it makes yellowed linens a sparkling white), because I ran out.