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Dumpster Diaries: Today in Pictures (and Captions)

Today I had to change my sheets and clean the bedroom- but this sleeping princess prevented it for a bit

Today I had to change my sheets and clean the bedroom- but this sleeping princess prevented it for a bit

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overflow keeps going back and forth between the two rooms- frustrating!

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forgot that this rug was underneath the white furry thing. Sent the white faux fur outside with C to beat on the line with the carpet beater-

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have to change/wash bedding and clean this room- quietly- while she is asleep

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Maisie wakes up

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stuffing a silk duvet into a heavy cotton duvet cover is not fun.

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Maisie checks out the clean(er) bedroom, new bedding, and the rug.

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my little helper ‘sweeping’

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she was very serious about her job. When I took the broom away, she screamed bloody murder.

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I think she will be getting a toy broom soon. She’s dangerous with a real one.

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Part 13 of the Dumpster Diaries: Getting the Walk in Closet Organized With A Fast Moving Toddler And Falling Short of Goals…

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.”

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everything from the closet has spilled into my bedroom

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the bed sheets need to be washed ASAP

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what awaited me on the counter

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piles of CLEAN laundry dumped by my sons (UGH) and needing to be sorted/put away by ME

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:

View this post on Instagram

Cutie pie

A post shared by Miss Maisie & Mommy (@missmaisiebabyfashionista) on

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.

“What could THIS be?”

“Let’s pull it and everything else out and check”

I swear, training puppies is¬†easier than human babies. Thank goodness she’s cute.

pulling the dresser scarf and box off for the 10th time. I think puppies are easier to train than people.

pulling the dresser scarf and box off for the 10th time.
I think puppies are easier to train than people.

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.

makeshift sink vanity

makeshift sink vanity

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 ūüė¶ It was put in too long ago…

No, you can't see the faucet... shhhh... don' tell me!

No, you can’t see the faucet… shhhh… don’t tell me!

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.

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I have a ton of vintage linens, which comes in handy for times like these

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my antique-ish piggybank collection

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my ‘helper’

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after throwing out so many clothes, I am kind of freaked out by how empty my closet is. I KNOW I have way more than this! WHERE IS IT?!

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my Louis Vuitton collection, up and away from people who might mistake it for trash. I really need to clean the leather on a couple of em.

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under the hamper: cleaning products that I need to have a strong male bring downstairs to be put away safely

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.

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AFTER!

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MORE AFTER

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I couldn’t bear looking at the plaster damage by the light any longer- and we can’t spackle it til next week- my quick fix

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Part 12 of the Dumpster Diaries: NO MAJOR CLOSET RENOVATION HAPPENING- but We Got the Ghetto Walk In Closet Installed!

11880343_10153244967374024_8626816994711455902_n 11233773_10153244967354024_7552789740213235370_nI have to say: I am getting burnt out.

This has been the theme song for the kitchen to closet renovation:

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He had a hard time with the gas line- it was so old that the valve took a lot of work to shut off

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!

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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.

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here is the BEFORE- just to remind everyone

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.

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A closet full of vintage fiesta ware in my pantry- yeah, my closet has a closet

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how disgusting is this? What it looked like after appliances left

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after washing walls and floors, he unrolls rug to cover the ancient linoleum

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Maisie in beast mode!

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helping Daddy install closet system

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Maisie checking out the new room

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the install

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the corner is where the house’s chimney is- and where we momentarily ran into trouble

AFTER!!

AFTER!!

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.


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Part 11 of the Dumpster Diaries: MUDDING, Spackling, and all the icky drywall stuff nobody likes… plus preview of kitchen into closet hell

looking good! We have walls!

looking good! We have walls!

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.

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the sanding part (that’s coming up) is the worst part

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cracks are spackled

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more spackled cracks

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not too shabby

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the smooth new ceiling makes me so happy

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new outlet box

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).

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OMG HOW AM I GOING TO GET THIS EMPTIED AND TURNED INTO A CLOSET IN A WEEK?!?!

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I have a lot of shoes. I think I may need to sell my dressers, no room in here for them.

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.

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Dumpster Diaries: Decluttering When I Can’t Do Anything Else- More Kitchen Progress!nom

I am feeling very accomplished now- even if it’s only a little bit at a time

As I wrote in my earlier post, I’ve been purging thanks to my Facebook friend Marilyn, who introduced me to Flylady.net¬†this month.I am still gaga over the microfiber cloths that I bought on Amazon!

on the ‘flight plan’ today from flylady.net was the fridge- this thing is SOOO clean now, thanks to those microfiber cloths!

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…

Prime suspect for gnome leaver is my cousin… I saw him on his motorcycle through the window- and when I went outside, I found a banana by my door. Maisie enjoyed it.

I continued to work in the kitchen while he was tracing the electrical from the room to the breaker box yesterday.

BEFORE pic of the gross microwave area in my kitchen

The cloths worked like magic on my electric kettle and coffee maker!

After pic of kettle

this is the best my coffee maker has looked since I bought it!

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.

getting rid of the boxes of tea and putting them all in one wicker box

I have seen this done in restaurants

I HOPE I remember that the tea is in here!

Moving the microwave completely grossed me out! I am so angry with myself for letting this go as long as I did.

I was in shock when I moved the microwave. Just disgusting!

underneath *shudder*

AFTER!!! Now I hope it STAYS like this.

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!

It was a very productive day yesterday and I am looking forward to doing the taping/mudding/spackling of the back room today!
  

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Part 8 of the Dumpster Diaries: THE BACK ROOM IS *FINALLY* EMPTY!!!!!!!!!!! Drywall starts TOMORROW!

getting MUCH more filled now

getting MUCH more filled now

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).

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Hoping we get this project done and this dumpster full

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I threw away a perfectly good stainless trash can if anyone wants it

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.

My cousin and Miss Maisie

My cousin and Miss Maisie

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my little urchin in her fave place- the front porch

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’.

 walls ready for drywall over the plaster- the former door once lead to the downstairs bathroom


walls ready for drywall over the plaster- the former door once lead to the downstairs bathroom

No. FUCKING. Way.

walled off the doorway to the downstairs bathroom about a dozen years ago and we're finally going to cover it with drywall

walled off the doorway to the downstairs bathroom about a dozen years ago and we’re finally going to cover it with drywall

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.

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a little bit of playtime with Daddy

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yay!

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the ceiling also needs drywall- a flood from the upstairs bathroom previously ruined the plaster

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.

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Dumpster Diaries: Turning the upstairs kitchen into a closet room/sewing room

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.

Offhand, I'd say I need at least 2 of these

Offhand, I’d say I need at least 2 of these

We will probably also buy one of these 10 tier shoe organizers.

I am hoping I can pare down to under 50 pairs of shoes. I haven't had less than a 100 pairs of shoes in decades. Wish me luck.

I am hoping I can pare down to under 50 pairs of shoes. I haven’t had less than a 100 pairs of shoes in decades. Wish me luck.

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.