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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 10 of the Dumpster Diaries: We Have Drywall UP AND Electricity Done!

the ceiling getting covered

Words cannot describe how happy I am that the drywall’s been installed and the electricity has been redone! R (with occasional help from the other guys and me) spent the entire day in there- from about 3 pm til nearly midnight.

the part of the ceiling with plaster damage is now covered!

The back room ceiling had plaster damage from an earlier flood in the upstairs bathroom and kitchen.

breaker box in my scary basement, next to my canning stuff. I don’t know which is scarier- the basement or the electrical in this house

R also added a breaker and isolated the room. That way, if someone trips a breaker in the kitchen (where it was hooked up previously), Sam’s internet show isn’t shut down. (He works online and does a live broadcast daily)

doorway to bathroom is going bye bye

One of the walls used to lead to the downstairs bathroom, but we covered that, too.

He hung a ceiling box where the old gaslight lines were

Wall ready for mudding!!!

Here are some other photos of the newly hung drywall:

Bedtime… so glad the ceiling and wall are done

he put the old light back just for now so that we could have light in there

ceiling and wall covering old plaster damage

ceiling completely hung

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Part 9 of the Dumpster Diaries: Less Dumpster-More Diary. Good News and Bad News…

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

The GOOD NEWS:

I bought the ‘inspiration piece’ for the back room.

Sam is SOOO picky about the art I put on the walls and liked this one. He was worried it would scream “I’m a little kid living at Mommy’s house!” or be too ‘busy’… he won’t like the fact that it’s going to be bigger than what he wants, but he gets no choice in that since he has no sense of scale.

This is hilarious and will tie in all the colors of that back room.

All the drywall, paint, and things (we think) that we need so far have been purchased, too.

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I ordered this canvas print tonight from Thailand- was a good deal at $45US for a 3 ft print.

We found a light fixture in a burnished wood that we LOVED.

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude's office, I think

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude’s office, I think

We also bought the paint at Home Depot- R prefers Behr products. The color we’re using is a bold orange for the walls- white for the ceiling.

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange- and that gouge above the swatch is ready to be filled with drywall mud-

We installed a new electrical outlet and are running entirely new lines to the breaker box. All of the electrical will now have it’s own breaker in that room, which will safeguard Sam’s show if another breaker in the house pops.

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

drywall waiting to be installed over light fixture on ceiling

Now for the BAD NEWS:

After getting the cracks scraped out to fill and fix, the new electrical boxes installed, buying all the stuff, and putting up exactly HALF A SHEET of drywall, we discovered that the light fixture in the ceiling was connected to AN ANTIQUE GASLIGHT PIPE.

Our house was built in 1912 by a German wagonmaker and his family. 1912 is kind of late in my area for gas lighting, but he must have thought it was a cheaper option or something when he built this house.

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

It now requires a new thingamajig (don’t ask me the name of it, I don’t know) in order to connect the new light fixture.

see that pipe? It's for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

see that pipe? It’s for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

Plus Sam was doing his internet show, so we couldn’t turn off the electricity like we needed to on R’s last day off this week. Everything is on hold until next Wednesday (R’s next day off). Hopefully, we will be able to finish the drywall, plus mudding and sanding- and hopefully paint the new ceiling/walls then.

We have less than 10 days left of dumpster rental. I was hoping that all of this stuff would have been finished by now. Everything has been SO slow going.

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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.

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Part 2 of the Dumpster Diaries: Red Room/Office Revamp

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This is how full the dumpster is after 4 DAYS. We can keep it only 6 more days (unless I want to pay an additional 15 bucks a day). I have TWO MORE ROOMS to clean out.

OMG! My house is a CLUSTERF*CK!!!!!!!!

Go to my previous post if you don’t know what’s going on-

My ‘game plan’ for the revamp is this (not in order):

1. we have a 10 day dumpster rental (it was rented last Weds, so we have 7 days left).

2. The ultimate goal is to get the back room turned into a studio for the oldest son- we will have to empty it of my clothing and stuff, drywall and paint, put down carpeting.

3. I had to clean out parts of the basement to make room for extra stuff from the other rooms to be moved into storage there.

4. I have to clean out the upstairs kitchen (which houses stored furniture currently) in order to turn that into the master bedroom’s closet.

5. The “Red Room”/my office has to become my son’s interim office while the remodeling happens.

The rubble in the red room

BEFORE: The rubble in the red room

super cluster fuck before pics

BEFORE: Super cluster fuck

The basement part was carried out on Weds/Thurs. All day yesterday we worked on the red room. We weeded out junk and papers that were no longer needed and threw them away. Walls were scrubbed, furniture polished/scrubbed- the whole 9 yards. My Art Deco burled walnut library table and lamp that I purchased in Paris were spiffied up.

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

The furniture was rearranged to better suit my kid’s needs. My handmade rug from Afghanistan was hung on a line and beaten with a Victorian wire rug beater (which, for some reason, always intrigues the neighbors/tourists/passersby when I have someone beat the carpets- I DON’T know why! We always did this when I was a kid…).

beating the rug

beating the rug

For SUCH a small room, I was shocked at how much crap we had to throw away! It’s just crazy how things pile up.

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

We went through every old paper, receipt, scrap and disposed of everything that we no longer needed or used.

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

The walls and floors and furniture all needed a good scrubbing. Everything was SO gross. I have neglected this room for 2 yrs (since becoming pregnant and having the baby). The problem (#firstworldproblems) with owning a huge, old house is that it is SO easy to pile junk into a room and close the door/forget about it for a while.

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they'd fit.  Bye-bye window for now...

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they’d fit.
Bye-bye window for now…

At this point, my stress levels (and everyone else’s) were pretty much at max. We had to drill a hole into the floor to run the ethernet cable to the modem (and fish it out through the basement and back up through an air vent again).

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

The end result was worth it- it looks lovely again and no longer like a dark storage hovel. It took me all day, in between doing other stuff, just to finish writing this post!