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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.”

vr3

everything from the closet has spilled into my bedroom

vr

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:

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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 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.

$_12 (4)

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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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 3 of the Dumpster Diaries: The Upstairs Kitchen is a pain in the ASS and there’s now a BAT in the Basement

If you’re just seeing this post for the first time, parts 1 and 2 are here and here.

I live in a 102 yr old house that is long on rooms (7 bedrooms) and short on closet space. It was divided into 2 apartments around 1929 (hello Great Depression) and we’re the first single family to dwell in the house since then. As a result, I have an upstairs kitchen that I really don’t need and a downstairs one. I have an old servant’s bedroom off of the downstairs kitchen that I use as my ‘closet/clothing room’. I need to gut that room and turn it into another office/studio space for my oldest son… and eventually a playroom/tv room for Maisie when he leaves. My master bedroom is directly off of the upstairs kitchen. I want to turn that space into my clothing room. Currently, it is a storage room for forgotten furniture and junk.
 
Woke up at 11:30 am, not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed… not long after we’d woken up and I’d given the baby her breakfast, people started showing up out of the blue on my porch.

the first batch of Maisie's callers today... this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

the first batch of Maisie’s callers today… this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

We had about 10 visitors today- Maisie had a fantastic time.

Got her to nap- FINALLY- and thought “wow, ok, time to start on the upstairs kitchen”

Nope. She woke up within 10 minutes of that thought.

Isn't this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she'd sleep MORE!

Isn’t this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she’d sleep MORE!

I was informed by R that he heard a squeaking/rustling noise last night in the basement when he went to do laundry. My youngest son confirmed it today when HE went to put clothes into the washing machine.

Great, we have a possible bat in the house. Not the baseball kind, either.

I can't be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

I can’t be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

So I asked my oldest to watch Maisie while my youngest and I did laundry in the basement. I needed the boy with me as a witness just incase I was bitten by something and died of rabies on the concrete floor. Yes, I am a super chicken. I don’t care who knows.

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn't- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn’t- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

We did whites. I separated them and added the detergent and bleach while the (almost) 17 year old looked on.

C: “why are you separating the colors from the whites and why are you putting that stuff (BLEACH) in? I just use the soap”

Me: “That’s why your clothes look dingy when you wash them- you’re SUPPOSED TO separate them first and do this

I shook my head at his comment, because I’ve showed him probably 102 times how to separate/wash these clothes. It doesn’t compute in the male mind, evidently.

We didn’t see any bats- but C could hear the squeaking and rustling noise. I am hard of hearing, so I could not.

I figure, if it dies in the ductwork I will have to call someone to clean the ducts- which I’ve needed to do for years. A potentially dead and rotting bat is all the impetus I need to finally call the duct cleaners.

After a couple of loads of laundry, I said screw it and hauled the boy to the kitchen upstairs. My oldest was still watching the little girl for me, thank goodness.

We threw out SIXTEEN huge garbage bags of things and old boxes, etc- and still did NOT MAKE EVEN A DENT in that room!

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here- the stove will be junked, too.

I have antique furniture stacked in there and there’s no way I can move that stuff by myself. We have boxes of old dvd movies and games- again, this is not my domain. R needs to sort through them.

there is no rhyme nor reason to the 'storage' in this room

there is no rhyme nor reason to the ‘storage’ in this room

I have a fridge and stove in there, too. I will junk the stove- let one of the scrappers take it- and maybe switch out for fridge for one my dad gave me that’s been in my garage for 2 yrs.

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

I called it a day after we threw out the last 5 bags, etc. I think I will start on my clothing room downstairs (throwing stuff out) tomorrow instead. It will be easier to look after Maisie at the same time if I do that room. All of the things in my clothing room are MINE and I don’t need help with that.

Wardrobe to Narnia. I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.

Wardrobe to Narnia.
I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.