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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 1 of the Dumpster Diaries: Cleaning Out Crap and Redoing a Couple of Rooms.

I rented this 20 yd dumpster today

I rented this 20 yd dumpster

I wasn’t going to so publicly chronicle my cleaning and renovation endeavors, but I was inspired by Brey’s post on her Ordinary Adventures blog, where she started doing the same thing in her loft.

I got a call last week from my oldest son, Sam. He wanted to move back home from Chicago and we have to make room for him/his studio. More on that in my previous post HERE. He’s been gone for about 5-6 yrs, so this is a big deal… I rented a dumpster and the fun is now beginning.

yeah... I can jams and sauces and things, too... what a MESS!

yeah… I can jams and sauces and things, too… what a MESS!

 

this is my basement shame. It flooded earlier this spring and we were unable to do much about it because of the baby and my back until now.

this is my basement shame. It flooded earlier this spring and we were unable to do much about it because of the baby and my back until now.

I am very fortunate to have a 7 bedroom home. It’s over 100 yrs old, but not all the bedrooms have been utilized as such since I bought the house. One room off of the master was converted into a kitchen (when this house was divided into 2 flats in 1929). Another 2 bedrooms downstairs house my office and ‘closet room’ (for my clothes, since this house has very little closet space. I also have a full (and I mean FULL- HOARDERS FULL) basement.

I had 2 SETS- of washer/dryers that no longer worked in that basement. That's FOUR big hunks of junk just taking up room- I gave them to people I know who do scrapping.

I had 2 SETS- of washer/dryers that no longer worked in that basement. That’s FOUR big hunks of junk just taking up room-
I gave them to people I know who do scrapping.

base5

I also had an old art deco buffet that was damaged some years ago by teenagers and dogs- they were gracious enough to haul this away as well.

Sam will be getting the downstairs closet room as his studio- it was originally probably meant as a servant’s room, since it is off the kitchen. It has access to the back door, so it’s the most private room in the house.

He does a live comedy/entertainment show thing on the Internet, so he needs a room specifically as his ‘broadcast’ room.

Before we can even BEGIN on the new ‘studio’, we have to make space in the basement/bleach everything/spray anti-mold crap so that we can store whatever we aren’t throwing out in the ‘clothing room’. Sam still needs to broadcast, so he’s getting my red office room as an interim place to work. The ‘Red Room’ has been basically storage/a catch all for the last 2 yrs as well. We have to work on THAT ROOM before we can even THINK ABOUT cleaning out the other rooms.

an antique psychic carnival sign my friend in Missouri sent to MI for me. I love this thing.

an antique psychic carnival sign my friend in Missouri sent to MI for me. I love this thing.

we're going through every book, scrap of paper, you name it in my office (Red Room) and tossing EVERYTHING that is of no use.

we’re going through every book, scrap of paper, you name it in my office (Red Room) and tossing EVERYTHING that is of no use.

After the Red Room is sorted and cleaned we STILL CANNOT start on the studio. I have to actually go UPSTAIRS and empty the kitchen (and future closet room). It’s currently stacked to the CEILING with antique furniture that can’t go anywhere else. I will probably give a majority of it to my parents so they can sell the excess in their antique store.

see this adorable 10.5 month old with the chewed onion in her hand? She makes work nearly IMPOSSIBLE when she is awake.

see this adorable 10.5 month old with the chewed onion in her hand? She makes work nearly IMPOSSIBLE when she is awake.

Maisie, her onion that she pulled from my garden (she loves onions) and the girl who came with the scrappers, sitting on my lawn.

Maisie, her onion that she pulled from my garden (she loves onions) and the girl who came with the scrappers, sitting on my lawn.

It’s slow going because I have to watch Maisie and she is NOT conducive to productivity at ALL. All the REAL work falls to the males in my household, mostly poor R. The other two (including the person for whom all this is being done) keep running off to nap or hide in their rooms. Unfortunately, R goes back to work Sunday, which means people will need to do their parts and get their asses in gear. I really should’ve done this BEFORE the manny left, but we didn’t know until this week that Sam was moving home.

If we persevere, we MAY finish the red room and the basement this week. Next week will likely be the upstairs kitchen/closet/storage and then clean out the back room/future studio.

I haven’t even figured in the RENOVATIONS I need to do to the back room- the plaster (not drywall) has water damage in the ceiling and wall from previous floods (bathroom and kitchen upstairs). We fixed the bathroom and installed new flooring and toilet last week. The studio will need drywall done over the damaged plaster (thin sheetrock veneer- MUCH easier than gutting the lot). It will need to be painted, the new carpet put in, etc.

LAST week's project: New TEEN PROOF acacia smartcore floors and toilet in the upstairs loo-

LAST week’s project: New TEEN PROOF acacia smartcore floors and toilet in the upstairs loo-

this spare bathroom project took only a day or two... unlike the project I have going now

this spare bathroom project took only a day or two… unlike the project I have going now

ALSO WE MUST get everything tossed within the next ten days, because that is when the dumpster goes back- OR, I COULD PAY *ANOTHER* $400 BUCKS TO RENT IT.

No. Fucking. Way.

In 2 days, this arrives- it’s the new computer desk for the studio that won’t be completed any time soon:

http://www.amazon.com/Walker-Edison-Soreno-3-Piece-Corner/dp/B001FB5LE8/ref=sr_1_2?&s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1437666914&sr=1-2&keywords=desk

His birthday is in a few weeks, so my folks and I also bought Son Numero Uno some studio gear: green screen stand, umbrella lights, clips.

Tomorrow I go to check out a hide-a-bed sofa for the room that god knows if/when it will be completed.

I am kinda freaking out right now. I really am. If this post isn’t edited well, sue me. I’m so damned tired, I can barely type.