Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The To-Do List Revisited

Do you like making lists? I make one every single morning so that I remember all of the things that absolutely have to get done that day. I also love the feeling of accomplishment when I get to cross something off of the list. :) About six months ago I shared some photos of our new house in the form of a massive home improvement to-do list and I thought it was time to do a little revisit and check out the progress that we have made.

These home improvement projects are the most annoying because they take up a lot of time but the finished project is never interesting enough to share with anyone! This post will still probably bore most of you but this is MONTHS of work that I have condensed into one single post that you have to suffer through scroll past read.


1. Hang Blinds - DONE! Those trash bag and duct tape curtains were pretty spectacular but it is nice to have real blinds now.

2. Remove a million of these annoying hooks and patch the holes - DONE! I believe the final tally was 15 hooks!


3. Paint everywhere - DONE! I cannot even express how happy I am to have those nasty walls covered up. Some of them were so bad that I felt like I needed a shower just from walking through the room.

4. Patch a bajilion holes. - DONE! I was so excited when I finished the last room! Painting everything sucked (especially the ceilings) but it was the patching and sanding that I hated the most. My arms felt like they were going to fall off and then there was all of the sanding dust! Oh my goodness the dust. I am not putting any holes in the walls unless I am sure that item is going to live there for the rest of my life. It will be like that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond when Marie takes down the fork and spoon and you can still see the outline on the wallpaper because they have been there for decades.


5. Put up closet doors and cut down existing ones - Uhhh...nope. (Look how pretty those gray walls are compared to the dirty cotton candy pink though!) These three closets are still missing doors and for the last seven months this has been what you see when you walk into the other two bedrooms:

Those of you who are able to close the doors on all of the closets in your house have no idea how good you have it. ;)

6. Build shelves for my craft supplies - DONE! I should probably get around to painting them sometime though. 

7. Sort and purge craft supplies - DONE...although they need to be organized again. I have a feeling that this is one that will always be on the list though.


8. Replace baseboards - nope. I should edit this to include window frames as well since I have three windows that look like this:


9. Replace the ugly kitchen light fixture - DONE(ish) Shelby hung the new light fixture but the blue plastic base still needs to be covered up and I accidentally got some paint on the fixture when I was working on the ceiling and I need to scrape that off.


10. Do something with this wallpaper/paneling - DONE! We ended up pulling off the paneling. The bottom half of the drywall was damaged from one of the previous tenants punching holes in it and we thought about continuing the wainscoting from the living room to cover it but we couldn't find the same pattern and weren't really sure if we wanted that much wainscoting in the house anyway. So we replaced the sheetrock on that wall instead. It worked out well because we were able to put in some insulation while we had it stripped down to the studs. Some of the walls are insulated with newspaper but that wall didn't have anything at all.


11. Caulk everything - DONE!


12. Replace the contact paper on the shower window - DONE! Although I still don't understand why people put windows in the shower.


13. Fill thousands of little nail holes in the wainscoting - DONE! It took me an entire day (or was it two?) but I finally filled and sanded all of those annoying little buggers.


14. Install new shelves in the pantry - DONE! I figured out the dimensions that I wanted and Shelby installed them for me. I should probably paint these sometime as well.


15. Replace all of the light switch and outlet covers - this is mostly done however there are still a couple that need work. Why? Because they installed the wainscoting so high that it cuts through the middle of the light switches. Why do people do that?! They also cut the chair rail around these switches incorrectly so a standard switch cover doesn't fit. The one on the left is much too small for the hole so I need to try and find a jumbo one. The opening in the chair rail on the right is cut too small so we are going to have to cut a switch cover down to size. 


16. Paint the laundry "room" doors - I started to do this but it was taking forever and I realized that they still looked just as bad painted so I need to see how much it would cost to replace them.

17. Clean all of the disgusting windows and repair the screens - I replaced three of the screens but I didn't get around to the rest. I also haven't cleaned any of the windows.


18. Patch the big freaking hole that Shelby made in the living room wall - DONE! I busted my knuckle open while doing it too. :( One of Shelby's co-workers said that it's "hot" when a woman knows how to replace drywall though so I guess that's a plus. Lol!

Now that those things are (mostly) done I have come across some other things that need to be added to the lsit:

19. Paint around the thermostat. Shelby replaced the old one with a programmable thermostat because we turn the heat down low at night and then don't want to get out of our nice, cozy bed in the morning. Now, the house is already nice and toasty when it is time to get up! The new thermostat is a different size though so now I have to touch up the paint. Blarg.

20. Replace the outlets and switches. They are all dark brown and some of them have been painted over which is now starting to come off. I guess I could just paint them again but some of them need to be replaced anyway because they don't have a grounding hole. That is why the coffee pot is sitting on the dining table and the microwave on the counter top instead of both of them being on the buffet. It works out alright now because the Christmas village is on the buffet but in a few weeks I am really going to want to move those things to their proper home.

21. Trim around the air conditioner. The hole to the right of it might be fixed now but it still looks pretty junky with the drywall and 2x4 showing.

22. Paint the kitchen cabinets, replace the doors & add knobs. I actually don't mind the color of the cabinets now that the walls are green. However, a couple of months after we moved in, I realized that three of the cabinet doors have curved lines and the rest are square. I don't know how it took me so long to realize this. I guess there was just too much else wrong with the house and I got distracted. Now it is all that I can see though and it is going to drive me crazy until I fix it. I priced doors to see if we could replace those three but apparently they are an odd size so it would be pricey and it would be difficult to get the stain to match exactly. So instead Shelby is going to make flat doors with rounded edges so that they all match and have a retro look. Then I am going to paint them all and add some retro knobs. Originally I was thinking about painting them white but I have seen some really cool colored cabinets recently and now I can't decide what to do.

23. Add shelves to the "coat" closet. The "linen" closet now holds all of our medicine and toiletries because it is right across the hall from the bathroom and the bathroom itself isn't big enough to hold very much. So I decided to make the coat closet a linen closet instead. The original linen closet is only deep enough to hold sheets and towels anyway. By using this closet, it is deep enough to hold the guest comforters and pillows as well as all of our throw blankets and sleeping bags. Now I just need some shelves in here so I can get everything organized instead of just being piled up precariously. 

In case you are wondering (although I doubt you really care) I eliminated the coat closet all together. Once we put our own coats in there, there wasn't any room for guest coats so they would just get piled up on our bed anyway. I also don't see the point in leaving a space open for guests' coats since it is rarely needed. Our house is fairly small (1,000 sq ft) so we have to make the most of our storage space. Our coats are now in the closet of the individual who owns it and guests will continue to toss their's on the bed. Do you have a closet for guests' coats? Does it serve any other purpose? I'm just curious. :)

To sum things up: in the last six months I have crossed 13 things off of the list and then added 5. Grrr! That's usually how it goes with home improvement to-do lists though. I'm sure that when I finally get these things done I will find other things to add. 

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Mekenzie @ said...

Wow I'm exhausted just reading this post :) You guys have done SO MUCH work!

You should feel proud of yourselves. You should also enjoy a bottle of wine.

Carrie said...

That's a lot of work completed- and not the fun kind. Good job.

Goldie said...

OMG you are wonder woman... you have mad excellent progress on the house congrats on it!

Traci said...

You almost tricked me saying this post was going to be boring but I ignored you, read it anyway, and enjoyed it! I need to learn how to do this stuff!

Rhissanna said...

It is always the little things that take the longest, are the most work and time and cost the most money. I admire your perseverance! You've made the house look fresh and modern and clean and I salute you.

However, I want to know about the hooks on the ceiling. All those hooks. Was the previous owner a bit of a Dexter?

runtspickins said...

Hello! I stumbled across your blog through the good 'ol Pinterest! I have a home to-do list and I think it would be a great idea to document it. Hope you don't mind if I do the same!
I do have a coat closet and it is RIGHT when you walk in the front door. For some reason when you open my front door from the outside the door opens to the right and it makes it so that you are walking right into a closet. If the door opened to the left then it would be opening to the living room which makes more sense. Why it is like that? I have no idea. Hubs said it would be really expensive to change that around though. Also, the light switch to the porch and hallway are on the left which really REALLY doesn't make sense for the door. Since the door opens to the right you have to completely walk in and go around the door to hit the switch (which is okay if you're not afraid of the dark =]). If the stinking front door could just open to the left then you would be walking into big open living room space (instead of into a wall) AND the light switch would be right at your fingertips so you could turn it on. I don't think some people really think about these things when they are building homes... which could lead me into a whole lot more about space issues but I won't subject you to that! =) Where was I going with this.. oh yeah! My coat closet does not work as a coat closet either. There are a couple of hangers in there but it's piled with LOTS of other junk too. Extra paint, tools, more paint, hockey sticks, wall shelves, more paint. It's kind of ridiculous but it works right now. =]