Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

ADD is NOT Conducive to Productivity (and Organization!!!)

I think I have *finally* identified the reason for my inability to keep my house as clean and organized as I’d like.


Freakin’ ADD. 

I used to joke that I had “Adult On-Set ADD”.  Apparently, I may have had it all my life.  I thought ADD was just the inability to pay attention (for long periods of time).  Well, that’s a part of it.  You can hyper-focus on things as well!  Well, shit.  I hyper focus on cleaning/organizing to the point that nothing gets done.


So, I’m here to ask for your help.

My house has…lemme think…carry the 2, divide by 4…10 rooms; 7 closets;  and a bazillion piles o’ crap.  I need to list and prioritize what needs to be done.  I’ve done this a million times.  The problem?  I bounce from room to room and nothing gets fully completed (um…anyone remember my kitchen remodel?  Yeah, it’s still not done…AND I want to change some things…)

So…here’s the breakdown:

Living Room:  I want to paint it.  Currently it’s an ugly cream color…and paint is chipping, peeling and dirty.  And flat.  Flat paint is next to impossible to clean.  I want to paint the room Pewter from Benjamin Moore.  It’s a nice neutral color and still blends well with the color in my Dining Room (LR opens to DR…this would be so much easier to explain if I gave you a layout and pictures, wouldn’t it?).  The decor in my LR is mostly pink roses and coordinating accessories.  I’m not a “girly-girl”, but I do like floral decor.  Not overwhelming amounts of it.  I also have medium wood furniture and hardwood floors.  I love my hardwood floors, but they need some love.  The kind of love they need isn’t even in my dream budget, so I’m considering area rugs.

OMG I can’t even stay focused on THIS!

Dining Room:  Walls just need a little touch up and the window frames need painting.  I want to move some furniture around and hang artwork.  My walls are Dragonfly (smoky purple/lavendar) from Ralph Lauren (sorry folks, can’t find a pic right now).  All the trim, throughout the house, is white (except for my son’s room). 

Kitchen:  I love my Kitchen.  I just want it to flow a little better.  And add some artwork.  My kitchen is RED.  My cabinets are white (but somehow doesn’t look like a candy cane GO ME!).  The floor is black.  The counters are silver/faux stainless.  I want to move the fridge 90-degrees so I can do another 1.5 walls of wrap-around counters.  I like to cook, so I need lots of prep space.  I’d love an island, but the kitchen is not large enough for that (phooey).  I’d like to get a new back door and have it open the other way (currently opens right-to-left, so when open, covers two cabinets and the dishwasher.  If it opened the opposite way, would just open into the side of the fridge (once it’s moved).  I can deal with that.  I *still* need to change out the light fixture over the sink.  Currently it’s a really UGLY flourescent tube light.  I have a triple pendant light for that space, just haven’t done it yet (electricity is NOT my friend.  However, I will play with it if I *have* to).  Oh, and I still need to put 1/4-round along the floor.  And fix a threshold that I frogged when I originally did the kitchen.

Downstairs Bathroom:  DISASTER!  Needs a new floor.  Tile needs to be removed from teh walls.  I don’t even know if you can really call it tile.  It’s PLASTIC.  And the previous owners just painted over it.  UGLY.  I’d like to take that down (it’s chair rail height) and maybe put up beadboard with a chair rail cap.  Currently it’s yellow and navy blue.  I want to paint it black/white.  I’d like the walls to be white, but above the chair rail, I’d like to do some sort of frilly black stenciling.  Needs a new sink/faucet (I have a bead on the sink…just need to pick out a faucet) and a new floor.  UGLY ASS FLOOR.  My only concern with tearing up the floor is the possibility that the tiles are asbestos.  The house is just under 60 years old, so it’s prime construction for asbestos tile.  Joy!  Oh and should I mention that ALL the insulation is blown-in (again, possible asbestos containing) and has settled over the years so there is next to ZERO insulation in the walls?  Joy again!

Studio:  Believe it or not, this room isn’t too bad.  I’d like to sand and paint the doors (actually, I’d like to do that in most of the rooms in the house…and change out hardware, but with 17 doors in the house, this is a BIG, expensive project).  My conundrum in the Studio is the closet.  It’s about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide.  Not bad, but it’s ALL behind the wall (meaning you open the door and turn 90-degrees into the closet).  I’m trying to come up with the best way to utilize that space.  It needs to hold office supplies, school supplies, craft supplies and fabric.  I have some ideas, but there’s a lot of crap already stored in that closet that would need to find new homes (like Jake’s old table and chairs).

Stairs:  Really?  Just needs a coat of paint (they’re basically IN the living room, but I don’t necessarily want to paint it the same color) and some wall art.  Would like a gallery wall, but the boy still runs his hands along the wall when going up or down the stairs *sigh*

Jake’s Room:  *I* want to paint it, but Jake is happy with it, so it stays.  Just need to paint the trim around the windows.  Need to re-arrange furniture and somehow incorporate bookcases for his out-of-control sports card collection.  Also need to figure out how to arrange his closet.  His room has a gable in it, so the closet slopes down toward the back.

Upstairs Bathroom:  This is the full bath.  I’d like a new tub-surround, as the one I have is stained, not sealed all that well.  And, well, UGLY.  The walls need some color (although, I DID checker the ceiling).  The vanity and medicine cabinet are both a dark wood, in a room that is white, light blue and chrome.  So, they need to be painted.  And, so does the window frame (surprise, surprise).

My Room:  The room itself is not too bad.  Needs some artwork, but I’m pretty happy with it (right now).  I need help with my closets.  Yep, I said “closets”.  As in plural.  I have your typical reach-in closet and a LARGE walk-in closet.  My walk-in closet is a gable.  It also has two “Alice-In-Wonderland” doors on either side of it.  One leads to the attic, the other leads to behind the wall storage.  The attic part of it creeps me out, so I’ve never been up there (when I opened that door, after I bought the house, there was a crucifix on a shelf; an empty, yet sealed glass jar; and crosses painted all over the shelves.  Kinda gave me pause, but the I found out the original owners had a son who became a priest.  However, fear of bugs and other creepy crawlies keeps me from exploring that potentially mamoth storage space.  I don’t do bugs.  Probably my only girlie-girl claim).  Since it is a gable, it has a pitched ceiling.  A very steeply pitched ceiling.  Which makes “furnishing” it difficult.  I’ve currently got one PAX unit from IKEA in there and want to get another.  There are book cases in there (full of, books, go figure).  It’s also become THE dumping ground for items with no home or stuff that needs to be dealt with.  I hate going in there, but it needs to be cleaned/organized before I give in to my inner pyromaniac.

The Basement:  Ugh.  3/4 is finished.  And 1/2 of that flooded last summer.  The carpet is dry, but STILL needs to be pulled up and replaced.  Can’t decide between re-carpeting the entire space or just pulling up the section that got wet and putting down some sort of laminate flooring.  1/2 of that space used to be my studio (and now you understand why I took over a perfectly good guest room) and of course, that’s the side that flooded.  The other side was my son’s playroom.  He’s a tad old for a playroom at this point, but it would still be a good rec room.  AND there’s been two ideas being bounced around for this space as well.  One:  an “apartment” for my brother, should he want to move in.  OR BACK to a studio/rec room.  But in order for me to bring the studio down, it would need a LOT of extra lighting and a door to keep nosey hands and pets OUT.

The Utility Room:  It’s what you’d think.  Dark, dank and ugly.  I’m not really THAT upset with it, but I’d like it to be more functional…and have more light.  Currently, you open the door and then have to walk all the way down to the back to turn on a light (26-feet).  I’d like to be able to flip a switch at the entrance and have the whole area light up.  Again, me and electricity are not good friends and it requires buying some lighting.  Probably shop lighting, but I seriously hate flourescent tubes.  It currently holds all my holiday decorations, the oil tank, the large freezer, washer & dryer, water heater, and litter boxes.  I’d like to put some sort of drying system over/around the dryer to get laundry off the floor (and away from cat temptation) and to have an area to air-dry items rather than trying to find a nail in the exposed beams.

There’s all kinds of other shit that needs to be done (landscaping, roof repair, etc.). 

But I don’t know where to start!!!!

So, my question to you, dear readers is this…

Where the hell do I start?!?!

On The Road To A New Me (and a new Jake!)

Started walking with The Spider Whisperer again.  We used to walk in the evenings, every evening, for about an hour or so.  We stopped shortly before my mom died and with all the stress, grief and hellidays, we’re just now getting back to it.

It’s still early, so we’re not sure if we’ll get in EVERY day, but we’ll try.  The last two nights consisted of us going to CVS for prescriptions (first me; then the next day, her).

It’s supposed to rain tonight, but as long as it isn’t uber cold and heavy, we’ll still walk.  It nice to get out of the house (I’m a hermit) and have grown-up girl talk.  We can bitch about our kids, relationships, womanly woes and whatever else we feel like.  It gets a nice, low-impact work-out in and does wonders for the mental health (and I will admit, I’ve slept better the last two days – although, I still wake up super tired, but at least I’m sleeping LONGER before I get up).

My goals for the year are:

  • to lose some weight (I’m not going to constrain myself to a certain number.  As long as it goes down, I’ll be happy);
  • get some more definition (I’d like to stop jiggling as much LOL);
  • be nicer to me (i.e., give a shit);
  • eat healthier (I’m sure I’d feel better and look better if I was a bit more diligent with my eating habits and menu planning);
  • beat my finances into submission (which means losing my wallet);
  • pick a few small items in my house to improve (downstairs bathroom, basement, laundry room);
  • really work out my routines and get back control (a must for the OCD part of my brain);
  • get Jacob into healthier routines (his routines are shot to hell, need fixing);
  • CRAFT AGAIN (and more often; and post on CM regularly)

I’m sure I’ll come up with more, but this is a good start.

As for Jacob, he got spacers in last night, so next Tuesday, he will be getting his bottom braces!  Obviously, he’s not uber excited about this, but I’m ecstatic!  Being a child who had awful, awful teeth and couldn’t afford braces (and had/has SERIOUS body image/confidence issues), I’m so happy to be able to give him this.  He’s a handsome young man and now he will have an even more beautiful smile.  I had to wait 35+ years for mine, he should have his by, I’m guessing, Christmas (next June at the latest).

I love his metal smile.  I can’t help but smile myself.

He’s just so dang cute! 🙂


OMG! Why didn’t I think of this before??

I have this lovely wardrobe (that used to be my grandmother’s).

(see the white monstrosity in the corner?)

Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure out what I can put by my front door that would keep us organized, but still look neat.

I was reading THE ORGANIZED HOUSEWIFE blog and BAM!  Brainstorm!

I can strip the wardrobe (it’s been painted with awful white paint) and put it by the front door!  It would keep everything organized and I can CLOSE it so no one sees the mess!


Now, to get that HUGE, HEAVY monstrosity from the basement and outside so I can start stripping the paint…will definitely have to wait until the STUDIO is done (cuz all the crap is in my living room right now).

YAY!  I love when I finally get my brain to work for me 🙂

A New Project?

I was reading the Reader’s Space on IHeart Organzing’s blog and saw THIS.  I *must* do this in my linen closets!!!

I would also like to make some fabric storage cubes to tidy it up a bit…Black & White (toile!) in the downstairs one and Blue, White & Silver in the upstairs one.

Not quite sure how I’m going to tackle this one yet, but I’ll make a plan and get to it!

Stay tuned!

Busy Weekend!

Whew!  What a busy/productive weekend!

I started out Friday night by doing a bit of shopping at Staples and Home Depot.  Staples for office supplies and organization supplies.  Home Depot for a home improvement project.  FINALLY painting the window frames in my living room.  They were NASTY!

When I got home, I put stuff away, but gathered items needed for the window frames.  While watching Season 4 of Supernatural on DVD, I took down my curtains and taped up the windows.  Probably looked incredibly silly to my neighbors as my front window is HUGE (like 10 feet long) and I had to keep going up and down the step stool.  Ran out of masking tape after one window, so had to stop (it was getting late anyway) until the morning.

Saturday morning, I started some laundry and decided to raid my paint supplies to see if I maybe had more tape in there.  I did!   I have metal window frames (my house was built in the 50s) so I used a wire wheel and my drill to scrape off the paint.  Rest assured, I used a mask.  (couldn’t find my safety glasses tho :”>)

I still had to run out for more errands (and I needed spackle to fix some dings in my walls) so off I went.

Once home, I flip flopped the laundry and painted my frames.  In between coats I watched more Supernatural and did more laundry (pretty cool to catch up on it all!)

I got my Peanut back on Saturday night!  😀  We stopped at Panera Bread for dinner on the way home and then hit Target.  He needed some “pages” for his baseball card collection (oh, can we PLEASE kill that obsession?!) and I wanted to graduate him to “grown up” linens.  (He’s been using character towels and washcloths since he was an Itty Bitty…he’s now 12, he’s ready for more mature linens).  Also found a lovely, lovely shade/curtain for my living room, so I picked that up.  I’d like to get the matching curtains (hmm…seems there’s not a link for them on their website) as well, but at $25 a pop…I will have to piecemeal it.

Afterward, we went to my friend’s house for a little crafty time.  I didn’t craft, but got UBER organized (with my jewelry).  I will have to show you the end results (I forgot to take pictures of what I started with).  I’m VERY pleased. 🙂

Sunday we got up early and met my sister, nephew, brother, sister-in-law and baby nephew at the zoo.  It’s a small zoo and it was really cute.  Nestled along a nice river. 

We had a lovely time.  It was good to see my brother (even if there are some family issues going on) and his family. 

My brother and his clan left early, as the baby (heck he’s almost 2!) was getting tired.  My sister, newphew, Jake and I stayed and played on the rocks at the river for a bit then had a late lunch and went our separate ways.

I did more crafty organizing (while watching MORE Supernatural) and Jacob organized some of his card collection.

We were quite tired, but had a GREAT weekend! 

I shall, hopefully, edit this post later today to add some pictures 🙂

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