OMG, I haven’t written a new blogpost in 2017! I can’t believe it’s been a month already. We’ve been continuing with our house updating and it has totally consumed my time since before the holidays. We have finally finished with the painting in the rooms where we had the new windows put in. Everything is still a mess but the walls look good and the windows don’t leak. Good thing about the windows as we’ve had massive storms and rain since mid-December. Here is what I’ve learned from this ongoing house project:

#1 – Clean Out / Throw Out

The best part of this project is that we have been able to clean out a lot which around this house is monumental. We are coming up on our 26th anniversary of living here and it shows. One of the advantages of moving is going through and getting rid of some of your stuff. We haven’t done that and as both my husband and I have a lot of books, cd’s, dvd’s, magazines, etc. to go through. Now we have to put it all back again.

Lesson – Act like you’re moving every few years and clean out one room (at least) every couple of years.

#2 – Painting

We have had 3 rooms painted and it’s been quite a shock to my sinuses. I have a lot of allergies and strong smells drive me crazy. I can’t stand being near people who don’t know how to put on perfume (spray into the air and walk thru it – don’t spray it on yourself). Some people smell like they’ve taken a bath in it. And the smell of oil based paint primer is just as bad if not worse. It took 3-4 days before the smell got to the point where it didn’t keep us from sleeping. I can still smell it a bit but nothing like at first.

Lesson – Learn more about the paint being used and how strong the odors will be. Some things to use to get rid of the smell are bowls of lemon slices, vanilla, white vinegar, or onion wedges in water or coffee grounds placed strategically in the area of the painting.

#3 – Packing

We packed up over 100 boxes of books and carried them out to the garage to get them off the book shelves and out of the house. As I mentioned earlier, we have a lot of books. We already had a full storage space at a Storage Facility a few miles away so packing up books was something we were used to doing. I used to fill out a spreadsheet with what books were in which boxes but I gave that up for this project.

Lesson – Boxes come in different sized packs so be sure to get the largest packs you can and buy them on sale. Mid-way through we started buying 15-packs. Keep books of the same size together, you can get more books in the box that way.

#4 – Maintain Your Cool

It’s very easy to get frustrated and tired when you and your spouse are spending all day, every day going through papers, books, furniture, etc. And it’s always worse when you have a deadline when you have to have it done by – i.e. the day the workmen are showing up to start. The night before the painters came to work on the Living Room I was up until 2:30 am and my husband was up until 4 am. I always say that I’m not going to do that again but it always seems to happen.

Lesson – Best laid plans usually don’t work so well because it always takes longer than you think to do almost anything. This is especially true when there is more than 1 person involved. I always try to start early and overestimate the time. My husband always thinks it will get done faster than it actually does and puts starting off to the last minute. It’s a part of life in this household and after almost 30 years together I just take a deep breath and keep working. The rest of life is more important.

Finish Line

Still more to do to actually make it across the finish line but we’re close and we’re talking about what we need to do next to get new furniture for the living room (we threw out the stuff we had) and replace some of the very old carpeting. This is an ongoing project at the moment but we’ll see how far we actually go with all of these new plans. I’ll let you know how we do in future blogs.
—  Let me know the kinds of house projects you have had and what did you learn from them?

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