This is a test… And a confession

Yesterday, Chris moved all my website database to the new host.  I figured I would write a new post to make sure everything is working properly.  Good thing I did — turns out my theme broke when we moved to the new host, so I had to install a new one.  I have more work to do on visuals — the logo I was using was too big for this theme, so I cropped it.  I’d rather make a new logo to fit properly, once I decide if I’m sticking with this new theme.

This is my second shot at writing this post.  I wrote the whole thing yesterday, but it turns out the new name servers hadn’t propagated to my desktop yet, so when that finally went through, I lost everything I had written 🙁

I’ve decided that I’m going to use this blog as an accountability tool for the next couple months.  I’m going to post weekly, aiming for Sunday, with what I’m trying to accomplish in the next week and what I actually accomplished in the last week.  As I mentioned in my last post, several rooms in our house aren’t really functional due to the accumulated detritus of the last few years.  For the next couple months, I am focusing on returning this house to a functional home.  Here’s the confession part — actual pictures of how it looks now.

The hallway. Straight ahead is Chris’ office. The door to the right is the bathroom. The door to the left is my office. When I took this picture, I was standing in front of the door to our bedroom
Looking from the hall into the bathroom.
Where the tub and toilet should be.
The bookshelf and a corner of the desk in my office.
My desk, where I’m sitting and writing this blog post!
Looking straight through the door into my office.
The loom is sitting in what is meant to be the closet in my office. The prior owners of the house removed the doors and built shelves into the sides. We left it that way.
This room, located off our kitchen, is intended as a family room, but we’ve never used it that way. We used it as a dining room for a while, but for the last 7 years or so it’s been hydroponics and miscellaneous storage.
The dining room / library.
The living room.

The Overall Plan

Finish the bathroom before we have a houseguest in early August.

Create a sewing / crafting area in the ‘family’ room.

Sort through books and find storage solutions for them.

Turn office into a functional space.

Get remaining looms out of storage unit (not pictured) before the next payment is due on July 13.

This Week’s Tasks

  1. Get the tub installed.  The plumber was here last week to install the tub, but wasn’t able to shut off the water to the house.  The water company was here this morning and didn’t have any problems with the valve on the meter.  Today I need to call the plumber to reschedule tub installation.
  2. Learn to spackle and finish spackling the ceiling in the bathroom.  Chris has done all the spackling (I love that autocorrect turned that into ‘sparkling’ — is he a Twilight vampire and I haven’t noticed?!), but it is killing his back so I’m going to finish it.  I’ve never speckled before, but it can’t be that different than icing a cake, right?
  3. Finish sampling varnish options for the bathroom vanity.
  4. Varnish the bathroom vanity.
  5. Finish all coats of Danish Oil on the loom I’m refinishing for Lorelle.  This is necessary to have space to work on the looms that are in the storage unit.
  6. Sort through all the books.  Donated any unwanted books to the library.
  7. Paint the four bookshelves I bought from the used bookstore that went out of business on Saturday.  Canary yellow = not a good look for our space!
  8. Sell 4 bar stools and the TV from the ‘family’ room.
  9. Take the two tables out of the family room, remove bar-height legs, and add standard-height legs.
  10. Put bookcase from hallway on top of family room entertainment center and use it as temporary storage for dyeing supplies.  The long-term plan is to build a matching cabinet for the top of the entertainment center, but that won’t happen this week.
  11. Get the cart out of the family room and back to the garage.  Find new homes (either here or by donating) for everything stored on it.
  12. Thoroughly clean the floor on the side of the family room where the tables are.
  13. Install all the newly painted bookcases: 3 in the family room, along the wall, and one in the hallway to replace existing shelf.
  14. Put the standard-height tables back into the family room.
  15. If the bookcases are sufficiently cured, shelve all books.  This may need to wait for next week if the bookcases aren’t cured.
  16. Return folding table to Shellee once I shelve all the books.

Did I finish all these tasks?  Find out in post two of this series.

3 thoughts on “This is a test… And a confession”

  1. 1. Spackling is exactly like frosting a cake. And autocorrect changed it to “sparkling” for me too.

    2. Consider taking the purge of books farther, keeping only what you haven’t read or need for reference. We bought Kindles, stopped buying most books on paper, and to donated most of our books. We’re down to a few cookbooks and instructional manuals on two bookshelves by the front door. It’s incredibly freeing to not be housing an entire library in our home. For me (an English major and book lover), it came down to the realization that I hadn’t re-read 90% of the books I owned after the initial reading, which meant I was just paying rent for the books to exist in my home.

    3. Writing it down makes me realize that I need to purge my office books too. Ugh.

    4. I come from a family of hoarders. My tendencies go to clutter and an excess of stuff. I’m a recovering clutterer (like you, I never made it to hoarder). Know that purging the stuff is something you need to do all the time, not as a one-time project. It’s a process, so cut yourself some slack if it takes more time than you planned.

    5. You’ve got this. I know it seems overwhelming, but I’ve been there and I’ve done it. Start with one task. Get it done. Move to the next task. Just keep at it. ❤️

    • Thank you for the encouragement!

      I have one shelf of books I will never purge. These are all books I have read and they had a profound impact on me. They are books I will reread every once in a while. Other than that shelf, everything else may leave the house after I read it.

      I have had a Kindle since version 2 (the one with the keyboard). I got rid of a lot of books, especially classics that are available for free on Kindle. I regretted it. I found I do not enjoy reading on a Kindle. I read more quickly, but retain less. Part of the problem for me is that reading on a Kindle is the same experience regardless of book. You don’t have the same tactile experience as when you read a physical book — the smell, the weight, the feel of the paper — none of that exists when you read on Kindle.

      Over the last couple years, I’ve slowly scanned all my books into Library Thing, so I have a complete catalog. I was surprised to find that 2/3 of my books are nonfiction. Approximately 1/2 of those are reference books in food (cookbooks, but also technique), fiber arts, writing, environment / science, law, and a few miscellaneous categories. The rest are narrative books in these same categories as well as history, biography, and various creativity categories, including drawing, filmmaking, and how to approach creative work. I especially dislike reading nonfiction reference on Kindle because I don’t read these books straight through. I read the parts I need right now, I flip back and forth between notes in the back and the current chapter. I read the beginning and end of each chapter or section, looking for info I need. Reading in this way is not easy on Kindle.

      I’ve been reading books (and listening to podcasts on) decluttering. More than one source has said, “Clutter represents unmade decisions, accumulated in piles.” This is absolutely my problem. So many crises and changes in a row meant there wasn’t time to think. “I’ll think about that later,” and into a pile it goes. Over and over again. I’m grateful that I now have time to make those decisions.


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