There are so many things that go into making this a livable home that, quite honestly, are just not exciting. Especially since this is a home that was once used as a rental property for the last 20-some years. Because our house wasn’t owned by the seller himself (at least, this is our theory), we’ve found that many of the projects we’ve been tackling lately are simply getting this place up to snuff – a home that someday, we’ll feel comfortable walking around in barefoot (as opposed to our constant state of slippers and flip flops). While the first level of this two-flat was (sort of) kept up – from what we can tell – with a floor mopping every now and then, the second level was not. The yard has been uncared for, and the garage (and back deck and front porch) was definitely an afterthought.
The last week or so has been us handling the most mundane of tasks – tasks that are no fun, but they need to get done so this house will start feeling right. It’s for these reasons that so many of the items we’ve been checking off the to-do list absolutely, under no circumstances, require their own glorified post. We’ve put down the sledgehammers for now, and over the past weekend, Scott’s parents stayed with us to brave our list of omg, we have no more energy to finish this and turned it into done, done and done.
Between the four of us and our cousin Matthew (who drove down from Milwaukee to lend a hand!), our weekend looked like this: run to Home Depot for supplies, really clean and set-up the second floor bathroom, weed the lawn, trim back tree branches, create storage in the garage, scrub and unpack the kitchen, run to Home Depot again, replace damaged lattice, pressure wash the house and deck and patio (at least one round of many), run to Home Depot again (f@!#), fix a broken lock, and clean, clean, clean.
The truth is, it’s the culmination of all these things – these unglamorous tasks that even our DIY-loving selves would rather skip – that make all the difference. (A lot of) little things.
While the parents were in town, we did, however, take time to enjoy meals outside of the house, take ice cream breaks and spend the evenings over glasses of wine and bottles of Spotted Cow (hands down, my favorite beer!). We fell into bed each night so exhausted and happy. It’s just too bad the trip was so short lived, not only because we love having them around, of course, but holy cow having 10 hands on deck beats 2 any day.
Now, we’re reviewing quotes from general contractors, HVAC specialists and window repairmen. We’re nixing wish-we-coulds off the list until we can squirrel away more moolah, and we’re staring at our finances for far too long, deciding on what needs to happen right now (the ceiling!) and what can wait (the laundry room addition). And while we’re not exactly to the point of picking out appropriately sized area rugs (I could stare at rugs all day long; like, it’s a problem), we are excited to shop for a larger studio desk, build whole storage rooms and pin someday-ideas to our hearts’ content.
Fellow old-home-fixer-uppers (or just good ol’ fashioned home-lovers): what’s been your least favorite to-do?