Monday, June 27, 2016

Door Knob Upgrade

When we last discussed door knobs I had spray painted mine twice. In 2011 I changed them from bronze to silver. A few years after that I painted them Oil Rubbed Bronze. Painting my knobs bought me at 5 years before I finally decided to replace them. Overall it held up really well:
But on our highest used knobs things were definitely looking sad. 
Lila becoming more mobile inspired the switch. I don't have a single key for these knobs. Babysitting has taught me that kids LOVE to lock doors and leave you on the outside! So I kept my spray painted hinges and went in search of an inexpensive oil rubbed replacement. I decided to do it right, so we replaced all of our knobs at once. I'm fortunate to have several sliding doors in this house and only needed 5 locking knobs and 4 passthrough knobs. 

I found passthrough knobs that matched what I was looking for on sale for $4 each at Menards. 
Their partners weren't on clearance but Menards was running their 11% bag sale so I still was able to save:



There's not much more to it... It was a quick switch out and definitely gives me peace of mind to know that if we get locked out of a room by Lila we have a way to get in without the fire department! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

That Time We Decided to Sell Our House

I've started to be a little less in love with our current house lately. The floors squeak horribly, as do the stairs. This means that because of the lack of a second floor bathroom that if you have to get up during the night or wake up earlier than the baby that you either hold it or wake her up. If I have somewhere to be in the morning I have to bring my makeup to bed the night before so I can get ready in bed without squeaking the floors waking her up. It's a serious issue. The second floor is attic-like so it gets quite hot in the summer. So hot that we've put in a window unit so our old central air isn't on 24/7. We have the only grandchild on both sides so she is constantly being gifted toys and stuff. Without a garage and with limited basement storage space we are just plain outgrowing our house between our stuff and hers. 

Back in April Chris and I were on a walk when I spotted a house for sale that I fell in love with. I ended up finding a realtor, touring it, and falling even deeper in love. We decided this would be the perfect forever house for our family. Chris works 5 minutes from home and his commute wouldn't change. It had 4 bedrooms, a bonus room, 3 bathrooms, those beautiful floors, tons more space, a mud room, huge garage, giant basement, a better layout, and was completely updated and amazing. Oh and it would cost us less monthly than our current house.
Then the realtor I found fell off the face of this earth and I had to find a new one. Once I did we arranged a meeting to draw up the offer. 
(This would've been Lila's room)
In order to put in an offer on the amazing house we had to list our current house. But the day before our house hit the market our dream house went under contract... 
 I set to work on some major improvements before we listed. My first project was finally fixing the basement tile. 
The toilet and shower were installed wrong so the floor was buckling when I moved in. After everything was correctly installed and repaired we were left with a square of tile around the toilet that was ripped up
I couldn't find a match for the tile so there was just a big hole that I strategically cropped out in most photos I posted. 
I ended up filling the hole with concrete to level the hole with the tile. 
Then I got peel and stick tile (more on that in another post) and applied it over the existing tile using its spacing as a guide. I grouted the tile so it looked like real glass tile:
 It doesn't photograph nearly as nice as it looks. It's so nice to have a whole floor and no holes to fall into! 
 The back deck was looking terrible and the stain I put down was flaking. I used the porch and floor paint that I had left from the front stairs to fix it up. 
It has a nice sheen to it, is much cooler than the dark brown, and looks so light and bright from the kitchen! 

I also gave the screen porch some love. The brown floor was ever-dusty and gross. I would sweep and mop it and couldn't ever get it to a point where I felt like Lila could go outside onto the porch and play since it was always grimy. I knew I needed something that wasn't so flat so again I busted out the gallon of porch and floor paint that I used on the front steps and back deck. 
I also got a cheap outdoor rug from Home Depot that dries really fast when it rains.
This has been such a transformation from the once red and brown gloomy space it was:
We have been outside playing on the porch every day this spring/summer and we LOVE it! It's truly the most used room "in" our house since the sand and water table is out there:

Before:
After:
The biggest job I had before we could consider the house sellable was the deck off the screened porch. Oh the deck. The Deck Restore garbage I got from Home Depot was the biggest mistake I've made with the house. It has either peeled off in sheets or won't come off even with tons of sanding, power washing, and chipping away at it. The entire deck is chipped, weathered, and full of uneven surfaces. When I googled Deck Restore there are tons of horror stories about this stuff and mentions of lawsuits because of the damage it has caused. In addition to the Restore failure there were rotting boards. 
So we replaced the boards, sanded the deck down as much as we could, and then I used the same porch and floor paint to at least make it look a little more uniform:

(I accidentally killed that big patch of grass. I'll explain how to NOT do that in a future post!) Other than the dead grass the decks and porches look so much more uniform now that they're the same color and work well with our new grey roof!
So after all of that and lots of looking we can't seem to find something as great as we have. The house that started it all closed a few days ago and I'm trying to not hate the owners for getting my dream. We've looked at some really interesting spaces though. Some have also been terrifying, full of gas leaks, mold, and appear to be haunted!
We came close to offering on this one with yard for days and a backyard basketball court (I was looking for a way to fill in my boredom during Lila's nap time! Kidding). But this house's main floor just didn't work for me and walls would've had to be moved to make the kitchen and living room function in a way we needed. The price keeps dropping and it's in our "dream area" so it may end up being an option still. 
We pulled our house off the market because people it had so much interest in it and we didn't want to find ourselves homeless. We have still been house hunting while off the market but it seems we're here to stay for a while longer. I'm glad I at least got lots of projects done that I'd been putting off. 
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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gone But Not Forgotten

It's been a while! I've been busy raising my almost ONE and a half year old and doing some professional organizing on the side! Both have been a dream and I've been really happy. I've done so many projects around the house in the last few months that I've been dying to post on here though, so I'm finally making the time. Here is a rundown of what to expect in the coming weeks:

Lila's Room Refresh:

Exterior Improvements
:

Fixing Up Rusty Patio Furniture:

Playroom/Play Corner Creation:

First Birthday Party On a Budget Recap:


Fabric Baby Gate Update:

Screened Porch Refresh:
DIY 1st Birthday Photos
:


Retiling the Basement Bathroom:

As I do each post I'll come back to this one and make the picture a live link to the new post so check back soon and thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

>3' Closet Maximized

I've talked about Lila's little closet before. I thought I'd review the change made to the closet and show you how it's working today.
This little closet is at the top of the stairs and is 32" long and has a lip at the bottom that's about 6" tall… Oh and a sloped ceiling… Oh and attic access. It's pretty impossible to maximize. It had this sad little single rod when I moved in:

 This is what I did with it when I moved in. It's appalling isn't it? I had a bookshelf in there and a divided hamper. I didn't use the rod at all:
 After I got "organized" this became my pants and hamper closet:
Then I added elfa from The Container Store to it. This solution is 30" long. I love it because you can adjust the heights of everything, unlike built ins and it still looks customized. 
Then Lila came and Chris and I moved into the same closet:
It's hard to tell, but I lowered the bottom shelf a tiny bit since the clothes were smaller. Here it is today. I                                                 have made minimal changes because it' s honestly set up perfectly and there is still a lot of room to grow. 
The deep bottom drawer just has diapering stuff. We are about out of Honest Diapers so I may transition to cloth overnight, leaving this drawer open.
The top drawer has random shoes that are too big for Lila, so they haven't been transitioned to shoe boxes yet. I love that this drawer unit is basically filled with random stuff, and when I need to fill it I'll have plenty of room! 
I hung a laundry bag on the door of the closet. I had it up with a Command Adhesive hook that didn't hold up to use. I replaced the hook with an I-hook and it's been perfect since! It works well except for when it's completely full. Then the door sticks out a little bit.

The little accessory boxes work perfectly as little shoe boxes. I love that everything is organized and easy to identify.
One of the bins on the top is empty. The other bin is Lila's "accessory" bin. It holds her bathing suits, slippers, hats, and leggings. 
So here are some tips for a tiny and awkward closet:
-Utilize every part of the space, including the doors.
-Hang low and use shelving above (many people store shoes and stuff on the floor. Having clothes drag on your head when you need to grab something is not ideal!)
-Use multiple shelves to create division versus stacking things on things
-Keep a donation bin or a pack away bin on the floor. A Pack away bin for growing children and a donation bin for adults. 
-Utilize drawers to keep things organized and not have to worry about perfect folding and being seen.
-Use the same hangers to keep things looking tidy.
-Use skinny hangers (We have the children's Huggable Hanger) to maximize space
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