Is a House still a Home when it’s in Complete Disarray?

I’ve come to realize I only have the brainpower for one to three projects at any one time.

Unless that project is fixing up our house to sell. Then there is NO MORE ROOM!

We’re now two full months into our house fix-up. We decided to do as much of the work ourselves to save money. Holy buckets, now I understand what ‘sweat equity’ means.

We completely repainted the outside of the house (with massive help from my in-laws). The front of the house got new gutters and the back got new downspouts. The front door and storm door both got replaced with new (to us) doors with the help of my dad. All three bedrooms have had the walls patched and painted (No more half dark blue walls in two of them!), the carpet ripped up, floor primed to help with the slight ammonia smell, and re-carpeted, one room professionally and the other two by us.

We purged all three bedrooms of stuff and clothes, storing a bunch of stuff we’d like to keep but don’t need in the next six months and donated what wasn’t needed or wanted anymore. Almost all of my books were packed up and brought to our shop at work for storage until we move (two van fulls with boxes covering the entire bottom). All but two of my bookshelves have been stored (and the second will be brought to work once we move enough stuff to get it out). All of our DVDs and one of the dvd cabinets are in storage. Almost all of my decorations in the gaming room have been packed. Nearly all of my craft stuff is now being stored.

It’s really hard to go ‘Oh! I have this great idea using modge podge!’ when it’s packed away and I’m not 100% on which box, or where those boxes are.

I made sure to keep out all of my embroidery stuff and what I need to make patches, a few of my cross stitch projects and my most organized thing of floss, and one of the crochet projects I’m going to start on soon. I also have a couple canvases, acrylic paint and paintbrushes out so I can make art for the VERY BARE WALLS! I also have my retro console/led laptop monitor project out so I can fiddle with that more.

Problem is, I haven’t had the time or energy to work on many projects. Either things need to get done OHMYGODSNOW (like when we had to sleep on the couch for a week when we did our bedroom) or we’re burnt and just need time to relax.

We’re not done with the house yet. We’re not even in the home stretch. The next major project is finishing the process of emptying my gaming room so the floor can be fixed. Our house is a concrete slab and that room was added after, so the far corner is starting to go down, causing a 1-4″ bump in the floor in the middle of the floor in line with the doorway. We have to have the room emptied before we can even get an estimate, THEN have the work done, then start the process of patching, painting, priming, and re-carpeting in that room.

After that will probably be the bathroom. The bathtub surround needs replaced, the bathtub either scrubbed to hell or repainted, and likely the plumbing behind the surround ‘tweaked’ a little (the showerhead moves in the wall if you grab it). The vanity needs repainted and the sink needs some patching for rough spots and possibly painted too. The toilet probably needs replaced since there’s a stain all the way at the bottom of the bowl that the brush and my pumice stone can’t reach. The flooring has to be redone and the walls patched and painted.

The hallway, living room, kitchen, and laundry room are all on the list too. All of them get new flooring and new paint, as well as fixing all of the cracks. The laundry room has cabinets that need repaired or replaced since they’re lopsided and have a gap at the ceiling. My kitchen cabinets are splotched purple so they all need repainted.

So after ALL of that is done, with us still living there and still needing laundry and dishes and life to go on around the mess, then we can finally put the house on the market.

I don’t even want to think about how stressed I’m going to be keeping the house ‘show ready’ while we’re still living there.

We’ve only been passively looking for a house thus far. We’ve already talked to the financial people so we know about how much we can be approved for and I’ve got a rough idea how much we can afford. Other than being ‘in town’, location isn’t very high on the list.

I actually have a list of requirements!

  • Two bathrooms+. One kid is a teenager in 6 months and the other is a teenager in 3 years. Our current bathroom is too small for two people to brush their teeth at the same time. This is a problem, especially given how little any of us like to get up earlier than necessary.
  • Four Bedrooms+. There’s four of us, so we need at least three bedrooms. I want the fourth bedroom to be my crafting room because I want and need a crafting room! Three bedrooms would suffice if there was an office or not to code bedroom that I could use instead.
  • A Gaming Room. I have friends over at least once, usually twice a week to play games. We need a separate room for this, which would probably be listed as a family room.
  • Parking! We need for 3 cars to fit comfortably and up to 6+ to be accommodated between driveway and street parking. Reference: Teenagers and Friends for games.
  • Not on a Main Road. It would drive me ABSOLUTELY INSANE to have to wait 5-10 minutes for an opening to get out of my own driveway. This would be one I’d be willing to concede on for the perfect house otherwise.

Other things on my list are ‘nice to haves’ but won’t break a house otherwise.

  • A fenced in backyard. As long as the house has a yard, we can always fence it ourselves. (Oh, look at that cute house, almost fits, at the higher end of our price range … oh, it literally has no yard. NEXT!)
  • A built in dishwater. Our portable dishwasher has been a godsend but it is constantly in the way. If the house doesn’t come with it, we’re immediately fixing that.
  • Walking distance to the kids’ schools. This one is probably the least likely one on the list. I’m not fond of having to shuttle kids to school but I can make it work if it’s too far for them to walk.
  • No superfluous front door. I really dislike a front door that’s never used.
  • Place for a garden. If we have a yard, this is possible, depending on how the yard and house are facing.

We’ve been in our current house for 11.5 years. Most likely our next house will be for the next decade too. I’m going to be a bit picky about our next ‘near forever’ home.

I’m just anxious to get done with this massive project so I can get back to the FUN projects. Like making patches! I haven’t been able to set up my embroidery machine at all recently. I think I’m starting to go through withdraws.