My home repairs are done!

finished-officeAlmost four months after I discovered a water leak in my office, the project is done!

(Okay, there’s some organization I still have to do and boxes I have to deal with, but it’s 95% done and that feels darn good.)

Let’s go back.  So back in July, I discovered a soft spot in my wall and some evidence of water leakage.  After ripping out some carpet, things did not seem good, so I called some repair companies.  Everyone figured the leak was due to some improperly placed nails outside.  No big deal.  Just some simple repairs.

Then the mold abatement company (because you always call a mold abatement company when you have water in your walls for a long time) came in and started the work.  And it turned out to be way worse than expected.

hole-in-wallThis photo is from after the mold abatement.  The white paint is all part of the abatement process.  But see that weird shape behind the third beam from the left?  That’s rotted away wood.  The white behind it isn’t paint.  It’s the wrap on the outside of the house.  Yes, at this point, all that is keeping the outside out is a piece of plastic and some improperly installed siding.  This was not awesome.

Oh yes, and to do this, I had to take everything out of my office.  You know what an English major with a law degree owns?  Books.  Lots of books.  So many books.

This is only half of the boxes.

This is only half of the boxes.

So many repairs.  So much time.  Such poor time management from one of the contractors.  And, of course, this was all going on as I was training for Augusta.  There’s nothing less relaxing than coming home after a hard workout and being faced with all of those boxes.

But finally, the exterior work got done, and the week after Augusta, the interior work was done.


And then my office looked like this for a few weeks because I was busy.  I’m a social gal, after all.  I just had to sand and paint, but getting two coats of paint onto the walls took two weekends.  I also had to buy and assemble a new desk (the old one got damaged by the water leak and was no longer stable).  While I was at it, I picked up the filing cabinet that I’ve been thinking about getting for a few years.  I’m a grownup.  File boxes aren’t cutting it anymore.

But this weekend.  This weekend I finally finished it up.  The room isn’t perfect.  I wanted to put in better flooring.  I just have an indoor/outdoor rug that I bought a few years ago placed directly on the concrete floor.  It’s not quite the right size, but it works and I already owned it.

I’ve got to deal with a few things, hang up a few more items on the wall, and deal with the stack of filing that I’ve been ignoring.  I also need to go through all my files before I put them into the filing cabinet.  I’m a bit of a paper packrat and I think there’s some shredding to be done.

But the boxes are out of my living room and dining room.  My house looks so big now!  It’s a much nicer place to hang out in now!

Which is good because thanks to all of this work, I’m broke.

Decluttering update and a kitten

So since so many people thought that yesterday’s post was going to be about a new kitten, here is a picture of my dad with a kitten purrito.

He doesn't like cats though.  Not at all.  Nope.

He doesn’t like cats though. Not at all. Nope.

So the cleaning out my house has stalled a bit.  I blame racing.  Apparently, when you have races or 24 hours of cycling or even a ten mile training run and a 25 mile bike ride, the rest of life gets away from you.  Let’s not talk about the dust.  I’m still trying to teach the cats how to dust.  What’s that fluffy tail for if not for wiping dust off of things?

But I thought I’d provide a quick update on my decluttering.  On the advice of a friend, I sent a few clothing items to ThredUp, which is basically an online consignment store.  They pay you for what you send in (shipping is free), then they resell.  I sent in a dress and two pairs of pants and got $15.  Not a ton of money, but I wasn’t wearing them, so hey, free $15!  They resell for probably three times what they gave me, so it’s not a huge markup.  I may check them out for adding items to my closet.

I also put my the bike saddle that came with my tri bike on eBay.  There was no way I was ever going to use that thing, and it was apparently a good saddle (designed for male anatomy), and came out $25 ahead.  Made a tiny dent in the new saddle I purchased.  I could have listed it for more, but I just wanted to get rid of it.

Next up is dealing with the books I’ve sorted out.  I think I’m going to donate them to the library’s book drive, but I need to go through the rest of the books first.  I think those things multiply.

Konmari and Decluttering

My house is a mess.

Well, I take that back.  My house is cluttered.  I have too much stuff.  Part of the problem is living in a (not excessively large) three bedroom house by myself.   That makes for a lot of storage space.  And yet… things aren’t put away properly.

I love reading organizing blogs, but let’s be honest.  I’m not going to create a huge system of organizing with cute little baskets and a special place for everything.  It’s not how I work.  But if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I just started the Konmari method of organizing.  And man, have I gotten rid of a lot of junk.

Konmari is a method of organizing based on a book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Amazon Affiliate link).  Basically, the theory is that if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.  And she has a whole system of how you should go about this.  She starts with clothes.  Take all of your clothes out and pile them up.  Go through the items one at a time.  Do you love it?  (Or do you have to wear it because it’s a uniform, etc?)  Then keep it.  If you don’t, dump it.  I like this theory because it’s not “Have you worn this in the past 6 months,” but “Does this bring you joy?”

I didn’t quite follow the rules – I did my clothes in categories.  It was easier.  T-shirts, work clothes, dress clothes, etc.  And I got rid of a LOT of stuff.

These were the bags of clothes and accessories that I took to Goodwill.

These were the bags of clothes and accessories that I took to Goodwill.

It was really refreshing to clean everything out.   Then she has a method of folding your clothes so you can see everything in drawers, but this was something I already did, so it wasn’t new and fun.

Next up on her list is books, which is intimidating.  I own a lot of books.  But if I’m honest, there are a lot of books I’m hanging on to for no reason.  I have no intention of reading them again, and if that suddenly changes, there is this amazing thing called a Library.  Don’t get me wrong.  I was a literature major.  I’m not going to be getting rid of every book in the house.  But the paperbacks that I’ve hung on to and the ones that were passed to me that I’ve never bothered to read… those can get donated.

In order to clear some space, I’m doing things a bit out of order and so I tackled papers next.  My “office” is mostly just a space to pile junk, and I’d like it to be more useful, so I’m slowly going through the items in there.  I have a ridiculous amount of paperwork.  Do I need bank statements from 2000?  No.  So let the shredding commence.

So much shredding.

So much shredding.

If you are doing the Konmari method, there are some great checklists you can follow.  I admit, I’m not sure how far I’m going to get on this list.  Clothes and books and paperwork would be great categories to get through though.  And perhaps craft supplies.

The book was originally written in Japanese, so you have to remember that there are some cultural differences.  For example, Kondo recommends you thank your items for their service before getting rid of them.  I don’t feel this need.  I’ve seen a lot of comments about how wacky that is, but I think it’s just a difference in cultural beliefs.

Also, the whole “brings you joy” has to be expanded to “is useful.” Do my cooking pots bring me joy?  I mean, they’re nice, but I can’t say I love them any more than any other kitchen item.  However, they are useful. So they will stay.

It’s been an interesting task for sure, and if I get no further, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.  But I think there are a few more bags and boxes of things that can leave my house.

Who Needs Organization?

IMG_1648.JPGRemember this picture from the other day?  Yep, it still looks like that.  Well, I did take that green sweatshirt out of the suitcase and hang it up in the closet, but otherwise, same thing.  The (very excellent) book is even still in that very spot.  I guess I could say it’s some form of organization, since it’s all in a pile, but mostly, I just have to say that I need to find time to clean my house.

I don’t know how people who travel every weekend for races do it.  My house looks ridiculous right now.  Let’s discuss a few rooms in the house.

The photo is from my bedroom.  What you don’t see is that the bed hasn’t been made since I put fresh sheets on it, which means that all the bedding is untucked and in a giant pile in the center of the bed.  It’s a little nest for me to crawl into at night.  My dresser is covered in various toiletries that went with me on the trips.  Of course, since one trip was by air and one was by car, I took various sizes of bottles.  And none of them has been put away.

My closet looks marginally better, though right now there is a giant bag of clean and folded laundry waiting to be tripped over.  I washed it, but now I have to do something with it. Also, every shoe I have worn over the past three weeks is part of a giant pile on the floor.  Why did I not put them away on the fancy shoe shelf?  I do not know.

My guest bathroom still has all of my triathlon gear hanging in it.  If I want to have guests, I need to remove the wetsuit.  And hose the mud out from the bottom of the tub.

In my living room, you will find my bike trainer and my bike, though not attached to each other.  Neither belong in the living room, and both need to find their way back into the basement.  My bike pump is currently laying in front of the couch.

Last night, I finally emptied the cooler that I took to my triathlon two weeks ago, but the cooler itself is still on the floor, along with a bag that I used as a carry on for my trip this past weekend.  Next to that is a pile of boxes to go out in Friday’s recycling.  And that’s sitting next to a grocery bag of cleaning supplies that I bought on super sale and need to take down into my storage closet.  Last night, I finally emptied the millions of bottles out of my dish drain and put those away, so the kitchen doesn’t look as bad as it could.

The dining room table cannot be used as a table.  It is covered in way too much junk, from wedding gifts to wine bottles to Soda Stream refills to a printer that doesn’t work.

Oh, and if you come over, you can’t walk through the main hallway and have to take a circuitous route to get to the dining room.  Why? Because in the main hallway are grocery delivery boxes (because my groceries came BEFORE their delivery window, which meant they got left in cooler boxes on my doorstep, and those have to be returned) and a flat packed dresser that I have to assemble at some point.

Yep.  Completely disorganized.  How do people do it?  Thankfully, I should have time over the weekend to get most of it taken care of.  I hope.

P.S. – This weekend is the Army Ten Miler, my Team Fight race for the year.  If you have a few dollars, every little donation helps.  Thank you!

Productive Weekend!

I had an insanely productive weekend.  I’m not sure where the motivation came from, but I could use more weekends like this.

As I have mentioned on social media, a few weeks back, I came home to find that one of my closet racks had pulled out of the wall.  No surprise – it was pretty crappily done, but it functioned.  However, this was the last straw.  It was time to call in the big guns, spend the big money, and hire a professional closet company to come in and put together something nice.

After all the fun that goes with such a process, I had an install date of July 7th.  I decided that I wanted to paint the walls of the closet a deep blue to go with the white trim and white closet system.

So this weekend, I cleaned out the closet (man, there was a lot of stuff in there, including my junior year prom dress), did some sorting of things to go to charity (not including the prom dress), took down the remaining hanging rods and shelves, spackled and sanded the holes, vacuumed and steam cleaned the carpet, and painted one coat of paint.

On top of that, I ran 8 miles, biked 17, and figured out how to retape my handlebars so poor Ethel doesn’t look homeless anymore.

Of course, the rest of the house is a complete disaster.  I’m hoping to get to that on Monday while I hang out as the closet installers work their magic.

I’m stupidly excited about a new closet.  There is going to be so much space!  I might even hang up my running and biking gear so it’s not all smashed into a dresser drawer.

It’s the little things.