I have this obsession with simplifying my life—being organized, clearing out all the clutter, both literally and figuratively. Yet, I continue to accumulate more stuff and create piles of papers and junk I have to dig through to find anything. So I’m reading Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson for some inspiration. Some of the stuff she does seems kind of nuts (like rubbing some sort of stone under her arms instead of using deodorant), but some of it makes a lot of sense. I’m especially excited about using her advice to organize our pantry and streamline my wardrobe.
I completely forgot to post a 13-month photo, so here it is, very belated. Jack turned 13 months old on March 8. Then, last week, he finally moved from walking while holding someone’s hand to just walking—everywhere. As with everything he does, he waited until he knew he could walk like a pro before he tried to do it on his own. He’s a little perfectionist, just like his Mama. For better or worse.
Tomorrow is my first day home with Jack, just the two of us. We have our first play date tomorrow, too.
I was looking back at my to-do list, and I really sort of failed on every item.
1. The backyard: This is a two-parter. First, I need some trellises to put up and some vines to grow on them. Then, I need to plan our garden for this year and start planting. I found Smart Gardener on Pinterest, and I’m so excited to use it.
The garden has made a small amount of progress. I have asparagus plants, courtesy of my mother, that are yet to be planted. I have soil.
2. Finishing projects: There are so many home improvement things around the house that need to be finished or started. Here’s just a few of the highlights:
- Finish wallpapering the bathroom (yeah, that’s really still not finished)
- Paint the baseboards and repaint the shelves in the kitchen
- Paint the formerly green room upstairs
The bathroom wallpaper remains unfinished. Painting the green room was stalled when I discovered more wall damage. (Seriously, will this ever end?) Painting in the kitchen hasn’t started.
3. Organize the kitchen cabinets and pantry (more about the details of this later)
I started on the pantry reorganizing project by changing the switch in the pantry to an outlet and switch (so we can put the microwave in there). Actually, I started the project and realized we needed some extra wire, so Keith finished it. But I still feel like I contributed.
4. Lesson plans and projects: I need to gather supplies and make things for Jack and I to use for his lessons. I am a former teacher, after all, so we’re going to have our own little school in our house. I’m excited to make some educational stuff for Jack, including the DIY quiet books pictured above.
I’ve planned some stuff for Jack and me to do, but not enough. I have to give myself points for pretty much single-handedly organizing a playgroup for my neighborhood. I am not the type of person who organizes people, so this is a shocking development. I seriously failed at completing my list, but I did do some worthwhile things.
The $2,000 Challenge
I know the house will never be finished. It will always be a work in progress. But there are certain things I can do to make it feel more complete. So I made a proposal to Keith: Let’s set aside $2,000 for me to “finish” the house. The $2,000 includes everything except replacing the front and back doors—because those are projects I can’t do. I’m going to frame and hang art in every room, create a hanging lantern chain like the one pictured above to add light to our dark living room (I actually already have it mostly done), get chairs and a side table for the living room, buy bedside tables for the bedroom, finish all the little painting projects around the house, and do lots of landscaping and gardening stuff.
I also have some fun DIY projects planned that have nothing to do with finishing the house. I will share one of those tomorrow (and I’m absurdly excited about it).
One last thing. I have to keep my budget under $2,000, so I’ve got to keep up with what I’m spending. So far, this is what I’ve spent:
3 paper lanterns from Ikea: $15.00
2 extension cords from Ikea: $6.00
2 picture frames from Ikea: $20.00