New House Before Pictures

IS13fwp8xsrkoj1000000000So if you saw my last blog post you know that we moved – again! This time to more of our ‘dream’ home on an acre in a more rural area. We still have our condo and my sister in law and her fiance are renting it, so whenever they are ready to move on from the condo we will remodel that as well. But for now we are working on our new house!

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Our new house is on a rural highway and sits overlooking a beautiful wetland valley where we have seen elk, deer, coyotes, bobcats, eagles, hawks, cranes, and lots of ducks and birds. It’s super lovely on the back porch in the summer time!

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Our house was built in 1978 by the neighbor who still lives a stone’s throw away! He’s a sweet old guy with a sweet old wife and they are just the cutest, cutest couple! He’s been so helpful with questions we have. Our neighbor just between us is also great and has been helpful, too!

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When we bought the house it was in near original condition. Original carpet, popcorn ceiling, original bathrooms and some groovy wallpaper that had been painted over (ugh).

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The only thing that anyone had done was to put some stick down ‘wood’ floor over the original 70’s goovy orange and brown floral linoleum. Which was probably a good choice!

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It needed a lot of work, but I could see the potential. The land is great and the layout of the house is really fabulous, it just needed a face-lift.

We were not at all in a place to buy a house when we did, but we made it happen. B was not super thrilled about moving again, but all the work we did when we moved to the condo with minimizing our stuff really helped. We didn’t even need to rent a moving truck!

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So once we had the house we set to work. We knew it needed new carpet before we could move in. There was a disgusting perfume/cat pee smell that was overwhelming. So we tore up the carpet and found that the subfloor was covered in small water spill stains or pee stains. So we tore that up, too, and replaced it with new plywood. We had new carpet installed in the bedrooms and living room and left the tile in the entryway and the stick down wood floors in the kitchen/dining area.

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I also set to work painting. I painted all of the interior walls and I painted the kitchen cabinets and countertops. I just could NOT live with the mustard yellow countertops! If I had known we would be tearing out the kitchen less than 6 months later I would not have bothered, but our original plan was to do the kitchen next year but we had a mouse/carpenter ant issue in the kitchen and had to tear it all out to fix things!

I will make some posts soon on our bathroom remodel and, once it’s complete, our kitchen remodel!

(All the pictures in this post except the last one are real estate pictures)

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We’ve Moved!

A lot has changed since I last wrote a personal update. We actually did something drastic and not at all what we had thought we had in store for our future – but we couldn’t be happier!

In January we met with our old realtor and he said if we wanted to sell our house we needed to completely finish the remodel and get it listed ASAP. DH wanted a second opinion, so he brought in his business partner’s realtor and met with him. They hit it off really well and we decided to go with him! He’s really awesome.

Anyway, he agreed we needed to get the remodel done as soon as possible. So we made a plan with timelines and deadlines and worked hard. DH work HARD hard. So hard.

In the mean time, we were not certain what we wanted to DO after we sold our house. Our dream has been to have a mini farm. But we couldn’t find land reasonably priced in our area (one of the most expensive areas in our state for land prices!). We thought maybe we would rent until we found what we wanted. But DH wasn’t comfortable with that idea – it’s essentially throwing away money every month that could be put toward a mortgage.

I don’t remember how it came up, but I suggested maybe we look into buying a condo or townhouse. It’s the absolute opposite of what we wanted – no land, close neighbors, no yard, etc… but it had the advantages of: being less expensive, yard work is taken care of for us, we can be in the location we want, equity is built really fast in our desired location, etc. So we looked more into that!

It was kind of on a whim, and kinda spur of the moment… but we decided to go that route! We toured a few condos (one of which had the vibrational energy of a mad house, eeek!) and found one we loved. And we bought it!

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Our condo is so lovely. It’s the top floor unit above all the garages. That’s our balcany. The two windows on the right are the bedrooms and the two on the left are the living space. Our garage is the last on the right.

It’s a little under 1,000 square feet. Our house was 1,800 square feet. We had some major downsizing to do!

We had been working on that for years, really, as I have discussed before. But it was time to get serious about it! We sold A LOT. We made A LOT of Goodwill trips. We made several trips to the dump. We made over $2,000 selling our furniture, electronics (TVs included!), and other miscellaneous stuff. It was liberating and freeing!

So we packed and got rid of stuff and worked on the old house. We moved in March into our condo and we have loved it so much. It’s so bright and airy inside. Our old house was so dark all the time, even in the middle of summer! The remodel helped with that, but it’s nothing like our condo. It’s quiet and safe here. I can walk down the street without being afraid. I am mere minutes away from my friends, now! We get together so much more often and it has been so wonderful for me and Bunkers!

Here are some more pictures from the real estate listing:

Main living space!

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Other side of the main living space.

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Entry. It’s on the second floor, so the stairs down go to the entry way and the front door.

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Kitchen. Red. Why? ALL the condos we looked at had blood red kitchens. Bizarre.

It is two bedrooms and 1 bath and I couldn’t be happier with the amount of space. We have two beds in the smaller bedroom for us all to sleep and the large bedroom (master) is the office and craft room. It works out great!

Here are some pictures with our belongings:

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Still a lot of organizing going on, but our furniture fits so nicely!

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I love this dining space so much. So. Much. Light.

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Need I say more?!

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Our porch!

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Looking out the front windows.

We are still working on pairing down our possessions. We currently have a storage unit with power tools, camping stuff, etc. Our garage is still full of boxes. I wonder what if any of that we still need? Obviously the camping stuff we will keep, but maybe we can sell the power tools? Rebuy them when/if we need them rather than paying rent on a storage unit just in case we do? It’s a tough call.

I feel so much motivation to continue our work downsizing, though. It’s our goal to be rid of the storage unit by fall. We really needed it in the beginning because we had to empty the old house to do the remodel and we didn’t have the condo yet. But now I want to see it gone.

My life seems to have a pattern of tossing at me things I like to call ‘everything I never knew I wanted’. I would have never seen us in a condo, especially since our dreams were facing the other direction. I felt the same about massage school. Up until six months before I started I had never, ever considered doing massage as a career. But it was perfect for me and I loved every second of massage school and my massage career. It is my goal to jump back into that in the future, but I will leave the when/how up to The Universe. Anyhow, it’s been the same with the condo. We just love it. Who knew?!

I will end it here by saying that our old house remodel was finished a month later than we had wanted. But that ended up being a blessing in disguise and the market exploded in that area and we got almost $40,000 more for our house than we had hoped we could get. And it sold in four days. A true blessing! Our realtor is amazing!

Warlmy.

Christina

The Decluttering Continues…

I have talked about minimalism and reducing ‘stuff’ on a few different occasions, and while I wouldn’t say we were ‘hoarders’ by any stretch before, it’s been a real wake up call the last few weeks around here. I read Organized Simplicity a couple years ago and have been slowly decluttering and minimizing since then. It was such a lightbulb moment for me. It was like a switch was flipped. I looked around and thought, “Oh. my. goodness. Why do I even HAVE all this stuff?!” I looked around and saw junk that we had moved TWICE and it was still just hanging around in boxes and it had honestly never occurred to me  before to just get rid of it.

So over the last two years I have gone through stuff and donated carload after carload to Goodwill (donated about 10 Volvo wagon loads in 2012/2013) and even had a FREE garage sale to get stuff gone. It felt great, but there was still a lot of stuff around… Stuff I thought I honestly needed.

Fast forward to now and we are selling our current house (the one in which we have been renovating) which is 2,000 sqft, three bed, living room AND family room AND full size den/playroom and two car garage. WAY too much space for our family of three. We are moving to a more desirable neighborhood (which is more central to my AP mama and baby group; currently we are the furthest south memeber and it’s quite a commute to playdates and such) and we want to downsize our finances, too, so we are buying a condo that is 950 sq ft : two bed one bath, open living area with a 15×20 living/dining open concept. I am SO excited! I can’t wait to say that we fit ourselves and our stuff in a two bed condo!

So, I feel like there has been a shift. I’m no longer getting rid of stuff because it’s just this useless junk I’ve lugged around – I am now getting rid of things that I once felt were useful and needed. But now that I have to downsize so much, I am trying to think how things can be multi purpose.

Example: In current house I have a craft room in the den. It consisted of

  • a full size desk with hutch for the sewing machines and storage of patterns, notions, books, etc.
  • cutting table with olfa mat
  • expedit bookshelf with boxes of misc craft supplies (jewelry making, knitting, doll making, clay stuff, painting, drawing, etc – a box for each craft)
  • two plastic bin drawer things of fabric
  • two cardboard boxes of fabric

That is SO much stuff!

Meanwhile, in the office I have a large antique teachers desk (a lot like this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/572520171350212779/) that has my desktop computer and all of my office supplies in it (which I have already gone through). In the new condo we will be putting a desk shelf in the second bedroom closet for the office (so we can close the closet doors and keep the media out of sight when we want) and so my desk will be free for another use! I will be using it as both my cutting surface and where I will sit to sew and whatnot.

So I got rid of:

  • the sewing desk
  • the cutting table
  • the bookshelf

I also got rid of a bunch of the craft stuff I wasn’t using. The emotional rent on hanging on to a jewelry making kit when I don’t even wear jewelry wasn’t worth it to me. If, in the future, I ever want to do jewelry making I can just rebuy the stuff as it’s not very expensive. I don’t want to store it anymore, though. I want to really go through my fabric, too, and downsize there as well. That is much harder for me, though. Something to work on.

Anyway, this was long winded – but my point is that this push into a space that’s less than half the size of what we are in now has brought me to a whole new level of decluttering, minimizing and just general reducing our amount of STUFF and it’s AWESOME. I love it!

I’ve gotten rid of another several Volvo wagons full as well as we have done three runs to the dump, too (recalled crib, broken plastic compost barrel, broken yard supplies, old yucky dog beds, old cat box, etc – honestly stuff that couldn’t be recycled or donated. It’s really eye opening, though, and will make me think twice about stuff we buy in the future).

Plus, we’ve sold a ton of stuff on Craigslist and have made $1,500 in the last two weeks, so that doesn’t suck, either! :thumb

Home Renovations: Kitchen Remodel Ikea Style

We’ve had the kitchen nearly done for about six months, now, but I haven’t gotten around to writing up a before and after post until now.

Here’s the kitchen before (these were real estate pictures – I don’t have a TV in the kitchen! 😉 :

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Take note of 70s orange floor…

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And that’s really it. The kitchen is square with the doorway directly across from the oven (the photographer was standing in the doorway in the last photo). There was nothing in the opposite corner when we moved in. It was an ‘eat in kitchen’ for a tiny table, I guess. I put a cutting counter there and shelves.

Anyway, we really thought it over and opted for a whole remodel. At first I thought maybe we could just paint the cabinets, but after pricing everything out an Ikea kitchen wasn’t going to cost us a whole lot but would make the kitchen really pop.

We used the Ikea kitchen planner tool for several weeks before deciding on what to do with our kitchen, and in the end we pretty much kept the floorplan exactly the same to make it easy on us and so that we wouldn’t have to hire anyone to move plumbing or electrical.

We ordered all new appliances and those were delivered a few weeks before we actually started the demo. Everything came out. Floors ripped up and we painted the walls.

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New flooring almost complete.

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Hanging Ikea cabinets. This was all SUPER easy.

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Installing butcher block counters. Also super easy.

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Cabinets in place, ready for doors, drawers and fronts.

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Semi-complete!

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I love the open shelves by the window and the cubbies by the wall. My favorite cookbooks fit nicely there.

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Neat corner cabinet…

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So much brighter!

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At this point we hadn’t put in the cabinet that goes next to the oven.

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I love this sink!

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Backsplash tile we chose.

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Backsplash installed!

I really should put a better after picture in the daylight. I will update this space once we grout the backsplash. That’s really all we have left to do in the kitchen. I’ll also take a picture of my work space in the opposite corner.

Overall, I’ve been really happy with this Ikea kitchen! It was inexpensive, easy to plan, easy to buy, easy to put together and easy to install. I think the finished product looks lovely and I think the money we put into this kitchen will be returned to us when we sell.

Home Renovations Part 2!

We’ve been hard at work over here! I feel like this whole project would just be done in a matter of weeks if it were not for one thing…

IMG_3859This little cutie. He sure makes it hard to work with power tools and sharp objects and wet paint!

At any rate, we’ve gotten help from my parents and we’ve worked in shifts and we’ve gotten the master bath and bedroom nearly complete! The bathroom is mostly finished, just need to install trim. Need to paint the trim first, though…

Master bath before (when we bought the house).

Master bath before (when we bought the house).

In progress... we painted the walls green at one point when we had an 'India' theme going in our master bed/bath. Don't ever paint your bathroom walls green.

In progress… we painted the walls green at one point when we had an ‘India’ theme going in our master bed/bath. Don’t ever paint your bathroom walls green.

Primed and ready.

Primed and ready.

New bathroom!

New bathroom!

New toilet, shelf, mirror and vanity. All from Ikea. Except the toilet!

New toilet, shelf, mirror and vanity. All from Ikea. Except the toilet!

I love this sink!

I love this sink!

We painted the woodwork white. The walls and fresh, bright sage green. It looks white unless you know it's green.

We painted the woodwork white. The walls and fresh, bright sage green. It looks white unless you know it’s green.

I just LOVE our new bathroom. It’s so much brighter! I feel clean just walking into it! And the sink cabinet is much shallower, so we’ve gained quite a bit of floor space, too.

The guest bath is up next!

Resolutions and Goals

I *love* making New Year’s resolutions. A new year feels so new and fresh and a clean slate emerges. I need that kind of thing from time to time (once a year for a nice big one is great!).

This year our goals are:

  • Finish our home renovations (this is upstairs only). This includes:
    • New Flooring (whole house)
    • Painting (whole house – interrior)
    • Trim (whole house)
    • New guest bath
    • New mater bath (X)
    • New kitchen
  • Sticking to our GAPS diet. We are doing Intro for the month of January, and then full GAPS.
  • Simplifying more. Getting rid of more stuff weighing us down. Not trying to do too much.
  • Less TV and computer time. We watch very little TV, but the computer can really suck us in. And none before bed.
  • Spend more time outside, even when the weather isn’t great.
  • Keep up with our bedtime routine, but don’t get bent out of shape if it doesn’t go according to plan. I need to work on this.
  • Keep reading the books on my ‘To-Read’ list. Currently reading Naomi Aldort’s Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves.
  • Keep up with blogging. Wednesday Yarn Along, Friday {this moment} and Gratitude*Sunday.
  • Work on patience. As always!
  • Continue to de-plasticify our lives.
  • Eat as much local food as possible.
  • Start a garden.

What are your goals for 2013?

 

Home Renovations Part 1!


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We started our home renovations! We’ve had ideas bouncing around in our heads since we moved into our house (summer 2010), but haven’t really had the money to work on it. But we decided to get started now so that we can enjoy the renovations for a year or two before we move into more of our dream house (and dream area – closer to B’s work and with a few acres or more of land).

We started in our master bath. Now, we had already painted this bathroom. We did an ‘India’ theme in our bedroom and bathroom. But, we did that painting when I was just newly pregnant (started it before I even knew I was pregnant) and by the end I was having such awful morning sickness that the colors just made me sick to even look at them. And anything ‘India’ made me nauseous. STILL DOES. It’s sad. I *love* India and their colors and patterns and food… but it still makes me sick. I hope I get over that!

Anyway – so we had some serious green to cover up. We chose a more muted light, light green for the bathroom. It’s not a very bright room, so we needed to stay with a light color.

We ripped out the vanity, mirror and toilet. And pulled up the floors. We primed the walls, door and door frame. We patched some holes. Today we will hopefully finish! We will paint, lay floor, install the new vanity, mirror, shelf and toilet. I can’t wait! It’s going to be so clean and pretty.

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