The To-Do List

by brandt

Now that we’ve officially been homeowners for over a month, we’re finally getting to the point where we can realisitically take a look around our house and start scheming (before, it was only dreaming).

Owning a house is a lot like a relationship with  a significant other.  At first, you view them from afar, and are intrigued because something catches your eye.  The way the light bounces off the nooks, corners, and curves.  The way the image stays in your mind for hours after you see it.  You finally make an effort to get to know them better, view them a bit more closely.  You finally muster up the courage to emotionally invest, and you are delightfully pleased to see what you’ve found.  You make the big step, want to take things a bit further, and they accept.  All the sudden, you’re in a honeymoon stage (or puppy love stage) where everything is wonderful.  They are the most perfect thing you have ever met or set eyes upon.

Then you start seeing some blemishes.  It might be something small, a broken tile here, they way they treated a waitress there.  You push it aside, but once that armor is chinked, you start seeing more and more.  But you’re still totally head over heels.  Instead of walking away, you want to rehabilitate, or possibly repair those flaws.  You put plans in place, and prepare yourself for the long haul, because it’s not a quick overnight fix.


Yes, we’re still in the honeymoon stage with our house.  As a matter of fact, there’s many times where we just kind of look around at the house and say out loud “Man, I just can’t believe we got this house!”  But the nice thing about finally getting settled in our house is that now we can objectively look around and start scheming and planning.

Obviously, getting knee-deep into 138 different projects at the same time would be spreading ourselves a bit too thin.  To quote Bilbo Baggins, “‘I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter, scraped over too much bread.”  Yes friends, that Hobbit humor.  This is what happens when I put up a post before Ashley has a chance to moderate and edit it.  We’ve been having a heck of a time just getting unpacked and continuing to deep clean the house, the last thing we need is to start a ton of different projects.  I already suffer from self-diagnosed low attention spans and a bit of Brandt-style ADD, so we’ve separated our list out into current projects, projects to be completed in 6 months, and projects to be completed in 1 year.  But to say that we’re going one-at-a-time is also a bit…slow for my taste.  To quote one of my buddies, we try to live our life “goin’ 100 in a 55.”

So here’s the projects we’ve currently got on the burner:

    1. Paint the outside of the house – IN PROGRESS

    1. Powerwash and Paint the Deck – IN PROGRESS

  1. Have a real working lawn – IN PROGRESS
  2. Remove plants/shrubs that have overgrown – Scheduled for 1st Week in June
  3. Plant replacement plants/shrubs/bushes – Scheduled for 1st Week in June
  4. Organize everything in the house, i.e., everything has a home – IN PROGRESS
  5. Put up all our pictures – IN PROGRESS

And the projects we’ve currently got planned to be completed in the next 6 months:

  1. Paint the entire main floor, including living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room


And finally, the year-long vision we’ve got for where we want the house to be:

  1. Repainting the kitchen cabinets
  2. Paint and put up bead board in the master bedroom
  3. Fix up and re-stain the floors on the main floor
  4. Paint the entire upstairs including leading up the stairs, hallway, and all 4 bedrooms
  5. Re-tile the master bathroom
  6. New light fixtures
  7. Paint all the trim
  8. Replace mirrors in the bathroom
  9. Replace the toilets

I thought #9 was a bit odd when Ashley and I were talking, so I probed her a bit about it.

Ashley:  I want to put in new toilets in all the bathrooms
Brandt: Are we talking entire toilets, or just the seats?
Ashley: Seats at first, but entire toilets. They are old people toilets
Brandt: There are “modern” toilets? I can understand the seats, those are gross, but the bowl itself?
Brandt: I’m just trying to imagine what a “modern” toilet looks like
Ashley: They aren’t white. They are an off white color. They are biege, which is old fashioned
Brandt: You want black?
Ashley: No. White. Normal toilets that don’t look like they came from the 80s

So this is the new goal.  I must find modern toilets.  I don’t think I’d like minimalistic toilets, but then again, we can keep the potty talk for a later date.

So what are your 6-month goals?  If we were to officially start today, that would put us at 11/11/2011 – a PERFECT time to wrap up your 6 month goals, seeing as that’s GOT to be an important date for something, right?


12 Comments to “The To-Do List”

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one to feel rather indifferent toward “le commode”. You’re in for a real treat: there’re bunches of design decision to be made picking out a toilet like you wouldn’t believe :o)
    My no 1 goal right now is your goal no 4 – get (unpacked and) organized. Ugh! That, of course, requires we finish our dressing room, the laundry room and the hall closet. Joy!

  2. It’s so exciting though, isn’t it. The idea of remodeling a home to fit your needs is so exhilarating to me.

  3. 6-month goals, Eric will be in the academy, and I will be the sole breadwinner. My 6 month goal is to still have money in the bank and make it through alive.


    • I think that’s a mighty fine goal. Liquid cash is something that is a HUGE goal of mine. After finally getting set up in our house, we had to put some (reasonably priced) things on credit, and it’s eating me alive that we’ve got debt following us around. It’s like a pesky smell you can’t get rid of. GOOD LUCK!

  4. Can’t wait to see you guys do the deck stuff…that’s coming up soon on our to-do list as well. We just painted two rooms and are finding more and more and more to do. Although our house is new and we don’t need as many repairs as we do furniture, it’s still exhausting to see that list and check everything off so slowly.

  5. I get Ashley with the toilet thing. First off, I’m a germaphobe and I’d just really want to start anew with something like a toilet. But also, toilets these days are bigger, whiter, and definitely more water efficient. So to save you some money, new toilets should definitely be on the list. Perhaps some day I’ll make it out to Michigan and sit upon one of thy thrones….

  6. Haha I was SO excited to rip the “biscuit” 80s squaty, round-bowl toilet out of the guest bath. And I am far too excited about our white, chair-height, elongated bowl, dual-flush toilet!

    As for goals? Our to-do list is super long, has its own tab on the blog, and is separated into time spans. And then I still attack it completed randomly because I am disorganized.

    • I’m really amazed at how much of an opinion everyone has about the toilet! At least Ashley knows that she’s not alone, but my my my!!! For something so – I don’t know – basic, and while it is used quite frequently, something that is best kept out of site, it’s amazing how varied the opinions are. Potential toilet replacement post coming soon? I’m thinking so!!!!!

  7. What I have done in the next six months depends on if there’s any extra money in the budget.

  8. 6 months from now? I’d like to have our master bedroom re-done, and also K’s bedroom…it would be really nice to have a functional kitchen again, too, but 6 months may be pushing it! Good luck with your reno efforts!

  9. LOVE the toilet convo. Had a similar one in the Home Depot aisle with the Hubs and couldn’t believe how much time we devoted to discussing toilets. Hilarious.

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