I’ve seen a few posts from a friend lately about bullet journaling. Then as I was tackling the idea of what to do next as far as my KonMari project is concerned, it inevitably left me going through all the things around the house I want to change.

Which is admittedly, a lot. Not just fixing broken things, but updating and basically a full house renovation.

Unfortunately we have nearly $0 to tackle any of that stuff.

But, things kept going round and round in my head, so I got out a notebook and started writing.

bullet house journal

It’s not fancy, it’s not pretty. I’m impressed it’s legible to be honest.

The KonMari checklist is just that, a list of all the categories I found on a few pages on pinterest. Some I won’t use, but I wrote them all anyway (minus the children’s stuff one because … well aside from not having any, I’m not ready to think about when I do). The two pages of brainstorming ideas are a literal block of test. I mentally went through each room in the house and noted down what I remembered off the top of my head that the husband and I had discussed doing (minus his computer room/future nursery for obvious reasons).

We don’t have the money for the big renovations we want to do. But I can clean up the house, and I can maybe get an idea of how much we might actually need to save to do some of the things on our list. I think it’s also part of step 1 of the KonMari method, visualizing what you want the space to look like. Right now, the answer is “anything but this” and has been for the 4 years we’ve lived here.

This is a start to fix that, a modest one, but a start is a start.

 

I’m sure there’s a saying that things in the old days were built to last. That they stood the test of time. etc etc

I disagree. My house was built in those old days, and it’s falling apart.

Everything is wrong with it.

The pipe in the basement doesn’t drain in winter. Today, the tile holder thing for soap fell off.

So, there’s a hole in the wall of my shower.

Luckily there’s some extra tile in the basement. We picked up some adhesive and can just stick the tiles where the holder was.

But this house is most certainly not standing the test of time.

Last weekend, I had an actual weekend! Two days off, in a row. It was amazing.

So, I cleaned my room. I now have actual space on my desk. There are no papers on the floor that the cat likes to lay on.

Hinata on star rug
Hinata on star rug

She lays on the clean floor now.

There are actual files in my filing cabinet — one of the drawers anyway.

I still have plenty to do. My bookcases need some help, I have two broken chairs which are holding blankets, and I’m using a dining chair as my computer chair. My desk, no matter how much of it I uncover, is still too small.

But, it’s a whole lot more usable than it was before.

I can’t say the same about my laundry room.

ugly frozen sink
ugly frozen sink

Yuup. This is how we do laundry in a house built before laundry machines. Except, add a space heater. So, since I had to get my husband to explain what was making my washing machine not drain, this is what’s going on:

That little u-bendy white pipe is the drain for the big-ole cement sink. The black pipe is the direct line to the sewer/drain out of the house. The yellow insulation all around doesn’t actually insulate anything because that white pipe keeps freezing. Also, the big cement sink has a crack down the back side of it which is only patched halfway up. On a normal day, that’s fine, because the sink will drain the water before it reaches the crack.

It hasn’t been a normal winter. It’s been cold. So, with insulation that doesn’t do it’s job, and a cracked sink, the pipe freezes, so it won’t drain, so the sink backs up, and rises enough so that it starts leaking out the top and down the back of the insulation. The bucket is to catch the water, but underneath it is just dirt so I’m not sure why we bother. Probably because the ground is frozen and might leak onto the wood floor.

Fortunately, running the space heater while the washer is going seems to have fixed the sink backing up issue. It’s rather annoying though, since it’s the one we use in the bathroom so I have to keep bringing it up and down stairs. Not that we can shower while the washer’s going anyway, so it’s not like we need it in two places at once.

And, yes, we have the space heater in the bathroom because the heater that’s in there doesn’t work. At least there is a register in the bathroom, two of the bedrooms don’t even have that.

In the general busyness that happens as a result of the holidays, my room became a dumping ground for everything else in the house that was out of place. As a result there are boxes, papers, and extra chairs in here so that I don’t even want to be in the space. I go through spurts of really cleaning out and it always seems like no matter how much I clean, it stays the same.

I’m not about to say I’m going to change anything. We don’t have the time or money to actually do anything about it, but it does make me reflect on the space some and it’s usefulness. It’s obviously not serving its purpose. I think that’s in part because it has to be so many things.

  • It houses my books. So, it’s a library, but with no place comfortable to sit in read. Somehow I’ve acquired 3 computer chairs, but they’re all broken to some degree.
  • It’s where I pay the bills and keep track of all the paperwork. I have to clear off space in front of my keyboard to write a check, and sometimes have to hunt down where I last put the checkbook. Luckily, it’s only a once a month occurrence since the bulk of things are on automatic withdrawals, saving me having to remember to pay them.
  • I write in here. Well, wrote, in here, at some point. Mostly I write at work, but all my notes are in here, and my reference books, and the computer where I type what I’ve written. I would write in here if I had a place to put my notebook down.
  • I have the supplies to craft in here, but no actual surface to craft on. I seem to be following a trend. I need a bigger desk. And less stuff on it.
  • I also have a yoga mat, hand weights and blocks for doing fitness things, with the intention of following videos on YouTube, but not floor space because of all the previously mentioned boxes and papers. Also, time, but that’s not something I can do anything about.
  • There are collections of candles that I never light, and stuffed animals that have sentimental value but no actual purpose.
  • I have a light table I borrowed from my Dad to create the map for my novel. I should just give it back.
  • There’s also a cat box, and bed, extra blankets from when we had company over for the holidays.

My closet is fairly organized still from the last time I fixed it up, so I’m not worried about it. Although I should be. Just because the stuff is out of the way, doesn’t mean it’s needed.
I could get rid of a lot of stuff. I can easily make that decision for a lot of the paper that I really don’t need to save. I should do that, since it’s taking over my desk.
The hard decisions, is what to do with my crafting supplies. A lot was bought with good intentions. I want to make the projects I’ve planned, but I know I don’t have time. I know that, even if I had time, that there are other things I want to do with that time. When throwing things away is not only wasteful, bad for the environment, but it also costs $1 per bag that can only hold up to 10 pounds … that is why I hold on to things.

I’ve read blogs and articles in books, which all give the same advice. To clear up a space you have to get rid of stuff, then decide what you want the room to be, and set up clear zones so that everything has a home. I get that, I agree with that, but … I fail at the actually getting rid of stuff part.
So, maybe that’s my goal for this year? The goal I thought I wasn’t going to set. Get rid of stuff.

The dining room is more of a living room than our living room is (that is more of a tv watching/eating dinner day to day room). It’s where we have the room to move, and breathe, to sit and talk or just look out over the backyard.

kitchen-entrance-2
View of the kitchen. Those chairs don’t live here. We have dreams of someday turning that odd window into a bar of some sort.
dining-hutches-2
These are why I like this room. The bottom houses useless kitchen junk, but the tops are filled with games. It’s also a the biggest room in the house, and the best lit. When people come over, we sit in here and play games, chat, or eat something my husband has cooked (personally, that’s the best part of having people over, he cooks. Although, to be fair, he does a fair amount of the cooking even when it’s just us).

It’s got it’s problems. The ugly carpet and paneled walls trend continues in here, and there’s clutter. But, we’ve fit 3 tables and 15 people in here more than once. Or, two tables a giant tree that spins and is awesome:

20141224_135126

Here’s me showing up. :D

We bought our house 3 years ago, because it was in a great location, and in our budget. That in itself was an achievement. Most advice goes along the lines that location is everything, but they never really say what happens when you buy a house for just that reason. And, really only that reason. We wanted out of our apartment, and this solved that without us having to go broke in the process.

Great, but what next?

Well, nothing. This is the house after our signing, and it pretty much looks the same. The difference being that it’s now filled with all our stuff. All the plans I had made didn’t take into account reality.

Reality being that neither of us know anything about remodeling, or even repairing a 164 year old house, and we also don’t have the money or time to learn. So, there’s that.

I don’t see any of that changing, either. Not until something in the money and/or time department.

But, location is everything. The husband can walk to work in 20 minutes, and I can walk to one of my jobs in 5 minutes. Main street and the very little it offers is also walking distance, so is a nice park and a brand new elementary school (for the far far future of us actually having a kid).

So, I’m back to planning. What can you do with no money, very little time, and a lot of stuff?

Enter Pinterest, stage left.

I created a new board tonight: Things to do: that I might ACTUALLY, you know, do.