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-olé 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.