I skipped doing a house and yard projects to-do list last year because I got swept up in flower farming planning and tasks, but some of these projects are now going on more than two years of being half-finished, so I figured that maybe posting about our to-do list will be the nudge we need to get going on it again 🙂
Related Post: 2021 House + Yard Projects Update
For some background, we moved into our 100-year-old home at the end of 2020, and we did a lot of work right away, including painting nearly all of the main floor, installing several new light fixtures, and replacing many of the existing types of flooring with luxury vinyl plank (LVP). While some things are, in fact, finished (like the painting and the light fixtures), some of the jobs never quite got done, and so we’ve just been dealing with a lot of half-finished odds and ends. Additionally, we’ve had a few things in need of repair that have kept getting pushed back, partly because it’s so hard to find anyone here in our rural area that’s not booked out for months and partly because we just haven’t had the funds.
Related Post: Our Back Family Room Makeover (+ Before/After Pics)
While funding will still be a major factor in whether or not several of these actually get done this year, I’ve also purposely included things that only need our time and attention, rather than any money. Considering we have a baby on the way, I’m obviously hoping to knock out as many of these as possible before she makes her debut in late May. (Come on, nesting urge!)
Here’s what I would love to cross off this year:
Finish Putting in Floor
If we only got this project done this year, I would consider it a major win since this has been driving me a bit crazy for over a year and a half now. When we first bought the house, we pulled up the floor in three areas: the kitchen, the playroom/guest room, and the back family room. Each of those areas had different flooring, and when we pulled up the tile from the kitchen, we discovered that the subfloors were different heights. Because it would cost us thousands to level out the subfloor, we decided to just have a slight dip and buy a special transition piece to cover it.
Related Post: Updates We Plan to Make in Our New House
Because it’s a more complicated job and my husband’s only flooring experience has been this particular floor job, the tricky parts like the transition lip and the part that goes over the stairs have sat for over two years. Since we have all the materials, this is probably just a matter of calling in a professional with more experience to finish out the last bits and pieces so we can officially say the floor is “done.”
(In the picture at the top of the post, you can see the part off to the right that has no floor, as well as the weird “lip” in the floor that still needs a smoother transition piece.)
Paint and Install Baseboards
These first two items would go such a long way in helping our house to finally feel finished from all the reno work we did a couple years ago. Problem is, we can’t do the baseboards until the last of the flooring is finished. I mean, we could start, but it would remain unfinished until the flooring got worked out.
I would love to knock this out this summer if possible. We need to paint and install new baseboards in all the rooms where the flooring got ripped out (so, the kitchen, back family room, and playroom). You can see in the picture at the top of the post that the lack of baseboards is pretty obvious.
Paint and Hang Laundry Doors
Our laundry is right off the eat-in portion of our kitchen, and one of the folding doors broke completely last year. We’ve already bought new folding doors to replace them, but we just need to paint them (also already bought) and then put them up. We would have done this one already, but we didn’t have a good space to paint them inside our house and it’s too cold in our outdoor workshop area to do this until late spring or so.
I’ll be so glad when I don’t have to look at the washer and dryer anymore during every meal! (as you can see if you look at the picture at the top of the post)
Do Caulking in Kitchen
This is a small job that would just help everything look a little neater. We painted our kitchen cabinets white soon after moving in, but we never did the finishing caulk work after (noticing a pattern here?).
Figure Out Dishwasher Situation (Fix or Replace)
Ugh, having a broken dishwasher is so not my favorite. Ours broke unexpectedly back in December, and we’ve been trying to decide ever since on what we should do. The dishwasher was never great to begin with, so we hesitate to put the $150 or so into the repair work. We’re much more tempted to just buy a new dishwasher (Bosch or bust!), but even the cheapest Bosch would run us about $700 with tax. Decisions, decisions…
In the meantime, we’ll keep hand washing all our dishes, and we’ll (probably) keep complaining about it, too.
Hang Up Gallery Wall
I’m pretty much terrible at hanging up artwork or anything else on the walls wherever we live, and it will often take me years of blank walls before I finally just do it already. Our kitchen has an odd layout, with the oven and range being built into the small island, which leaves you facing the wall and the door to our old basement whenever we’re doing prep work there. I did at least hang up a pretty clock on the wall that I really like, but I’ve always intended to do a kind of gallery wall there with some of the thousands of pictures I’ve taken over the year of our family (and have never done anything with).
This is a super daunting project to me since it has so many components, but I’m sure I would love the end result once I finally got there.
Completely Clear Out Master Bedroom
Finally, a project that requires no money! 🙂 Our master bedroom is one of the last areas of the house that we’ve never totally unpacked since our move here in late 2020, and it’s by far the most cluttered room in the house as well since it becomes our dumping ground for stuff we don’t know what to do with. I’d rather have our bedroom be a bit more restful, so I’ve been slowly but systematically going through everything in there.
We’re definitely closer than we were a year ago, but we still have several boxes and bins to go.
We have a few major leaks we know about, and we really shouldn’t keep putting them off because they might be doing hidden damage in the walls that we don’t know about. I’ve actually tried a couple times to get this taken care of, but MAN is it hard to find professionals down here who aren’t booked out solid for months (or who will even return your phone calls).
My husband is pretty handy, but no matter how many things he tried and how many YouTube videos he’s watched, he can’t figure out why our doorbell stopped working last year. Time to call in a handyman.
Clear Out Basement Storage Room
Our house has two basements — one that was original to the home, and one that was added on with the new addition that was put in sometime around 1990. The two basements do not connect to each other and have separate stairway entrances.
In the old basement, there is only one room that is finished, and that’s the very small room you come to off of the stairs (pictured above). When we first moved in, people didn’t know where to put boxes when we said “the old basement,” so everything got dumped in that carpeted room off the stairs rather than going one step further into the unfinished storage area. And there it has all sat ever since.
While we’ve cleared out probably about half of the boxes so far (maybe more), we still have quite a lot left to go before the room can effectively be used for anything other than storage.
Set Up T.V. in Basement Storage Room
Our plan once that room finally is cleared out is to have a second area in our home with a t.v. We have only ever owned one t.v. set at any given time in our marriage, but in the future as our kids get older, we anticipate sometimes wanting televisions in different areas of the house so that two different groups can watch two different things.
Once that storage room is cleared out, it will be the perfect little hang out area for a small group of friends, or for Matt and I to use when the kids are watching our t.v. in the bigger main family room area. We’ve gotten all our t.v.’s thus far for free as hand-me-downs from family members who have upgraded theirs, so maybe we’ll get lucky again and have it happen for a third time. Otherwise, the t.v. itself will have to wait since I highly doubt it will be in this year’s budget.
Minimize Kids Clothes
Now that we know our final baby is going to be a girl, I have been starting to part with all the baby boy clothes we’ve been storing “just in case.” While I’ve donated probably over half of them so far, I haven’t actually gone down to the main clothing storage area and cleared out every last thing, so that’s definitely on the list for the year.
I also haven’t gone through our baby girl clothes since my oldest was wearing them, which means it’s been several years. Now that we have more kids, I’ve adopted a firm “only one bin for each clothing size” rule, but I didn’t have that rule in place until my oldest was probably 4 or 5, so we have a TON of baby clothes that we really don’t need. I anticipate that we should be able to cut down our clothing collection we’ve amassed over the years for the kids in half, easy. (I’m actually soooo excited about this!)
Get Bookshelf for Kids’ Room
Now that our oldest can read well, she’s starting to read a LOT (like mother, like daughter!). While we’ve been great at keeping her in books, we’ve never actually bought a bookshelf to put them all in, which means that her bedroom is starting to look like a used bookstore going out of business. This is one of the first things we plan to tackle this year.
Upgrade my Oldest Son to a Twin Bed
With a new baby on the way, we’re realizing that we’re going to soon be one bed short, since our 3-year-old is currently still in the crib. The baby will sleep in a bassinet next to our bed for the first several months after she’s born, but we’ll eventually need to move both the boys to bigger beds in the near future (the 3-year-old to the toddler bed and the 4-year-old to a twin bed). A new mattress and bed frame might very well be his birthday gift this year 🙂
Rebuild + Paint Deck
We finally got rid of our hot tub in December (great decision, btw — our electricity bill has gone WAY down), but it means that we now have a gaping hole in our back deck. The plan is to rebuild the deck where the hot tub was, then set it up as an outdoor eating area (with fun twinkle lights and everything).
Buy Outdoor Furniture
This refers to the furniture we need for the aforementioned outdoor eating area. This isn’t a super high priority this year, but it’s something I’m eager to try and work in because I think we’d use it a lot.
Add in Personal Garden Area
One unanticipated consequence of starting the flower farm was that all of our personal garden space that we had just to enjoy flowers for ourselves was taken away. I’ve really missed having a garden that’s just for me to look at and enjoy (and not cut from!), so we’re adding that in this year. We have three old raised beds that came with the house that are falling apart, so we’re going to take those down, till up the ground and add compost, and also put in some new walkways, perennials, shrubs, and an arch or two. This is by far one of the projects we’re most excited about!
Plant Apricot Tree + Other Flowering Shrubs
I’ve long wanted to have an apricot tree, and the one we tried to put in at this property a couple years ago died, so we need to try again. We’ve also been wanting to add in certain flowering shrubs for years (including a couple different ninebark shrubs and a snowball viburnum), so we’re hoping this year’s the year.
Should be interesting to see how many of these we can knock out with a new baby on the way!