The 2011 Challenge

Folks, the Passyunk Palace weighs on my mind in a lot of ways. I know that a home is a constantly evolving thing that can never truly be considered “finished”. I’m ok with that, and if it were I’d probably get very bored very quickly. My problem is that in the three and a half years since we’ve moved in, I have never felt that the house has even reached a good jumping-off point for changes. Yes, we’ve had a lot of things done to the house, but they’re still half done. So for example, we had a contractor remodel the guest room and bathroom, but we haven’t done much since then other than slap a coat of paint on the walls. We spent a fortune having the kitchen redone and I don’t even have a curtain in the window. I feel like we’re still in the remodeling phase and I can’t even feel comfortable transitioning to the real “decorating” phase. As a result I have all sorts of ideas floating around that I can’t explore yet, and the house doesn’t really feel like home.

Added to this is the general feeling that I’ve been losing focus in the past few months. My days don’t really add up to anything and I don’t really feel like I’ve accomplished anything in quite a long time. Most nights I come home from work, make dinner, maybe do some reading or watch a movie, maybe vacuum or dust, but my weeks sort of pass by and in the end I feel like I can’t even say what it is of any real value that I’ve accomplished in that time.

So, what is to be done about this? Well I’ve decided that to get myself focused and back into the game, I’m setting a challenge for ourselves: Greg and I must finish everything on the house to-do list by the first day of summer, June 22nd 2011! (Do you like the way I’ve included Greg on this, despite the fact that it’s me who feels unfocused?) I think an official challenge like this might reinvigorate me to get things done in the new year, and a deadline (that I will blog our progress toward, of course) is the perfect clincher.

So this leaves us with about 21 weeks to complete the following list. At which point I can change my focus over to the more fun details of frivolous decorating (and re-doing things I wind up not liking). Not too bad, presuming we can quit our whining and get off our asses. Oh, and maybe as added incentive, we’ll have a big party when it’s finished!

Here’s our updated to-do list:

Living Room
new tv & stereo stand
– strip and repaint fireplace
new armchair
– paint ceiling trim
– paint front window frame
– paint and add legs to record storage

Dining Room
paint walls
– new sideboard
new windows
– frost windows
light fixture
– paint hutch
– skim coat walls
– repaint
– new rug
– new basement door

gut completely and new everything!
radiant floor heat
new floor
new drywall
brick up north window
new ceiling
open up archway
new cabinets
subway tile backsplash
paint walls
paint trim
paint door
stain outside of door
– shelf in window
– curtain
– artwork
– mug storage
– reseal counter tops
– touch up paint

Front Entrance/Vestibule
table for mail, keys, etc
– paint entryway table
– hooks for coats
– retile
– paint/wallpaper vestibule

scrape wallpaper
– spackle holes from wiring
light fixtures
– paint walls
– paint stairs
– table at top of 3rd floor
– new shelves/table in 2nd floor hallway
– 3rd floor hallway curtain

Powder Room
– wallpaper
– new floor
– new door

– shelves in closet
new windows
quarter round
– new door
– artwork over bed

Dressing Room (now closet)
scrape wallpaper
quarter round
new window
rewire light fixture
– dresser situation
new doors
– get rid of door
– accessories storage

Laundry Room
– more storage boxes
– curtains
– artwork

Guest Room
empty out boxes
rewire light fixture
quarter round
sand walls
new windows
– new door
new outlets
get rid of old wall air conditioner
– dresser
– artwork

remove/replace paneling
vanity & sink
– shelves
new medicine cabinet
new window
– new door
rewire light
– paint trim
– hang shelf
– artwork
– shower curtain
– curtain
– touch up tub

wall shelves
shelves in closet
quarter round
– re-hang door
more storage
new windows
– add more outlets
– get rid of crap
– touch up paint
– hang artwork
– better closet storage
– new filing cabinet
– get rid of old computer
– paint small storage dressers
– new curtains

Craft Studio
scrub floor
paint closet
put up shelves
new window
– paint trim
– new trim around window?
– closet storage
– better storage boxes
– new desk/table
– big pinboard
– curtains

paint cinderblock
trellis for privacy
– new gate door

Everywhere Else
– house numbers
fix wood piece alongside 2nd floor roof
replace stack pipe
– get rid of old washer and dryer
– clean and reorganize basement
– new storm door
– new front door/paint front door
– paint trim around front entryway

What do you think? Are we up to the challenge?

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