House Goals 2016: Mid-year Check-in

It’s that time of year when I look back at the list of goals we made in January and see whether we’re on track for success or dismal, humiliating failure! Fun!

Disclaimers about this year’s list: this is a tricky year for both house stuff and blogging for a few reasons. Dave is (still!) working on his master’s degree, which is a giant time suck (he’ll be finished in December–yay!). Abe is still very high maintenance, but he also stopped napping near the beginning of the year, so it’s really hard to get things done before he goes to bed. He might or might not be doing preschool a couple of days a week this fall, but even if he does, I’ll need to devote lots of Abe-free time to school for these other kids I have. And then I’ve got the travel blog now, too, which means things are more streamlined around here, but also means that there are fewer posts on here because some that would have been here are now over there.

All of this to say that I intentionally kept this year’s goal list fairly light….but also that I had no idea if even the fairly light list was realistic or not. And I hadn’t looked back at it at all until I sat down to write this post. So let’s take a look together, shall we?

1. Finish the Den

So in looking back over the list, I’ve realized that this year, so far, is the year of halfway finished projects. Like the den! We got off to a really great start in here this year. We painted the walls and fireplace and hung up a gallery wall:


We also bought ottomans to use for storage:


And then we stopped. Because the next thing to do was to build a shelf for the corner next to the fireplace, and that was going to be a pretty big project. Also the kind of project that is largely all Dave (i.e. that guy who’s working on his master’s). So. I still have high hopes that we’ll get this finished this year. Because once we do the shelf, we’re more or less done, except for a few little details.

2. Clean and Organize the Garage:

Another not finished but not completely neglected project!

Here’s the photo of the garage I posted in the goals list:

So THAT side of the garage still looks largely the same. But! We did clean out the other half of the garage in anticipation of our house sitters coming to stay. It is not beautiful by any means, but it is possible to walk through it without tripping over anything, and that’s a big improvement!


I’m fully aware that this is a really sad “after” picture. Those bikes weren’t in there when the house sitters were here, because they were with us on our trip. But I’m putting it here anyway, because I’m so painfully honest. And also because, while the garage is still not pretty, I was encouraged by the fact that we got it significantly more usable and cleaned out than before in the space of just a few hours. Just think what we could accomplish if we dedicated a few weekends to it! The idea is that it will be a great workshop space, mostly, since the way we have to park the trailer in the driveway makes it pretty much impossible to actually park cars in here.

So I hope there will be further progress in here this year….we might not get everything we want to do finished this year, but I would love to at least finish cleaning everything out and have a better organization system (than none) for tools and whatnot. But that will have to wait until it’s not 90 gazillion degrees out every single day, which is what we have going on right now.

3. Finish Abe’s Room:

We’re still not quite finished in here, but I can say with nearly 100% confidence that we will be soon! By my count, there are two more smallish projects to finish up, and then it’s room reveal time. It’s been quite awhile since there’s been a room reveal around here! Anyway, we’ve worked in here a ton this year, and I’m ridiculously happy with how things are coming together:


Abe's National Parks room with pull down vintage map and diy chalkboard

4. The Downstairs Bathroom:

Uhh, to be honest, I forgot I had put this on the list. It still looks pretty much exactly like this:

…except that the counters are cleaned off (that was stuff from when we were painting the den) and Abe has graduated to using the big potty, so we don’t have that one sitting on the floor anymore. So that’s progress, right?  I have no idea if anything else will happen in here this year. I would like for it to. But I would like a lot of things.

5. The Downstairs Hallway:

I forgot I had put this on the list, too. But we did this one! Mostly. Apparently, I had planned to do the bathroom first and then move on to the hallway. But the hallway was way easier, so we did it instead:


We painted in here, switched out the light fixture, and hung up a picture. I still want to hang up more pictures in here and change the brass doorknobs (in fact, we bought the new knobs months ago, but haven’t gotten around to switching them yet), but aside from that we’re done.

6. Finish the Office Half our Bedroom:



Another space that I’d still love to get to and still don’t know if I will. We moved that table up here from the sunroom (to make room for a play space for Abe), with the idea that it might serve as a second desk. But that’s it. I guess at this point we need to decide where we want to devote our limited time and resources for the rest of the year. Finishing this space is doable, but I’m not sure it’s our first priority. We’ve been talking a lot about working on our porch/deck area, for example. Which would be a much bigger and more expensive project (it would likely involving hiring someone to rebuild the deck), but also more gratifying and useful.

So, all in all, I’m pretty satisfied with our progress so far. Although looking at this does remind me of how much I wish that bathroom were already done! I’m so tired of those rusty red textured walls.




House Goals 2016: Mid-year Check-in — 5 Comments

  1. Textured? The walls in the bath are textured? Luckily it doesn’t show in the picture, but that does move it up a notch in priority. (And of course you did the hall first. Halls are not only easy, they get seen all the time, not some of the time.)
    My reaction to Abe’s room is that I must get me some bears, for somewhere, not caring where. Maybe on the front porch and scare the mailman.
    Your goals list make me think of the kitchen blinds I haven’t hung in almost four years (spent this morning squinting into the glare to see what I was doing at the sink) and all the other (dozen) things I haven’t done since moving in 2012. Color me impressed!

    • Yes, some kind of ill-advised faux finish! I’m not sure what it would take to get rid of it….I’m tempted to get in there with a sander and see what happens, but once I do that there won’t really be any going back 🙂

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