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June 07, 2018


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Here's the little bit I know about this (and I know this is not really about reno/construction, BUT): It's annoying but worth it. The follow up emails and weird conversations (how many times can I say "I'm sure I'm not saying this correctly, but I think we need ____") and feeling like a bother when you are paying so! much! money! for someone to come and be in your house all the time......it's worth it? I'm on house 4 of these projects and so it feels easier and way less stressful, because I feel more clearly that this time will pass and then my house will fit us better. Anyway, I say go go go. (also, I'm a friend of Miri and love reading your writing. Am an agnostic with tiny children and just... I like reading how you think about life and parenting. Reno the kitchen! You can do it!)

As someone who had a kitchen remodel done and a husband with cancer at the same time (money is money, life needs to go on, and I swear the kitchen brought his hopes up at a horrible time), DO THE KITCHEN :) :) xoxoxo

Little does he know this IS a conversation. ;) I hope you get to do your kitchen/bathroom. I think having a less-shabby home is something a lot of us take as a luxury, not a necessity. And that's certainly true. But just small upgrades can add so much happiness, somehow. I myself really want to buy a small sideboard ($319) for my kitchen and some inexpensive patio furniture for my backyard... and yet I don't, because frugal (and procrastinator) me takes over. It's a silly conundrum and I just need to DO THE THINGS.

Yes, el-e-e! We had to buy a small kitchen cart (well, not the smallest - we got the largest we could sensibly fit, and one with a fold-up ledge) for our not-galley but not-totally-eat-in kitchen that needed a little more storage and a little more counter. It was about $350, and I put it off - didn't want MORE furniture and MORE clutter in a house that was smaller than the one we left, let alone to pay MORE money to acquire it... but the gained storage and counter has been SOOOO worth it. And the rug for the living room, to put over the stained-but-not-sealed "chic"(eh) concrete we-just-pulled-up-all-the-rugs floor, it really pulled the room together from "dumped the rest of the furniture in here and pushed it around from time to time" to an actual LIVING room with an inviting air and a conversation area (still surrounded by all-the-rest-of-the-stuff, and anchored with a grad-school futon that is really... done with it's life and needs replaced, but not with just any couch, because we're desperate for storage, so there it sits, but still....).

We're almost a year into this house, and still trying to figure out how to make it a house that fits us. The dying of appliances helps, I guess, as a major impetus :) When we lost our countertop microwave, it was the push that got us an over-stove skinny microwave/ recirculating vent combo (no. vent. in. kitchen -wha???? "That's what windows are for - meaning the one over your sink that has a super-deep bay so you can't actually reach it to open it without climbing into and over the sink." Uh, okaaaaay.)

I probably need to invest in some fitting furniture for our very-skinny dining room too, the one that holds most of our library along one wall and most of our homeschooling stuff along the other, because it's the only non-bedroom in the house with actual wall space, but that leaves the table in the middle squished and still doesn't house quite..everything. Decision fatigue and the more pressing need to pay for a birth (that's out-of-network and therefore all on me) and a larger van (because we will have outgrown our 8-passenger minivan, so we have to go actual-VAN van) is now putting an even bigger crimp in my will to spend money on what we can live with as-is, even if not very well :)

Re: handyman, I find that sometimes when I do something I don't really want to do, like contact someone for an estimate, I check it off in my head so firmly that it doesn't matter if anything comes next (and phew! if it doesn't - ball's not in my court, no new tasks for me!) because I DID MY JOB :) so it's even harder than the first time to go and do the extra work of follow-through.

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