Listy McListerson: Updated

Warning: this is longer than the Oscars, so feel free to fast forward to the good parts. These posts actually came about when people asked how we organize all the stuff we have on our to-do list. We explained that we basically just have one long run-on document, and when folks kept asking us to share it (and update it as we went along), it sounded like our idea of a good time. And it’s high time that we actually updated it considering it has been ten months since we last shared it! Yowsa.

In an attempt to keep our eyes from crossing when we read it, we separated what we’ve done in each room from what we’d still like to do (so we have an active list and a wahoo-it’s-done list) and there’s an estimated percentage up near the title of each area to indicate how complete it is.

Ok, let’s do this.

-The Front Yard (40% complete)-


Done:

  • limbed up the magnolia so it no longer blocks the house (more on that here)
  • removed the bushes that hid the house (more on that here and here)
  • planted grass in the bare patches where we moved bushes
  • updated some garden beds, added landscaping

To Do:

  • we still have a lot of things to transplant/plant/trim/figure out (we tackled three of about ten garden beds out there)

-The Front Porch/House Facade (35% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • frame out the porch columns so they’re chunky and square instead of ornate and curvy
  • stain the concrete porch floor to gussy it up
  • add window boxes around the house
  • add shutters on the side and back windows (they’re only on the front)

-The Carport/Garage (5% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • we originally wanted to convert this into a garage, but now we’re leaning towards beefing up the columns and adding a trellis arch around the front so it’s all lush and pretty like a carport with a pergola instead of being closed in and dark like a garage (we’d lose some light from two windows into the laundry room and office if we closed it in). Maybe something like this (but with a covered top and a pergola out front along with beefier columns)?

-The Living Room (85% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • add some overhead lighting since there’s none (a pendant centered over the table near the back window and some can lights maybe?)
  • turn the fireplace in the kitchen into a double-sided fireplace that also opens up into the living room
  • refinish the floors down the line

-The Office (85% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • add some window treatments? maybe bamboo blinds for some texture?
  • we’ve always dreamed of adding french doors between the dining room and office (for privacy and architecture)
  • we’d love to refinish the floors eventually

-The Hall Bathroom (100% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • nada, at least for now

-The Big Hallway (90% complete)-

Done:

  • we’re really happy with our frame collage and the console table that lives in there, so we’re not planning anything major

To Do:

  • laying a fun patterned runner down on the floors would be nice
  • we’d also like to eventually refinish the floors

-The Small Hallway (5% complete… at least until tomorrow’s big reveal!)-

Done:

  • spray painted the old door knobs for all the rooms off of the hallway in an oil-rubbed bronze finish (update: they’re still holding up great!)

To Do:

  • add board & batten
  • paint the walls
  • add crown molding
  • hang art
  • switch out the old light and ancient gold and gaudy doorbell chime on the wall
  • refinish the floors someday

-The Dining Room (95% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • build a giant lazy susan for the middle of the table, so it’s awesomely functional when we host dinners (sometimes stuff in the middle is hard to reach)
  • eventually refinish the floors

-The Laundry Room (98% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • Possibly add a window treatment (woot! this baby is one of the furthest along, maybe because it’s only 3.5′ wide? haha)

-The Kitchen (85% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • add something to the back of the peninsula (trim, etc) to finish it off
  • possibly add a message board to the side of the pantry? (no chalk since we walk through there and don’t want dust on our clothes if we brush against it)
  • add trim to the top of the cabinets (we tried this once and didn’t like it, but we keep wondering if we should give it another go)
  • repaint the walls??? (this is a big wild card that we go back and forth on, so we’ll have to see where we end up)
  • eventually reface the fireplace to have a chunky wrap-around wood mantel and a pretty stone/tile surround and hearth

-The Playroom/Big Girl Room (75% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • paint the ceiling
  • add crown molding
  • paint or refinish the dresser
  • refinish the floors down the line

-Nursery (90% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • hang more art on some of the bare walls
  • add crown molding
  • eventually refinish the floors
  • we’re sure things will completely evolve in here if a future baby ends up using it as their nursery and Clara moves into her big girl room (but nope, I’m not pregnant)

-The Sunroom (60% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • furnish a few still-bare corners
  • add some window treatments?
  • eventually replace the flooring (the old beige tiles just aren’t our favorite)

-The Master Bedroom (80% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • possibly convert the window that looks out onto the deck into a french door someday?
  • possibly tile the entire back wall of the sink nook with something dreamy and gleaming (it’s a small space so it won’t cost much)
  • eventually refinish the floors

-The Master Bathroom (75% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • in Phase Two we’d like to retile the floor (maybe with gray hex tiles) and possibly reglaze the beige wall tile so it’s bright white (or add beadboard over it?)

-The Guest Bedroom (70% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • hang art on those bare walls
  • add crown molding
  • paint the round mirror so it pops more (or replace it with something larger since it’s a little small)
  • replace some of the older just-using-what-we-have furnishings (like our scratched six year old Ikea dresser that has seen better days)
  • eventually refinish the floors

-The Guest Bathroom (10% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • paint the walls
  • possibly replace some of the tile (not sure what we want to work with and what we want to upgrade so that’s TBD)
  • get a glass shower door instead of a weird cubby hole with a curtain
  • frost the window for privacy
  • hang more art on all the bare walls

-The Basement Workshop (85% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • paint the back door that leads to the basement
  • stain the floors and the wood counters?

-The Side Lot (10% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • Plant a bunch more trees (we want to naturalize it and make it sort of an orchard – now it’s just a weed-and-leaf-fest)

-The Deck (80% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • stain/seal the deck (at which point we’ll finally be “done” with the build, and will share a very belated budget breakdown)
  • swag some big bulb string lights over the deck
  • hide the utility box with paint or by building it out with a little cabinet
  • add greenery in the form of some plantings around the deck to screen the side of the steps and the AC unit

-The Patio (85% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • continue to furnish the patio (other than two adirondack chairs, it’s all just old furniture that the last owners left behind)
  • possibly add some lighting (string lights around fence or from trees?)

-The Backyard (90% complete)-

Done:

To Do:

  • remove the ivy growing up/chocking some of the large trees
  • plant some trees in the way back to naturalize that for more privacy (we’d love a nice grassy yard with a big woodsy forest behind that)
  • add raised bed gardens for vegetables, fruits, and herbs (we’ve been looking for a sunny spot for them, which is tough since most of our lot is shaded)
  • build Clara a swingset? (there’s a public playground nearby so we’re not sure about one at home too)

In summary, it’s amazing to look back at all the done bullets and reminisce… but we still have a lot on the ol’ to-do list as usual! Thankfully we’ve learned to just try to enjoy the journey and take things one day/project/victory at a time. And seriously, is there anything more fun than crossing things off? As for the method to our “project order,” we don’t really think there is one. We just do whatever we’re in the mood for (barring anything that needs to be moved to the top of the list for safety or other extreme-urgency reasons). And we jump around from room to room just to stay excited and to avoid feeling too forced into doing something that we might not be ready to deal with yet.

We like to keep the bigger projects that we want to save up for in the back of our mind for a while (until we’re feeling more sure about our approach so there’s no shoulda-woulda-coulda going on later). Thinking about those long term/bigger projects keeps us excited to squirrel away as much loot as we can to make them a reality down the road. And seeing all the crossed off smaller items reminds us that bite-sized undertakings can really keep you motivated. After a big project, sometimes we’re happy to take a breather and tackle the little stuff for a while. And other times we’re psyched to keep our momentum up and start planning the next big project right away.

As of this very moment, we’re thinking that we’d love to tackle these guys next:

  • adding crown molding to the three bedrooms without it
  • boxing in the porch columns
  • redoing the carport
  • renovating the untouched guest bathroom

So those are “on deck” when it comes to our to-do list. But enough about us, how do you make your house to-do lists? Do you keep them on your phone? On post-its? On a big online document? Handwritten in a notebook? How do you decide what to tackle next? Is there any method at all to your madness?

Comments

  1. Leigh Anne says

    I noticed you guys aren’t using the bamboo blinds in the new house that you used so often in the old house. I was wondering if there is a reason? I have a huge picture window in my living room that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love how light it makes the room but I hate how for about 4 hours a day the sun fries my brain. I have curtains up but I don’t like pulling them closed. Thoughts? Ideas?

    • says

      We love them and actually mentioned bringing some into the office in our loooong list, so maybe they’ll get added in someday! We honestly haven’t been able to find the same ones we used in our first house (which we loved and which were very affordable) so I’m sure that has to do with it!

      xo
      s

  2. Katie says

    Everything is coming along great! Love all the pops of color throughout the house. Question: What color are you thinking of repainting the kitchen and why?

    • says

      We go back and forth since the kitchen is surrounded by subtle and muted rooms (soft gray dining room, living room, hallway, etc) so we love it being this pop of color in the middle of the house. But than again we’re not sure if we’d love something moodier and darker to set off the white cabinets and counters. Time will tell!

      xo
      s

  3. says

    I generally keep lists on the computer and then mini ones in some random location or two.

    We also have 2 white boards that we use (one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom) to help us with everything.

    There’s also a master clipboard of key listing matters (which often holds many of the mini lists).

    It’s not as list-sessive as it may sound, and it works for us.

    • says

      It’s true! It never really is! I’d say we’ve done a lot of big things and a ton of small things (maybe 60-70% of everything on the list?) but still have some pretty major zones (the porch, the carport, the guest bathroom, etc) to deal with, along with some smaller upgrades throughout the house to do (adding crown molding, finishing all the mostly-done rooms, refinishing floors, doing Phase 3 of the master bathroom, etc).

      xo
      s

  4. says

    Wow seeing this it is amazing how much you all have already done. Oh and you need to add your book. That was a huge project in itself that you two did and finished, plus you did a book tour. So fun to follow along on your journey.

    • says

      Aw thanks Jordan! That definitely was a big project, and I was thinking as I updated this that we also did Granny’s bathroom, which was so much fun! She was so sweet about the whole thing and still writes us letters (and tells us in person when we see her) that she loves it. Aw, she’s the best.

      xo
      s

  5. says

    Wow, I just realized how much I really love your bedroom. I knew when you made changes to it last year that I liked the improvements, but man… when I jut saw the pic of it in this post it gave me this ahhhh feeling… Just so cozy!

    • says

      Aw thanks Rachel! I still get that feeling when I walk in (my brain sometimes remembers the old layout, which never felt as restful, so it’s a happy surprise). Haha!

      xo
      s

  6. Krista says

    How old is Karlstad in this photo / how much use do you estimate he gets? I am looking at buying one but because I live no where near an ikea is a bit of a plunge. I’ve read your update on Karlstad from quite some time ago but just curious as to how he is holding up now :)

    • says

      He’s over two years old in this pic and we love him! No complaints and we all use him every day (a toddler, two adults, and a dog). The dark sivik gray fabric that we have on it is super durable- it takes a beating!

      xo
      s

    • says

      I just bought the Karlstad corner sofa in September in the Kordal brown fabric, and while the sofa is great, I wouldn’t recommend that fabric. There are 6 of us using the couch, but after only a short period of time the cover looks shabby and linty and it picks up every tine bit of fluff in the house. I just thought I’d mention it as I wish I knew that before I bought it and I would have got a different fabric.

    • says

      Eeks, so sorry about that! I definitely agree that the fabric you choose makes all the difference! The dark sivik gray is almost like denim so it holds up so well to a kid and a dog!

      xo
      s

  7. Ani says

    I just realized this may be te first time I’ve seen a pic of the back of your house… I love it!!! It’s beautiful!
    It makes your house look so much larger than the front lets on.
    Any plans for the back of the structure? I think it’s lovely the way it is. :)

    • says

      Isn’t it cute?! We always wished they had added a peak with the porch in the front to match the one in the back. Maybe sometime waaay down the line we could do that our front!

      xo
      s

  8. says

    I’m curious to see where you end up with regarding the garage/carport debacle since I remember you saying a garage was in your must have list!

    • says

      Isn’t that funny?! We wouldn’t even look at this house for a while since it had that carport! But now that we’re used to the windows in the office and sunroom after living with them for years, we hate to lose them by closing things in…

      xo
      s

  9. Amy says

    Phew! Your progress is amazing when you look at it in list form like that!

    We are getting ready to put our house on the market unexpectedly (the husband got a new job in my hometown), so we are in the middle of a major decluttering and moving stuff to offsite storage so we can start doing some painting and minor repairs. Of course, my brain is already thinking of stuff to do in our next house, which is crazy since we have no idea what the next house will even look like!

    • Rachel says

      Hi Amy, we’re just starting to look for a new house too, and I’m doing the exact same thing – trying to decide how I’ll decorate when I have no idea what the space will look like! Still, it’s good fun, and it keeps me occupied ;)

  10. Maggie says

    I need to box in my porch columns, too, so I hope you’ll do yours soon!

    What you’ve already got done from your list is super impressive and I’m always inspired by how you guys just keep tackling projects.

  11. Lindsey S says

    I’m really looking forward to seeing how you block out the porch columns! We have the same ornate curvy posts on our porch. I can’t wait to change them, but I don’t know quite how to go about it yet…

    Good progress so far! You guys rock my socks.

  12. Gordana says

    Looking forward to your boxing in the porch column project. We’re gearing up to do the same and generally adding some curb appeal to our home. We have some method to selecting projects – most of it is determined by finances and time needed. I’m interested to follow along your crown molding adventures too- we just added it to our master and it all went well, until the last piece had to go up – had to buy two more pieces since we kept messing it up. Hope your process is smoother.

  13. Em says

    How awesome would a long pocket french door look between the dining room and office? Not sure if you could do it, but it would look so cool to have one long french door that could slide out to divide the space.

    • says

      Oh man it would be amazing! Sadly whenever we research pocket doors they scare the heck out of us (they basically entail knocking out the whole wall, including the built ins, removing all the two by fours that support the ceiling, and then creating a pocketed area for the door). Scary, right?! We love the idea of french doors there someday though…

      xo
      s

    • says

      Since we have the built ins on one side and the office stuff (file cabinet and chair) on the other side, we don’t want to block one of those things with the door when it’s open. I think that’s why we love the idea of french doors (they’ll add architecture from both sides of the room too!).

      xo
      s