Taking Care Of Bid-ness

That’s me these days. At least I like to think it is. Checking off those tedious and lingering to-do list items that I’ve been meaning to do forever, and taking names. So how about a Friday smorgasbord post? The funny thing is that just a few days ago we got a comment that said “hey I miss your Dude Get On That Already updates – will those ever come back?” Do you guys remember those? Where I’d finally get around to tackling something that had been sitting around waiting to get done (usually just painting or hanging something) and I’d share a little update – like this wall plaque, this box, this coat hook, and this high chair? Well, the funny thing about that comment is that as I read it I was thinking… I have actually gotten on a few things. What has come over me? Is this nesting? Has my body been snatched? So here are those details…

#1: Ding dong, the dining room table is cleared. You might remember this recent house-tour video which revealed that our dining room and guest room were looking chaotic and cluttered (it’s pretty much a promise that when we work on one room, another room nearby pays the price). Here’s a still shot from that video to refresh your memory:

Well, I finally got my act together and found better spots for stuff. It really helped to get a bunch of the craft stuff that had collected there into my newly organized craft closet upstairs. And I tucked the decorative items into the two bottom cabinets in the living room where I store other vases and cloches and stuff like that. It’s nice to see the wood of the table again. (I won’t tell you how dusty it was before I wiped it down for this shot.)

A few folks asked if I thought I’d use this table as a workspace if it were clear since I admitted to using the kitchen table until we get the office whipped into two-people-can-work-there shape. But I’ve found that even with the dining table cleared off I still prefer the kitchen table. I think it’s because I can see Clara playing in the living room more easily from there (the dining room is a lot more isolated due to its layout). But it’s nice to know I can run in there if I want a little more solitude. And that we can actually host people for some fancier-than-the-kitchen-table dinner if we’d like to throw a Downton Abbey-ish ball sometime.

The bad news is that the kitchen counter still pretty much looks like this (minus the crockpot full o’ stew), thanks to our in-progress pantry re-org (everything’s painted, so we’re just waiting for it to dry so we can load in some nice new systems). Sigh. It’s a vicious cycle.

#2: I hemmed Clara’s comically long curtains. You can sort of see them in this picture below (I usually tried to just curl them under so it wasn’t as noticeable) – but they were about 6″ too long and although I liked the drapey affect, they were borderline sloppy with so much extra fabric going on at the end.

So last weekend while Clara played with her dollhouse in the middle of the room and we listened to some tunes, I got to work hemming them with some Heat N Bond hem tape. It probably took me about a half an hour to cut them all and then hem them (I still left them drapey, so they skim the floor a little for that casual vibe) and it feels so GOOD to have that done. Seriously, I’ve asked myself if there’s something wrong with me that hemmed curtains make me feel so accomplished – but I think it’s just one of those things that I thought a million times in the last eight months (“I should really hem those curtains” would pop into my head each week as I put away Clara’s laundry), so it feels great to finally check that box.

#3: The extra pieces of our sectional have been sent to greener pastures. Remember how our full Karlstad sectional didn’t fit in our cozier living room, so “honey, we shrunk the sofa“?

Well, the random extra pieces that we we haven’t been using (the corner piece and the loveseat-sized end) have just been sitting in our attic under a drop cloth for the last eight months. I even mentioned that we thought about craigslisting them, but “we just figured selling the corner and loveseat to a sofa that’s incomplete without another end piece that someone would have to purchase might fetch us $20 tops” so I said we’d rather hold onto them and see if we had a use for them in the future. It was a completely surprise when someone emailed us months later, and offered to buy them for $250! We hadn’t so much as looked at them at all in the past eight months, so… sold!

The funny thing is that it wasn’t a blog reader who wanted them. A woman was just googling around to locate these exact Karlstad pieces (they don’t sell them separately, so she thought she’d never find them) and came across our old post about storing those in the attic. She’s not from around here (lives in Florida, actually) but she had items in a storage unit in New Jersey that she was going to be driving down to Florida in her SUV, so on her way down she swung through Richmond and (miraculously) fit them all into the back. So now we’ve got an extra $250 in our pockets and Karl – er, well the unused portion of Karl – is living a sunnier life in St. Augustine!

 

#4: I donated/gave back/handed down/consigned a bunch of Clara’s old clothes. There were four large bins in this video that I explained were being sent in a bunch of directions (some items were being returned to sweet friends who loaned things to us, some were being donated, some were getting handed down to other prego friends and relatives, and I wanted to try consigning some things as well).

So after they sat there for months, I finally got around to donating and passing along everything I had set aside, and I trekked the leftovers to Once Upon A Child (a little secondhand baby store here in town) just to give it a try. Forty five minutes after dropping them off I returned to get a nice little check for $141!

There were a few things they didn’t end up taking, so I swung by another donation box on the way home with the extras, and finally that Corner O’ Bins in the living room is no more. The funny thing is that I dragged those downstairs from the storage room at around 18 weeks pregnant (in anticipation of finding out if this was another girl or a boy, so I could sort through everything). Which means they sat in that corner for over 10 weeks just waiting to be dealt with. Better late than never, right?

#5: Clara’s birdcages are no longer birdless. That’s right, I put a bird on it. Make that six. I noticed that West Elm was having a huge ornament sale about a month ago and they had these gorgeous little colorful birds on clearance.

So for $20 I got six of them, and when they arrived I reenacted Snow White and put them all over my arms used their clips or their ornament loops to make them cozy in Clara’s birdcages. A few of you guys noticed them in this picture on Instagram/Facebook, and I promised an update, so there you go.

I even added a little wood dowel to the grey birdcage since it didn’t have one and I wanted to create a spot for one to perch and another one to hang. You can just barely make it out in this shot (the cut off bird on the right is sitting on it, and the flying bird under that one is hanging from it). That’s what I get for trying to be artsy with my photography.

Clara’s favorite is this one right here. She named him Prince Sam Bluebird, and we say goodnight to him every evening.

And in other update news, our new washer came bright and early on Saturday morning (some of you guys have been asking about it, which is beyond sweet) and it’s a HUGE relief that it’s finally here. I now sing and occasionally pirouette while doing laundry. I’m sure that won’t last for more than a week, but it truly is one of those “you don’t know how good you have it until an appliance conks out on you and you live without it for a while and then the new one comes and it’s broken so you have to wait another week and a half” things.

So those are a few of those “I actually got on them!” updates, along with a little Washer Status Report. I still have a bunch more should-have-done-that-yesterday things bouncing around in my brain, so maybe I should set a future check-in date with you guys to force myself to attend to them. Wanna get stuff done with me? And then we can all reconvene and attempt to hold ourselves accountable to the internet at large? What’s your “gotta get on that” list looking like these days?

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As a little Friday bonus, here are four fun projects, chats, or questions going on over on the Forums. We also announced this week’s giveaway winner, so you can click here (and scroll down to the Rafflecopter box) to see if it’s you.

by WifeInProgress by rentalrevival
by HomeComing
by lorigrams

Comments

  1. debi says

    I noticed the little birdies in the pictures around when Clara packed up all her belongings in the middle of her room.
    I almost commented but I didn’t want to be the one going “oh, look! birdies!!” While everyone else was commenting on what the post was about!

    • says

      I know, isn’t that awesome?! They were about $500 from Ikea so she said $250 sounded right since it was half the value and she couldn’t buy them separately. We were thrilled, and couldn’t believe they fitted so well in the back of her car (my fear was that we wouldn’t be able to get them all in, but John helped her pack them in there nicely).

      xo
      s

  2. says

    Ahhh I love the way the little birds look in the cages!! So cute!

    I couldn’t help but notice the shared love for the TJ’s roasted red pepper tomato soup. Do you use yours straight up or another way? I use mine as a base for chili. Soooo good!

  3. says

    The birds in the birdcages are so sweet! Great idea to use ornaments. And I love that Clara has named them and says good night to them.

    One project we have to get on already is doing something about our need-to-be-painted interior doors, and we also need to make a decision about the current doorknobs. They are vintage glass with old brass backplates, and even though we think they are original to our 1920s house, we don’t know if we want to keep them or go for something more modern. I keep changing my mind, so it will probably be a while before we get on this project!
    http://www.rathersquare.com/2014/02/glass-doorknobs-keep-replace/

    • says

      Ooh those original ones are so pretty! I totally understand if they’re not your thing though (gotta make your house work for you, not the realtor) but I bet you could get a ton for them on craigslist or even from a local architectural salvage place if you end up replacing them.

      xo
      s

    • Maja says

      Those doorknobs are gorgeous! Maybe a touch of ORB on the plates (and screws) would make them more like the modern doorknobs you like, yet in keeping with the age of the house. On the other hand, it seems like if you decide to replace them, there would be plenty of takers, so it’s a win-win! Good luck!

  4. CohoesMom5 says

    I commented on another blog recently that I need a Weight Watchers for organizing/getting stuff done. A place where I can announce my accomplishments and get a gold star/applause/acknowledgement. An “I got on that” forum would be great.

  5. says

    Love the birds! I’ve also been doing a bit of “decluttering” lately – selling a few things on Craigslist and Ebay and have been loving having the little bit of extra change in my pockets to go out and purchase the finishing touches for our kitchen renovation!

    Happy Snowy (or now in our case – Icy) Friday!

  6. says

    My “gotta get on that” list just got a bit shorter thanks to yesterday’s snow day in which I stayed home and dealt with piles of paperwork. My tax paperwork is ready to be mailed to the accountant, I’ve dealt with random beginning-of-the-year business paperwork (now starting my second year of business!)

    As the owner of a consignment clothing shop I’ve got to congratulate you on consigning kids clothes for what sounds like your first time? It’s so fun to “recycle” your wardrobe and get some $ out of it! Beware, it will become addicting! :)

    • says

      Thanks Melissa! I’ve tried it with old clothes of my own but never with kids clothes. It was really fun. I love that you own a consignment shop. What a fun way to keep things in use and out of landfills!

      xo
      s

  7. Sarah says

    Love this! Congrats on getting all these seemingly “smaller” projects done. The selling Karl story is crazy! How coincidental that all those pieces fell into place to send that part of Karl. And kuddos to you, I totally am the kind of person that would store those bulky pieces forever swearing we’d use them someday only to never see them function again.

    We’re preparing for a new baby (our first!) in June so we’ve been in massive “Dude get on the organization of this house because someone else will be living with us soon” mode. We’ve donated where we can, pitched when needed, and literally have closets full of empty spaces now to accommodate the little one (and all the junk, I mean precious baby gear) that will come along with it. Feels great and now we get to move onto the fun stuff like painting, arranging, and decorating the nursery! Happy Valentine’s Day, and Friday!!

    • says

      That must feel awesome Sarah! You’re way ahead of me! Go celebrate with some cake and a movie or something. Haha! John and I saw a million movies before Clara was born because we knew we’d never get out to the theater again for a while.

      xo
      s

    • Caity says

      Sarah, my husband and I are in the same boat! We’ve done more house projects in the last two months than the last three years that we’ve lived in our house…all to get ready for baby #1 in June! I keep saying that there’s nothing like having a baby to light a fire under your buns and spark productivity :) Congrats to you!

  8. says

    Great job!

    My get on it list is like this:

    Finish my 2013 Family Photo Book
    Paint and caulk the new base boards in 3 rooms
    Gel stain the front door
    Finish projects in my son’s room
    Paint my daughter’s room
    Buy and install transition pieces for the new flooring I installed…….

    I could go on and on. So glad someone asked me. My kids are tired of me randomly listing the things that “just aren’t doing themselves” around here.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all three (plus one) of you. I look forward to your posts every day.

    Dona

  9. lilly says

    parting with my daughter/son clothes was so difficult and sentimental, snif snif..but know that they are better if someone else can get a good use out of it. is that mean #2 is your last one? can’t wait to meet the baby and I bet clara will be his mommy #2!!

    lilly

    • says

      It really was hard to say goodbye to some things (I actually kept a few tiny favorite hats and dresses – just couldn’t let them go!). As for if #2 is our last, in this post a few months back we said “at this point we’re both excited and satisfied by the idea of being a family of four (well, five with the Burgs).” This pregnancy has been a bit harder than my first one was – and that coupled with a scary birth complication with Clara has us feeling very fulfilled and grateful if we end up with two healthy children. So assuming everything goes well with the birth of this little guy, we’re most likely done at two.

      xo
      s

    • says

      So glad for this honest answer! I wanted to ask but was too shy. I know I don’t know you all, but I still look up to you in a lot of ways and even though Hubs and I are still kid-less, I’m already thinking about how many kiddos our future family could be made up of. Just a question—did you and John differ on this at all? I think it may be like a “you just know” situation, like falling in love, but right now I think we might be in two different place on our “magic number!”
      Also, no matter if you are finished at 2, or end up having more we reader-friends will be super super happy for you!

    • says

      I think it has been sort of miraculous but John and I have been on the same page about family size. We both came from a larger family (with four kids in the house) so maybe that makes us happy with two and a pooch and lots and lots of cousins (thanks to all of our siblings)? Haha!

      xo
      s

  10. Cynthia says

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one finally getting around to those piles of projects! I think all these snow storms have me in a non-maternity-nesting phase and my little rental is reaping the rewards. Purged closets, rearranged bedrooms, pictures hung on the walls, a repainted end table (inspired by your update on Clara’s little wood bassinet) – it’s been a busy few weeks, but it sure feels good. Maybe this’ll be the needed motivation to get on that curtain hemming too ;)

  11. Carol D says

    Unfortunately, the first thing on my “gotta get to that” is to pack away all the Christmas Nativities. I know….It’s Feb 14th for goodness sake, but they’re up on built-in shelves, and well, it’s just still on my list.

    • Nichole K says

      We were festive for a couple of extra months this year too, so don’t feel bad. We just finished taking down our Christmas decorations (including the tree) last weekend. I blame it on the fact that my hubby works out of town during the winter and that I’m pregnant with our first and sooo tired.

    • Cate says

      I’m with you too! All the Christmas stuff made it to the dining room and then hasn’t made it back to the storage boxes. Yikes! In my defense, husband rearranged the garage in anticipation of a new baby in May and the boxes ended up where I couldn’t get to them. Here’s to getting it done the weekend after Valentines ;)

  12. Bethany says

    I can’t be the only one who giggled a bit at ” … I have actually gotten on a few things.” :)