Living in an old house

The first time I saw our house I fell in love with it. It had everything I wanted in a house - a porch to rock on, lots of ground for gardens, a fenced-in backyard for Luco, and loads of charm. Some of the things that sold us on this house were the hardwood floors (under really ugly green carpeting), built-in shelves in the dining room, a new kitchen and bathroom and a very convenient laundry room on the second floor.

Do you know what charm really means? It means cute, very old and ready to fall apart at any given moment. This house was built in 1899, and some parts of it seem like they haven't been updated since then. We have a mudroom off our kitchen (both were additions), and it's a complete mess. It's become the storage area for junk that doesn't otherwise have a home. It has potential, but only after the windowsills are replaced, shelves are built, walls and floor are scrubbed (really, really scrubbed) and walls painted. I wish the tree would've fallen on the mudroom and completely taken it out - that way we'd be starting fresh.

So many things need to be done in here that it's overwhelming. I think about all the stuff that has to be started and how there just isn't enough time to do it all. I don't like to start something and not finish. If I'm going to straighten the mudroom, I want to do it all in one shot. I don't want it to be half-finished. My thinking goes something like this: Why paint the windowsills when the mudroom needs to be straightened? Why fix the mudroom when Malayna's playroom needs to be finished? Why finish the playroom when gardens need to be planted?

Do you see a pattern here?

How do you prioritize? I'm thinking that maybe we should start from the ground floor and work our way up. I just need more hours in the day, but doesn't everyone?


daisyjanie said...

Oh my goodness, I swear sometimes I think we're living parallel lives Lisa! How funny. I went room by room and made a list of every. single. thing. that needed to be done. Looooong. We made it livable when we moved in 5 years ago - but have been stuck since. Need windows, doors and can't justify doing "this b/c of that," etc. Same mentality. It was built in the early 1900s, and as soon as I saw the front porch, I was sold. But charm wears off FAAAAAAST when you realize how much work it will be. Still I wouldn't live in a McMansion if I have a choice, would you?

beki said...

Oh boy, I feel your pain! My house isn't old, but the things that need to be done are a mile long. Just yesterday I made a list. It almost made me sick! We're thinking about moving in a few years, and I honestly don't know if we can do it all by then. We decided to try to tackle two things off the list each month and do the best we can.

APlanet4Creation said...

I'm the same way. You just have to start otherwise you'll be like us waiting 5 years later to paint the inside of the house. Our house isn't as old but still needs lots of work. Hubby wanted to put in new base boards as we painted. I said "no" because then we will never get it done. The Master bedroom is done. The Master bathroom should be done this Saturday and we are starting on the Great Room. We have been doing like 2 walls a weekend. Good luck!

lisa {milkshake} said...

Jan - that's a great idea (to go room by room and make lists). And, no, I would NOT live in a McMansion either! Luckily when we bought this house we had a week before we moved in to paint, rip out carpets, stain floors, etc. Now it's just a matter of keeping it updated.

Beki - good idea about the two things a month! I might use that.

Lili - If I could just get someone to motivate me to start, I'd be fine. I tend to think of other things I'd rather be doing. Not good!