Fall 2013 To-Do

I’m not sure why, but every time autumn rolls around, I find myself turning an eye to house projects, inside and out. Maybe because I know that the impending snow means that I’ll be hunkering down (and will prefer snuggling up with all the boys in the house vs. fixing it up). Maybe because I get sluggish with the heat during the summer. Eh, whatever the reason, I’m hoping we get a couple of rain-free days at some point to put my energy into a few (or thousand) things I’ve been neglecting.

Mind you, I truly love our house. Sure, there are annoyances (hey, just like a relationship! Whaddya know??), but the more that I see what’s out there, the more I appreciate certain aspects of ours. So, this “to-do” list doesn’t take into account all the work we have whittled away at over the 4+ years of living here. I also don’t foresee getting it all done during the fall, but it’s good to do a seasonal analysis of where you are and where you’d like to go. The *asterisked* stuff is the most dire. Update: Oh, and some of the outdoor pictures show that we already got a couple of projects out of the way. Hence why those flowers are strewn on the front lawn and you see the bottles of cleaning stuff. 😉 Oh, and a couple of “before-and-afters.”



After! And wet.

Ha ha, proof! A pile o’ bricks. I found a use for a few of them but never found enough projects to recycle them. So, to the street they go. (A few have been picked up, but I think my father-in-law will take the rest. Score!)

I totally neglected the deck (we didn’t use it this year except for occasional grilling, which we brought inside; maybe if I’d gotten a heavy duty gate for the baby to hang out there…) and our front porch (which has some issues all its own; possible repair of bowing wood pieces? The whole thing was slapped together by a previous owner). Heck, I planted some planters with veggie and herb seeds that really did…um…like…nothing. SO, it’s time to dump the dirt and FOR ONCE clean the garden tools properly. What a fun but necessary task, eh, kids?

Once I’ve picked up and stored the stuff off of both the porch and deck, I’d like to spray them down with a non-toxic cleaner I bought awhile back. (Done!)

Garden-wise, Dave already pulled the veggie gardens (my hero!) and we, together, pulled the man-eating tomato plants, so I’m ready to plant some mums. I also hope to divide this hosta which triples in size every year — making the house look lopsided in the process. We’ve also gotta do some digging in the front-most part of our lawn to even it out and amend the dirt, which has taken to growing phallic-looking mushrooms (which I’m pretty sure are inedible; not testing that for SO many reasons).

We’ve got some weeds floating around, and our monster of a driveway (uneven, in desperate need of a complete and utter facelift) is growing some moss. Y’know. Just for fun. So, I’d like to attack it with a stiff bristle brush and whatever safe, eco DIY method will help get rid of the stuff. While we’re at it, a day of attacking the garage’s INSANE mess would benefit us all!

If we happen to get a run of nice days (I’m pretty sure I’ve already blown it, but we were quite busy during our recent stretch of gorgeous weather), I’d like to attack the porch, deck, basement windows, and at least the front of the garage with a fresh coat of paint. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

And, while we’re at it, I’ve finally decided simply to do away with the old bricks we’ve got floating around that I can’t find any truly acceptable means to use. So, they’ll go to the curb with a “free” sign (and probably post it on Craigslist). Free bricks, folks! Some are even broken! Don’t speed rushing over to pick them up, I know they sound like a dream come true.

Inside – Downstairs

Living Room

The biggest thing in this room is the fact that Hadley plays with…eh…maybe 1/6 of his toys, if that. So, it’s time for another toy switcheroo (yaaaaayyyy!!!). I’m sure we’ll have to have a toy purge come Christmas, but the cool thing about switching them out is that it’s like buying all new toys every few months. The kid doesn’t know the difference. Oh, and this probably goes for his room, too.

I’d also like to finally finish up my fall decorating in here, but some of that can actually overlap into Christmas. Yet another reason not to do red and green every year. 😉

Dining Room

This could easily be a winter project, but I NEED to paint these walls. I’m by FAR officially over the crimsony cranberry-ish red. It sucks the room into itself…seriously. The trim also needs a fresh coat of white. I’m also “over” the chandy, but Dave and I put it in together and it’s not worth trying to change right now.


While I’m at it with the white trim in the dining room, I still need to finish half of the trim here. The previous owners used a flat paint, which isn’t really helpful with all the dirt and grease that tends to build up in a kitchen. We’ve also gotta clean and re-organize the shelves, and the open shelving needs a bit of a shift (we’ve got a little bowing goin’ on from the weight). Otherwise, this is easily one of my favorite places in the joint, cluttery goodness and all.

Front Room

See the front room through the living room?

It’s not a huge deal, but we’ve got some organizing to do out here (I need to find a permanent spot for the sewing machine and all its accoutrements, among other things), not to mention needing some better privacy curtains or blinds.


Dude. I haven’t switched the coats to summer yet…meaning, I don’t think I need to switch anything back. I do, however, need to purge tons of coats (and we luckily have numerous charities in the area that take them for families that can’t afford cold weather jackets) between this closet and a tote or two in the basement, so there’s some organizing in our future. (I’ll show you “before” pics when I get around to that project.)


Ditto. 😉 We’ve done a good job of getting rid of any and all of our boxes and bags full of possible garage sale stuff (we didn’t have our annual one this summer) thanks to Goodwill, but there’s still a ton of our own storage containers that need to be sifted through, reorganized, and then filed away using better basement-organizing methods. Yet another good ol’ time in the old “dorky family” household.

Inside – Upstairs


We’re coming down to the home stretch here, with things like hanging a toilet paper holder and towel hooks (as you can tell by the towel hanging over the tub), putting up open shelves, and accessorizing yet to do (including taking everything out of the open built-ins, of course). We still have to figure out what to do with the damaged, icky surround in the tub, but for now we’re happy with the changes we’ve made.

Hadley’s Room (Nursery?! Is it still a nursery if he’s a toddler? Gulp. Please say ‘yes’!)

It’s not always clean and perfect, but it’s Hadley through-and-through…so, needless to say, it’s wonderful just as it is, just like the little man, himself.


Yes, yes, more organization. We’re starting to see a trend, I know. HOWEVER, if I could tear up the carpet and clean the floors, and throw on a new coat of paint (the current was an okay first choice, but I now think pink whenever I see it; I’d like a greiger color), I’d SO do it. Tough with all the crap and kitties to contend with. (Oops, forgot to take a pic. You’ve seen it in other posts (search “office” at the top of the blog if ya want), but I’m sure I’ll include some when we tackle this.)

Our Room (Laughable calling it a “Master Room” without a “master bath” or grandiose…anything)

Just for fun, I’m hoping to paint our side tables, and finally figure out some art (and maybe an extra light for my side of the bed). Otherwise, if the bed is made, I’m ahead for the day, so let’s not push it. Mmmmm’kay?

– Empty/clean planters and gardening tools*
Store outdoor furniture and cover grill* (For the most part! Have a chair hanging out on the front porch…not sure why. I like it. Does that work?)
Spray/clean deck, porch and house* (Did it this weekend!)
– Drain and store garden hose*
Plant mums and divide/transfer hosta*
– Dig front lawn to even (and get rid of penile mushrooms…seriously, weird-lookin’ things)
Bricks. Bricks. More bricks. (Come ‘n get ’em! They’re at the curb. Freebie time!)
– Paint deck & porch
– Scrape and paint the garage
– Take down the weird wooden thing hanging out near the garage (previous owners had a swing, we’re guessing)*
– Clean, organize and donate unwanted stuff from the garage* (started it this weekend)

Living Room:

– The Great Toy Switch*
– Fall decorating* (What? Decorating is pretty dire…isn’t it?)

Dining Room:
– Paint walls (greige) and trim (white)

– Paint cabinets and rest of trim (white)
– Clean open shelving/reorganize*
– Reorganize cabinets/storage*

Front Room:
– Buy and put up blinds or curtains*

– Go through coats (and those in the basement) & reorganize*

– Organize, organize, organize!*

– Finish hanging “stuff”*
– Accessorize*
– Figure out the tub surround (ugh)

Hadley’s Room:
– “Practically Perfect in Every Way” (no, not really, but it’s fine)

– Organize* (constant battle, I tell ya)
– Paint walls
– Rip up carpet/clean floor

Our Room:
– Paint side tables
– Figure out art!!!

What about you guys? Any big projects you need to work on this fall (or that you’re building up to)?

2 thoughts on “Fall 2013 To-Do”

  1. I love your house! I remember when my friend used to live there and I would visit; it's so cozy and seems to get good sunlight! No big projects here, though I've been trying to get my husband to pain our living room/dining room for the last year and a half. I hate painting so it won't be me 🙂

  2. LOL Cool! And thanks! It's definitely cozy, and there are parts that we LOVE about it. (Although we do get a varied amount of sun — it's a bear to figure out how to plant around the foundation when one side gets FULL sun and the other…um…low, if we're lucky.) Could you HELP your hubby paint? It might be less daunting for him if you at least roll or something. I'm not sure many people love painting. 😉

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