Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who knew remodeling one room would affect all the others?

Before you remodel, you have to get ready to remodel. During the summer we did the shopping part - shopping for contractors, appliances, cabinets, floor coverings, light fixtures, countertops, and even paint. Now the big items are about to be delivered, and we've had to make room for them. We started with the garage.

Our garage was a mess. (Parts of it are still a mess, but that's neither here nor there.) We aren't tidy-garage-type-people. We tell our kids we're going to stay in this house until we die of old age because to sell it, we'd have to empty the garage. We haven't parked a car inside the garage in at least three years - and that was only after an incomprehensible fit of tidying which we got over before we had room for the second car.

Sadly, with the coming remodel, we have to make room not only for a refrigerator, a range, a dishwasher, a sink, and a garbage disposer; we also have to make room for a terrifying number of pre-made cabinets, along with their attendant doors and trim pieces. We started at the beginning of August by donating some furniture to a rummage sale to benefit a family in our town. We stalled after that, but three weeks ago my husband got inspired by the calendar. After days of sorting and lifting and shifting and moving, countless trips to the curb with junk, plus more trips to Goodwill with usable junk, he has made space for most (we hope) of what will start being delivered tomorrow. So that's good.

Inside, I began work on the problems of emptying the kitchen and creating a cookable space somewhere else. The makeshift kitchen will be in our rec room downstairs. In order to achieve that, I had to reclaim Youngest Daughter's craft table, which meant I had to sort through the craft cabinets to make space for the supplies she keeps on her craft table. After days of sorting and discarding, and some necessary furniture rearranging, it's done. I've got a table to put my hot plate, coffee pot, and toaster oven on.

To cook, of course, we'll need water. We could use the bathrooms, but none of them has a sink that will easily admit a pot to be filled and my back isn't crazy about the idea of using a bathtub for routine cooking chores, so my husband moved a utility sink from the garage into the laundry room. (Of course, I had to make room in the laundry room for the see how this goes, right?)

Now, to empty the kitchen. First problem - get that big shelving unit out of the breakfast room. (Why it was there is a whole 'nother discussion, and you really don't want to know anyway.) The only place the shelf will fit is in the family room, and then only if we move YD's computer station to her bedroom. This means we have to move the student desk out of her bedroom, which requires days of emptying and sorting and (as usual) throwing stuff away. Last weekend we got the old desk out and the new desk in, and by yesterday we had the books back on the shelves and the pictures back on the walls in her room.

Also yesterday I got the shelving unit emptied, moved, and refilled in the family room. The breakfast room suddenly looks huge, which is a comfort. Now all I have to do is put the contents of the kitchen into boxes and move them to my husband's office to be stored until the kitchen is done. To make room in his office, we had to move the weight bench to the deck. To make room for the weight bench, we finally got rid of the last bulky Playskool toys. They'd been outside forever, so I had to scrub them first - a process which involved several close encounters with wildlife of the black-widow-spider variety. But it's done, the toys have been donated, and the weight bench is sitting under the macadamia tree.

I bought ten packing boxes at Staples, having told my husband with breezy (and misplaced) confidence, that I thought thirty would do it in the end. Assembled the first box, opened the first cabinet, filled the box with the contents of the first shelf (after throwing a bunch of stuff away), and thought, Oh, shit.

So. If I hadn't already spent so much money on appliances and cabinets, I'd be rethinking my position on remodeling. Seriously.

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