Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The woMan With a Plan

I took off yesterday to get ahead on the home front and my day was super successful. I paid all of the bills, organized our coupons, and made a grocery list. Then I moved all of the furniture out of each of the rooms in the downstairs part of the house and cleaned the baseboards, vacuumed, and got on my hands and knees to Murphy's all of the floors. I cleaned all of the windows, vacuumed all of the upholstered furniture, moved everything back again. Throughout this process I cleaned and folded 7 loads of laundry (but didn't put it away, what am I superwoman?) and I made a list of all of the home projects left to complete in the house. The list is too extensive to post here, but I do have a shortened version of it which I expect to complete in the next 6 months, so that I will share. Ironically I have more on my list of things to do for this house, which is only 5 years old, than I did on the list for our first house, which was 50 years old. What is my damage? I think it's a lot harder to customize a cookie cutter home than it is to customize a home that already has so much character. And I'm working with about 500 more square feet, so maybe that's it? Who knows. Anyway, we have three sources of income over the next 3 months that is going to literally furnish my goals. We closed our MMA this week and we are rolling that money over into IRA's in order to take advantage of the tax free rollover into Roth's at the end of 2009. That said I already took money out of savings to do our IRA for 2008 so part of the MMA will go back into savings at which point we will have enough in there to pay off my car. So *technically* the money will only go into savings for about a week. I'm assuming we'll get our tax return back sometime in April, and I've had that money earmarked since last year's tax return. (No, seriously, I have.) This year's tax return is going to pretty up the outside of the house. First on the agenda is to reframe out the front door. We purchased this mat from Williams and Sonoma as a wedding gift to ourselves and put it right up against our front door, little did we know that coir mats retain water. So the wood which frames out our front door literally rotted behind the mat. Fanfreakintastic. So we have to reframe out the front door. This in the end kind of works to my advantage because when my husband installed our new beautiful brass door hardware he overshot the drill marks by an eighth of an inch on the inside of the house, so you can see splintered metal next to the washer that is supposed to cover the splintered metal up. Not so pretty. Also when we repainted our red door black (how very Mick Jagger of us), we initially used outdoor paint by Benjamin Moore that was terrible and made the door tacky and gross. I've been really wanting to just start over again with a new fiberglass door, so when we redo the framing, I'm going to have our contractor replace the door too. Two problems solved. Other items we're completing on the outside of our house with our not yet received but already spent tax return money are:

  • repairing the crack in the cement walkway
  • installing window boxes across the front four bottom windows

    {my inspiration picture for our boxes}
  • relandscaping the front of the house with low-maintenance shrubs and flowers that can handle direct sunlight
  • planting hydrangeas across the sides and back of the house
  • planting two perennial gardens in the back of the house
  • purchasing a new fire pit, particularly I have my eye on this cement fire bowl:
  • building a barbeque shelter so that we don't have to worry about losing our BBQ anymore in the ridiculous, constant wind storms
  • and last but not least replacing our rotting wood steps that lead from the back of our house to our stone patio with stairs similar to these:
The other source of income is Joe's April commission, which will finish off the kitchen with granite countertops and a subway tile backsplash (more on that later), replenish our "pay the mortgage fund" and replace all the money we took from our e-fund to pay off my car. I'd like to just fast-forward through March and get to April already. I can't wait to finish the dining room, kitchen and the exterior of the house. And if I wake up one more day to snow I really just may lose it.

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