We just moved from New York to Georgia and I’m feeling a bit unpracticed since I haven’t done a big move in over 7 years. I used to be a serial mover, moving every 1 to 3 years to different states, different cities. We really needed a change and winter is good time of year to be able to appreciate the move from a cold state to a warm state.
I’m hoping that by having eliminated my nasty long NYC commute, I will have freed up more time to spend on the blog. While I’m searching for a new day job down here, I’ve got a little extra time to wriggle my fingers and creatively conspire. :0} Since we are in need of a few things that I’d rather not source out or buy, I’m going to attempt to tackle the DIY home projects myself, including some that require woodworking.
I’m lucky enough to be moving into a house with quite a bit more space than the old one. This house is a rental so we want to be extra careful about how much money we put into it and are also limited a bit by what we can alter- holes in the walls, etc. We don’t want to have to figure out a good way to demolish a wall and then have to put it back without raising awareness. :] We also don’t really know how long we will be here. Our best guess is that it will be 2-3 years before we purchase a home, then lookout! It’s going to be an all out mad DIY affair, I suspect.
There are six spaces that will need a bit of re-doing either as organization projects, and/or will need things built for the space.
My 6 DIY Project Spaces
1. Craft Room– Turn a spare bedroom into a craft room.
Oh what luck, we have a spare bedroom now, which means I get to have a craft room! I’ve always wanted one. It’s hard to imagine being able to have all my craft-related supplies together in one room. I have so many random materials, so it will be a challenge figuring out how to categorize and organize everything so that things are easy to find and in places that help me work efficiently.
This room also has to double as an office for me and complicating matters further, I need to set up the space so that I have the right kind of lighting and table and backdrop setup so that I can get good photos of all of my process shots. At the old place, the only space we had for working on craft projects was our deck. That meant I could only work on projects in good weather and at the right time of day, otherwise I couldn’t get clear photos of my process so you can actually see what I’m doing. Now, no excuses, the photos better be good.
2. Mudroom Create a mudroom set up in the large foyer.
How is it possible this house doesn’t have a coat closet? It was built in the 70’s. Surely people wore coats in the 70’s; I know I did. Where did they keep them? Okay, so we don’t live in the north anymore and don’t have as much of a need for bulky items, but I did live in the south for nearly half my adult life so I know it can still get cold and it does rain. At the very least we will need a place for coats, light scarves, light gloves, hats, umbrellas and water resistant boots. I’d also like something to hold junk like keys, binoculars, and cat harnesses (yep, Lucy’s a walking cat). If you ask me, a large foyer is just a waste of space, but giving it mudroom functionality gives it a reason to take up space.
3. Garage Creating an organized workshop space.
My husband does some of the woodworking projects, and I’ll be doing more of that myself. In our old place, we didn’t have a place to keep power tools. We had a power tool of some sort in each closet and would have to drag them outside to the deck every time we built something. With a semi=insulated two car garage that has a space carved out that is perfect for woodworking. So we will be able to store our tools permanently and have the space to make things without having to check the weather forecast hourly. But man, this space is going to need major organizing.
4. Laundry Room Fit appropriately to serve as a functional laundry space and utilize for my cement projects.
It feels like a luxury to have a laundry room. This one isn’t particularly luxurious since it doesn’t seem insulated and smells like it’s got sizeable moisture issues. On top of that, one of the previous occupants must have had an older cat with bladder issues. There’s a cat door in the door that opens the laundry room and I suspect this is where the littler box had been kept. I’m guessing by the smell in there, the kitty didn’t always make it to the litter box. No judgment here, we are cat lovers and try to be fastidious about our litter boxes to avoid those issues. We did have a cat that lived to be 20 years old and accidents can occur when they are ill, we get it. None-the-less, it’s going to be a task trying to eliminate the smell and we would like our cats to use the same space for litter needs, and right now I think they would be too offended to use it.
Another major reason this space will be a priority is because it has a utility sink. Many of my projects are concrete (if you missed them you can see some of them here, here and here). I never dispose of concrete down a sink drain, but I do need quick access to water. The floor in the laundry room is a rather unfinished looking concrete and I think will be durable for concrete makings.
5. Loft Area Cat play space.
Okay, so this one may not be a priority, but it’s such a unique space, and what else would we use it for? You probably can’t tell from the photos, but there’s only about 2 feet of space between the railing and bookcases. It’s carpeted and the cats think that’s just fantastic. We would like to give them some sort of built in jungle gym up there. We think Lucy is part monkey and part canine. She’s a spunky cat with a lot of energy and needs a good outlet.
6. Yard Sunny spot for succulents, herbs and a fire pit or bowl.
I haven’t had much of a chance yet to explore its possibilities. The backyard is completely over grown with Kudzu. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a rather un-liked invasive weed that grows like crazy and smothers out other plants nearby. The yard is going to be a challenge because we don’t want to spend our own money or even time on it, but it’s got a lot of potential. And since I’m an outdoor lover, I really would like to make it a nice space to be in.
I also will need a sunny place where my succulents can thrive. With all the planter projects I do, it’s much more economical if I can propagate my own plants to use in the new planters I make. Sharing the sunny space will be some sort of small herb garden. Both our front and back yard seem to be tree covered. It’s hard to say now, with trees bare of leaves and the sun at a different angle than it will be in warmer months, just where that sunny spot will be.
We will have to see if we can do a fire pit, again we are restricted because we rent. If I’m really feeling like a fire pit will add to a nice outdoor atmosphere, then I may just opt to make a fire bowl instead.
Like most people, we are on a budget and I’m conflicted because I want to do things as budget friendly as possible. I really can’t stand outsourcing something I *think* I can do myself, or buying something that I *think* I can make myself. But I’m also going to be time constrained with a full-time job so it’s going to be important to find the right compromise between time, money and ability.
It’s a pretty big list of DIY spaces I need to tackle and I may not be able to do everything I want. Therefore my priorities and needs may shift as I move forward. So where do I start? The craft room of course!
Stay tuned for my craft room posts on the planning, process and forward progress and the after shots!