Monday, February 1, 2010

Busy, busy bees

Even though I'm not currently employed, I am trying very hard to stay busy. And I don't just mean stalking friends and family on Facebook, but I'm talking about being productive.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to paint two of the upstairs bedrooms. When we first moved into this house, we didn't have much use for four bedrooms, but we thought we might use them anyway while waiting for additions to our family to show up. Since I would soon be working from home, I got the largest non-master bedroom room for my home office. The smallest bedroom was dubbed Joe's office. Both of those rooms are carpet-free and face the front of the house. The fourth bedroom, furthest from our room, carpeted, and right next to the upstairs bathroom, became our guest bedroom.

I have wanted to do a lot of painting and work on this house, but I have learned that with an ever-growing list of house projects to work on and limited finances, it's not always easy to plan for or carry out renovations. When we decided to rent out our carpeted room, we allowed our tenant (my friend from church, Marie) to paint the room however she wanted. We helped her with the painting and removing of the border. And, eventually, Joe replaced the light fixture with a small ceiling fan.

Joe's office was more or less unused space, and he eventually sold his desk and it became the cats' room. While it was nice having a place to store their food, litter boxes, and toys out of our living space, it really wasn't necessary that they have their own room. The did, however get a lot of use out of it when they had fleas and were in quarantine!

Finally, we made painting and renovating the two offices more of a priority. Part of this was motivated by the fact that we no longer have the carpeted room as a guest bedroom and therefore have none. Another part was motivated by the possibility of flooding in a nearby town and a desire to help temporarily house someone if that happens. A third, but not final, motivation was Joe's mom and step-dad deciding to put their house up for sale and move to San Diego. We didn't know if they would need a temporary place to stay while finding jobs in San Diego or not, so we decided we'd offer up a bedroom for their temporary placement if needed. (It turns out that they declined our offer after considering it for a brief period of time, and they are already in San Diego with their house sold.)

So a couple weeks ago, I painted the cats' room (or Joe's old office). One wall is a shade of brown while the other three walls are a tan(ish) color. The following day (Saturday) Joe and I took apart my office desk and desktop and moved them into that room. The following Friday, I painted a wall in my old office a plum color, and the next day, Joe and I painted the other three walls gray. Joe's mom and step-dad have "loaned" us their treadmill, which this past Saturday found a home in the new guest room. We are hoping to purchase a relatively inexpensive futon for that room, give both the rooms new door handles and ceiling fans, and otherwise cozy up the room for future guests.

In addition, Joe sold his beloved Toyota Celica for another sporty car (a Dodge Neon SRT4), upgrading from a 1990 to a 2004 and two doors to four doors. He may try to sell the Neon and purchase a cheap commuter car that he enjoys driving so we can put the money toward paying off debt (like my student loans), but I'm not holding my breath on that happening.

I decided to start another blog here where I can share some organizational tips, preparedness tips, and other such items people might find useful to help them be more frugal. Of course, I'll be chronicling for better or worse some of our DIY household projects such as painting and renovating to help us save money. I am proud to say that we got $20 in rebates from the paint used in our project (BEHR paint and primer combo, purchased at Home Depot) and put $50 toward our purchase on a gift card given to us at Christmas, so not only did we save money by painting ourselves, but we also saved money by waiting to get paint when it would be cheaper and maximizing our gift! :)

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