Avalon Building and Blogging

Can I really care this much about flooring and faucets? Apparently, I can.

“Still alive!” she mumbled weakly…

Still here! I know now why bloggers seem to disappear as soon as they close. There is simply so much to do, and the house is such a wreck, there’s really no point in taking pictures. I’ve taken some, and will post below.

The see-saw of emotions has abated somewhat, but I am still a bit out of sorts here. It’s starting to feel more comfortable, and it makes sense to pull into the driveway at the end of the day, but I still can’t quite relax yet. Part of that is because the house is such a bloody mess, with boxes everywhere and cabinets with just one frying pan in it because I can’t commit yet, and piles of clothes stacked all over the kids’ rooms. Part of that is that I still don’t know how much everything will cost yet! I knew how much our electric bill would be each month in the summer when we had a 1900-sq.-ft. house, but we are in a house with double that space, and two units, and you can’t convince me (no matter how energy star this place is) that my bill will be the same! Talk to me in a month–I’ll either be better, or we’ll all just be hanging out naked, and the thermostat will be set at 80.

I came across a blog that suggested tips for making a new house feel like a home, even amidst all the chaos of the move. They suggested having a “happy space”, one place that is clean and organized. It can be a book shelf, or a corner, or a closet. Just something that you can look at when you can’t take it any more, and embrace that small amount of order. For me, it’s my morning room table. (Picture below) My master closet is pretty tidy, too, at least for the time being.

I’ve now been in the house long enough to uncover some quirks. Here are the quirks and/or tips:

  • The wire shelving sucks. Really, it sucks. In the pantry, everything falls over and is all wobbly. Small things, like taco seasonings, just fall right through. We got some lining “paper” at Lowes and just cut it to fit. (Picture below)
  • If you haven’t arranged for blinds to be installed before you move in, suck up the expense, and buy those stick-on paper blinds. Worth every penny. We’ve got them in the bathrooms, the boys’ rooms and three of our four bedroom windows. I would be bananas if we didn’t have those covered. Plus, this saves me some time before I have to shell out any money for “real” blinds.
  • Buy towel racks before you move. Amazon sells the exact same Moen fixtures as are in my house, and Ryan only puts in the minimum amount, and in weird places.
  • If you are currently in the rainiest summer you have ever experienced, listen to your gut and TURN THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM OFF! Don’t leave it on its two time a day schedule as left by Ryan. Otherwise you will have a swampy backyard, a moat in your front yard, and a yard that weeps water all bloody day. Seriously. Our lawn literally bubbles water up. We’ve either built on a hot spring, or it will be weeks before our yard dries out. I am so desperately hoping we haven’t killed it off all together.
  • If you are living on a brand-new street, write down the next nearest house that’s been there for a while. The mail, all delivery services, work men–none of them will figure out how to get to your house, and GPS isn’t gonna help. Give them an “old” address, and tell them how to get to your house from there. The newspaper people so far have been the worst. Yes, we still get paper newspapers.

I think that’s it for now. Will post more when I can!

These are the paper blinds. They come with clips to hold them up if you want. The ones in the kids' rooms are cream, but we took the black-out ones for our room.

These are the paper blinds. They come with clips to hold them up if you want. The ones in the kids’ rooms are cream, but we took the black-out ones for our room.

The morning room. Love the light fixture. Sorry it's a little dark in the picture.

The morning room. Love the light fixture. Sorry it’s a little dark in the picture.

Messy pantry. Hate the wire shelves. But I love the space.

Messy pantry. Hate the wire shelves. But I love the space.

This is the other room that brings me peace: the uncluttered living room.

This is the other room that brings me peace: the uncluttered living room.

This is the shelf liner. It comes in 12" and 20" widths; just cut it to fit. It's a lifesaver for the pantry.

This is the shelf liner. It comes in 12″ and 20″ widths; just cut it to fit. It’s a lifesaver for the pantry.

The cat is finally making himself at home.

The cat is finally making himself at home.

We got washable stair treads for the back stairs to help out our older dog. They're great.

We got washable stair treads for the back stairs to help out our older dog. They’re great.

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11 comments on ““Still alive!” she mumbled weakly…

  1. joybucket
    July 15, 2013

    I love your light fixture. Where did you get it? Sorry if you’ve covered that in an earlier post. Thanks for the advice.

  2. Brandon
    July 15, 2013

    How much were the temporary blinds? Is it something where they’re cheap enough to get them while I figure out what kind of blinds I’ll need? Or are these for a longer period than a few weeks when you first move in?

    Thanks!

    • Brandon
      July 15, 2013

      PS – I love all the trees you can see out your windows!

    • newbietobuilding!
      July 15, 2013

      They were about $9 for a pack of three, two white and one black-out. They have a peel and stick top, and we were able to stick them on the inside of the window casing rather than on the woodwork. You just trim them with scissors to the width of the window. They seem pretty opaque. I imagine I will end up having them in my windows for a month or two, until I can choke up the money for real blinds. They seem pretty durable thus far.

  3. Kim
    July 15, 2013

    Im glad you discovered the shelf liner. that waas the first thing I bought. DEFINITE lifesaver!

  4. Melissa R
    July 15, 2013

    Try the peel and stick tiles from Lowe’s or HD on your wire shelves. It will keep stuff from sliding through or get some cheap baskets at the dollar store. The boxes used for index cards are great for taco seasoning and ranch packets. I am glad you are settling in. But I am dying to know what your electric bill will be, I don’t want to be sitting in my house naked sweating because I’m afraid of my electric bill(having a house once that our bill was $700 a month)

  5. S and P
    July 16, 2013

    Thanks for the suggestions…you covered some very good (not so obvious) things. And your house doesn’t look messy at all, at least not in the pictures you posted. Love your living room…..and the bay window is gorgeous. So you are doing a great job!!! 🙂

  6. Christine
    July 16, 2013

    We lived with the wire rack pantry for several years and the best liner that worked for us was Plast O Mat. I think I originally bought it at Lowe’s or Home Depot but its available anywhere. Saved my sanity for sure! I also used the same liner in my closet because my heels kept falling through the wire shoe rack in our bedroom closet 🙂 I’m not sure what mastermind thought wire shelving was a good solution for a shoe rack!

  7. Eric and Karrie
    July 16, 2013

    Your home looks so beautiful. I’m still so jealous of your morning room and kitchen. I have a feeling not getting this option will be a regret I will have for some time to come. Also, great tips. I think because a lot of people do get so bogged down with getting settled in, they don’t write about these experiences and those nuggets are never shared. So thank you.

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2013 by in June 2013 and tagged , , , , , .
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