The To-Do List Gets Real

The Gingerbread Diaries

I don’t remember, now, exactly what issue we were addressing a couple weeks ago when I said a frequent refrain around here:

Well, add it to the list!

So I don’t know why I was surprised to find Todd with pen and pad before turning in for bed that night, making an actual list of things that needed to be done around the house. Of course, this isn’t anything decorative, these were just things we needed to do to make the house more easy to live in. Since I like to work in some semblance of order, when he asked for my input I suggested we take it room by room. This is what we came up with:


  • Paint lower cabinets with Kilz
  • Fit cabinets and drawers with shelf liner
  • Buy & install water filtration system
  • Buy & install garbage disposal
  • Replace floor register, add diverter

Dining Room

  • Remove doors to kitchen & back hallways
Those doors are taking up some prime real estate!

Those doors are taking up some prime real estate!

When we re-do the kitchen we’ll install a swinging door between the kitchen & dining room. In the mean time, we never close the one that’s there and since you have to either go outside or through the dining room to get to the kitchen, I doubt we ever will. If we remove the door it frees up that corner to unpack the bar. Same goes for the door into the back hallway (which used to be the back porch); it stays open all the time as a main traffic route and blocks the other corner of the dining room where the other half of the barware would go.


Nothing needed here except to unpack it!

Main Hall

  • Install programmable thermostat
  • Relocate wireless router (requires running cable under house)
  • Replace front door & reorient opening direction
Ironically, the door is standing in the way of my pretty hallway plans.

Ironically, the door is standing in the way of my pretty hallway plans.

Again, the way the door opens blocks me from using the corner towards the living room. I’d like to put our antique desk in that corner but not if it’s going to get banged into by the front door. But there’s plenty of room on the opposite side of the door and the doorway into the library is too close to the exterior wall to have that space be usable anyway.

Living Room

Nothing needed here except to settle in.

The Abyss

  • Fix ceiling fan
  • Fix weird outlet on the south wall.

I’m grateful to have an outlet on each wall of my studio but it never fails that the one I depend on (aka the one closest to my computer) is a bit wiggly.

Back Hall

  • Clean wall where water damage occured
  • Re drywall/sheet rock wall next to bathroom
  • Add draft dodger or something to back door to prevent loss of climate control (floor is beyond not level back here)

The back hallway–what used to be back porch–is probably the worst area of the house. Extensive water-damage semi-concealed behind shelves, this are is prime territory for a mudroom-style makeover, but first it needs some triage. The floor was replaced as part of the 203k renovation, but there’s still some work to do.

Downstairs Bath

This is okay for now, but it’s the second item on the rooms to fully renovate list. (The first room on that list is the kitchen.)

Back Porch

  • Install outlet or two

Utility Room

  • Install outlet for chest freezer.

Technically, we have an outlet for the freezer, it just puts it on the same wall as the washer and drier and we want it on the other wall for a variety of reasons. Mainly it’ll prepare the room for the eventual moving-in of the water heater and fridge when we redo the kitchen, but that’s farther down the road.

Upstairs Bath

  • Get sink taps working
  • Install shower head (stationary or handheld, I don’t care which)

Right now we’re doing all our showering downstairs, which means I cart my clothes for the day down each morning and use The Abyss as my dressing room to avoid multiple trips up and down stairs first thing in the morning. While it works for now, I’d really like to not have to use that cramped cave of a bathroom or have clothes and makeup and toiletries strewn among 2 floors.

Guest Room

  • Install window coverings (this is the only room without blinds and it gets really warm during the day)
  • Fix ceiling fan

Master Bedroom

  • Flip door.

I know, me and the doors. While I understand that closing off rooms was for practical reasons as well as privacy (you can save money by only heating one area or another, a definite advantage over open plans), I have serious issues with closed doors and only sleep with a closed bedroom door if there’s a guest in the house. So when the most logical place for the bed means that the door opens alongside it–along my side of it–when it could just as easily have opened the other way alongside the door the adjoins the main and guest bedrooms, well, yeah, I want it flipped!

Of course, since the frame will need a little man-handling to make that happen, we’ll most likely be sans door for a while. I’m cool with that since it solves the main problem: the door creating this little half-wall on my side of the bed that makes me think someone’s going to jump out from behind it at night. I think there are something like 20 doors downstairs (not including the kitchen cabinets but counting the coal/wood doors next to most of the fireplaces) and another dozen up. That’s a lot of doors to deal with.

Todd’s Office

  • Install additional outlet(s)
  • Seal up some open spots in his closet

Upstairs Hallway

  • Install programmable thermostat
  • Install second wireless router, direct-linked from downstairs
With the second router right under the thermostat we should be able to get a decent signal in the 3 upstairs rooms. I'm envisioning a repurposed pie safe or similar to hold linens, and the router could hide in there, eventually.

With the second router right under the thermostat we should be able to get a decent signal in the 3 upstairs rooms. I’m envisioning a repurposed pie safe or similar to hold linens, and the router could hide in there, eventually.

We have quite a bit of signal interference thanks to the thick walls (mind you, they made up for it with thin outer walls…) so a hardwired set of routers seemed the best option to ensure full access upstairs and down.

And that’s “it” for now.  A bit of electrical work, some door issues to be resolved, but the only major must-do is the downstairs hall wall. That thing is contributing quite a bit to the musty smell back there and just can’t be good to keep around in general. Having replaced the roof it’s no longer getting worse every time it rains (seriously, how they managed to ignore it all those years is beyond me) but it doesn’t mean it’s miraculously getting better on it’s own, either.

But hey, now that we have a list, we can start to check things off it!

3 thoughts on “The To-Do List Gets Real

  1. I LOVE to-do lists! Well, lists of any kind, really. It just feels so good to get stuff checked off. Can’t wait to see what you do in the kitchen — any inspiration posts to come?

    1. Oh, definitely! I’ve been collecting ideas for the kitchen (and a few other rooms in the house) for months. There will definitely be some eye-candy posts to come 🙂

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