Thursday, January 8, 2015

The House Project List for 2015

This is a very good idea.

Assignment #2 of The January Cure by Apartment Therapy is to make a list of ALL the things you want to get done round and about the house this year.

I've already identified a few large projects I want to accomplish this year. (Those are in different colours below.) This list, however, is supposed to more comprehensive and more detailed. I debated about whether to include things to clean: but I decided I would just because that makes the list more useful to me. I intend to tackle the cleaning chores as we "Cure" each area they belong in.

I don't expect you to read this. Not all the way through. Heavens. It is a great for me, though, 'cause it's all here and won't overwhelm me the way a paper list would.

The timeline for this is loose, though I suppose it should be for the year. I just completed the bulk of my "Summer 2013 To Do List" with the kitchen refresh--so a year and a half sounds about right. I've transferred the left over items from that list to this one, so this one now officially replaces it.


I want to plant flowering perennials that will survive zone 3. For the front, I have small flowering shrubs in mind. That may be too ambitious. We have a few hostas growing. That may be all we can do besides some cedar which I may or may not want. (Ferns are too water intensive.)

I just want a few small shrubs to hide the ugly foundation.

For the sunny back yard, I just want a lovely "tapestry" type hedge along the fence. I may delay these plans for the summer of 2016, however, as I really want to get the debt paid down rather than spending the money on plants.

Front Entryway:

From the stairs, looking back towards the front door.

  • Fix the light fixture. I just replaced the lightbulbs and it isn't working. I think either the wires inside the fixture are loose (it's been acting up ever since I took it down to spray paint it) or the wires connecting it to the junction box are loose. I need a tool to figure out which it is. I replaced the fixture entirely, but wasn't sure how I liked it, so I never posted it. I think I should.

  • Wash the wall  Done, not posted.

  • Paint the wall. (Part of the ORC challenge which starts April 2nd.) Done, not posted.

Back Hallway:


I taped out the dimensions of a mirror we have. Then I realised I had to do something about the wall colour first!

  • New light fixture? (Problem is the same one as above, only I didn't spray paint a thing! done, not yet installed. 

  • Sand stairs done
  • Stain stair treads a "medium brown?" painted instead
  • Paint risers white done
  • Find, buy and install runner? no.
  • Sand handrail. done
  • Stain handrail (black/ebony?) stained badly. Needs to be redone.
  • Put up mirrors? no.
  • Sew new curtains for window 
  • Make or buy and install screen for window. (summer breezes!)

Coat closet:

  • Install a hook for the step ladder

Living Room:

  • Put another coat of wax on the coffee table Done. Project Day.
  • Declutter dvds, done, not posted.
  • Wash slipcover Done in April. Put it back on in August. Housekeeping Challenge Day 7: Not the End
  • Mend the cover sheet on the slipcover. Done.
  • repot cacti with better soil mix. Done. (It died anyway.)

Dining Room/Home office:

  • Hem curtains (Hung the pole higher.)
  • Edit bookshelves. Done. Took down shelves over the desk, a bookcase and re-stocked and re-styled the Expedit. Styling the Bookshelves.
  • Declutter papers, files, office drawers, command centre.

  • I completely overhauled the dining room/Home Office during 2015. The end result (and a conversation about the process) is in this post from April 2016.


Chris made me this lovely pull out shelf where the old wooden cutting board used to be. It fell apart when I removed it last summer to paint the cabinets. It's a great place to put the cookbook when I'm cooking--but it needs some protection!

  • Clean oven  Done. Scenes from the Kitchen Cure
  • Clean fridge Done. Scenes from the Kitchen Cure
  • Touch up cabinets
  • Paint and finish pull-out board. Done.
  • purchase glass door to the back door landing (again, one of those things I may put off until the debt is paid off.)
  • Put up hook for pendant light cord by plug in. 

Downstairs Bathroom 

  • Clean grout (replace?)
  • replace caulking around tub done.
  • repaint
  • make hole for fan bigger or buy a better fan. Chris made a bigger hole. We still have moisture problems.
  • figure out why the toilet isn't flushing properly and fix it.
  • Prime ceiling boards with shellac based primer and repaint. Chris did this for me: knots are still bleeding through.

Upstairs bathroom:

  • Wash walls done.
  • Remove wire shelving? done.
  • Remove clog in toilet plumbing We bought a new toilet! 


Basement Laundry Room/Pantry area:


1. Declutter and organize the following areas:

  • Christmas and Holiday items. (Under the basement stairs, china cabinet, basement shelves.) I want to get this done this month. I am committing to spending at least 15 minutes a day on it--except for days when I work more than six hours. The Christmas Decorations are done. Christmas Decorations Tidied.
  • Basement storage and recyclable area.

2. Sell/Donate the boxes of books in the garage. Mostly done, not posted.

3. Begin the process to wire the house properly.

Whew. I was wrong. It is overwhelming--no matter where I write it down!


Marian said...

That is indeed a long list! It reminds me that I was planning on making a list too, of all the things I want to accomplish in our house in 2015.

You probably already have your own way of handling (mentally) the overwhelming feeling that comes from looking at a lengthy list and thinking "where to begin..." There's the whole "bird by bird", which was something Rita blogged about, I believe? And how to write a novel: word by word.... But I always think of what my Dutch mother told me about projects (which, when I was growing up, was usually always needlework): "one thread at a time..." a saying which still nearly always brings me some calmness in the face of a daunting task.

I love your stairs, by the way :)

Alana in Canada said...

One thread at a time--lovely. I use the "Eating the Elephant" metaphor. One bite at a time. I also do things like set a timer for 15 minutes and just focus on one thing. That helps.

I am glad you like my stairs!

MMarie said...

I love your list Alana. I made mine too, extensive, but then as I read your list I thought of several things I need to add to mine!!

I recently came across Peter Walsh's website and found his Jan 2013 and Jan 2014 31 Days Decluttering Challenge. He has short videos with 10 minute tasks...he had one on decluttering magazines. His videos got me on a roll a week before the January Cure began. Good stuff!

Rita (the usual one, just signing in differently) said...

I know all those things likely need doing, but just wanted to say: I love your house. So cozy and sweet. :-)

Alana in Canada said...

MMarie--I have seen some of those--very inspiring, indeed. I'll look for the one on magazines.

Rita--thank you so much! I just spent the entire day cleaning the kitchen (and I'm not done yet) so that is really , really nice to hear. Hope you are doing well.

Unknown said...

Hi Alana,

While procrastinating on writing report cards and IEPs, I came across a link for your cute kitchen on another site, highlighting 'before and afters'. It intrigued me as I have a very similar kitchen in a house I just moved into a year ago.

When I came to your site I realized that you, too, were a Canadian and obviously living in a cold part of the country. Although I've moved to our banana belt in Southern Ontario, I grew up in Winterpeg (lol). In fact, all my family still lives there which includes my twin who also owns a home very similar to yours/ours.

What others would despair over, the small size, lack of storage, etc., I've fallen in love with! Being in my late 50s, my kids are grown and out of the house and I was living in something WAY too big. It didn't even resemble a home. I LOVE my little place!

My biggest issues to be tackled are the bathroom (only one on the main floor) and of course, the kitchen. I have only one wall with space in the kitchen that is punctuated by both the 'tiny' oven and the kitchen sink. the total length of counter is about the same of yours on the sink side. Ugh. To my horror on Dec. 24th, I discovered my roasting pan was too large to even fit in the oven!!

Anyway, this year I plan to put some of my personal touches in place. I'm not much of a cook so the kitchen hasn't been much of an issue until now with the turkey issue and finding out the oven would only hold tiny cookie sheets. I DO bake a lot at Christmas for my friends as they beg for my biscotti.

I liked your kitchen since you've kept the vintage look to it while updating it and making it look fresh! I've signed up to follow you since I love your words and your way with décor!

Now, I guess I'd best get to my own work.


Alana in Canada said...

Oh Jan, how wonderful to read you comment! Thank you so much. That kitchen of yours does sound very tiny--especially that oven. (PS I lived in various towns along the 401 in my 20s and 30s (starting in Guelph and ending up in Sarnia a long time ago.)

Sarah said...

I take back my comment on your last post about loving your kitchen...

Mainly to say I love your entire house! It looks so cute and cozy. :)

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