Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Trashy To Classy - New Page!

I'm starting another page, because I think there are a few people who might find our home renovation interesting. It's not your typical renovation, but none the less exciting for us! Our goal is to complete everything with cash. We don't want to accumulate any debt. We are and have been debt free, and want to keep it that way! To follow along, click on the "Trashy to Classy" page link at the top. I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

When I first met my husband I was only seventeen, he was twenty-two and his parents had just bought a new home a few years before. The single wide mobile home they used to live in was offered to him. Of course as a young bachelor he took the opportunity to be on his own with little rent. So they split the piece of land they owned and signed over half to him. He spent about a year making the inside of the mobile home look new, and it did. New carpet, new paint, new kitchen and bath flooring. The outside, however, still looked pretty rough. For a bachelor pad, though, it was just what he needed.

Then along I came, haha. We moved pretty fast in our relationship. Within a month of dating, I had moved in. Within three months, we found out we were pregnant with our first son. A year later we were married, and then along came number two. Here we are happy as ever, but still living in the same mobile home! There is some reasoning behind it, however. 

My husband is the cheapest man alive. Sometimes it's a good thing, he can make something wonderful out of nothing. Sometimes it's just frustrating, like when trying to buy a house! After our first son started crawling, we realized quickly how small our home was. We started looking at houses and were just flabbergasted at how much we would have to pay a month! After all, once our son came along, his parents stopped charging us rent, so all we were paying was utilities, cable and internet. It just seemed outrageous to spend over one thousand dollars a month for a house, when we have one free! So then we started looking at double wide mobile homes. Not exactly what we were hoping for, but it could just be a starter home. What a rip off! We could buy a small older home for what they were charging for these double wides, and on top of that, they were built HORRIBLY!

So we gave up for a while, thinking we were just doomed to stay in our old beat up single wide forever. We looked into building our own home for a while, since my husband is kind of a "jack of all trades." We could afford it, but my husband worked full time, and wouldn't have enough time off to get it done. One day were talking about how much better our 1982 single was built than the doublewides, and an idea hit us! Why don't we just build on to our single wide! See, our mobile home has plywood floors. So even though it's almost thirty years old, there isn't one spot that is weak or squeaky. The new double wides and even the new houses put OSB, which bubbles and deforms when it gets wet. Why in the world would you use it on ANYTHING that could possibly be exposed to water, much less a floor! Think about how much water your kids spash onto the bathroom floor everytime they take a bath, all the drinks that are spilled. Unless you spend the extra money to have some kind of water tight flooring like tile, it's going to seep into the OSB and bubble up. There were many other things, that I'm not going into right now that were better on our single wide than in the new double wides.

So, on we went to find out if we could even do this, and if so, what permits were needed. We got all of that squared away and started with a renovation permit for the mobile home itself and got started! We've been working on it since December of 2009, so I'll give you a quick catchup. So here is the official before picture...

Pretty trashy, hugh? hehe. So we started by ripping off the roof. reinforcing it and putting some shingles on. Then we took off the horrible metal siding, replaced insulation, put up the OSB and then housewrapped everything. We moved the front door, replaced windows where we will need them. (rooms will later be moved around inside) and built a porch. The windows, by the way, are the awesome windows that fold in for easy cleaning! I loooove them sooo much hehe. The hubby got an awesome deal on them, and the beautiful front door on craigslist. He got all four windows for $220.00. The front door has the small windows on the side, we got that door plus another one just like it we will use as the back door for $250.00. We then painted the porch white and stained the deck and steps....

Then we put up some beautiful siding! ( I was very excited for this hehe)

And that's where we are now! I couldn't believe the difference! Our plans are to replace the insulation underneath, stucco around the bottom. (instead of skirting) Then we will start building the addition. The plans at the moment (they change so much) are to build an addition that will be our kitchen, dining room, laundry room/ pantry/ back entry, livingroom, and office. Once that is complete we will be pow wowing in the addition while we rearrange rooms in the mobile home hehe. The mobile home will be two bedrooms, and bathroom, a foyer leading to the addition and a master bedroom and a big ole master bathroom!

So keep checking back and I'll show you the fun progress as it happens! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Organizing 101

A friend of mine, who is also new to the blog world selling adorable custom tutu's, stopped by yesterday and mentioned she had referred someone to my blog for organizing tips. I was floored, except I haven't really posted any organizing tips yet hehe. I LOOOVE organizing, and over the years I think I've learned a few good things. It all began with my teeny tiny home, 966 square feet. I used to be so overwhelmed with everything in stacks and piles all over the place because nothing had a place. Cleaning was a real treat, it was mostly just moving piles and stacks from one place to another. Until one day I found the wonderful world of blogs, yay! I had no idea how much helpful organizing information was out there just waiting to be soaked into my scrambled brain and applied to my scrambled home!

The first and most important step to being organized is understanding what being organized really means. An organized home is a home where everything has a home and gets put back in that home when you're done using it. Most homes have so much stuff that there just isn't enough square footage to have a home for everything, that's where purging comes in. I know, it's hard to part with grandma's hand made quilt or Uncle Bob's favorite recliner that no one else wanted. It's hard decision making time. Stuff that serves no functional purpose is just that, stuff. Stuff clutters your home and clutters your mind. It makes you grumpy and your home impossible to clean and organize. So take a deep breath, remember how all this stuff is making your life harder and.... GET RID OF IT!

Once all of your stuff is gone and all that is left are the things that you need to make your home function, and a few things that just make you happy, it's on to the next step. Find a home for all those goodies! A home for something should make sense. Having your coffee filters in a hall closet doesn't make sense if you make coffee in the kitchen. If you drink coffee everyday, you want them not only in the kitchen, but within close reach of your coffee maker (preferably alongside the coffee hehe) Things like pens and scissors can have multiple homes because they are used in more than one place. I have a pen jar beside my computer and one by my paper controller file box (I tell you about later) in my kitchen. In each of those jars are also a pair of scissors along with by my sewing machine in my bedroom and in my silverware drawer for use in the kitchen.

While you're finding homes for everything, another thing to keep in mind is you can easily make storage where there was none before. Shelves, baskets, dollar store plastic shoe boxes, dollar store plastic baskets, cardboard boxes, tissue boxes, votive holders, and vases all make great storage and they look nice too! There are also an infinite number of DIY ideas for pretty much every storage problem imaginable! For instance, using toilet paper rolls to round up USB cables and game controller wires.Another thing to remember is that one thing can be used a million different ways. A shelf can be a shoe rack, an old votive holder can hold loose jewelry, a butter container can hold small art supplies. You can use them as is, or take time to make them pretty. . . Modge Podge and scrapbook paper can make a HUGE difference on so many different things! As I come across these projects on the web, or think of them I will share them with you! I hope this can be a place you can come to for inspiration and information to simplify your home!