It’s that time a year, where everyone is scrambling around like “Looney Tunes” trying to get everything done before the holiday starts.
And I can’t say I’m any different. Just a week ago, I thought I had all the time in the world, all I had to do was clean the house, wrap some presents, buy some food and a Christmas tree, and decorate a little and I would be done. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I’ve ended up with, not enough time, before Christmas.
It might have something to do with doing errands for everyone else BUT me! Let me explain;
It’s coming down to the wire at my step-mums new place, the people that are doing the renovation should be more or less done. So much so, that we have had to go down several times this last week, just to keep an eye out and point out the things that are missing or that we are not happy with. For some reason, ever time we are there, 2-3 hours goes real quickly.
While hanging around the new place, I was told that I had promised that I would fix up the new front door with some teak oil! I can’t quite remember that, but I’m sure it must be right, guess it slipped my mind 🙂 Giving a couple of things that the workers have not done up to specifications, I can see a few other tasks that will be coming my way also, right after the holidays… among them, putting the kitchen fronts (we picked them up this week) back on the cabinets.
Yesterday, the family all had lunch together, and somewhere during the conversations it seems like I got another handyman job or two for my step-sister as well…. there was some lamps that needs to be hung, some TV cables that needs to be extended and hidden?
Even a bed frame I needed to pick up at a store because her car is not big enough!!! And for your information, I drive a convertible, a huge car, not… and hers is bigger than mine… I think they found out that if I took the top of it would work out perfectly for the transportation. I’m telling you, there is nothing that will be transported in my car as long as it’s raining outside 😉
So you can see how I went from thinking I had all the time in the world, to suddenly not… I did however find the time to get a Christmas tree, one for me, and one for my step-mum 🙂
Today though, I’m putting my foot down!
I need a day to sort out a few things, to; clean my house, change my bed, wash some clothing, iron, in general tidy, wrap some Christmas gifts and maybe even consider starting to put out some of my few Christmas decorations.
So that’s what I’m doing today! And now my washing machine is yelling at me that it’s done, so I gotta run…
Here we are!
Another pile of stuff going out-the-door!
Remember I told you (both on October and November tally), about this pile of things I was holding for my neighbour to have a look? Well, we finally managed to find five minutes to look through it 🙂
This weekend she took of with a couple of boxes with stuff! She didn’t take it all (and I didn’t expect her to) but she still relieved me of probably about 95 percentage of my pile – and I’m ever so happy.
I have to admit, it’s just so much easier to “declutter” when there are people you know, who might find them useful.
And here it is, the stuff she took and a few things extra, my pile of stuff out-the-door – 90 items:
- 2 magazine holders
- 3 microwave items
- 1 ice cube tray
- 3 plastic boxes to store food in + a box of ziploc bags
- 1 serving tray
- 3 candle holders
- 1 pack of plastic spoons
- 1 pack of plastic straws (should be a hit with her kids)
- 2 wine openers
- 3 wine stoppers
- 1 huge sport drink reusable bottle
- 1 reusable lunch bag
- 1 small porcelain bowl
- 4 long stemmed wine glasses
- 1 tea box full of different teas
- 1 plastic box (the one with an X I’m keeping for now.. I have an idea and if it works I’ll post about it 🙂 )
- 1 cut board
- 1 decorative glass bowl
- 1 tiny shots glass
- Bunch of rubber band (bracelets) – count as 1
- 7 watches (she took a couple for her kids)
- 18 Christmas decoration items
- 1 box of decorative tiny apples (Christmas stuff)
- 3 bean babies
- 1 head light
- 1 big storage box (all the stuff she took with her fit in the box – it’s that big 🙂 )
- 1 pair of running shoes (another friend took earlier)
- 2 medium size storage boxes (perfect for her kids toys)
And then there are some clothing I do not have a photo off, that also went out the-the-door this weekend:
- 1 pair of jeans
- 6 bras
- 7 pantyhose
- 3 pairs of socks
- 2 short sleeved bicycle tops
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 pair of dress pants
- 1 t-shirt
- 1 sleep shorts
Another 23 items 🙂
My step mum have bought herself a new place to live. It’s on the 3rd floor of a 7 floor building, and it’s a bit of a rehab project!
There is a lot of things that needs to be done to it and fortunately she have found some workers that starts on Monday. They will take care of painting the ceilings and walls, opening up some walls, changing the wooden floors, tear down some old cloths cabinets and a few other bits and pieces.
Even so, I’m sure there will be more than enough small projects for the rest of us to do 😉 Like yesterday!
The kitchen needs a tiny overhaul (cherry colour, with worn out kitchen counter). My step mum wants it white and bright. So we have decided that the easiest way to refurbish it, is to keep the original kitchen (as the units are pretty OK), and paint it.
So yesterday a friend of mine and I went over there to take down all the kitchen cabinets doors and drawer fronts, as they are to be delivered to a place that specialize in spray-painting old kitchen units. All the fittings had to be removed and the fronts had to be cleaned thoroughly to make them ready for the paint place.
Even though it’s not a hard job or a difficult job, I have found that regardless of what it is that has to be done in a house, it always seem to take much longer than you originally think 😉
Tomorrow we are delivering the fronts to the paint place, and I believe we will get them back in about a week or so… so I guess I know what the next weekend project might be 😉 After the other workers are done with the painting, mind you…
Hmmmm, seems like I can’t seem to escape from kitchen projects 😉
It’s that time again! That monthly catch up to let you know how I did with my decluttering task last month. And I have to say, I did appalling. As you have probably noticed there wasn’t one single post about things going out-the-door, in the whole month of October, with maybe the exception of my post about shedding some TV time.
That don’t mean that there wasn’t the occasional thing going out-the-door, it just means I didn’t ever get around to write about it, or remember to take pictures of it before it was gone.
It’s hard to remember what all those things was right now, but some of the items I decluttered was:
– papers, magazines and stuff like that, that I’ve been holding on too for a long time = 2 big paper bags worth – count as 1
– stuff in my outdoor storage boxes, and outdoor storage room – like wood, piping, plastic pieces, paint cloth, paint brushes, plastic plant pots and I’m sure.. a few more things. What count to give them? Hmmm.. why don’t we say 1 count per category I remember I was tossing out, that seems kinda fair, since I can’t really prove to you what went out the door – count as 6 items
And then there’s is the stuff I’ve been decluttering out of different rooms in the house, but that are still “stored” in my guest room (for my neighbour to check out before it leaves the house). Those things I will be writing about as they leave the house permanently (hopefully during the month of November)
OCTOBER TALLY of things “out-the-door” = 7 items!
Not good, I know.. but I’ll do much better in November, I’m sure, now that I’m done with my kitchen project 😉
Seriously! You’re still at it? I thought you were done? I can hear you wondering 😉
Well, yeah! I am actually done 🙂 For those of you that think this job have taken forever (which it did), day 8 was actually Monday this week. There was just a few days I was too tired to even write about the days work, that it’s taken me a few extra days to get it all out here on the blog 😉
Day 8 – clean up day!
The last day of kitchen work was pretty much dedicated to getting the last bits and pieces in order.
I decided that since I was going to do all this work on the kitchen, I might as well do the yearly cleaning of the kitchen at the same time. You know, that job where you empty everything in your drawers and cabinets, and wash the units and the stuff in the unit.
After using the grinder on the kitchen counter, there really wasn’t much choice in the matter. There was this fine layer of laminate dust on the shelves in my upper cabinets, so I just went ahead and washed them down, and put the glasses and plates through a quick cycle in the washing machine (some got washed by hand). And at the same time did all my other kitchen shelves and drawers. It’s nice to get a completely clean kitchen and knowing that everything inside the cabinets are all neat as well. Christmas cleaning – check 😉
After everything was nicely put away and I had my kitchen back, it was time for that last crucial detail that needed to be done. Caulking (with silicone) around the countertop to make sure no water could go were it shouldn’t go.
Since the crack between the countetop and the backsplash, was barely there, I decided to use blue tape to help me out. I taped the kitchen counter and taped the backsplash, so only the crack to put the clear silicone sealant in, would be open. This helped a lot in being able to push silicone into the crack without being worried about getting any mess on the countertop or backsplash. If I may say so myself, the end result is really nice. You can’t really see that there is any silicone there except for a little bit of glitter when the light hits right.
I used the same idea when putting in the silicone between the wall and countertop, and side cabinet and countertop. It gave me the opportunity to really mash as much as I wanted into the crack without making any mess whatsoever 😉
One final wipe of the kitchen counter, and that concludes the kitchen project 2014.
I have to admit, it’s been a lot of work, just to have your kitchen end up looking exactly like before. But at least now I have a functioning sink + LED light instead of halogen lights, so if nothing else, my electric bill should hopefully be better 😉
Cooktop and oven time.
As easy as the plumbing was, the harder this was…
What we needed to do was cut out the hole for the cooktop. First we measured everything out. We put the cooktop upside down on the counter, in exactly the spot where we wanted it, drew a line around it, removed the cooktop and measured about 6 mm in from the line we drew, and drew up the cutting lines. The cooktop “lip” was only 10 mm, and we needed a tiny bit of wiggle room, so we decided to go for approx 6 mm so that the “lip” still had some support.
I told you my countertop consist of a 10 mm thick laminate, right? Well let me tell you, 10 mm of pure laminate is hard, super hard to cut in. I remember when we installed the original countertop, how my dad swore more than once over how hard is was to cut the darn thing with a jigsaw. Not only was it hard (I believe my dad broke a sweat and a blade) but it also took forever. So this time around I thought maybe I could use something else.
First I tried my Bosch Oscillation multi tool – effective, but still very slow going, so I figured… nahhh.
OK, what’s next…. well there is the grinder… Which is a scary effective product, and it’s fast, almost too fast. “Boy do you need a steady hand if your going to try that, because if you are just a tiny bit off, you’ll ruin everything”. Hmmm, would I, would I even dare to? Thankfully I still had the cut off from the original plate, so I could practise 🙂 It was fast… I decided to take a chance..
NOW, I would NEVER recommend anyone ever doing this, you would have to have a rock steady hand, and a sick amount of confident, and it can still go wrong, very wrong! So NO, do not ever use a grinder to cut out the hole for a cooker in a kitchen bench. Please use a jigsaw as the instillation guide will tell you to do.
Having said that, I used one! The only reason I even contemplated using one, was because I spent all summer last year cutting slate with a grinder (Summer project 2013 – putting down 56 square metres of slate at the front of my house). And I knew I could cut a straight line. Unless you use a grinder for a living, please do not be as insane as me 😉
I knew the grinder would produce an insane amount of laminate dust, so we covered up the area really well to try to keep the dust contained. Even so, it still seeped a little into my kitchen cabinets and onto the floor. This was not really a big deal, as I had decided that part of the kitchen “renovation” would also include cleaning all my kitchen stuff, and all my kitchen cabinets (saves me from doing it for Christmas).
OK, here goes, I’m all decked out in protective gear, mask, glasses and ear protectors. The kitchen is all decked out in plastic, tape and I have this big “bag” behind me that will collect most of the dust. And, I’m nervous! What if I muck this up?
Well, I’m proud to say – I didn’t 🙂
The hole got cut, and fitted to perfection. The cooktop slotted nicely into it’s hole, exactly as planned. Phew…
Putting the oven in it’s place afterwards took all but two minutes.
A good vacuum, and a washing later and this concluded the work for the day.
Only one more day to go…
Sink time!!! I have to admit, it was nice getting the sink back in order, it was getting a bit tedious having to run upstairs every time I wanted some water 🙂
Day 6 was dedicated to installing the tap and installing the plumbing for the kitchen sink and dishwasher. It was a little bit of fiddly work, but kinda fun.
First one out was the tap! My new sink is not quite the same as my old one (the old one had gone out of production), so the measurements are a little different, and because of this, the hole for the tap was not quite in the same place as my old one. So we had to do some adjustments to the piping to make everything fit. It’s not difficult work, but for some reason (just like with everything else) it’s time consuming. It was wonderful getting the tap in, tested out and have everything work like a charm.
Sink time! Remember I had practised where all the plumbing would go? Well, this served us well. It made the installation much quicker and easier since we knew which pipe had to be cut and knew which pipes to connect to each other. It didn’t take long before the plumbing for the sink was in, and it was time to test everything. and presto… no leakage, hurray!!!
Dishwasher next, this actually took a minute, not because it was difficult to install the piping and water, but because we had to spend some time getting the machine just perfectly situated in it’s spot, level it out and fasten it to the countertop, to make sure it didn’t move while pulling at the door.
Day 6 concluded with functioning tap, sink and dishwasher… I’m back in business 🙂
After our rather stressful day 4, our next task – putting in the new countertop – was almost (I said, almost) easy.
We had decided that the task that day, would be put in the countertop, and then relax! Little did we know it would take longer than we thought 😉
My countertop consists of a 10 mm thick laminate + a 30 mm thick aluminium list. To support the laminate, there are some support bars across the underside of the countertop. As you can see from picture 1 below. These support bars are normally spaced so that they will rest on the under cabinet walls, to make everything really strong and supporting. On the original countertop, the support bars were placed correctly, on the new replacement countertop, they didn’t bother about taking this consideration, and it turns out the support bars were in the wrong place. As an example, one of them was right smack in the middle of where my cooker was supposed to go!
Well, that would be an easy fix. Right? Ehhh, nope! Not only was the support bars screwed on, they were also super-glued to the laminate! I think it took me half an hour just removing the one that was “in the middle of my cooker”. Oh, no… was this looking to be a long days work after all…
We decided that rather than move the other ones to the area that they needed to be, we would just add bars instead. So that’s what we did, we used the one we removed and stole one from the old countertop 😉 And what you see on picture no 1, is a countertop ready to be installed.
The installation it self wasn’t hard work, we had to juggle it a little to sneak it in between the cabinet and the backsplash above. But! Turns out I had not managed to remove enough of the old silicone that was used for the old one, so the new one wouldn’t go all the way to the wall. Darn…
Not allot of ways around that one, other than spend the next half hour, cleaning away all old silicone, and then give the wall a quick repaint to make sure it’s protected.
Have a coffee break and try again…
Second time around, woohoo, it fit 🙂
Wonderful! So we pulled it out again, put some silicone at the wall, and underneath the backsplash fittings and showed the countertop back into it’s place. And the next half hour was spent fastening the countertop to the cabinets, just to make sure it ain’t going anywhere 😉
So NOW we could have a well deserved home-made apple juice break!!!
Followed up by a little clean-up! And as you can see, I’m putting my friend to work 😉
I bet you guys are curious about how my kitchen project is going 🙂
Well, let me tell you! I was seriously NOT loving my kitchen countertop a few days ago!
There was a moment during day 4, that I was thinking about just posting one sentence on my blog, saying “damn that countertop”. This was probably after having spent at least 1,5 – 2 hours doing nothing but try to pry that darn thing off my wall, and I was warm, tired and feed up with the lot of it 😉
So let me backtrack a little…
We started up reasonable well mid day. We removed all the drawers, everything in the cabinet, the oven and even the cooker came out really easy. We moved over to the dishwasher, turned off the water, managed to remove the dishwasher hoses with not to much trouble (even though it was cramped under the sink) and moved the dishwasher away. Moved on to loosening the plumbing for the sink and tap. We got to all the screws to the countertop and got all that out, easy peasy. All took but a hours or so.
And then we were ready for the countertop, and let me tell you, it was ready for us, ready for us to NOT move it 😉
I have to explain a little – we kinda new we would have trouble. You see I have a backsplash over the countertop, that, because of the way it was fastened to the wall (clip system) there was no way to remove it. It was either break the glass, or tear the fittings from the wall (leaving big holes in the plaster), and I didn’t fancy doing either, since I kinda wanted to keep the backsplash intact.
So we had to move around the issue. Now, that wouldn’t have been a problem, if it hadn’t been for the fact that my dad did such a super job, using silicone when we put the countertop in (which was absolutely the correct thing to do). There was silicone between the countetop and wall, and there was silicone between the countetop and the backsplash sitting on top. And since there was NO way to get to the silicone between the countertop and the back wall (because of the backsplash) you can see why we were having such trouble.
After cutting whatever silicone we could get to, pulling and prodding, “tearing” and swearing 😉 throwing our muscles to the thing, with no effect. We seriously started to contemplate removing the kitchen cabinets under the countertop, so that we could knock the damn thing off the wall (this was about 1,5 hours into trying to pry it loose)….
OK, one more try, see if we can trick the damn thing. I managed to get to the silicone between the back wall and countertop where my dishwasher normally are, and that did the trick, we managed to loosen just enough that we got some momentum going and started to slowly tear the top loose. 30 minutes later… and it was off…
I am soooooo glad I have a strong friend helping me out, there is no way this would have gone as well if not…
As you can see, from the picture below, we tore a little wall with us, but that was an easy fix. Remove the loose paper, and give it a few licks of paint, and presto… we were ready for day 5 🙂
We didn’t do much yesterday! The next stage – pulling out the countertop – is a big job, and we decided we need a whole day for it, not just an afternoon.
The plan yesterday was to change out a cold water stopcock, because last time I tried it, I couldn’t get it to work properly. This time around, we figured it out and it seems to work after all. So we didn’t need to spend the time swapping it out, phew 🙂
So instead we spend a moment “practising” putting together the pieces that connects to the sink. You know, all the piping that eventually connects to the drains. I figured it was a good idea to know where everything would go before we started, it’s easier to figure it out when you are sitting on the floor with plenty of space around you, rather than when you are cramped under the sink, all worn out 🙂
And today? We are going to to attach the countertop, so stay tuned 😉