The importance of a flexible timeline

I’m still here! Partly buried under moving boxes and paint cans, and fully struggling to balance life at the moment, but I’m still here nonetheless.

It is in these moments, the moments where I’m trying to catch my breath while charging full speed ahead, that I have to remind myself to practice forgiveness… self forgiveness, specifically.

See, I’m a slightly a-type rule-follower, list-maker, task-crusher, all around plan-it-out and get-it-done type of person. Buying our first home, of course, meant my list making went into full gear – especially our timeline. Long before closing, this is the timeline I set for us:

Pack townhouse: April 12-29
Closing date: April 29
Weekends for clean/paint/reno: April 30 – May 1, May 14-15
Moving weekend: May 21-22
Clean townhouse: May 23-26

Some things stayed right on track. Others… not so much. Here’s where we ended up:

Pack townhouse: April 13 – May 22 (we didn’t start seriously packing until a few days before the move, which meant NONE of the organizing I was hoping to do was done. Instead, things were thrown in boxes up to and on the day of the move).
Closing date: April 29 (THANKFULLY this stayed on track!)
Weekends for clean/paint/reno: April 30 – May 1, May 14-15, May 28-29, and who knows how many more days this summer (and the rest of our lives) (how naive was I to think we’d have everything done by Memorial Day? We did accomplish a lot – all the rooms and ceilings are painted. But we still need to tackle all the windows, doors, and trim, figure out what we’re doing with the basement bathroom, and a million other things I was hoping to have done before the start of June. Oh well…)
Moving weekend: May 21-22 (this also stayed mainly on track, thanks to the help of many dedicated friends who gave up a beautiful Sunday to make it happen!)
Clean townhouse: May 23 (I think this is the only thing on our list that took less time than anticipated. We swung by for about an hour, removed any nails we left behind, wiped down the kitchen and baths, vacuumed, and called it good!)

Despite not feeling like we accomplished all I wanted to, here is what we have done so far:

  • chose all paint colors
  • cleaned all rooms (this probably took the most time)
  • installed new locks throughout
  • swatched new colors
  • swapped out screen door
  • installed shelving in kitchen
  • scraped/patched all cracks in plaster walls/ceilings
  • sanded all walls/ceilings
  • painted seven ceilings (2 coats on each, and 3 coats in one room)
  • painted seven rooms (2 coats on each, 3 coats in one room)
  • wash all floors
  • set up washer/dryer
  • organized kitchen
  • organized bathroom
  • installed bathroom organization
  • washed all towels and bedding
  • installed pot rack
  • requested quote for chimney repair

Looking at it that way, we have indeed accomplished a lot. But as any new homeowner knows, we have a long way to go. Fortunately, we are quickly learning that we need to break down projects by year and by season. There is just no way to get everything done at once (for both our budget or sanity). Here are a few projects we’d still like to tackle this year:

  • unpack all boxes
  • paint one final room and hallway
  • paint all trim, windows and doors
  • install new blinds/curtains
  • powerwash + stain deck
  • figure out a pantry/food storage
  • wash all windows
  • install windowboxes
  • have our chimney tuck pointed (we love a good DIY, but this is one we are trusting to the professionals)
  • install two new windows (we have two that are in pretty bad shape)
  • figure out our goofy basement laundry/bathroom situation

Somewhere in there, we also need to work and find time to enjoy life. We both love owning our own home, but we also love the outdoors, which has been our biggest challenge this past two weeks. It is REALLY hard to stay motivated when Des Moines is just entering into summer and the bike trails are calling. Especially when we are both hoping to ride RAGBRAI this year – we don’t have nearly the amount of miles logged that we should.

So it is both/and, friends. We are trying (and admittedly struggling) to be both good homeowners and keep our sanity. Wish us luck.

Also, one of these days when I come up for air, I need to edit a slew of pictures to share with you. I realize it has been quite unfair to keep talking about 2314 without showing it off! Here’s to finding balance, and carving out those few precious spare minutes of the day to fill with things we love.