My to do list

April 25, 2012

I’m sharing a list I’ve been meaning to share for a few weeks now. It’s my own personal to do list for the house and it needs to get done pronto.

It’s not a list of decor projects, cause really, you and I both know that list is in the hundreds and one project goes on for infinity so that list will just plain never get done.

This one is more of an easy, handywoman-type list. With yours truly as the handywoman of course. ;) We are hoping to entertain quite a bit this summer – and it’s about time. We didn’t do much party-wise last summer because of all the work we had done outside. Then at the end of the summer we had the water issues in the kitchen, and the house wasn’t put back together till late October.

But now, we’re ready!!


Every time I’ve walked around the house over the last few weeks I start getting a little hive-y about the number of projects I need to address. Now I’m not a fussy one when it comes to entertaining – I had all my girlfriends over last fall with a torn up kitchen floor and powder room and lived to tell the tale.

But I want this list of stuff DONE. This year. Soon. I want it out of my head, and our summer of entertaining is a good deadline.

So I’m sharing it here to keep me accountable. I want everything done by the end of May. The good thing is most of them won’t cost my anything. And those that do cost money won’t be crazy expensive. It’s mostly just time.

Now some of these won’t make sense to you (I’ll try to explain), but here we go and give it a cost rating. Cause that’s just fun. (Free, $ little money, $$ some money, $$$ lots of money.)

1. Candelabra in master bath ($ for ladder rental)

beadboard around tub

The little one I used to have up was just that – too little. I took it down a while back and replaced it, but now the new candelabra and the chain don’t match. (Like, big time.) So I either want to take it down completely or paint everything out the same color. Both options require renting a 12 foot ladder (again) and getting up there. Fun times!

2. Drapery hardware in master bath (FREE)

That drape has been down for probably two years now. The drapery hardware has not. ;)

3. Paint second handrail on stairway (FREE)

Remember when I painted the handrail on the stairway a dark brown?

Well I never did it on the second set of steps going upstairs. This was 18 months ago. I am ON IT.

4. Paint baseboard by fireplace (FREE)

5. Install small quarter round by fireplace in family room (FREE)

You can’t really tell in pics, but the baseboard to the left of the fireplace was never painted for some reason. It bugs me. So it shall be painted. I have two small pieces of quarter round I still have to nail in around the base too.

6. Fill holes in quarter round on stairs (FREE)

Another one that I’ve looked at every day for two years. And think, I need to do that.

And yes, I’m skipping around. Bare with me – I wrote these down as I walked around and thought of them and I didn’t feel like rearranging. :)

7. Clean up around outside of house – wood, flower containers (FREE)

Pretty explanatory. We have a few (looong) pieces of the deck laying by the house from the work last year. We need to saw it down and get rid of it. And find the little plastic containers from flowers all over the place. I think they blow away or I just forget about them? I have no idea. Anyway, they aren’t the classiest decor, so they all need to go.

8. Paint beadboard by fridge in kitchen (FREE)

You can see in this old photo how I continued the beadboard around to the wall to the right of the fridge. This was a long time ago. I still haven’t painted it. Whoops.

9. Paint trim around chalkboard in kitchen (FREE)kenmore elite fridge

First of all, this is our new fridge, (this is prior to our hardwoods). I heart it. You can see more about it here. And you can’t really tell in the pic, but the trim around the chalkboard needs painted too. Never did that either. Whoops (again.)

10. Prime dining room (FREE)

Cause it still looks like this:

Well, even worse than that. The drywall guys did their touch ups so it looks waaaay worse now. It at the very least needs to be primed.

11. Get carpets cleaned upstairs ($$$)

I’m not doing this – happy to pay. ;)

12. Sand and oil butcher block on island (FREE)

I realized today that a paint can I had on their for two days left a ring. And another blasted vase is leaking. Curses!!!! Why do vases hate me so? So it needs to be sanded down a bit and oiled (it’s time to do that again anyway.) This is only the second time I’ve had to mess with the butcher block, so I’m OK with it.

butcher block counter

13. Repaint corbel in kitchen (FREE)

Long story. I was trying out a horrible idea and then did a quick coat of white on it after I realized what a horrible idea it was. It needs another coat.

14. Hem (and line?) family room drapes ($$ for lining)

Another one that’s been on my to do list forever. I can only live with the ragged edges for so long. (Like…years?)

15. Fill holes and paint spot on loft wall (FREE)

See where that TV is? Well, we moved it elsewhere cause we NEVER used it in here. But when I put it up I had to leave some of the boards for the board and batten off so I’d have room for the TV mount. And when I took the mount down that was pretty obvious. ;) The mount also left some honkin’ holes in the wall. FUN TIMES.

16. Rehang Bub photo in office (FREE)

One fell out of the frame. And it’s cute, so I want it back. It should take one minute. And yet I need to put it on a list to make it happen.

17. Replace doors in laundry room ($$$)

peel and stick tile

This one will cost a little but should be an easy fix. It’s those metal, cheapy doors to the upper left in pic up there. (Sorry, best I could find.) I LOATHE them. I’ve been stalking new doors for a year or so now. Just need to bite the bullet and do it.

18. Change out last brass doorknob and hinges upstairs (FREE)

Remember when I showed you how to install new knobs?:

replacing door knobs

Well, I thought I was done, but I missed a door. I have the hardware, I just need to do it. Story of my life.

19. Paint trim/fix drywall by back door (FREE)

Remember that one time, when this happened?:

The fridge died all over the kitchen floor. And then a few weeks later we had an water issue with the back door and the handy guy had to take the trim off around it. He put it back on, but the drywall around the frame is messed up and the trim has nail holes and needs to be painted.

Another one I look at daily. ;)

20. Figure out how to make powder room presentable. ($$$)

This is a long torturous story I will tell you someday soon. You lucky duck.

21. Hang roman shade in guest room (FREE)

Pretty easy. I have the shade. Got the window. Check, check.

22. Go through shoes in laundry room (FREE)

Well this picture will explain that:


23. Fix trim under back door (FREE)

Another back door issue. I just ripped the trim out from the door way tonight because I was afraid water was leaking in. It wasn’t. I am awesome.

24. Trim burning bushes (FREE)

They are beautiful but a little out of control. One gets ya when you walk up the front steps.

25. Fill holes and seams in crown in family/kitchen (FREE)

I put up the crown last year and when it came to filing holes I said forget this and decided to wait a week a few months a year.

26. Fix chair in kitchen (FREE)

It wobbles. Easy fix.

27. Add trim around basement door casing ($ for trim)

28. Paint trim around laundry door casing (FREE)

Just like I did here:

board and batten walls

Speaking of, see that empty frame? See #16. :)

29. Paint cabinets in dining room (FREE)

I have the primer and paint and just need to do. it. I decided to use my paint sprayer for the doors, so that’s most of the work right there. Easy, right? Riiiiiight.


I’m not doing this till the carpet is installed in the basement so there will be no chance of anymore drywall dust or dust in general being tracked upstairs.

Want to come help with my list? NO? Think I can do it? I think I can. I’ve put it out there onto the Internet so now I HAVE to. :) And I realize no one notices (most of) this stuff when they visit by the way. The majority of these projects aren’t big, they’re just little things that have been driving me a little batty for a long while now.

Whew. OK, time to get started. Tomorrow. :)

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  1. Wow! That's quite a list you've got there! You are right that most are not too expensive, but it's the investment of time that makes some of them seem daunting and make us want to push off those types of job. Good luck crossing these off your to-do list!

  2. What a list! I need to make one of these too but yours makes me nervous, mine will surely be just as long or longer!! You've taken the first step to get it done, you go girl! :)

  3. YOu can take a well wrung out damp rag and rub toothpaste over and over and over (like circles) over that water ring and it will disappear. :)

  4. It's quite unnerving to find that so many items on your list are on mine as well (just tweaked to JaG's house). My favorite line?

    "I just ripped the trim out from the door way tonight because I was afraid water was leaking in. It wasn’t. I am awesome."

    It drips with sarcasm and makes me laugh at the same time. You ARE awesome!

  5. You can do it!!!! I could easily make a list that long! I have a room that I started painting 2 years ago in May, and it is still not finished.......gah (in my defense, the paint guy messed up the paint formula and I am scared they will never be able to duplicate it ~ time to find a new color, repaint it, and move on)

  6. First - I love you... now that we have that out of the way, I laughed out loud at number 22 and I can't wait to hear the story behind number 20.

    That is all....

  7. haha I feel your pain. I just updated MY home project list. Somehow, despite the fact that we just built a move in ready home, the list is ENORMOUS! I completely feel your pain! ha May the force be with you! :)

    Check out my lengthy list here. (I, just like you, was exhausted just writing it. And why does it look so much worse in writing?) ;)

  8. Just think - your list will give you lots to blog about. :)

  9. I am almost afraid to make my list of my projects that need a few hours of finishing up minor details. I have it in my head and I can spout them off to you - but to write them down would be sort of scary.

  10. I so GET your list mine is probably twice as long. Sometimes I could hyperventilate looking at the many small things I need to take care of. Trouble is... I am the only one bothered by them.

  11. Oh my goodness! Thanks for sharing and always being so real! I thought it was just me who has all those little things undone that drive me nutty! Thanks for the giggles!

  12. You have made me want to make a free home to do list! I am ON it!

    Oh and I would help you clean, they have those fun dust slippers, have you seen them?

    Lastly, curtain liner at JoAnns is cheap, like $6 a yard before a coupon. No prob.

  13. funny that most of it is paint, right?

    my list is equally as long. i started in january...i should revisit that list and see what else i've knocked out...

    best of luck!

  14. Bless your heart. If it's any consolation, most of us have perennial lists like that,too :-)

  15. I'm so glad I'm not the only one with a to do list like this. Good for you for giving yourself a deadline. I tried that once. ;)

  16. wow, I'm exhausted after just reading that!!

  17. You made me tired just reading your list. Maybe my list isn't so bad, now.

  18. Sounds like my list! ha I'm so glad I'm not alone. I have a list for easy type stuff, a list of big projects, a list of craft projects, and a list for "want to eventually do when everything else is done". It's good to write everything down. I will forget things if I don't and it's always nice to feel accomplished and cross something off. I even had to make a "project calendar notebook" so to ensure I would get stuff done each day. It's funny - I just wrote a post about it last night:

  19. Wow, so many painting projects. Have you already bought all that paint? If so, you need to use it sooner rather than later. Paint gets funky after a while. It's sort of like eggs; it has a fairly long shelf life, but when it's gone, it's gone.

  20. You can DO IT! (Just had a vision of the Water Boy movie.) can do this.

  21. #24! Watch out for those burning bushes. Sometimes they tell you things you might not want to hear!

  22. wow. your to do list is even longer than mine...i didn't think that was possible! love what you HAVE done! :o)

  23. You are reminding me of all the small details we need to take care of in our house. Mostly re-paint walls and touch up a few dings here and there. But it's soooo not fun to do. BUT, we may be placing our home on the market once Hubby retires at the end of this year, so then the details will become a must to complete. Like I said... Not fun.

    Good luck with your list.

  24. omg!! I have been working on my own to-do list for the past 2 weeks. It's amazing how all those "little" things can get pushed out of the way, and even become part of the normal appearance of your home (i.e. pieces of drywall hubby repaired in a few different rooms - they were fixed and primed, but never painted to match the rest of the got to where I didn't even notice them anymore!) It feels so good to get these things out of the way, even though it's mostly boring stuff. But YOU will notice once it's done (even if no one else does) - go for it!

    Oh, and as for the old deck wood - you may try posting it free on never know who may come take it off your hands so you don't have to saw it up and haul off.

  25. Your so brave to put your list up for everyone to see! I make yearly ones & cross off as I go. I even have a few that I've kept in my nightstand drawer for late night "thinking" notes. I have kept a few off the older ones to remind me how far we've come. So I'm glad you did it. :-)

    Liz VanKirk

  26. I'll help you clean if you want to help me! ;) I was looking at your list and thinking "wow, that's a list!" but honestly, I probably have a ton of things to do too. I've just been in denial. ;)

  27. Wow, what a list! I need to follow your lead and write my list down. I also have a list this big and have not put it on paper, I am afraid to see it listed out. I believe if you list it, you won't forget all the little details, and what a feeling to cross it off the list. Thanks for the inspiration.

  28. Reading thru your list was exhausting! Makes me nervous thinking about my own list. One question...what brand/type paint sprayer do you use? I'm in the market and doing some research....trusted recommendations would speed things up! get to work!

  29. The only thing that makes me more overwhelmed by my to do list is reading yours. You should have a list "challenge". Everyone make the same number of to-do's and at the end of summer we can compare how many we tackled.


  30. You know what they say.... if you can count all the projects you have, you don't have enough! I'd say you have plenty ;)

  31. I like that you committed the list on paper (or on blog)! That's a great idea to walk the house!

  32. This is great. We have a list of big ticket items we want to work towards buying. Bedroom furniture, new shed, etc. But I should do this type of list too. A sort of honey-do list...that I can do myself. Plus, if it's NOT on a list, it will never get done around here. I blame the kids for stealin' my brain and ability to retain anything.

  33. I have the same To-Do List for my house. I have a set of picture frames that have been hanging on the wall (empty) for almost a year, and before that they were hanging on the wall at my old place (empty) for another year.

  34. Lists always help me so :) Wish we could work on them together -- it's always more fun with a friend. . .but they are inspiring. . .does it kill you to think how much time it took to put this all in your blog??? Thinking about 8 things could have been done in that time? But blogging is always more fun!! Good luck -- you've inspired me to get started too.

  35. I need to make a list, and I'm confident that it would be as long, if not longer than yours! :(

  36. I have a list similar to that. Mine includes painting new doors in hallway and repainting the chalkboard wall in the kitchen that stills says "Merry Christmas"... Fail.

    Kim @

  37. I have a very similiar list with many NEW projects, but I need this list just to finish the petty small things on the old projects. I am decalring a no ( or little ) spend May also to finish these up. All things I have on hand, just time, time, time! Let's tackle these!!! If I was in Indy I would totaly help and would imagine we would get in a lot of trouble together :)

  38. I think my list is longer... and includes a major project of renovating the basement.... I am nesting on top of all that so I feel like it all needs to be done yesterday.
    I just hemmed the rest of my curtains last night. it was frustrating because they are light cotton sheers that stretch a lot... but at least its done now!

  39. Its all the little details that can make you crazy! You'll get it done, I have no doubt AND be happier for it.

  40. Hmmm....I was just sitting on the couch nursing my baby and looking at the MESS that is my house. Fixed a 2nd cup of coffee and went on the computer and saw your list. Thanks for the inspiration! It's a rainy day here in CA so there's no reason for me to leave the house, I can clean it! Good luck to you :)

  41. Just wanted to drop back to say Sarah, you inspired me to make my own TO DO FREE PROJECT FINISHING LIST :) All things have on hand mostly! #1.............It's on! HA

  42. Thanks for this post! I seriously need to make MY OWN LIST up to get things done in my home. Starting a business last fall has left me with neglecting little things that drive me batty when I am home. A check list will definately help get things done.

    Sending good vibes your way to getting your list marked off. :)

  43. YOU CAN DO IT!! Those niggling little chores are the most frustrating things--and it feels SOOO good when they are done! There is almost more of a sense of accomplishment from taking care of a little finishing touch than doing a whole big project! :)

  44. This is quite the list! Wowza! I agree that it's brave of you to post this for the world to see.
    Good luck with it all! I totally love how you categorized things by their cost, too. That'll make it easier when you just want to cross something off the list without running to the store. Smart move!

    Also, I chose your blog as one of my fifteen favorites to be tagged with the Versatile Blogger Award! Check out my blog to see the deets:

  45. No time no time. # 22 and while I'm there sand and prime the ceiling patch where the squirrel in the attic had his bathroom ick, strip the wallpaper border and paint the space. But no time no time.

  46. Were we separated at birth?!?!? I'm kidding but I do think like that too. I have an ongoing list of home "to do" things too. They are written in a notebook and i keep meaning to complete these tasks but procrastinate horribly! I recently changed out our brass door knobs to brushed silver and got most done but still have a few hinges left to do. just cracks me up and motivates me to read your posts. Love reading along, makes me feel soooo NORMAL! hah

  47. Oh we all do this to ourselves..Thankyou for sharing your assured you are not alone so soldier on and somehow enjoy the ploughing through and the smiles each time you see that clean carpet or repainted trim..Thanks for blogging

  48. Finishing up the little projects makes a DIY more classy! High five for making a to do list. :) I have one too...but its to prepare for baby # 3 in 4 weeks ;) As always, love your blog. Love that a "real life home' beams from your blog. Its refreshing.

  49. Any chance you can hire your stink-eye (love that you two have such a great relationship) to come help you with these again (didn't you hire he to help with the garage and a few other things)? Or anyone? That's one HECK of a list. Good for you for going after it.

  50. Sarah - you have inspired me to list all of my to-dos for my home. It will be scary but necessary. Thanks for the nudge and for keeping it real. Every photo that you listed that needed paint seemed fine from internet-world! Laura

  51. Instead of buying lining for your drapes in family room, buy 2 flat sheets (white or cream whatever) from wal mart or whatever is cheap. you basically hang them upside down, so the big hem is on the bottom. you will probably have to hemtape in some of the width depending on your drapes. I did this for my living room and it's actually thicker than using drop cloth and looks white and clean and even better that big hem on the bottom and it's already hemmed on all sides! so i just folded over what was too big and fabric glued it:) I will probably do this for all my drapes now. I am even thinking a king pillow case if cut to be open on sides would be good for a small roman shade... Anyways just a thought and rather inexpensive, especially if you get them on the clearance aisle at wal mart! or target!

  52. I would LOVE to come help you! I want to learn how to do all these things so truly, it would be a win-win situation!


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