Updates to the House

This started as a tangent within my 20 week post, but it started to get a bit lengthy so I moved it off by itself.

We've been in our house since November 2009, and when we bought it we had every intention of living here with 2, maybe 3 kids. Lots of people had, and still have, bigger families in smaller houses so that should be no problem, right? There's a lot we like about this house: the big shed in the backyard, the garden and rain barrels we've built, our awesome neighbors, the close proximity to our family, and the fact that we already live here and (mostly) like how it's decorated. As Luke got older and we started to accumulate stuff, it became more and more apparent that our house has enough rooms (3 bedrooms, 2 baths) but not enough storage, particularly in the kitchen.

Once Baby #2 became an impending reality I got all panicky and twitchy about the reality of having 2 kids, plus 2 kids' worth of STUFF, in this house. I immediately insisted we look at buying a bigger house. We looked around, we found some we liked, but the reality of up-sizing meant we would have a very tight budget to accomodate a bigger mortgage payment. We could swing it, and we even accounted for all the added costs we could think of - extra utility bills for more square footage, the cost of 2 kids in day care if Grandma decided she wanted to scale back on watching them, etc - but at the end of the day it just doesn't make sense right now. So we'll stay put for a few more years then revisit the idea of moving.

But what does that mean for the house we're in now? It means I have to maximize storage like I've never done before.

Here's the to-do list:
- add a pull-down ladder to the attic access panel, lay down plywood and "build" block and board shelving so we can actually use our attic as accessible storage.
- load up the new attic shelves with rarely-used items from the kitchen (like the electric skillet, fondue pot, cake decorating supplies) to make room in the cabinets and pantry
- de-clutter and purge the wine bar, china cabinet, kitchen cabinets and pantry
- replace the too-small kitchen island cart with a larger one to increase storage
- buy and install storage rail (hello, Ikea trip!) under one run of upper cabinets to house eating utensils
- buy and install cabinet pull-out thing so I can finally reach the back of my dang corner cabinet
- buy lidded storage bins to go on top of the upper cabinets to house surplus/bulk food items (we got a BJ's membership for Christmas and haven't used it yet because we have nowhere to keep back stock!)

The list may seem long, and not particularly cheap, but it is worlds cheaper than the process of buying a new house. At least that's what I keep telling my husband. Hopefully I will have some items to sell on Craigslist or at a yard sale to offset some of the costs.

Luckily for me, we already moved Luke into the front bedroom last summer when we was too big for his crib and over Christmas we finally got all of his clothes out of the nursery and into his big-boy room. This leaves the nursery empty and ready for another baby. We're not going to change anything about the layout or decorations, other than adding a second tea towel calendar to mark a new birthday in the family. I still have to get the baby clothes out of storage and wash them, but they will just go into the same dresser they were in the first time. No changes there.

It's a lot to get done in the next 20 weeks, but I've already gotten started. Ordered the new island last week! Once the nesting kicks in that will work in my favor, but I know you guys want to come help me anyway!

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