Working on our To-Do List

When it comes to home repairs / maintenance, there are times when it seems like we do a good job of keeping up with the big stuff (painting the exterior of the house, fixing up the dining room, etc.), but, when it comes to the little stuff, we find it’s easy to just add things to a list and never actually get around to doing much of it.

Recently, though, we’ve actually made some progress on the “little things” – thanks largely to a very enthusiastic 2 year old.  It started over the holidays when we found ourselves at Lowe’s at the very start of Chad’s break from work.  We hadn’t been there in what seemed like forever and we’d just gone in to pick up something small … a light bulb, I think … but wound up leaving with a cart full of stuff to tackle some things on our way past due to-do list.  Since then, Haley has been helping Chad work through his list of “projects”.  She is always so excited to help – it is so fun to watch.  Plus, all the little “projects” are starting to add up and make a dent in our list, so I thought I would share some of the “honey-do” type things my honeys have completed recently.

1.  New Smoke Alarms.

Our old ones were not in great shape – painted (when they clearly say “do not paint”), chirping at odd times, and complete with corroding batteries.  Plus, they were here before us, so they’re at least 7 years old.  Anyway, we decided it was time to replace them and found these smaller ones that we like a whole lot better.
They don’t do carbon monoxide (we have separate plug in detectors for that already), but we love that they’re so much less bulky than the standard ones (which seem to have grown and are now much thicker than the old ones we took down).


2.  New Vent Covers in Haley’s Bathroom.

We have a super tiny three-quarter bath off of our laundry room that we’ve named Haley’s bathroom since it is outfitted with everything we need for potty training (step stool, potty seat, etc.)  It’s also where we took all of our showers before the master bathroom remodel a couple of years ago … and we actually still use the shower quite a bit.  Anyway, the combination of a steamy shower and small space meant that the metal vent covers on the ceiling for the heat register & exhaust fan had rusted.  They looked really icky.  So, we bought new.  Turns out the plastic exhaust fan cover wasn’t quite as big as the one we replaced, so we’re on the look-out for something that’s sized better … but, even so, the lack of rust is still such a huge improvement.



3.  New Toilet Seat with BUILT IN POTTY SEAT!

Ok, I’m super excited about this.  It means Haley can use her potty and we don’t need to have a separate removable plastic potty seat lying on the floor next to the potty (or permanently positioned on top of it).  The potty is totally usable by grown ups (the potty seat stores in the lid) … and wee ones alike.  I am in love.  Once she decides putting her potty in the toilet is a good idea, I foresee us replacing more of the toilet seats in the house with these.  They are a totally brilliant idea.

For grown ups.

For grown ups.


For the Little Ones.  Awesome.  My only complaint is that sticker that seems to keep moving itself off of the magnet in the lid – annoying, right?


4.  Removed door stop on bottom of office closet door.

There was this rigid doorstop on the bottom of the closet door in the office.  It was actually attached to the door rather than the wall.  It wasn’t something we used (we have the kind that go on the door hinges on just about all of our doors instead) and Haley had discovered that she liked to play with it.  It really felt like an accident waiting to happen.  So, Haley & Chad took the doorstop out, put some wood filler in the hole, and used a stain marker to color that section of the door a little darker.  It could probably use some more work on the stain color (for some reason the area behind the door stop looked like it was a totally different stain color to start with), but we’re glad to not have the weird door stop there any more.  So, trust me … this is an improvement.


5.  Weather stripping the back door.

Our original back door is beautiful on the inside, but failing in just about every other capacity.  When the painters started working on it this summer, we really took a good look at it and it’s in rough shape – cracked and de-laminating on the outside.  Plus, it doesn’t seal worth a darn.

Beautiful, but FREEZING!

Beautiful, but FREEZING!

We have a wooden screen door and snow has still blown in under the back door during a good storm.  In the past, we’ve just rolled up a towel and laid it at the bottom of the door to try to help block the cold/snow, but that wasn’t super effective. This year, Chad decided to try weather-stripping it properly.


Check out the new weather stripping – so much warmer!

Unfortunately, the size of the door doesn’t match all of the standard weather stripping today, so he wound up cutting one in half and wedging it in the space between the door and the sill.  We can’t open the back door without it falling out, but that doesn’t really matter – we never use it anyway (especially in the winter) … and the difference it has made is amazing.  It used to be freezing cold in the  back entry way and it now stays way more comfortable.  This is one of those “why didn’t we do this sooner?” things.


6.  Lots of new light bulbs and furnace filters.

We have a love/hate relationship with the evolution of light bulbs.  We love the energy saving part, but hate how expensive they are … and how easy it is to buy something that isn’t the right color temperature / brightness, etc.  So, our process has been to make sure we have bulbs we like in the rooms we’re in frequently and cascade the others through the house.  Which means the basement has a mismatched set of light bulbs that really aren’t right for the space.  Hello, 40 watt globe bulb where we really need a 75 watt equivalent – that would be you.  Anyway, we had a bunch more light bulbs that all burnt out around the same time (doesn’t it always work that way?), so we started replacing.  This time around, we actually have a bright enough one at the bottom of the stairs.  Awesome.

Also, furnace filters and humidifier pads.  We have all new and a very excited 2 year old who got to help put the new ones in.  Yay.  Plus, it’s really funny to hear Haley talk about the humidifier.


I know all of these things are super simple – hardly worth labeling as “projects” … but it’s so exciting to be getting something done (regardless of what it is).  We still have plenty of meatier projects on our list – lots of painting, finishing up the installation of coax/CAT5/phone in a few rooms, work on the basement, tile the side porch, and a bunch of stuff outside when the weather warms up.  If only everything was as easily worked on with a 2 year old as the installation of a new toilet seat.  Ha!

Filed Under: Home Improvement

Leave a Reply