Saturday, October 11, 2008

What to get done over the winter months

With the change of seasons showing in the falling leaves and few garden harvests, my mind turns to projects. Yes, if I kept myself gainfully employed redoing landscaping, crafting new raised garden beds and hauling compost, I need to find things to occupy my time once the snow begins to fly and I feel like hibernating. There are several projects that have wanted my attention, but of these, only the GFCI outlet in the garage was installed (and that just a week ago). So what are my plans?

Tackle the basement.
In my earlier post, I mentioned installing an indoor clothesline. This is still on my radar, but has been pushed aside in favor of using my solar dryer (or my outdoor umbrella clothesline). With freezing temperatures and snow weeks away, this pushes up the indoor clothesline priority.

I also want to take a few steps toward making the basement more livable since I am considering moving my sewing area there. Right now, I am looking for lamps to plug into the newly installed outlets in the basement. A nice craft table would be useful for quilting and sorting fabric plus I may use my newly won skills in wood construction to fashion some shelving to store said fabric.

In addition, I would like to fix the holes in the drywall that was installed. Oddly enough, the person who installed the drywall also took his or her anger out on the drywall with hammer and foot. The doorways to the storage and mechanicals would look better with doors so I would also like to install those. This would test the limits of my construction abilities since I have never installed a door. Gaining a new skill would make me feel accomplished so I haunt craigslist with hope.

Craft with confidence.
I owe my godson a doll, my niece is due hers in January and technically, I owe my brother and sister-in-law a quilt. Furthermore, I have collected fabric for at least three quilts, several clothing items and three sets of curtains. Now that all my windows have been rescued from beige plastic blinds, I should proudly construct curtains and valances. These will not only make the rooms more decorative, but also help with light and cold infiltration especially with my single-pane windows. Quilts for warmth in the winter are a good thing especially if I happen to have guests.

I intend to use what I have on hand for sewing and crafting. A few green living projects will likely be incorporated, helping me to dump some disposable and plastic items from my life. Plus, being forced to look at my fabric collection will hopefully inspire me to be creative and to finally craft that blue jean rug I have been wanting.

Manage inventory.
As hinted at with the fabric collection, I have excess stuff. Too many clothes, more books that I really use, a well-stocked pantry that needs rotating and boxes in the basement that need to be sorted. All this and more really need sorting, serious contemplation and more than likely, to be either sold or donated. This is not an easy nor straightforward task, but I want to try another no-spending challenge coupled with a decluttering goal. With few things coming in and stuff going out, I hope to decrease my net stuff and be better prepared to resist buying more.

Fix it and forget it.
I have a table top to strip and refinish, some wood trim that needs the same treatment, and some paint spots that need a touch up, especially around the replacement windows. Cold-enforced indoor time is perfect for getting those small, annoying projects out of the way. I have been lax about getting these things done, but they need to be done prior to either window installation or my house being put on the market. The latter is not intended to happen for another few years, but painting now means less to get done when trying to sell my house.

So there you have it--one giant ambitious list. In the next few weeks, I will look at the time I have and create a to-do list of when to accomplish these disparate items. For me, a list of what I need to do helps me get through the items. I am more successful when I know what I need to do on the weekend before Friday. That way, I will not need to run to the hardware store for stripper before I run out in the middle of the project.

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