45-minute House Projects
Kristin will be the first to admit that balancing a new house and a newborn is tough. You just get used to a never-ending pile of laundry and a contiuously running dishwasher (flashback). But it is possible to get a few mini-house projects done during the way-too-short naps.
One of the biggest projects Kristin has taken on during her maternity leave is reorganizing all of our files. It’s a project that can easily be broken down into 45-minute segments (the “current files project”, the “old dusty files project”, and the “Krister’s medical school notes project”).
The filing is an important part of cleaning and organizing the guest room – which is partially being used as a large storage area right now. The guest room is also a functioning office and craft room… but the subdivisions of the room have become blurred and largely overtaken by storage. More on the guest bedroom soon!
Back to the filing project… the filing consists of reorganizing the documents into a more manageable system, so documents don’t just pile up. Many of the files can be moved from “Current” (i.e. easily accessible) to “Old Dusty” (i.e. archived in a filing cabinet in the back of a closet). And the Current hanging files are going to be subdivided with internal file folders.
Oh, and to add some color to the project, we invested in some fun folders from The Container Store (here and here and here). The old drab forrest green ones were falling to pieces and just couldn’t support the weight of our many important documents.
Kristin’s favorite part was shredding all of her utility bills and paystubs, when she learned from DailyWorth that she didn’t need to keep them in a fantastic article entitled “The No Sweat Filing System” (available here). Yay for purging unnecessary paper! In a sidenote, Kristin highly recommends DailyWorth, a daily email about money management directed at women.
Last week, Kristin sorted through Krister’s old medical school files – dividing them by topic (pathology, dermatology, pediatrics, neurology…). The only tricky part was classifying joint topics – dermatopathology, pediatric neurology – so that the notes were located where Krister would look for them. At least they’re no longer in big piles on the counter or in the desk or in random tubs throughout the guest room.
Now all of our papers are filed away in easy-to-find hanging files. The filing system should be pretty easy to keep up with too.
(Who knew one person could say so much about filing?)
Another way to make a big impact without spending a lot of time is to hang pictures on the walls. We haven’t given much thought to what to hang where, but a few pictures just knew where they wanted to live.
Most recently, Kristin hung a special keepsake gift from her good friend Emily. The engraved shadowbox contains a footprint and handprint from Kasen with his photo in the middle. It fits perfectly in the hallway between Kasen’s room and ours.
Kristin also hung a few photos of our family in the stairwell and a painting in the exerise room.
The painting was a gift from Cathy (with a special history) and it complements the color in the exercise room perfectly.
In addition to these 45-minute projects, Kristin has a few more on the agenda:
- Spackle the holes in the walls from the previous owners’ pictures
- Paint the hallway (currently the paint in the living room just randomly stops at the stairs, giving it an unfinished look)
- Add decorative touches to the kitchen, like plates and a centerpiece for our table and something on the walls
Kristin is having fun doing adult projects, even if only briefly during the day. The projects seem to make a big difference in the house without a tremendous effort.