Lately, I have felt overwhelmed by homeownership. There’s too much to do and never enough money or time to make it happen.
I was so overwhelmed by the repairs that I almost wanted to sell my house instead.
I really don’t want to move.
This house is a good fit for me and my boys. It’s in an ideal location; it’s on a quiet street. There’s plenty of space, yet still feels homey.
But the list of necessary repairs on my 20-year-old home started to grow. Wood rot spreading on the east side, paint peeling on the south, a sunken driveway graces the north, and the west has a goat patch for a lawn. A leaning fence, overgrown trees, mulberry bushes growing everywhere, a gate that won’t close. The list goes on and on and on. And that’s just the OUTside.
Makes me want to curl up under a blanket and play Candy Crush on my phone all weekend. Or move into a maintenance provided condo.
It feels a little bit like homeownership Hell.
But, knowing that this is my most substantial investment, and that my boys deserve stability, several weeks ago, I sat the boys down and asked for their help. They did not want us to have to move, so I told them that until they were out of college and I could afford to hire a handyman for much of the work, the responsibility lay squarely on our shoulders, and I couldn’t do it without them.
In the past month, we have:
- deep cleaned the garage, clearing clutter and trash
- consulted with my trash hauling provider and determined that we can have trash service plus curbside recycling for less than we were paying for trash services before (no more running the recycling to the recycling center!)
- seeded the weed-infested patches of lawn with fresh grass seed (and remembered to water it 2-3x/day for two weeks)
- repaired the dryer vent
- removed wood rot, replaced it with fresh material, caulked, primed and painted
- sealed the south side siding
- finished repairing the front porch
- started cleaning the gutters, then realized there is a better way, and made plans to implement the better way; and
- hired a contractor to repair the driveway.
Thing One has been busy working and preparing for his ACT test coming up, so much of the work fell on me and Thing Two. While he grumbled frequently when the work list was unveiled each weekend, he’s been a trouper.
But the best gift of all came today when he came down to dinner.
Beautiful words came forth from his mouth:
Mama, it feels good to get done what we did this weekend.
True, son. It does.
And it also feels good to drive past newly growing grass, into a clean garage, with recycling bins that are never overflowing. It feels good to do laundry without dumping pounds of dryer lint into the garage. It feels good to know that the wood rot on the east side will not spread, the south side of the house won’t need to be painted again next year, and water won’t seep into the basement from the porch. It feels good to know that when a better plan makes itself known, we’re smart enough to take it or to hire someone to do it.
It. Feels. Good.
It feels good to have made progress on our home. It feels even better that you know what that feels like.