On 2 and 1/3 years of home ownership: why you should do things right the first time

So many people ask me about my house all the time! My casa is anxious to tell you, so here’s your update.

I did change up a few things here and there in my decor. I got a new rug and bookshelves for my front room, and I’m super happy about those. I framed some art I really love. I bought a soap dispenser for my kitchen sink because now I’m #classy. And for the yard? I got a free swingset off KSL that’s kind of dangerous and crooked…

But in general, my updates were more ticky-tacky small things. Along the way, though, I almost learned that if you want to get something done, you should just do it right the first time.

In the land of my master bathroom, there was a toilet. And said toilet one time wouldn’t stop running because the chain fell off the little plugger thing that’s connected to the arm thing inside the tank. (I deliberately chose not to look up their official names). So of course, I just picked up the chain, hooked it back on, and voila. The deed was done.

Alas, some time later, it came off again. Fixed it again. Came off again. Finally I looked up on the Interwebz what I was doing wrong and I’d put the chain on upside-down/backwards or however you want to call it. You’d think it wouldn’t be that complex, but you would be wrong, as I was.

So one time when I was super tired, the chain fell off again, and I was like, “I am just going to fix this here and now!!” So I turned off the water, flipped it around, but the pliers were like 10 feet away, and I was so tired so I didn’t tighten it. A few days later….ARE YOU SERIOUS??? So I finally fixed it the correct way and it has been happy ever since.

So YOU WOULD THINK that when one of the other toilets in the house was doing the same thing, that I would go and fix it and make sure it was done the right way the first time. But you would also be wrong here. Because I instead chose to haphazardly fix it two times. Finally on the third time when running water woke me up, I fixed it for realz.

And that is when I learned to just fix things the right way the first time.

Not the end.

Because this story, too. So when I moved into my house, it had no smoke detector/fire alarms. Kind of crazy, but yeah. So I installed 6 new smoke detector/fire alarms. They are battery-operated and you can probably see where this is going.

On yonder night when I was away on a work trip, apparently one of the chirpers indicated that it needed new batteries. A roommate fixed the problem. When I returned home, I was informed. Did I assume that if one of them was dying and all others had been installed at the same time that they should also be replaced? Yes, I did assume that. Did I do anything? Um, no. So a few days later, a very annoying chirp caused me to change one of the detector’s batteries. A few days later? Another very annoying chirp. Dangit! Ok, fine. I got my batteries and I went and replaced all the others at the same time. And tested all of them, too, just so the beeping could drive me insane. It turns out that the feature on my security cam that alerts me if a smoke detector is going off actually does work! So that’s cool.

Speaking of security cams, the best use I have found for them so far (other than, you know, security) is that when I think it may have snowed, I don’t even have to get out of my warm bed and go look out the window to check if I need to shovel. I just look at my cam footage on my phone. #whohaveibecome

But back to things I don’t do correctly the first time. I wanted to replace some of the can lights in my kitchen with those plug-in LED lights that are super easy to install. I took out my old can lights. Alas, the new ones didn’t fit! So I took them back and ordered a shallower brand. And then those just barely wouldn’t stay flush against the ceiling! At that point, I decided to read the instructions because #smart. Ah yes, you need to take out the bracket that was previously holding the other can in. Once I did that, the lights were a charm. I can be taught.

So did I do anything else fun? Well, I learned that bathroom exhaust fans are actually really easy to replace, unless you happen to buy the one package at Home Depot that is missing the cover plate thing. But once you return home from Home Depot for the second time that day, it only takes a few short minutes to do the job.

And what else? Well one day I was feeling a little destructive and needed to get some energy and emotions out, so I took out the chicken coop that was in my backyard. Well, most of it at least. I realized that 1) I wasn’t really into having chickens at this stage in my life and would rather have a mulch pile there and 2) if I ever do get chickens, I’ll want to have a coop that isn’t broken like mine was. Fancy that. Some new blades for my jig saw and lots of removing screws and sawing later, and I only have a bit more I need to do.

And for good measure, I did another home thing! I bought a cedar chest at the charity garage sale a few years ago and have wanted to recover it, but I was afraid it would be hard. Well, YouTube told me it was pretty much the easiest thing on the planet, and so JoAnn and her great sales and I got together and changed up the look of my cedar chest. And, yes, I have a lot of blue, Da Ba Dee Da, in my house.

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2 Replies to “On 2 and 1/3 years of home ownership: why you should do things right the first time”

  1. I feel like homemaking like you’re doing is a very spiritual practice. Yes, using screwdrivers is a spiritual practice. One of the first commandments given to Adam and Eve was to tend the garden and take good care of it. Every covenant people gets a promised land. Our hope in the afterlife is to get worlds without end. THere’s something very spiritual about taking care of our own little spaces.

    1. lizwritesthis says: Reply

      Oh my goodness, yes! I totally agree with this.

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