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Habitat for Sanity: The background.

Almost two years ago we moved to our current house. It was a move made for all sorts of good reasons. We are closer to the kids’ school. We are off the busy street we lived on. We are in a more family friendly neighborhood. We now have a garage for all of our bikes and toys and hobbies. We sold our house before it might have been really hard to sell our house…..

Honestly, I still have regrets. The regrets have nothing to do with the reasons we left the old house, but regrets over the house itself. You see, I LOVED our old house. It was big.  It was beautiful. It had character.It was a good space to entertain in. The backyard had recently been transformed with our patio addition and the gardens were lovely  (tons of flowers, mature herb garden, raspberries). Do you remember it? Take a peek.

It was wonderful, but there were still all of those reasons we wanted to move. We didn’t really have more money to spend on a house so something had to give. Our new house is fine. It is a big old house from the same era as our previous house. It is in a great neighborhood that we adore. It is almost the same size. But it feels very different. It is less open. The space is utilized differently and it has not been loved with the same attention to detail as our previous home. I don’t mean to knock the previous owners; they took great care of the mechanicals, but the aesthetics of the house are lacking. Ugly stained carpet on the stairs, walls that need patching, a kitchen straight out of an 80’s apartment remodel, moulding splattered with paint because someone was too lazy to tape or put down a drop cloth, doors and a porch sorely in need of TLC and fresh paint….some things are little….some a bit bigger, but together they create a sad impression of our house.

Jrh and I (mostly me) talk about all of things that are wrong with this house. Many of them cannot be changed without a significant capital investment, for example finishing our attic walk up or adding an addition would be at least $100,000. We have been not so seriously talking about moving (still have that “don’t have more money to spend” problem though), but honestly without more money another move would just switch the compromises we are making. Maybe we have a clearer idea now of the way our family is and what we need, but I think that this will change yet again as the kids get older. Moving doesn’t seem to be a solution right now. Anyway, this year jrh and I were going to take a vacation in early spring. A couple of weeks ago  he came downstairs (presumable after seeing the poorly patched wall in the hall or the grungy carpet on the stairs) and said he had an idea.

He dubbed it “Habitat for Sanity” and it is a list of all of the projects that we could undertake that would improve the house. We are going to ship the kids to grandparents and spend our spring break getting as many of them done as we can…as much as I love the idea of going on a sunny vacation when the weather here should be getting nicer but isn’t, I think that not only will we have a good time improving this house, but that the daily benefits of feeling a bit more satisified will be of aa far greater mental benefit over a week on the beach. I plan to blog the progress we make (we are not really handy do it yourself people, so it is bound to be entertaining). Stay tuned.

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