As we head into the cooler part of the year, my husband and I are frantically trying to get the house Winter Ready. See, we don’t have central heat (or air) but we do have gas heaters. Two in fact. One is in my mother’s bedroom, the other in our bedroom (which if you’ve been with the blog a while, you might remember is technically meant to be used as a dining room or sitting room area). For the rest of the house, we have had to use space heaters.
Last year, I documented the problems with our then heater and how we finally got a brand new one for the bedroom. It’s also much better and safer than that ancient relic had been for numerous reasons. However, there are still problems we have to take precaution against…
The chief of which is a curious 2 1/2 year old who’s already tried to turn the bloody thing on! Thankfully, we have enough sense to close off the gas line each spring when the weather warms up for good. So, how do we get the house Winter Ready and keep that child safe from the heater, but still keep the house warm? Simple.
We’re rearranging the back end of the house. Well, we’ve been doing it for a while already anyway, but due to my unexpected and sudden back injury (that finally got diagnosed after 18 years!) it’s slowed to a crawl. Now that I have been on my meds for over a month, my body has adjusted to them and I’ve been able to adjust my dosing schedule to maximize my functionality based on the needs of the day (such as if I have to function in the morning because of appointments or errands, I take my ibuprophen instead of my tramadol). So, now that I’ve got dosing and such figured out, and my body has adjusted to it all I can get back to work on the house.
We finally trashed our old washing machine (it could not be fixed), giving parts with copper and such to a neighbor to salvage for cash (we didn’t need the extra money, but our neighbor did so we were like “can you just get rid of this for us?” and he’s like “Sure, can I keep any cash from it?” “Sure. Just get rid of it. Thanks!”) and my husband salvaged the outter shell so he can bust it down and use it for his building projects.
With the washing machine out of the kitchen, we were able to move the diningroom table back into the kitchen where the washing machine used to be. Now we can finally sit down and eat dinner together like we’re supposed to have been doing. It also gives me a place to sit and work on my writing when it’s not being used for food.
With the table out of the livingroom, we’re able to turn the living room into a play room for our son. With a playroom for our son sorted, we can now get to work on sorting our bedroom, because we can shut the baby gate across the door to the livingroom/playroom and not have to worry about our son getting hurt as we deal with the big pieces of furnature, etc.
Once we get this one dresser in our room out and bust it down for scrap (I’m keeping the bottoms of the drawers and the drawer handles for art projects, and the rest is going to be trashed or burned) my husband will be able to move his computer and desk into the bedroom. Once that’s moved into the bedroom, we can clean up the room at the back of the house and really give it a deep scrub and cleaning. Make a door for the water heater to ensure our son doesn’t get hurt from that, winter proof the room, add some solid baby gates to both doors (one to the kitchen, one to the hallway and bathroom area) and then he gets moved in.
ALL OF THAT so that when we have the big gas heater on, we can keep him from messing with it and getting hurt. See, in order to heat our house during the winter my mom leaves her bedroom door open – this heats the livingroom/playroom area (and there will also be a baby gate in her doorway as well. One for literally every door in the house!). We leave our bedroom doors open and it heats the hallway, kitchen, and what is going to be my son’s room. By having the baby gates in place, it keeps him from getting hurt and allows us to leave the doors open at all times to keep the house warm during the winter.
This will also cut down on our use of space heaters, leaving us to use only 1 when someone needs to use the bathroom for a shower or bath. We plug the heater in in the hallway, and leave the bathroom door open with the heater pointed inward (that way there’s no risk of the heater falling in the tub or getting wet and starting a fire or electrocuting anyone). At this point, we’d shut the bedroom doors to my son’s room and our room from the hallway to give whoever is in the bathroom some privacy with their warmth (because the safety precautions of leaving the door open for the heater). With the baby gate in place on my son’s door to the kitchen, we can leave that door and the kitchen door to our room open and the rest of the house STILL gets heat!
And so, that’s why we’re doing all this cleaning. There’s so much of it right now though as we rearrange literally half the house to deal with this. But in the end, it’ll give us a nice and tidy house, and less clutter (as we’re donating and throwing away sooooooo much clutter!) AND it gives each of us a little space to ourselves in this tiny home. My son will have his bedroom, I’ve got my workspace in the kitchen area with good chairs for my back, and my husband will have his workspace where he can also help keep an eye on our son so I can take a break sometimes!
Next project after we take a break when this one is over…. the front porch!