Back Around the House II: Retirement remodeling


My plans for redecorating our downstairs before we retired were carefully laid. I thought I still had two weeks to pack up all the packables and store them away. But…

The guys who had agreed to do the ceiling in the middle room called to say they wanted to come that Monday. That meant I had three days to pack stuff and store it away, and even worse, it started a domino effect.

True, they were only going to be working on the ceiling in the middle room, but the middle room furniture was going into the living room which meant the old living room furniture had to go to its new home, and while it was gone the old carpet had to be removed.

Also, the middle room is separated from the dining room by a wide arch, so it would be prudent to move the dining room furniture out to the kitchen.

This meant we would be able to get to the sink, refrigerator and microwave, but the stove was packed in tightly. We would be able to do snacks, but for meals we would have to go out. Suddenly this new plan had possibilities.

Fortunately I already had boxes stockpiled for packing. I started with the desk. I had planned to clean and sort as I packed. Instead, I just dumped one drawer in one box, marked the box with the drawer position and hauled it up to the spare bedroom.

Next came the bookcases. I used the same basic process—one shelf, one box, labeled right or left and one through five to indicate the shelf top to bottom. Some really strange items were dumped into those boxes, but it would be easy to sort out later.

Oh, yeah.

Seventeen boxes later, available floor space in the spare bedroom was stacked and covered.

I still had all the curios and hutch contents to empty and store. It took two full days to empty and wash, dry, and pack all the breakable stuff.

Again I thought of my kind of yard sale where you simply open the door and let people make an offer on whatever they want as they wander from room to room, but it was too late.

All of the breakables were wrapped, packed and labeled according to what shelf they belonged on. Eighteen more boxes were carted up the stairs to the spare bedroom and stacked on the mattress.

After this, moving the furniture was a breeze for me.

I just had to stay out of the way and direct. First the dining room pieces were moved into the kitchen, making sure to keep open paths past the refrigerator to the sink, dining room, and back door.

My big old oak desk was taken to Denny’s, and he assured us it should finish up beautifully. My computer was packed up and stuck in the other spare bedroom. Bill’s computer, the television and the new loveseat were put in the dining room.

The living room pieces went to their new home. The rest of the furniture from desk through end tables to bookcases were stacked on the front porch and covered with plastic to protect them from the elements.

It soon became evident the elements were not the threat. The problem was the cats who were then residing on our front porch. They took great delight in burrowing through the plastic to recline on the bookcase shelves which were facing into the house through the porch window.

They would just lie there staring through the window into the almost empty living room. The four pairs of glowing yellow eyes were a bit unnerving, so I closed the blinds. This didn’t work. The cats were quite indignant, so I opened them again. I could bear the glowing eyes better than the indignant yowls, and it was a sure thing outsiders weren’t going to see anything inside.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on April 26, 2000.

By Kathleen Floyd

Back Around the House II

Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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