This is the time of year when my wife gets excited about touring new homes that are on display.
Every year, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln puts on a Parade of Homes, and it's a great opportunity to tour homes in the area. Some of the homes are completely furnished. It's fascinating to go inside these homes and see the new trends. But it's also a little scary for The Details Dad, when you are working to keep finances in check.
My wife always gets some great ideas when we go in these homes. When we got back home from touring one of the beautiful homes last weekend, she began talking about how it would be nice to finish the basement, or maybe knock out a wall to make a much bigger "mud room" for the kids.
Right now, she says, the kids pile their shoes at the door. "What if we had some shelving where the kids could put their shoes?" she says. I would love to do that, but for now, major renovations to the house are probably not in the cards.
Enter the Details Dad mentality: Instead of doing major reconstruction, there are little things you can do to make your home feel different, new and fresh.
For example, my solution in the mud room was to simply weed out the older shoes that the kids were not wearing, and just leave about four pairs of shoes that kids use most at the door. I put the other shoes that piled up over the winter in the garage. I know it's just moving "stuff" around, but it did make a difference to have "fewer" shoes by the door. It made the area seem bigger, and much more organized. I also vacuumed up any gravel or dust that had accumulated around the shoes, and that helped, too.
I think this concept can help in other places in the home.
In the master closet, it often seems so tight. But recently, we took about an hour and weeded out a few pieces of clothing that we weren't wearing and took them downstairs. We did the same with some of our shoes, and got them up off the ground. It was amazing to see how just a little bit of "weeding out" made the closet seem bigger. Just taking the shoes off the floor helped create the feeling of more floor space.
I have even tried this concept with mulch outside. You could run to the store and drop $100 on bags of mulch in hopes of creating a better garden and landscape display. But I've been trying to avoid dropping all of that cash. Lately, I've just been getting out with a three-pronged mulching tool, turning over the mulch, and pulling up weeds. By doing this, you don't have to spend anything, you can give the landscaping a fresh look, and you get a little exercise, too (however, I'm not sure what landscape experts would say about this).
The tough part is finding the TIME to do all of this. That is the real challenge.
I would also love to surprise my wife with a brand new mud room sometime down the road. For now, though, we will continue to dream big, but make do with a little elbow grease and organization. Let me know what you think of this.
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