Making a start (the new house)

After the excitement of finally getting the keys and standing outside our new house and revelling in the fact that it was actually ours, reality hit. We had work to do.

The house isn’t awful. It’s not one of those that needs rewiring and new heating. It doesn’t need everything ripping out. But it DOES need dragging into the 21st century. There’s a fair amount to do and we needed to get on with it.


Oh, and it smells. It smells of old people. It smells like my Nana’s house – and I wasn’t a big fan of my Nana’s house. Hygiene wasn’t really her thing.

Our main priority is to get the kids’ rooms looking nice. We want them to feel happy and settled and like they’re living in their own home – not camping out at their great-grandparents’.

We had ordered new carpets and everything needed painting. So the obvious thing was to do the painting first – starting with the skirting boards. EVERYTHING in the house is stained brown – the skirting boards, the built-in wardrobes, the banisters, the loft hatch. There is just so much brown and it looks so dark and dated.

We started on my younger son’s room – the smallest bedroom. My husband sanded and I went to look for a screwdriver – which involved going back to the rented house to get a key for my neighbour’s garage where the screwdrivers were temporarily kept. By the time I got back he’d ripped up and the carpet and sanded half of the room. I was very impressed!

I started with the undercoat on the skirting board. With neither the carpet or the walls to worry about it, it was remarkably easy to slap it on with a wide brush. Before we knew it, we were on to my daughter’s room. Then my eldest’s.


Each time my husband cut the carpet up and sanded. Then I hoovered up the dust so we didn’t paint it back on to the skirting board and got painting.

There were cobwebs everywhere. I needed to get rid of them. I have the world’s most awesome hoover – a Henry (yes, I know hoover is a trade name and not a generic term, blah blah) and those cobwebs were no match for him. The Henry vacuum cleaner hoover is so powerful you only have to wave the pipe in the vague direction of the cobwebs and they’re gone.

With the cobwebs hoovered up and me waiting to paint, I looked for the next thing to do. The kitchen. Oh my flipping word. It was GROSS. So dirty.

I don’t like cleaning. I don’t like cleaning because I don’t like dirt. Maybe that doesn’t make sense, but it makes perfect sense to me. I like things hygienic. I don’t even like my own dirt, so I CERTAINLY don’t like other people’s. But I had to put that aside. I had to deal with it. We’re only talking about the floor here, the rest of it is a job for another day, but I was up close and personal with far too many weird splashes and old peas and rice and crumbs for my liking. I had a dust mask on and I was so grateful for it.

By the end of day 1, all of the bedroom skirting boards had been sanded and primed and all of the bedroom carpets had been ripped up and taken to the tip. Some of the furniture which had been left behind had also gone to the tip, the cobwebs had been zapped and a start had been made on painting the walls of the bedrooms.

I thought of all the sanding, painting, hoovering, ripping stuff up and chucking stuff away, and I thought: Oh my goodness. What if we had moved STRAIGHT IN? There’s no way we could have done that stuff whilst also living there.

Maybe everything happens for a reason.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oh wow you’ve done SO much already!! I didn’t realise there was so much to do but it sounds like you’re all going full steam at it. All the brown everywhere makes it sound like it nust be quite dark everywhere but it sounds like you’re going to get it in shape in no time at all x

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  2. I am a huge believer in everything happens for a reason – I think you may have even cited this yourself before? Just imagine, you would never have got it all done! I don’t suppose your son is overly keen on that flowery wallpaper either! Well done to both of you at cracking on in the midst of something which must look very daunting. Look forward to watching the progress 🙂

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  3. You’ve done so much already! And it helps that you look particularly fetching in that dust mask… lol x

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  4. Yep, much better to be able to do that without having to live in the house too! Hurray! Not long now.

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  5. It is sooo much easier to do stuff if you aren’t living there! When me and the ex bought our house, it was vile in a similar old people way, and very dark- we had to move in after a couple of days so we slapped cheap magnolia everywhere as quick as we could just so it didn’t give us depression, then we did one room at a time over the next year to a higher standard.

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  6. Whoo I bet it is so exciting planning everything and how your going to change it. Can’t wait to see what you do 🙂 thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop…

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  7. Thanks very much, everyone!
    I think you’re right, Suzanne, definitely one of those ‘everything happens for a reason’ things!
    I think I fooled myself there wasn’t too much to do, Tas! I was so in awe of the size, potential and location of it! It was pretty dark, but we are already improving it.
    I look great, don’t I, WallyMummy? 😉
    Magnolia everywhere sounds a very good idea, Sonya!

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  8. Wow, you’ve done loads – enjoying catching up, hope you’ll share some after shots xx

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  9. Thanks very much, Emily! The after shots will come in good time! The whole thing is still such a work in progress. x

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