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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Bechen

Home Fix-its: Don't Let Your House Hurt You

Updated: Jun 8

Do you have something(s) in your home that could hurt you?

Not good, and time to do something about it!

In our home, it was doors. Several doors. Nice white doors. Heavy solid-wood doors. That came off the track sometimes and fell forward on me. Or, were just plain hard to slide open.

Yes, Steve fixed the track more than once but it would just go back to the same.

Did I also mention I am a senior lady who does not know how to do things like operate a fork lift or install closet doors, nor do I have any interest in learning. (I'm a girl who likes to head for high tea when the going gets tough, and although I value creative thrift and simplicity in most things I do, I keep a little "splurge fund" set aside to indulge in fancy-ish things like high tea now and then. This is one of my stress-management life tools, and trust me, it works wonders. Well, at least it did before a thing called a pandemic came along, and now we all need an afternoon tea party even more, right?! Well for now anyway, our new at-home tea set and this tray are going to have to do!

Exasperated about our door challenge, I said to Steve:

"Those doors have got to go! I want curtains that I can move freely and that I won't be injured or killed by." (Drama can be a good thing when your life could be at stake!) :)

Well, we've organized and decorated enough homes together by now, (15, if I remember right), that my hubby knew that voice of determination of mine was not worth debating so he just grinned and said, "Okay, honey."

In the past he, (or I too), might have said, "Yeah, but those are nice doors that were also expensive and what about the resale value of our house?"

That's kind of like the line of thinking when you are decluttering your wardrobe closet and say to your imaginary professional organizer who is charging you $100 per hour: "But I paid good money for that beautiful dress and when I lose 100 pounds it's going to look great on me, so I'm keeping it in my closet. (For a few years, when it will be woefully out of style, and you've only lost 10 pounds!)

Here is my current line of thinking: "We live in this house now and whoever buys this house after we decide to sell it for whatever reason or whenever, can remodel it to their own taste and style but until then I want it to be comfy for us."

Did I mention our closet doors were big? That meant Steve had to haul them away tied on top of our car. (We have a Camry car; not a huge pickup truck.)

I truly felt sorry for Steve to have to remove these doors and haul them away, but I was tired of my house hurting me, so out they had to go.

I suggested we could call 1-800-GOT-JUNK. We have used various haul-away-junk services before and they were fine but we wanted the doors gone sooner than later, and some haul-away services have a waiting list in AZ during snowbird season, plus also charge quite a fee, ($125 to haul away our very heavy and non-functioning washer/dryer that was stacked, but lots cheaper than owning a truck so that time it was totally worth it!)

So then I got this idea in a moment of resourceful DIY thinking, (a.k.a. frustration), and I said to Steve ...

"You have an electric saw, right?"

"Yes, I do."

"How about cutting the doors in three or four pieces and hauling them up to the recycling bin in the trunk of the car?"

He grinned and said: "Good idea!"

We then lived with an open wardrobe closet for a week until these new curtains arrived from Amazon and I really like them and so does Steve. They hang nicely, are blackout weight, and after washing were no iron. (I consider ironing a waste of precious time.) Easy to slide and they go nicely with our garden-y themed bedroom.

We used large spring-y rods which are sturdier than regular tension rods. Who wants to remove a door only to have a large rod of heavyweight curtains fall on top of you?! The curtain tie back Steve had saved from a previous home project in our San Diego apartment and he still had it in our shed, saving us money in buying a new one, according to him. He said he kept it because he figured I'd want one of these again some day!

That's my man!

Kathryn Bechen DIY home decorating

We also had two doors on our Master Bedroom bathroom. One entry door and one closet door that banged into that entry door every time you opened the toiletries/medicine closet. Like every day, at least once a day. I have pinched my finger more than once from those dumb doors. Middle of the night? You get the idea.

Out. Out! Bye bye baby!

We put the same curtains up there on our bathroom entry door with about a six inch space on top and bottom which immediately sold my husband just on airflow principles alone, plus I no longer say I am too hot or cold when we watch movies from bed together, so he probably likes that fact too. :) BTW, we have been really enjoying watching free romance movies from the Freevee channel lately as it came with our TV. This was our latest movie we watched; a bit dorky I thought, yet cute. All these movies are also set in charming small towns with beautiful scenery for a bonus. Or places like gorgeous tropical islands etc. (We both love visiting charming small towns like these.)

Anyway, I decided not to put any curtain at all on our toiletry closet door because it's nicely organized and labeled and having no door or curtain makes it easier to get in there and put things away when you buy in multiples like I do. No door or curtain also forces me to keep it nicely organized and clean as I don't like messy closets. (I know this surprises you!)

BTW, I like these stacking drawers to organize our toiletries and medications inventory. I don't need a closet that costs a million dollars in custom organizing shelves and drawers that if you move you only have to leave them there. I make my own portable system. I do this because I stock up on toiletries, homeopathic remedies, and healthier pantry foods at Vitacost as they run great sales. If you use Vitacost, be sure to enter the site Rakuten first, and then enter Vitacost within Rakuten so you also get a rebate check from Rakuten auto-deposited.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Inflation, I'm looking at you! I have saved us nearly $100 per month this year on groceries and toiletries shopping strategically on Vitacost through Rakuten, and $2,408.35 in just Rakuten rebates since 6/1/11. That's money saved just shopping for what you need anyway that you can tuck away in your little splurge fund to go to high tea, or stay in a really nice Bed & Breakfast Inn once in awhile. Or if you have debt or other obligations you can use that "found money" you saved from strategic shopping for debt payoff etc. instead of for splurging. Or maybe put 75% to obligations and 25% to the splurge fund for stress management.

Also, I just bought two of these round turntables to keep all my personal care things at hand on the bathroom counter and they work dandy. They come in different colors etc. too.

Suggestion: Make a list of anything around your home that is annoying you, or worse yet, hurting you. And then take whatever steps needed to fix the situation. Soon. That might require hiring a professional handy person but fixing things will make your home and life so much better, and it's safer for you to live there too.

Hope you have a great day; I'm off on my imaginary jet to high tea here if you'd like to join me!

Kathryn :)

P.S. If you have questions or comments, please email them to me here: kathrynbechen (@ sign) gmail (dot) com. And if you'd like more dollarwise decorating tips for your home, here is my eBook on that topic.


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