Our House Remodel—Hopeful Living

We recently (praise God) finished our house remodel!

It was interesting because as we were in the first few minutes of this project I told my husband how cool I thought it would be for us to ‘get rid of our current jobs and start a husband and wife business in house remodeling.’…

Side-note: There is a huge need…around our area if you need house projects professionally done you’re looking at being put on a few months long waiting list. Fortunately we’re DIYer fans so we were able to cut the wait and the costs and do the work ourselves; however after this remodel we may rethink some of our love of DIYs next time. This one was labor and mental-toll intensive!!

We got a few days into our renovations (tearing up old ceramic tile and chiseling up backer board covered in dusty mortar) and I confidently retracted my desire of ever wanting to start our own construction business.

It was some of the hardest most tedious work I’ve ever done, and my husband and children would all quickly attest. Needless to say we won’t be giving the Gaines’ a run for their money.

Break time..sneaking candy

The ideas of interior design etc may come to me, or I may drive by a house that looks flip-worthy, but hopefully those will just be fleeing thoughts. Nate can keep to oil-fielding (I might’ve made that word up) and I’ll continue substitute teaching and fixing old lady hair at the nursing home.

A quick run-down of our remodel process:

  • Removed door & floor trim & painted with Magnolia Home Paint (amazing paint, thick coverage, my trim looks like it was store-bought already painted)
  • Removed old doors
  • Tore out old ceramic tile in kitchen/dining area
  • Moved washer and dryer to basement
  • Cleaned floors thoroughly
  • Mortared and screwed down backer board
  • Began systematically laying new ceramic tile
  • Removed laminate floor in living room
  • Picked up where we left off to complete the ceramic tile in living room area
  • Turned old pantry closet into an open coffee bar
  • Moved fridge & new pantry into old washer & dryer area
  • Put trim back up as the finished flooring allowed
  • Hung new doors & finished trim work
  • Cleaned & placed furniture
  • Relaxed and smiled that it’s finally done!
Coffee bar before
Pantry before
Old washer/dryer area
New fridge/pantry area
Coffee bar after
Before
After
Before
After
After

It really has been such a blessing to have the ability to do this house project ourselves and now to have it complete and enjoy it. The work was exhausting and overwhelming on most days, but the finished product has been rewarding and worth the time and wait.

The Christian walk pleads the same concept—there are seasons and even moments that may feel overbearing but God remains in the midst, always extending a rescue and a better outlook with our hearts fixed on Him and His eternal offering.

This earthly life doesn’t promise an easy ticket just like my house project never promised ease.

James 1:12 is such a sweet reminder of God‘s goodness though,Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.’

When our focus is on Jesus first and foremost and the fact that Heaven is our eternal comfort it makes our current burdens seem much lighter and hope takes its spot in graciously prevailing.

We actually do have some other things around the house that eventually we want to do (some exterior work, swap out bathtubs, finish our basement hallway ceiling…) BUT for now those things will wait because our DIY ambition level has hit a record low and is in recharge mode for an unknown length of time, in the meantime we will rest in the Lord’s perfect faithfulness.

Have an amazing and blessed weekend!

Becoming a ‘semi’ Minimalist, etc. (part 1 of 2)

Here’s the promised post some of you have been looking forward to.😊 BTW I’m out of quarantine — never got sick and honestly loved the time I had at home to organize, relax, and study! It was good for my soul.

Okay I know the title is misleading because while ‘minimalist’ refers to less, ‘etc.’ means more!! BUT here’s the deal, in effort to not overwhelm on a minimalist post 😅, I’ll split this into a two part post. Part 1 (today) I’ll dish out my spiral-story of minimizing on “stuff”, and part 2 (tomorrow) will include tips to help you do the same if you’re looking to declutter.

Disclaimer: I’ve named this post ‘semi’ minimalist and I want to explain — here’s the deal, if you’ve ever watched tv programs on tiny living there are some super extremist out there!! And I kind of admire that, BUT the reality (for me) is that I have a family and I need my life to work and make sense, so maybe I could minimize more here or there but we also need to be able to function decently at the Witt house so this ‘semi‘-minimalist-living is what works for us…

Mostly I receive positive comments or compliments from family and friends when they come over and see my home’s decor or lack there of. Even people have commented on the blog when they see pictures of my house’s content.

People are interested (maybe even sub-consciously) — in less distraction, tidiness, and clean design these days from what I’ve learned. The interest of thinning out can be overwhelming though — not taking action is sometimes a lack of knowing where to begin but having a strong desire to do so.

The enthusiasm has caused me to write this very post to help encourage the fervor.

For me I was always a collector growing up — those creepy little troll dolls, knick-knacks, baseball cards, collector Barbies, etc, etc, etc…

I’ve shared about my adversity as a child and I’m pretty certain collecting (for me) was a coping mechanism. I must have felt security through my stuff and I had a lot of it.

When I left for college I took some of the knick-knack things with me and left a good portion of the rest at home where I grew up.

In my twenties, once Nate and I were married, I began adding pots and pans, wall hangings, holiday decor, craft supplies, etc…

It didn’t stop there. I remember when Nate started getting his first paychecks from the job he’s still working at. It was good money and that was something neither of us had growing up so after the bills were paid every paycheck, we’d spend the rest on this and that — I don’t even know what we’d spend it on but we were definitely living paycheck to paycheck at that point.

In our late twenties we had over $10,000 worth of credit card debt, and another $8000 wrapped up in college debt, some odd amount on a personal loan, plus a car loan or maybe two, on top of a house payment.

One day, when I went to pay a credit card bill, I paid attention to the interest rate!!

Ouch!!

Our interest amount was of course higher than the monthly payment. I was like ‘umm we probably better do something about this!’….so I did the only financial thing I knew to do “best”…

I got another credit card!!

Only this time it was a zero percent interest card and I transferred everything from the other credit cards over and we began power paying that single credit card payment and stopped spending frivolously (tips will be provided in the follow-up post).

I was beginning the process of minimizing without even realizing it.

I’d also picked up on the Dave Ramsey financial plan from a few friends. I never purchased the program but learned enough about it to utilize the idea to my own advantage — power pay bills and use a cash envelope budget for grocery, fuel, and fun money.

Around that time Nathan (thank God) got two large bonus checks and rather than blowing them on junk, we paid off debt. So between the bonus checks and the Dave Ramsey budgeting we paid off everything except a car payment within a few years…the car is now paid off too.

Slow learners…shortly afterwards we bought a camper on a loan and kept it until this past summer, selling it and eliminating that payment.

We now have a house payment only!!!

Throughout the process of eliminating debt (and starting a savings account) I began to feel a weight lifted with every bill paid off…and I wanted “more”….more of that feeling, so I began to purge belongings.

Tomorrow we’ll digger deeper and get into the physical process of keeping, saving, selling, or donating stuff; and hopefully if you’ve felt the desire to change things up a bit in your home and spending habits you’ll be able to gain some insight!

You can leave a comment if there’s anything you hope to see included; because while I’ve spent time on putting this together in what I feel is simple form, I’m hoping I haven’t overlooked any tips (for tomorrow). I’ll try to include whatever suggestions I get, along with my own tips in part 2.

See ya tomorrow in part 2 (Tips on Becoming a ‘semi’ Minimalist).