Wednesday Advice Smackdown
A Note from the Trenches

Home Implosion

We're closing on a home equity loan this afternoon, which means our long national nightmare can now begin.

We're redoing our kitchen. New cabinets, floors, countertops, sink, etc. I'm even getting a pantry, something I have always, always wanted. Possibly even more than offspring.

But only recently did it occur to me that I have to completely empty out every cabinet and drawer before demolition begins. (Demolition! In my very own house!) Where am I supposed to put everything? (Our condo is tiny.) Soup and dry goods on the windowsills? Plates on the dining room table? Glasses stacked precariously on the TiVo?

At the same time, we're replacing the carpet on the stairs and upstairs bedroom with hardwoods. (The "upstairs bedroom" is actually the "entire upstairs," as our condo is, again, tiny.) This is the same carpet, as some long-time readers may recall, that we've been talking about replacing after multiple puppy potty-training accidents and one bizarre week of feline temper tantrums after we switched kitty litter brands.

And again, it only recently occurred to me that all our bedroom furniture will have to be moved downstairs, and that we (which includes me, the achy, whining, pregnant woman) will be sleeping on our sleeper sofa in the meantime, surrounded by groceries and cutlery.

Also at the same time, we're replacing the vanity and sink in our bathroom, as it is fourteen different kinds of nasty. It may even be nastier than the piss-stained carpet.

Also also at the same time, we're starting work on the nursery, which is currently a Room O' Junk. (FYI: the nursery is the only room where I mean "we" will actually be doing actual work. All other home improvement projects that "we" will be doing will be done by people to whom we're paying large amounts of money.)

We've already bought the paint and primer. (Who thought it would be a good idea to paint a room that would eventually be used as a nursery dark red? Who? Oh right, me.) We've bought dropclothes and a masky thing for me and we've planned lofty artistic things with Jason's mother, who is a professional painter/decorator/Martha Stewart and we must get it painted before we order furniture and holy shit, I have to buy a crib? I am not ready to buy a crib. Am I actually having a baby or something?

Oh finally: We have no place for all the junk currently residing in the Room O' Junk, have no idea what to do with any of it (especially as 90% of our [tiny] condo will be in transitional shambles for the next couple months), and actually got into a fight this week about the fate of our ironing board.

"Where are we going to put the ironing board?"

(hysterical silence)

"We'll have to keep it in our bedroom somewhere."

"But where?"


"It'll be in the way if we just stick it somewhere."




I really have no idea why we never thought to do home improvements before. This is fun!


Mrs S.

Yikes, I have been there. I do have a few suggestions, thanks to me being desperate at times and actually reading one of those "Queen of Clean" books (yes, I actually sat down and read one). My house doesn't have a laundry area, so all of my ironing/folding/hanging happens in my bedroom. If you have room under your bed, fold up the ironing board and stash it under there. It works great for me. Also, as far as the room 'o junk, try to see what you don't need, and what junk you absolutly must have (this is usually the hardest part, especially if you are sentimental about stupid things like I am). What you don't need, donate and/or throw away. If you have a lot that you must have and still can't find a place for it, look in the phone book and see if you have a storage unit place near you. I rented a fairly large size storage unit and down here in Georgia it ran me about $65.00 a month. It was worth it to actually be able to walk around without bumping into things though! When times get tough, just think of how nice your condo will look once finally finished! Good luck!!!


I haven't ironed in YEARS. That's why they invented the Jiffy Steamer.

I hide mine behind the bedroom door (of my own itty bitty condo).


hehe! My ironing board lives in my dining room...I always feel like a total freak for having it up all the damn time (you just never see that in the Pottery Barn catalogs, do you?), and occasionally, I start to consider the whole "iron when I do laundry" thing...but that's just WAY too big of a pain in the ass. I'll live with it in the dining room.

Have fun with your remodeling.. Play the pregnancy card to get out of the really awful stuff!


If you're having someone install your carpets, check with them about their policy on furniture - a lot of them don't mind if you leave big pieces of furniture in the room as long as they have space to move them around (i.e. clear out your crap except for the furniture). They'll move your furniture to one 1/2 of the room, carpet the other 1/2, and then swap. Worked for us when we had just moved into our new home and had a king size bed, a futon, a desk, and two dressers in our upstairs while they carpeted. I made sure to move all the boxes before they came, though.


What's ironing?

One tip (cloaked assvice)....For your cabinets, go with drawers that slide in and out. They are a necessity, really.

bond girl

That storage locker idea sounds like possibly a v. good one for you guys right now.

I trust you will post pre and post-remodeling shots at some point, yes? ;-)


Yes, I think storage sounds like a very, very good plan. Either that or a hotel stay!
I did major remodeling while I was pregnant too. A word of assvice warning - this does not mix well with your increasing "nesting" tendencies. Clutter will make you crazy. Cleaning incessantly? A necessity. Also a necessity are large boxes to be filled and piled in corners. The plastic totes from Target are a good choice.


Mrs. S: To put our ironing board under our bed would imply that we actually own a bedframe, rather than just a boxspring and mattress dumped on the floor. Which, um, we don't really live like that. Except that we do.

Ross: No new carpet. Gleaming hardwoods, baby. Which means all furniture must be downstairs for the duration of the install, sanding and varnishing. I could build a fort!

And everybody: It's so embarrassing, but we actually have enough storage space upstairs for everything (it's a loft with sloped ceilings so we have about 300 square feet of crawl spaces), except that the storage space is completely dull of crap that we will never, ever use and are too lazy to drag out to the trash. Guess what Jason will be doing this Memorial Day weekend!

Perhaps I will iron.


i'm de-lurking b/c apparently you want us to....anyway, i found you via snarkywood, and i think you're fucking hilarious! i'm a teacher, and today is my last. fucking. day. of. school. so, i can't want to start my summer off by reading your archives!
good luck w/ the house remodeling....ugh!


say no to ironing. and say hello to one hour martinizing!
i've been married for 7 years and have ironed exactly one time.


This is my first delurking post EV-AH. And I read a lot of blogs every day. Have read your archives and find you oh-so-very-amusing and snarky.

Hope the remodel goes well. Please post some before-and-after pictures.

Assvice on the packing: large covered tubs are your friend. Throw in the crap, label what's in it, tape the list on top. Then you won't have to go hunting through boxes looking for stuff.

My husband and I are going to remodel the current kitchen we have and then remodel the new kitchen in the new house all at the same time. That should be v v fun.


Home remodeling projects while pregnant=lots of fun! :-) We decided to replace carpet and lay ceramic tile (ourselves) right before the baby was born. I was due on May 1st and we started ripping up vinyl tile on April 10th. We laid 650 sq. ft. of tile ourselves and finished on Sunday, April 26th (I was in charge of cleaning the grout), carpet was laid on Monday and my water broke on Friday...thank goodness I had a towel handy!! And, actually, that last month was the best I had felt all along!


If you don't absolutely need crisp lines or seams... Downy Wrinkle Reducer is my new best friend! Spray outfit and smooth out night before, or morning of, just leave time to air dry. You will be (almost) wrinkle free. No Iron or board needed!!!!


Don't sweat the crib. If you are using a bassinette/cradle/dresser drawer for your newborn, you won't need the crib for 3-4 months after Squishy arrives.

Now, go sit on the couch, put your feet up and order everyone around like you are only allowed to do these short 9 months. Make us proud.


I hate ironing, but my brand spanking new maternity wardrobe requires it. My ironing board is one of those that hangs over the door and folds up like a murphy bed when not in use. I SWEAR by it.

suzanna danna

Oh sweetness,
Just move. It would be so much easier.
Love you... mean it.
You're going to be fine.


You are remodeling your entire condo AND having a baby, all at the same time?

That's either genius, is dealing with all of that shit at once, or complete insanity. Good luck with all that.


You IRON? *baffled*


NEVER IRON! It is not good for you! Very, very bad!

Anything looks great after a few minutes in the dryer with a damp towel.


Who ARE you people who don't iron? How can you not iron?

My God, nothing in the world makes me happier than nice crisp seams and perfectly straight collars. I've seriously ironed baby clothes already. I may be spending Squishy's college fund on new hardwood floors, but SO HELP ME GOD, he WILL NEVER LOOK RUMPLED.


I iron! Of course, I tend to save it up for all at once and it's like discovering a whole new wardrobe. And ironing is very satisfying, watching all those wrinkles go away, ending with something so pretty and pressed... I'm with you, Amalah!


Dear Sweet Amalah - Crisp seams and perfectly straight collars come from the dry cleaners!

Wait until you have Squishy, see if you have time for ironing.


My assvice for the day: (And I know you have already thought of it.)

Please be careful, do not do too much of the moving of things and is there any danger with being pregnant and painting? Inhaling fumes and stuff? (Don't laugh, I don't know these things.) Have you checked with your doctor? And you know you aren't supposed to be changing kitty litter right? Basically, you should be sitting down watching the things happen. Your share of the work will happen in a few months' time.


let's hear it for ironing boards as the new fancy and exclusive home decor! ours is constantly in our guest room, which also doubles as an entire closet (floor, bed, and chair included in said "closet") for the husband.

damn, i'm so glad we used a store credit card to get ourselves into even more debt to buy those fancy dressers we just HAD to have. that now barely are cracked open.


take before and after pictures! take before and after pictures!

haha! happy 're-doing everything in the house!'


After my two children there was no ironing. If you can't toss it in the drier and then do the air shaky thing to get the wrinkes out then you wear it wrinkled. Yes, crisp collars and pant seams come from the dry cleaners.


Agree with Serenity. Inhaling all that stuff while being expectant... Think of the baby.
- all right I know you do.
'twas just a small advice from me.
When I was expecting my first baby I painted walls with some user-friendly stuff, but my husband did not let me anywhere near chemical substances we used to polish the wooden floor with.
All in short: do the remodeling while the baby allows you - as soon as he is out, you'll have better things to do.
PS: I never iron. NEVER.


Hey y'all.

Thanks for your concerns, but I think everybody is missing a crucial point. We are PAYING OTHER PEOPLE to do our remodeling. I'm not lifting anything heavy, varnishing floors or demolishing cabinets or doing *anything* that could possibly hurt the baby. (Sorry to get defensive, but LORD, I would hope y'all know me better than to think I would ever do anything remotely dangerous while pregnant.)

We're painting the nursery ourselves, which is totally safe and doctor-approved. Non-lead-based paint, windows open, fans going, and I have a fancy little ventilation mask that the paint store people recommended.

And...comments are getting closed on this entry, and I'm begging ya, people, please refrain from all the advice/assvice/think-of-the-baby stuff in the future. I already have a mother and some really nosy coworkers to second-guess everything I do and lay on the guilt trips, so I'm good.

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