I enjoy DIY’ing for two reasons.
The first is that I get to design and do things my way. :-) Secondly, to save money.
These are both huge pluses to transform my home to one that I will love and live in happily ever after. The downside of DIY’ing is that it does takes TIME and EFFORT from start to finish.
The time and effort requires more than actually doing the project… the prep and clean up can sometimes take longer than the project itself. I always try to remember that anything worth achieving requires preparation.
I get so excited to get into a DIY project, but for it to go smoothly I first have to calm down and make a plan. I need to buy the supplies, set them all up, prepare surfaces, tape, mask, and then I can start.
During the transformation process I am in my element and focus on the task at hand.
When the project is done, I step back and know it was worth all the time and effort to see my visions come to life and then….
I really step back and see the mess all around the project I have completed, from wood scraps, drop cloths, tools, paint cans, paint drips, sanding and Spackle dust and more that all has to be cleaned up and put away.
I try to be neat and not make too big of a mess, but after using the foyer to paint the kitchen cabinets when it got too cold to paint them outside and then add the closet under the foyer staircase, the brick floor in the foyer, even though we protected it with heavy duty drop cloths was a mess. Plus the fact that while all this was taking place, we tracked in the dirt from daily life and I had not cleaned the floor literally in 6 months!
It was time to see the floor again.
I like the brick floor and think I will place a seagrass rug in the center of the floor eventually, but first I needed to get the space back in order. I started by sweeping the floor to get as much dust, sanding grit and dirt up as I could. I had to use a stiff broom where the bristles would get down into the grooves between the bricks.
And then I did something I have not done in years…
…I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the entire floor with a scrub brush, Green Works® Multi-Surface cleaner, and hot water. ( Yes, mom I protected my knees first :-)
My handled mops with pads just didn’t get into the grooves between the bricks. I needed to spray cleaner into all the grooves and scrub to flush out the accumulated dirt.
It was a big job, but one that didn’t make my eyes water, break me out with hives or give me a headache since I used non-toxic Green Works® that has 95% to 99% naturally derived ingredients.
I had never used this before moving to South Carolina, but the previous owner of the house left a mostly full bottle of it in the garage along with other cleaners and items she could not take with her. I have since used it all around my house. I like it since all the active cleaning ingredients in it are derived from mother nature, such as filtered water, plant-based cleaning agents, essential oils, corn-based ethanol and wood-based fibers.
For me this means I can breathe while I clean and not have to worry about it leaving a harsh chemical residue. I have horrible allergies and the smell of most cleaning agents makes my throat swell and I can’t breathe. While I scrubbed away and watched the dirt disappear I could breathe easily…not a hive appeared on my body and my eyes didn’t water. “I Love Green Works” and have Marie, the previous owner of the house to thank. :-)
Once I scrubbed the entire floor and watched it dry, the most exciting part of DIY’ing came… putting the area back into order to see what my time and effort had rewarded me with.
Not only a clean floor, but a new closet under the staircase and the clean-lined decorating style I like for my home.
I posted about how we created a hidden closet under the staircase, here.
Many of you have asked if I was going to leave the brick floor as it is. For now I am, but I may eventually whitewash it or do some sort of painted treatment on it once we get new entry doors. Getting new doors may be a long way off though since I can’t DIY putting them in…. a little over my skill set. We will have to hire someone to do that job and with a wedding next year to pay for, it may have to wait. :-)
Tomorrow I will be sharing how I did DIY something around another door in my house that only costs about $20. :-)