Sunday, September 7, 2014

How we pay for all those Projects- DIY Budget!!!

It may seem like a never ending stream of DIY projects around here, and you may think that even though we do all our projects for less $$$$ it still takes $$$$ to make the magic happen!
 how do we do it and still have money to feed the kids? 
No we are not just plain rich!!
And we do not have a money tree!!

So how do we keep plugging away at our house?
 I thought I would tell you how "WE" are able to pay for all our DIY adventures.
We have a very strict policy of "NO DEBT".  
That's right, no debt. 
 If we do not have the cash, then we wait until we do!!
It's an old fashion concept called Saving!!
So how do we get enough cash?  
We set aside a small amount from every pay check.  
We keep that separate as Home Improvement Money.  
We do not use that money every week so it accumulates.  
Not every project or step takes $$$$. 
 It may appear as though we work every day on a project, we sometimes go weeks where we can't work on any project.  Then when we are able to work we have accumulated a decent amount of $$$ to buy our supplies.  

We also try to stretch the money we have.  
I first always try to use what I have.  I reuse, repurpose, or repaint. If you follow my blog you know this.
I buy used supplies at the Restore, second hand shops and garage sales. I have even boughten an item just so I could use the knobs or trim off that item because it's cheaper than buying new.  I always carry measurements for rooms or spaces you are working on so that when you come across a deal you can figure out if it will fit.
When I do have to buy new items I often look for open boxes or bags and ask for a discount.  Stores want to get rid of damaged merchandise so just ask and they will often discount it 10-15%.

Lowe's is closer to us, so we shop there most often.
We operated with no credit cards, until last year.
We opened a Lowe's credit card because we get 5% off everything we buy there on our card.  Over the period of a year we spend a lot there so we figured the savings would add up for us.
I know, I started out saying  we have a no debt policy!!!
  Isn't a credit card automatic debt?

Yes, if you do not pay it off!

We are a little annoying to the cashier, but here is  how we handle the no debt thing.
We purchase our supplies with the Lowe's credit card, and then make a payment for that amount right then as a second transaction.  You can make a credit card payment at any register at Lowe's.
Works like a charm!!!

There you have it, the Batchelor's Way of budgeting for DIY Projects!
How do you budget for house projects?
I would love to hear any tips you have!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nana's Day - The Final Frontier

If you have been following me for awhile you know about Nana's Day.  Once a week my sister and I go over and help my mother (aka Nana) work on remodeling and redecorating her house.
We started with her Kitchen,

then the Garage,

 Guest Bedroom,


 Master Bathroom,

Master Bedroom

and then the Living Room.

  Since she has moved in, seven years ago, we have pretty much redone her entire house!!
 All except the basement!!

Our Final Frontier!!

OK, her guest bedroom is in the basement, but we are about to switch it up!!
Let's talk about what she had in the basement and what she wanted.
Half of her basement was unfinished and the finished half had a bathroom and two rooms.  I can't really call them bedrooms as one (the current guest bedroom) doesn't have a closet.  And the second room had a closet but was open to the public area.  She wanted a family room downstairs, so we set about making a plan.  Unfortunately her utilities were smack dab in the middle of the basement, so we had to work around that.  Eventually we came up with a plan.  We moved the guest bedroom to the room with a closet and added a wall and a door so it would be a real bedroom.  Which created a little bigger guest bedroom allowing for a place for guest luggage and two chairs.  The old closet-less guest room will later become a craft/sewing room.  And the unfinished half will become her new family room.  Here are some pictures.

Stay tuned to watch all the fun!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laundry Tips

I know I haven't posted forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just put up the laundry room reveal and then disappeared!
Not really, but it seems that way.  
What actually happened was a family trip halfway across the country to Nauvoo, Illinois,
 followed by one week of trying to to get all five kids clothes gone through,
 then back to school shopping done, 
and then a weeks worth of relatives visiting from Arizona for my sweet niece's wedding!!
All of which was soooo much fun but literally captured ALL my time!! 
I have just a few days and then all the kids go back to school.  
Now that my laundry room is done, I love being in there, partly because it is so pretty but more because it functions so well.  
And with a family of 8, laundry is a big deal!!
Today I just wanted to share my laundry tips.

Let me just walk you through how we do laundry each week.

1.  We have dirty clothes bins in every one's rooms. 
 Everyone is required to bring them to the laundry room and unload their dirty clothes every Friday (Chore day).  Each person is responsible for dividing their dirty laundry according to the bins: Whites, Reds, Darks, Jeans, Towels, Hand Washables or delicates. Before they take their basket back to their room they spray it with disinfectant to help keep the stinky germs in check.

(As a side note I have each section of the dirty clothes roller baskets labeled because labeling is key to good organizing.  It helps everyone know what goes where.)

2. Install a drip pan and or drain under your machine!
After our laundry room was about 90% complete we had a small leak!  We had talked about putting in a drain on the floor but got into too big of a hurry and just rushed onto the pretty and fun stuff.  So we were able to see first hand just how hard or easy it was to pull the machines out.  I must say it was not as bad as I though it was going to be.  Once the machines were out we seized this chance to install a drip pan and a drain.
 (We are fortunate enough to have a store room below our laundry too and plumbing that we could easily attach too.)
 If you can't install a drain at least install a drip pan!!!.
 (Getting the machines back in place and getting out proved a big challenge, but I love a challenge.)

3. Use the right amount of soap!
 I have front loaders and need to use High Efficiency (HE) laundry soap, but not all HE soaps are created equal.  I found this out the hard way. I bought a different brand that made more suds and came out the overflow in the back of my machine!!  Luckily it was while we already had the machine out fixing it!! Now I measure 1/4 cup each time.  Too much or too sudsy and you may regret it!!

4.  I drop the clean dry clothes on to the folding table.  
Having a folding table is key.  I try to fold the clothes right as they come out of the dryer, but sometimes this doesn't happen.  The folding table is a clean place to hold the clothes until I get back to them.
 (This helps keep my living room or bed from being the folding table, and helping maintain a more organized and clean house.)

5.  I color code my families laundry and hangers.
I have assigned every member of my family a color.  I use permanent markers in each family members clothing to mark the label.  That way I don't have to remember who's is who's and any one can fold the clothes and get them into the proper basket.  As I fold I hang anything that needs to be hung right there in the laundry room on each person's colored hanger.  They are then responsible to grab their color of hangers and put them into their closets.  I also required each person to bring back their extra hangers, so I always have a stash.  This helps us be more organized and my kids rooms to be more clean.
 (If I just put things in their basket for them to hang up, most things end up shoved in a drawer!!)

6.  I fold the clean clothes and drop them right into the clean clothes baskets.
Each bedroom has a basket once a day family members need to collect their clean clothes and put them away in their rooms and return their empty clean clothes basket to the laundry room.

7. I keep a small bucket in the cupboard closest above the folding counter for odd socks.
I don't like to clutter up the counter, but I do need to keep odd socks for a while.  Don't know about you but my kids often turn in one sock to the laundry while it's mate lounges between the couch cushions for a week or two.  It's a sad and lonely separation, but a joyous reunion.

8.  Last of all I do the delicates and hand washables. 
My machine has settings for these, so I wash most things with the machine and then put them on my sweater drying racks.  These items stay there until they are dry and then I just pop them into their clean clothes basket.  We debated about putting a small fan on the back of this box.  We opted not to.  But after using it for a while now I have determined we need more air circulating and will be adding that soon, so stay tuned.