Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My YHL Book Project Challenge: Make A Whole House Binder


In case you missed last week's post, I am doing a monthly a project from the Young House Love book and and "git 'er done". I fully expect some of them to be disasters, but how do you ever learn anything without first making a big mess of something?

Here's why I'm doing this challenge. And here is the project I did in July: an etched glass dog treat container. So for August, I decided to do Project #092: Make A Whole House Binder, largely to remedy this situation.


As we've made decorating decisions and home improvements, we have been basically shoving everything associated with the house into file folders. Sometimes stuff ended up in the "Warranties" folder, sometimes in the "Decorating" folder. Sometimes it just got shoved into the file cabinet without regard for where it ought to end up. That's bad because when things like the washing machine break, it's nice to be able to find the purchase information, warranty information and trouble-shooting guides without much fuss.

Plus, when I go to the paint store to look at samples, out thrifting or to the fabric store, it would be nice to have samples and dimensions for everything that's already in the room so that choices we make are sound and I don't have to run around and make a bunch of returns after we complete a project.

However, my Etsy store has been insanely busy the past week and so I didn't have as much time to spend on this as I normally would. I still have a little work to do, but here's what I have so far.


Here are the steps I followed:

1. Pull out everything that needed to be organized. There were pieces of this puzzle all over the house in different folders. I still have to go through some financial files and pull some receipts from past projects, but I haven't gotten to that yet.



2. Acquire supplies. I bought this binder from Target (not online, here's a similar one), but I already had sheet protectors and the tabbed dividers I wanted to use. I made labels for each room using my label maker and the tabs I have are peel and stick so I just stuck one to each sheet protector.



3. Acquire missing pieces. I needed to gather fabric samples, paint chips, rug swatches and other decorating items so I ran around to places like Benjamin Moore and Crate & Barrel to get paint swatches and fabric samples I was missing. I still have a few more to get, but this went very well.



4. Measure, measure, measure. The next step was to measure all our rooms and the major pieces of furniture. Doug actually did pretty much all of this, but we'll need to go back and fill in the gaps so I can create a floor plan of the condo with doorways, windows and other architectural features identified.



5. File, file, file. Doug then sorted all the paperwork and samples by room and I put them in the sheet protectors. A few things that didn't fit got stuck in the pocket in the front of the binder (all large appliance manuals).



6. Collect important phone numbers for home improvement projects. We have a contractor that we call when we need things done that we can't do ourselves (like fixing the water heater or rewiring light switches). I can never find his phone number on the first try, which is why it's currently blank. When I track down his card, I'll add this information. Also, we have a condo office that is our first stop when we want to make changes or have problems so we thought that number would be handy to have there too. 

As far as what is left to be done, I want to make an actual floor plan of the condo with all the correct dimensions on it for walls, doorways and windows. I also have a few missing pieces to fill in as far as paint chips and fabrics. But this challenge was a great way to get me started on the bulk of the work. Hopefully it will keep me a little better organized when it comes to these home improvement projects. And all for the cost of a binder!

So how did your YHL Book Challenge posts go this month? Link up below!

As a reminder, here are the rules:

1) Choose a project from the YHL book and git 'er done.
2) Link up your project (via your blog or Flickr or whatever) to the YHL book project page.
3) Link up your project here using the Linky below and check out the projects that others have done.



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