The Diocese agreed earlier this year to give us a new kitchen (we live in a Vicarage, so can’t make those decisions for ourselves, even if we could afford it!) … and after some discussion, agreed that our plans could include a knock-through from the kitchen to the dining room. The Diocesan architect made it clear that it’s unusual for them to agree to such a project with a family in residence, but we discussed it and decided that for the sake of the improvement, we’d cope.

So we’ve had to hold two sets of practicalities in our minds at once … what do we do with all the stuff that’s currently in the kitchen and dining room while the work is being done, and where everything will go once the work is finished. There’s also the practicality of how we cope while the work is being done, but we’re away for two weeks of it, and we’ll camp out in the spare room (to eat) and lounge (for everything else except sleeping) until it’s all over.

We’ve agreed in principle that during the work, the furniture etc will be distributed around the house … other than the lounge as we’ll need one haven of normality especially if the job lasts longer than the allocated three weeks! While the contents will mostly go in the garage and various boxes, also around the house. I’ve already worked out where most of the furniture will go … although it means dismantling my desk and computer for the duration. Meanwhile, the spare room is a mess so that needs sorting, too, before the work starts. When we put it all back again, I’ll have to reorganise my space in the dining room – where my desk is and will be again, which means some stuff will need to go into the study while other rooms will also have to accommodate new arrangements – it’s all clear in my head!

The first step of our grand scheme was to totally revamp the family filing cabinet in the study (it’s a long story) … and we made a start on that at K – 8w (kitchen minus 8 weeks) … that was a fortnight ago. It helped that DH began to realise the amount of work involved and the necessary timetable for the necessary preparations …

What we hadn’t factored in was DD2’s sudden decision to reorganise her bedroom.

First of all she needed a new bed … the frame she’s had for a while now was cheap and the slats keep slipping out of place. The mattress too needed replacing. Once DD2 gets an idea in her head, it needs doing … she has learned to wait, but it’s an anxious time and she can think about nothing else in the meanwhile. So we made a start by ordering a new bed, which arrived, and which we built, last week.

DD2 finds visualisation difficult, so tends not to be able to find anything that isn’t visible. That includes clothes … we took the door off her wardrobe some time ago so that she can see the things hanging there, but the rest of her clothes have lived a peripatetic life around her room. Eventually, I found a solution …

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Completed with clear perspex boxes, it’s ideal for DD2 to store underwear and small clothing items etc. So the deal was made … we’d refit her room, providing she then kept the floor clear. So we ordered various shelving units and a desk unit, all in white, and a number of boxes to create a clothes storage unit and some bookshelves. Meanwhile, DD1 decided she’d like to get in on the deal on the same terms :huh:

So this week, we unpacked and built five separate shelving units, a desk and the boxes. It didn’t quite fit how we planned in either girl’s room … and in DD2’s mind at least, it meant moving out all her other furniture apart from her (new) bed! So we’ve had to move out a chest of drawers, a bookcase* and an armchair. But if they go in the spare room (I’m not prepared to get rid of any of them … they are all in good condition and useful pieces) … what do I do with the kitchen stuff during the building project?

And then today, DH decided he’d like the *bookcase … so this morning, without warning, he started to pull the study apart to move it in, which leaves us with a stationery cupboard to move out and find a new home for too :sigh:

Did I mention I built a new hen shelter last week, too?! :rolleyes: I built all their housing, run and feed station etc, but the feed station needed replacing … and we’ve decided to get some new hens in July so it had to be done sooner rather than later. And I’ve been preparing not only to preach (last Sunday) but to lead a day conference for the churches (this Saturday) and another service in a couple of weeks to fit in with an Olympic theme … all of which has left my head spinning!

Although we’ve set aside some time to clear the garage at K – 3w, and we’ve nothing in the diary for K – 1w, I still can’t get my head around packing for our holiday, while packing up the kitchen and dining room, while making sure the new hens are well and settled, and coming home after the holiday to a house in chaos with all our washing and having to prepare for a new term at school only a few days later …

It could all be one big mistake … but it’s too late now!

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