Condo Blues

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Garage Workshop Transformation Part 1: Paint Walls

Husband and I are going forward with turning part of our garage into a wood workshop for me. We adjusted the budget a bit due to Blitzkrieg’s knee surgery. We still plan to buy as many materials as we can for the project from the Restore.

Some of the storage and insulation extras may wait unless a good sale comes our way. This will be a cash only project.

Here’s the before.

The beer sign is how dudes decorate. That is what Husband told me as he hung it up after I banished it to felt it worked better in the garage.

Monday, March 7, 2011

One Small Change: Buy a Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

March’s One Small Change is something I avoided forever – getting rid of my 14-year-old sweeper for a bagless HEPA filter model because the greenest and cheapest thing is to use what you already own, right?

My old Hoover upright uses bags. I can buy them for a dollar a package at Dollar Tree so the price of bags isn’t an issue. In a pinch, I can always open the top of the bag, dump the contents in the trash or compost bin, and staple the top of the bag closed so I can reuse it again. I learned this trick from the Tightwad Gazette. The Condo Blues whammy dictates that if I run out of vacuum cleaner bags it is going to be when I am in the middle of cleaning the house. 

With a Pekingese whose hobby is shedding, my trusty Roomba Red got the daily dog fur tumbleweeds and the upright came out every other day for the heavy cleaning. Roomba doesn’t use bags so I figure the waste thing was 50/50.

Not long ago, Roomba’s rechargeable battery heaved its last breath. Being one of the first Roombas, it is not as powerful as the current models but it did the job. (I like a clean house because I am my mother’s daughter. I like gadgets and tech because I am my father’s daughter. Super early adopter robot owner me.Yay robots who do your bidding!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wood Pallet Wall Treatment

Some people call my home the House of Wacky Wall Treatments because I like to use more than just plain paint on our walls for stylish effects. I can appreciate a wall treatment that colors outside the lines like Mom and Her Drill’s wood pallet living room accent wall.

 Photo courtesy of Mom and Her Drill

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Would You Buy a Thrift Store Mattress?

I popped into my favorite Thrift Store. It often has donations from retail stores. That day it had new furniture. A sofa, a chair, and a few mattresses and box springs were so new they were still wrapped in plastic. The quality was that of a low end discount store, but the prices were excellent. If you were buying furniture for a dorm room or first apartment, this is your place! A queen size mattress was selling for $199 and the matching box spring was $75.

Thrift store shopping is an affordable way to shop green. Husband and I needed a mattress for our guest room. We don’t want to spend thousands on a super duper uber green guest room mattress since we have overnight guests maybe once or twice a since we moved in six years ago. A more affordable option with an allergy ban cover to keep the flame retardants and such at bay will do just fine. It's working out well in our room.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Want a New Sofa? Reupholster It!

Husband came into my life with his own sofa. It was kinda like a gift with purchase. There was only one small problem with his bachelor sofa – the print.

 1994 called. They want their sofa back.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Fix a Garage Door Opener

My automatic garage door opener works fine in the summer but never in the winter. When I push the button on the wall or the remote, the garage door opener does one of two things:

  1. The door goes down and pops back up when it reaches the garage floor.
  2. The door doesn’t go down at all. The light blinks and that’s it.
Turns out that these two problems are common with garage door openers in winter. The cold weather causes the metal tracks of your garage door to expand ever so slightly which can knock the sensors and force of your garage door opener out of position just enough so the opener will not work properly in winter.

Fortunately, both issues have very quick fixes and take a less time to complete than a TV commercial break.