Saturday, 21 January 2012

Little Boy's Bedroom: A Do-Over Story.

We've lived in our new house since July. It is everything I've been craving for three years. A reasonable sized kitchen. Check. A garden. Check. A reasonable sized garden. Check. Huge bedrooms for all our nonsense to be stored. Check. Storage a plenty. Check.

Mould free? Not lately. Mould and I have a bad romance. It's followed me to three properties thus far - our last two rented flats, which were horribly ventilated (if at all) and were usually old buildings with a lot of underlying problems.

So when I saw this place up for grabs I knew we'd be saying bye bye to mould for good. Um, think again. The windows are pretty old and we had some seriously awful rain storms all winter. The storms+ old windows + no window vents =  recipe for mould.

When I spotted the water pooling on the window ledge I mopped it up immediately, re-painted the window sill, scrubbed the mould from the wall and felt quite happy that it wouldn't return. We'd also bought a very expensive high end dehumidifier, to keep us ticking over the winter months and to stop any re-occurance of mould.

Not the case. Even with our fancy de-humidifier, the mould grew back. Oh yes. So we're now going to have to face the landlord about it as the wall paper has actually started to peel back on one of the walls - not looking forward to that in case he blames us (when we clearly did everything to avoid that) and makes us pay a stupid amount to fix it. 

I cleaned the mould today (all gloved and masked up) and blasted the de-humidifier close by, with the window open and blinds pulled up. Fingers crossed it solves the problem! If you have any tips on this kind of thing, I need all the help I can get and would appreciate the advice - at this point I'm willing to try a lot of crazy things if people have had success with them. This can't be good for any of us to live in, surely? are some 'before' pictures of the little boy's space:

Half-way through the clean-up process.
In the middle of the room; his drawer, cloth nappies & my scrap-booking stuff.

I surprised myself when we only filled one rubbish bag.

To get everything dusted, polished, vacuumed, organised, binned and put into it's place took around 2 and a half hours. The room was completely finished off. We've also tried to do an hour or so each day for about a month - on and off, and more off than on ;). But...we did it. Roman has a space where he can roam, play and more importantly read his much loved books to himself. 

And we now have a home for his kitchen we bought at Christmas time - although, I'm waiting to see what the situation with the mould is first before putting it in there. Letting the walls breathe for a long time before I put anything near them.

The best part of all this was his astonished look when he saw it completed. He was so excited to have so many 'new' books (new because they have been stored in boxes for months) and to have so much space.

I didn't have my camera on me, of course, but I can show you the 'after' (after we sorted and cleaned) photos:

His quilt cover was in the wash. The duvet is doubled over here and it is a beast of a duvet!

Lots of books: and lots more where that all came from! Small books smooshed between two fire engine book-ends and the bigger books smooshed into a little football storage basket.
Sideways view from the door: a make-shift 'box-robe' (an over door hanger put on the edge of  a  box filled with  clothes to weigh it down). A bookshelf and Jesus. A plastic drawer filled with clothes. Pile of books. Box of books.

A closer look at what's on top of the drawer: a box full of cloth nappies. A bear photo frame and money box...for our little 'bear.'
My scrapbooking stuff has a new home. A basket full of 'stuff.' A bed. make-shift bookshelf with 'nee naw' book-ends, smooshed in books and some donated canvasses from an arty sister of mine - she thought I'd like them to decorate so gave me them! So sweet.
It plays 10 minutes of lullabies. We used this heavily when he was a baby, ashamedly (or not.)

So, as you can see - being organised is next to Godliness. They say it's cleanliness, but that's not true at all. You can have a clean room but it could be all cluttered or disorganised. And that is a headache waiting to happen. No, make that a migraine waiting to happen.'s that fancy pants de-humidifier: 

You might have also noticed a lot of make-shift bits and pieces. That's pretty common around here. We've make-shifted a spare sofa from a punch bag, a table from a cardboard box (as well as a coffee table, even though we don't drink coffee) and well Bryan is a dab hand at making weights for babies, a weight thingy-me-jig for himself (we called it the 'home gym' and he was quite impressed) and I do love to recycle ice-cream cartons, Pure cartons and any other sturdy plastic bits and bobs for using to keep things in; medication, kitchen utensils etc. 

We're mend and make-doers. 

Anyway, I am happy that my little guy has a space to just be himself in, you know to play, run whatever. It was seriously a big burden on me since we've lived here and I don't know where the strength or willpower came from today but I am most thankful for that, too. A weight has been lifted. And now Ro can enjoy the fruits of our labour.