New House To-Do List: 2 Month Update

Happy May (and Friday), fam!

Accountability gets stuff done, so I’m back for a quick check-in to talk about what’s been going on around our house. On February 12 this year I shared a list of new house to-do’s and I’m back to see where we’ve landed after 2 months in the new space. If you take nothing else from this entry, be it this: best laid plans have NOTHING on a new construction home around Chicago winters.

New House Essentials from February 2019

  • Living Room Couches and End Tables
  • Laundry Room Shelving and Storage
  • Kitchen Table and Chairs
  • Deadbolt for Basement and Bedroom Doors (peace of mind when bae travels)
  • New Office Chair (already have a desk, thanks Costco clearance!)
  • Mudroom Bench and Storage
  • Rest of Living Room Decor (entertainment center, cabinetry, etc.)
  • Lay Patio
  • Put up a Fence
  • Purchase Patio Furniture
  • Build Bonfire Pit
  • Plant Privacy Landscaping in Backyard
  • Buy Lawnmower and Gardening Equipment
  • Dining Room Table slight change of plans!
  • Vanity for Master Bedroom
  • Fitness Equipment Storage for Loft
  • Build Kevin’s Basement Office slight change of plans!
  • Identify Garden area (and possibly start planting this spring)
  • Entry Hallway Frame Gallery
  • Garage Tool Bench
  • Paint Living Room and Master Bedroom slight change of plans!
  • Purchase Formal Dining Plates and Settings slight change of plans!


Progress Updates

In numbers, we’ve gotten 32% of the list checked off in first 2 months already – woo! Additionally, 18% of the list changed, meaning we’re going forward with it at this time. You live, you learn, and plans change, you know?

That leaves the other 50% outstanding, which isn’t bad for only having been in the space for 2 months!

Home Office and Mudroom
I’m currently using our office chair from the condo, so it’s not a huge rush. With the help of a small couch pillow this chair actually provides decent support until I find the best ergonomic/design solution. Kevin’s mom was able to give us a small chest that works both as storage and a (semi high up) bench for the mudroom. It’s certainly not permanent but it has been a wonderful holdover since the mudroom is no priority compared to some other items. Not to mention, Kevin’s dad has already installed a motion sensor light for this room which we later realized is world’s more useful than a prettier looking bench.

Entry Hallway Frame Gallery
Frames are expensive. Big frames, anyway. I’m looking for 24″ x 24″ frames (or something in that neighborhood, as close to square as possible) but they are proving to be on average $50 each (!!!) and I need about 6 to properly fill the space. Since they are purely just for hanging on the wall I’m funneling funds towards other projects first, but still actively searching for more affordable frames! (send any and all suggestions my way, please!)

Master Bedroom
I still have eyes for a nice vanity with ample storage for alllll the cosmetics, but priorities have shifted to a large, taller dresser/chest for our TV. We currently have it on our existing chest and while that’s 5′ tall and sturdy, it’s not wide enough so the TV looks goofy hanging off either side. Once we find that solution the furniture in the room will shift and I can identify where we can fit a vanity. Since it’s more of a bonus I’m not pushing my luck by prioritizing it over more functional items!

Garage Tool Bench
Considering I’m leaving this one up to Kevin, as most of our tools are really his, I’m not apt to accept blame for this one going unchecked. He’s been peeping at different options when we’re out but I do also think part of it is because we’re still exploring some other design options for our garage storage. Don’t want to commit to something that may not really fit and/or match. More to come!

Why the slight change of plans on some of these?


Aside from Kevin really loving his upstairs office for now, and – fun fact – you really should wait 1 year before painting in new build because of nail pops (which would just ruin your paint job and cost additional $$ to re-do)…our biggest change of plans is that we’re not so sure we’re going to have a formal dining room.

We have a 6-seater table right there, plus, it opens up to fit 10 people if need be. Especially with only 2 of us, we just don’t see the need.

New House Checklist Progress

What about holidays? Won’t you host your families?


jk…obviously we’ve thought about that. Our plans for this space would include the ability to bring up a large folding table that can be easily transformed with beautiful table cloths and settings for the holidays. It just seems silly to slap another permanent set of table and chairs there purely because that’s what the blueprints suggest. Once we know more about the space we can also make some calls on the formal plates/settings, but for now I’m passively on the hunt for things that will match our kitchen table space since that table is definite. More on our ideas for this space in the future..

Backyard, errr, back…dirt

New House Checklist Progress

It’s May, two months into moving in, and we still do not have grass. We planned to have a fence and patio in the first month because we had no idea what we were up against. And that my friends, is the winter that will.👏 not.👏 quit.👏 Can’t lay seed blankets when it’s still pushing freezing at night. We have no grass in our backyard and on most of either side of the house because it was too cold to lay once the house was done in October. There’s a little in the front that they laid, probably during construction solely to help move the house, and I’m thankful for even that little bit because I am going nuts not having the ability to use my own backyard. Given all this commotion that is out of our control, we have not gotten to the fence or patio, and surely not the garden, fire pit or landscaping. Those are all very sadly still up in the air for now but we do have plans/ideas, at least. 🙂


Extra Credit

This list is nice and all, but what you don’t see above are the dozens of other things we got done but didn’t even realize we needed. Like…buying and assembling a collective 500+ pounds of new furniture, including 2 entertainment centers, 4 living room tables, 2 desks and multiple miscellaneous shelving units throughout the house. Not to mention buying 2 new couches, a dining room set and a second vehicle because we moved from Evanston (walking score of 98/100) to New Lenox (walking score of literally 1/100)…the scores don’t even hit 100 between the two😂 With the help of Kevin’s dad we’ve also installed 3 ceiling fans and added dimmers to our bedroom, living room and kitchen lights. It’s hard to be mad about what wasn’t checked off when you realize all that wasn’t even on a list in the first place!

Don’t get down on yourself because you’re not getting things done as fast as you expected or wanted. Things cost money, things take time, and you don’t want to waste time or money on the wrong things because you’re anxious to ‘just get it done’ (like Kevin trying to talk me into multiple dining room tables just so he didn’t have to eat at the counter anymore when he knows dang well I had a very specific aesthetic in mind – which I credit him 100% for finding – he was determined to sit at a table I guess😂).

Take your time and do it right, why spend more money or waste time, right?

Food Wine & DIY

New House Checklist Progress


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.