In “Buying Our New Old House-A Review part I“, I clued you all in to all the money we have spent thus far on discretionary repairs and items for the new place. Today I’d like to talk about some of the choices and decisions we have made to save money.
#1-We did all of the painting in the house-except for the ceilings (as previously mentioned). This included stripping all the wallpaper, patching/sanding and painting of all the walls of every single room (minus the master bedroom suite and the downstairs half bath-that’s 11 rooms) ourselves. Although we didn’t price it, I’m guessing that would have cost over $2000 if we had hired it out.
#2-We didn’t buy a single moving box. We had saved quite a few from our last move, and Yankee Bill collected boxes at work for 2 months. Right at the end I stopped by our local liquor store and picked up a few additional boxes. As we moved stuff down to the new place, we unpacked them and then brought the empty boxes back to be reused. Again, I can’t say specifically how much this saved us, but U-Haul sells a “moving kit” for 3-4 bedroom houses that costs $379.
#3-We did 90% of the moving ourselves. I made countless trips in the car moving dresser drawers, clothes on hangers, boxes and garbage bags full of stuff. . . . Yankee Bill did the same and also (with the help of some wonderful friends) used the trailer to move the furniture. We did hire a moving company (for their required minimum of 3 hrs) to move the big furniture-TV center, computer armoire, hottub, grill, our long dresser, the refridgerator etc. Granted, this is costing us $480. . . . but I think that preserving the health of Yankee Bill and my backs is worth it. And I can only imagine how much it would have cost us to pay movers to do it all.
#4-Yankee Bill did a lot of the electrical work. He installed 3 ceiling lights and 2 sconces; ran new electrical outlets in the basement for the spare fridge, upright freezer and the spare stove; rewired the electric for the dishwasher (including separating the circuits for the dishwasher-they tripped every time both were on. ugh); ran the cable and phone lines for the office (Time Warner only had to do the hookup); installed the programmable thermostat and programable switch for the porch light; installed a new outlet and cable TV jack by my kitchen desk; ran and connected the electric and switches for the disposal. . . All of that would have run a pretty penny to pay an electrician for*. I am so blessed to have a handy hubby.
#5-We reused the curtains, rods and carpet remnants that the previous owners offered us. I did purchase 4 curtain panels for the living room at JCPenney. These are to match the two panels that I already had from our other living room (the one in red-without the valence) -I just love them and wanted to use the same ones. However I bought them in Sept when they do their big annual curtain sale, so I didn’t pay full price.
Yankee Bill also found a large carpet remnant for sale that we had cut into two pieces and bound for the living room and parlor-this was an immediate concern because we wanted to protect the newly refinished floors. I would eventually like oriental style carpets in there, but buying those now would have run upwards of $1600 for two large rugs (and that’s the nylon type). The remnants cost $325 for the 9X12 and 10X12 bound pieces. As we eventually find and purchase orientals, we will move these new remnants upstairs to the kiddo’s rooms to replace the rather worn ones we inherited.
Eventually the curtain rods (cheesy thin brass things) and curtains in the house will be replaced by those more to our liking-hopefully at bargain prices
#6-Although we doubled the square footage of our home, we have resisted temptation and only purchased one new piece of furniture. That was a small antique desk that Yankee Bill bought as a gift for me. It will be used in the kitchen as a sort of “command central”. Otherwise we have either done without or inherited/been gifted from family.
My lovely MIL is buying us a Hall Tree as a housewarming gift. She also gave us 2 armchairs, a side table, an antique radio (these furnished the “front parlor”), her childhood desk (for Princess) and a small antique rocking chair (ditto).
My mom is giving us back the double bed that resided in my bedroom growing up (an antique rope bed that was my parents, then mine, then my mom’s. . . it gets around), as well as a set of 3 dressers that were my grandparents originally. These will furnish the guest bedroom-of course that is sort of self serving as my mom is the most frequent occupant of that room! She also has 3 orphaned end tables that will fill in a few corners of the house (like the upstairs hallway).
My grandfather is donating a small china cabinet, and Yankee Bill’s grandmother a small delicate spindle legged table that is just the right size to display the stained glassed lamp that her husband had made and given to Yankee Bill.
#7-We have resisted buying items to decorate or organize our new home. And let me tell you, the temptation has been awful! I did buy a thematic soap dish for the kids bathroom at the dollar store, and new rugs, a soap dish and toothbrush holder for the master bathroom**. But even though I’ve had the urge, on many occasions, to run out and buy various bins, shelving etc, I have forced myself not to. I’ve noticed in the past that when I run out to buy something I NEED to get organized, I frequently find that I was to hasty and the item isn’t really what works best for the situation (or even needed at all). So I’ve forced myself to use what we already own, and I’ve been able to make everything work! If, after we’ve lived here a few months, I still feel that in order to keep order (hee hee) I need a specific item, then I’ll allow myself to make a purchase (looking at the thrift stores etc first).
What are some ways you all have found to cut costs when moving into a new house?
*Note: I do not recommend doing this sort of thing unless you really know what you are doing. Electrical work can be dangerous!
**Note: Remember, we went from one full bath to two, so we didn’t have anything to reuse. I will admit that I bought fairly expensive rugs-but my experience with the cheap, rubber backed ones hasn’t been good. When I’ve washed them they’ve shed a lot in the washer and dryer, the backing has cracked etc etc etc. I bought woven cotton ones that are reversible (and soft-hey I deserve it) in the hopes that they won’t come apart with washing. The intent is that these will last a LONG time.