The Coast News Group
Small Talk

The growing pains of a remodel

I have discovered having a home remodel is rather like having a baby. Suddenly you are in a special club and are privy to dozens of stories and lots of good advice and support. It is also like having a baby, in that, until you do it, you really can’t imagine what it is like. That, and once you are through it is worth all the pain.The remodel of the guest bathroom was rather like babysitting your sister’s children. I got a good feel for the reality of it, but it was over quickly. Then they tackled the small, upstairs bathroom. It was a bigger job, making a bigger mess, but I didn’t use it every day.

Then they did demolition on the master bathroom. I am finally in labor.

I had to clear out closets, put supplies into boxes and rearrange furniture to prep for it. The real remodel mess hasn’t even begun, but the adjacent bedroom is hip deep in stuff. And I have to go downstairs to use the bathroom. Enough said.

Getting ready for work is like a brain quiz every morning. Let’s see. My pants are under this pile over here, but my jackets are somewhere else and my shoes are now part upstairs and part downstairs. The same goes for my toiletries. Makeup is in this box, but hair products are downstairs and headache remedies are somewhere else. I should have known I’d need those.

It could get very challenging to get out the door these next few weeks. And, yes, I did try to be organized when I packed up, but somehow it didn’t help. I think I will have to seriously label the boxes as I pack up the kitchen. Fortunately, I don’t have to find the frying pan every day in order to look presentable.

I’ve already begun packing up the kitchen. Digging out the deep corners has already been archeological. I discovered a host of nicely dried bugs, and that I own not one, but two, rice cookers and don’t use either.

In one ceiling, we discovered just the tail end of a very old mouse. Now I must always wonder what happened to the rest of him.

If I find Jimmy Hoffa, you will read it here first.


Jean Gillette is a freelance writer feathering her long-neglected nest. Contact her at