Friday, January 15, 2016

Home Reorganization Stage 1.1 - Put Floorboards in the Attic

I love my house. I lived in apartments for 7 years after graduating college, and so often during those years, friends tried to convince me to buy a house; that it was a good investment. But it never felt right to do so on my own. Within a month of marrying my husband, I got the house itch. We started looking for a house after three months and moved in six months later.

Me and Brian on the day we closed!

There is something special about loving the place you live. Even without fancy furniture, wall hangings, and DIY decorations, it will feel like home. My passion is Excel spreadsheets, not decorating vases or scouring thrift stores or building by hand wood frames for the whole house. :) Though I do get inspired every time I check a link party or peruse my mom's blog ( So even though my house doesn't have all the special touches some of you have, I smile every time I drive down the street and return to my home.

But just because I don't feel like the expert in interior design, I certainly like it! I'm learning to not be afraid of projects, and so I've taken on a giant one.

Right now, we have four main rooms on the first floor: living room, kitchen, dining room, and library. We call it the library because it has a whole wall of built in shelves. It gives it a very classy look (and a great place for all my fantasy novels!).

Upstairs we have four bedrooms: the master bedroom, guest room, our son's room, and the office. The office is the biggest bedroom after ours, and for good reason. When my husband received his Master's degree, his big present that he wanted was a large L-shaped desk (and three giant monitors to put on it).

I mean, really, look at this thing!

Without getting too personal, let me just say that my husband and I are not planning for our son to be an only child. And while we could have the kids share a bedroom, it seems a little silly when we have four of them in the house.

And so, here is the Master Plan:

Stage 1: Clean out the Basement and turn it into a TV/Play Room
Stage 2: Convert the Library into the Office
Stage 3: Move Jeffrey (age 1) into the old office
Stage 4: Redecorate Jeffrey's room into a fresh Nursery (for when the time comes)

This is, obviously, a huge undertaking, and one that will take months. As I discovered instantly, each step will consist of several parts. So here I'm going to show you how we did Stage 1.1 - Floorboards in the Attic.

I don't know when I first got the idea, but I suddenly knew that in cleaning up my Christmas decorations, I did not want to put them back in the basement.  I'm almost ashamed to show you this, but you need to understand what I was starting with. This was my basement before this project.

Food storage all on the floor, piles of unused baby gear, and cabinets left over from our kitchen remodel. Ack!

I wanted to put it all (minus the food storage) in the attic. But I had a problem: we had zero flooring in the attic.

I asked Brian if we could put in floorboards. He said sure. Next thing I knew we were measuring the space, dragging Jeffrey to Home Depot, and cutting and hauling wood. While there were a few bumps, it was a resounding success!

We knew that boards would be 4' x 8', and we had a couple of rules: the edge of the boards needed to be on a beam, and we needed to stagger the boards so the seams were not all the same. Here is the diagram we put together (can you tell my husband is a perfectionist and I'm a little OCD?).

Of course, we were pretty silly and tried to take a full 4' x 8' up first. Getting it in the front door, up stairs, and around the corner was easy. Trying to get it up the ladder? Not so much. The wall took a little beating.


Also, it's a miracle Jeffrey napped through this. His bedroom door is 6 inches away from these marks.

So after remeasuring, we proceeded to cutting. Brian has spent a lot of time recently building a workbench in the garage, and even though it's not 100% done, we were able to make good use of it and the tools he got for Christmas!

Don't you love how we used the old wine rack for a stand?

We got almost all the cutting done while Jeffrey napped. And once he woke up, we handed him my bike helmet which kept him remarkably distracted!

As soon as he was asleep that evening, we went about moving the boards. The biggest was now 4' x 6.5', and while it took some finagling, we were able to get it up to the attic. Yay! A lot more up and down stairs and ladders, one foot through the ceiling (another oops) and we arranged all the boards to a perfect fit!

Guess we have to fix the office ceiling now.

Brian then screwed them all down, and I spent the next week hauling boxes, gear, and any other odds and ends from the basement up two flights of stairs and a ladder. So worth it.

This is what my attic and basement look like now.

The old cabinets are getting used or given away, and then I'll have room for a couch, rug, TV, and whatever else I decide will go down here. I'm so excited!

Coming soon: Step 1.2 - Repaint old cabinet and create "Mud Room" by the basement door.

I like to join these link parties: Link Party List


  1. you guys are doing great! I love the foot through the ceiling - just goes to show that even "oops!" are not catastrophes. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks! And the foot through the ceiling just means we'll probably smooth the ceiling, which is an upgrade. It all comes out fine!

  2. Our previous house had an attic. After my husband put boards on the floor, it was amazing how much "stuff" we were able to store up there. Thanks for sharing this project.

    1. I agree, it's amazing how much unused space you can have in the attic. I'm so glad to now use some of it for storage. Thanks for coming by!

  3. That attic space is totally amazing. I love it. Great job.

  4. I love reading remodeling articles! Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday:).

    1. Thanks, Donna, I still have lots of work ahead of me. :)