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Finding the time!


MrsClarkston
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Okay, so I was so excited about starting on my dollhouse!! Then I realized that its going to be really hard to find the time :) ! Between cleaning the house, and working 7 days a week, I can't get away to work on it. And lets face it, the wonderful world of mini isn't cheap!!! We're re-doing our real house now, and that REALLY isn't cheap. *sigh* Any tips for a quick and inexpensive "home" improvement?

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If you are at all "crafty" there are tons of things you can do yourself, without spending much money. In fact, you don't have to even be "crafty": I'm "bricking" the inside of the chimney on my Brookwood using "bricks" I printed from an on-line mini-printy site. I printed them out, gave them a coat of mod podge, and now am gluing the sheets on to the inside pieces...

and folks here with MUCH more skill than I have make all sorts of things themselves. You can always buy stuff later that is more expensive, and replace it.

But first you have to build the house! :) Even a few minutes a day can be satisfying, if you have a place to set it up and work on it, bit by bit.

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Make it time for you. A time to put the problems of the day way for awhile each day or so. You will learn with time how to make things yourself. But I think we all need a hobby to relax and do something that we want to do instead of things we need to do. The house might not be perfectly cleaned all the time, but you will be able to let yourself relax and be creative. Maybe get into the lives of the little people of the house your building. Kind of like a mini vacation. Even if it is a couple of minutes a day. I know that it relaxes me. So just say this is my time and I am going to take it, even if it just to yourself. We can be our worst critic when it comes to doing things for ourselves.

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Quick and inexpensive home improvement depends on what areas you're looking to improve...lol

You can buy craft paints (acrylic) from Wal Mart for under $1 a bottle which can give the inside or outside of your house a facelift with a new coat of paint.

You can use scrapbooking paper or wrapping paper for wallpaper. Wrapping paper may not last a long time, and may be a bit thin, but if you're looking for quick and cheap, that will do nicely. Scrapbooking paper is better for wallpaper since it's already made to last a long, long time.

As you're doing your "full size" home improvement, keep an eye on leftovers like paint, stain, spackle, etc., that you can use for your mini house. That'll save money there too.

Exterior finishes such as stucco can be made from spackle (which you may have from rennovating your full size house) and bricks can be made from sandpaper (Holly has done this) or paper egg cartons or McDonald's drink cartons.

Sandpaper can be used for asphalt shingles. Be warned though! Cutting the sandpaper WILL dull your scissors in a heartbeat so you may want to pick up a few pairs at the dollar store.

There are dozens more tutorials and hints on making furniture and interior furnishings for your house on the forum here. It's a matter of being creative, thinking outside the box and looking at something and saying "What can I do with this in miniature".

Hope this helps!

Christine

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Hmmmmm ... I forgot about cleaning house. I used to do it, I think. :huh:
Housecleaning is 'way overrated! It just gets dirty again. If you MUST clean house, etc, when all those people you're showing off for show up let them help by opening paint jars, holding glued edges together until they dry, and otherwise being useful around the house Either they'll get the idea you're having fun & want to join you in playing with minis, in which case they'll understand & not care that your house isn't immaculate, or else they won't want to darken your door ever again and then you won't have to clean up for them and you'll have time for your minis. Either way it's win-win.
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When I am really stressed I let the house cleaning go..even if just for a half an hour..I hide in my crafting closet and squeeze clay or build furniture. I just have to do it or I would be super nuts as opposed to semi nuts..hee hee

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It might help to schedule a block of time every day or night for working on your dollhouse and stick to it. Every little bit you do will help to eventually finish it.

I love your idea! I know right where you are commong from Iam a fulltime single mom of 3 and work 40 hours or more a week.I think I will try this advice.

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While renovating your new house be sure and ask the stores for their out of date wallpaper sample books. Some are perfect for the dollhouse and usually are free. Also paint chips will work for counter tops, flooring etc.

I also work full time and find it hard to sometimes to work on my dollhouses, but they are extremely patience and will wait until you have the time to pick up where you left off. Just put check marks on the instructions as you complete them and make good notes on ideas you may have for changing things and the order you would need to do it.

I gave up on a spotless real life home years ago, to have time to spend with my girls and DH.

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I left the working world over 2 years ago and I still don't have time to clean. I'm too busy doing things I like whether it's minis, crocheting, reading or just sitting in front of the TV. When anyone comes to the house, it's usually to borrow something and not to visit. If they are offended because there is dust on the furniture, they don't mention it because if they did, I'd probably hand them the dust cloth. The important stuff gets done but I don't sweat the small things any more.

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Housecleaning is 'way overrated! It just gets dirty again.

I used to be reeeeeeally fanatical about a clean house. Nothing was out of place and never a speck of dust. They say with age comes wisdom.........and that may be true because I've discovered that working with miniatures is what makes me happy and that's more important than keeping the house immaculate. If you draw the drapes, the dust doesn't show nearly as much. My house doesn't get cluttered coz Bruce and I both are pretty good about picking up after ourselves. Bedroom doors can be closed on an unmade bed or stuff tossed in the guest room, and I alternate keeping at least one bathroom "guest" clean at a time so I can always direct guests to the clean one. Dust doesn't bother me as much as it used too. I tell people that they can write their name in it if they must, but please don't date it. It bugs me that I can't vacuum or mop the floors like I used to, but that's a physical limitation, not a time thing.

Dishes and laundry can't be ignored, but the rest of it can wait till I've had my mini fix........and when I fall into the Zone, we order take-out and Bruce does the laundry. As my health needs have changed, so have my priorities, and using my energy to do the things that are good for my spirit are more important than polishing mirrors.

Deb

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Housecleaning is 'way overrated! It just gets dirty again. If you MUST clean house, etc, when all those people you're showing off for show up let them help by opening paint jars, holding glued edges together until they dry, and otherwise being useful around the house Either they'll get the idea you're having fun & want to join you in playing with minis, in which case they'll understand & not care that your house isn't immaculate, or else they won't want to darken your door ever again and then you won't have to clean up for them and you'll have time for your minis. Either way it's win-win.

:huh: Great tip, Holly! I'll have to remember that one!

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Everyone has given you some great advice so far. You really can find other more inexpensive ways to decorate and furnish your house on a budget.

Skinny sticks for flooring ($2.00 a package)

Scrapbook paper for wallpaper (25c-50c a sheet, cheaper if there is a sale)

Balsa wood for trim (5c-25c a piece sometimes more but not alot more)

Printables online (just the cost of paper and ink)

Acrylic paints (on sale sometimes for 4 for $1)

You can learn how to make your own light fixtures (wayyy cheaper then buying them already made).

As for finding the time..I have said this to myself and friends alike about housework..

*Is Better Homes and Gardens coming over tomorrow to take pictures for their magazine?* No! then do not worry about it today..Do something fun for yourself instead!

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I guess i'm just one of those neat freaks or something. I'll tell myself, today i'm going to make it all about me...then I see something out of place, and I pick it up. Then I'll see something else that I know I need to do, and i'll do that, and then that just leads to a bigger task... it just keeps going and going until i've spent the whole day cleaning, and no time to myself. I actually had time to take some pictures of my house the other day, haven't had time to upload them yet, but by golly they're on the camera!! I promise to upload them soon!

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I guess i'm just one of those neat freaks or something. I'll tell myself, today i'm going to make it all about me...then I see something out of place, and I pick it up. Then I'll see something else that I know I need to do, and i'll do that, and then that just leads to a bigger task... it just keeps going and going until i've spent the whole day cleaning, and no time to myself. I actually had time to take some pictures of my house the other day, haven't had time to upload them yet, but by golly they're on the camera!! I promise to upload them soon!

I used to chase every body around cleaning up after them but with four kids and being married to an adult his second child hood you just end up getting frustrated all day B)

So I clean the house in the morning before I leave for school and then once before dinner. After that I am not responsible..what happens when I am not here :)

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What is housecleaning? Is that a new word? I'm retired - but I remember the hustle and bustle of being out of the house for 12 to 15 hours a day.....no thanks. I'm happy to be retired. But I still don't have any time! I have a sick SO right now, and he is taking way too much of my time, however, even though I didn't say "for better or worse" I feel I have to take care of him! Anyway I manage to break my day up.....wake up early work on dolls, several hours for scroll sawing and building, back to dolls,work on internet, back on dolls and building, the day is a whirl! I don't have time for housework! LOL And I thought when I retired I would have tons of time. NOT!

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I also used to really care about the house. Shoes off at the door, dishes done almost before the meal had ended, laundry folded as I took it out of the dryer. Ironing. All I did was crab at the kids to pick up and fuss over dust. Then I got a real life. My animals are clean and fed of course but the rest of the house has more of a lived in look. I don't have layers of dust, I have pages. People pay big money for fur coats, I have fur carpets. I stop answering the phones at 7:00 pm. The minis come out then. I do the dishes from dinner in the morning while coffee is brewing. I dump the baskets of clothes on the spare bed and fold some every day as I get dressed. Some days I am able to fold it all and some days I am short on time and don't fold anything. Life is so much more fun now.

By the way - anyone who comments on the house is not invited back. Ever.

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being married to an adult his second child hood you just end up getting frustrated all day
:whistle:

I hear you on this!! My husband is the worlds worst for messing up a clean house! I usually wake up in the mornings and clean up his messes from the night before, and then the next morning the mess is usually bigger than the one before. Its a never ending process with him. I clean off our coffee table and I swear he has this sense, no matter where he is, if I clean off the table, he thinks "Oh man the coffee table is clean! I HAFTA find something to lay on it!"

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I'm with Wolfie - daily cleaning for me is dishes, laundry and cat litter. Everything else can wait, forever if need be! However I AM a clutterbug, so since I share my house with others I try to take some time to pick up. I'm much better when others are impacted... if it were just me, you might have a hard time finding me in my house!

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