It’s not often that you’re handed someone’s house and property with carte blanche permission to do whatever you want to turn it into a home.

I’m in that lucky position. Now, true, I don’t right now have a budget. Or, more accurately, I don’t know what the budget is.

But suffice it to say, I think the budget will be more than I’ve ever had to work with in my own home in the past. I think there is some leeway budget-wise to make things happen.

I should say that I am not a big spender. I’m always looking for deals. I don’t believe in buying brand new if you can get virtually the same thing in good used condition for a fraction of the price. Like at a garage sale or at the Good Will or a place like that.

(I should also say that I’ve learned you sometimes have to take the plunge and pay the bucks for something you love. I remember seeing a pair of pants that I adored that I didn’t want to pay full price for. Surely I could get something similar somewhere else for less, I remember thinking. Guess what? I never did. My lesson then was that I should’ve just plopped down the cash for the freaking pants and enjoyed them. I haven’t made that same mistake since. Or at least I don’t make it often.)

Anyway, I digress. Back to the house.

I think there’s a lot I can do inside this particular house and outside the house that won’t cost a bunch of money. It’s not going to be a Street of Dreams showcase home anyway. The idea is to take it from where it’s been—a bachelor’s pad that has been stuffed full of things and ignored and neglected—and turn it back into a home.

I began with the guy’s most personal room—his bedroom. We tackled it together, me telling him what to do, and him obligingly doing whatever I said. I told him to first gather all the papers that were spread out across the floor (he said they’d been there for literally years) and put them into a box. While he did that I sorted and folded the giant pile of clean laundry that was on the bed. I put that away and then made the bed. After he corralled all the papers, he collected all the dirty clothes that were in heaps around the floor and took them to the laundry room and started washing them. I collapsed the ironing board that was in the middle of the room, rounded up all the shoes, paired them up, and put them in his closet. He had three guitars in cases scattered on the floor, and I had him take those out to his studio.

And that completed the bedroom. It took us a couple of hours to do all of that, but what a transformation. He couldn’t believe the difference, and I was elated.

That was the start.

Out of space and time for now so I’ll continue this next time.

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