Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

I'm having my first full taste of ServiceMagic, and am very happy, indeed. The Benzo Company not only has an excellent tagline -- "Where well planned meets well built" presented in a clean, attractive font and format on their work trailer, Chris Laurenzo is an excellent, attentive home handyman. From what I've seen of his pricing, work ethic, and overall sensibilities, I'll also gladly use him for any larger building projects I find myself in a position to have done.

Chris installed deadbolts in four, steel-wrapped, exterior doors that have been waiting for deadbolts since I moved in. Back in 2004, I installed the new deadbolt on the door that already had the necessary holes drilled, then wimped out rather than drilling the new holes needed to install the deadbolts in the other four doors. That seemed wiser than having to replace the doors themselves after my clumsy drilling efforts destroyed them. This Girl Homeowner is reasonably okay drilling guide holes for nails and screws, and sometimes using the drill to install the screws themselves. Cleanly aligned large holes at a 90-degree angle through both metal and wood? Not so much....

Chris also replaced the half-broken light over my garage doors, a light that's out of reach of any ladders I have. And he repaired two drawers in my kitchen that broke this year. Metal slides are all very nice, but when they mount onto plastic end brackets, 30 years of service is likely to do them in. Especially if you put as much stuff in your kitchen drawers as I do.

I first heard about Environmental Impact Statements for Kitchens from dd_b and pameladean, back when they lived on Minnehaha Avenue. As I understood it, an Environmental Impact Statement had to be filed before the household obtained any additional small appliances or other space-consuming pieces of kitchen gear. Good idea, and one I've kept in mind as I look longingly at various appliances and gadgets.

willshetterly is the originator of the 5-Year Rule, or at least my understanding of it. A couple of decades ago, he suggested that people would be best off if they got rid of half of their belongings every five years. That was more extreme than I was willing to take on, but the notion stuck with me as I developed my own sense that there is the comfort of stuff, the treasure of stuff, and the burden of stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed lightening my load when I moved east most of 6 years ago. The kipple and stuff accumulation was considerable after 20 years at Toad Hall.

Emptying the two drawers so they could be repaired gave me an easy opportunity to consider what of the stuff therein I'd used since moving here 5.5 years ago, and what was simply in the way. Those goofy 12-sided silicone ice cube trays that I picked up for a buck each at Target? Used 'em once; found them totally annoying. That cheap knock-off of a Mouli grater? Long since supplanted by the wonder and delight of my Microplanes. That plastic 16 oz measuring cup? I don't know that I've ever used it. And much as I've tried to standardize and minimize my accumulation of plastic storage containers, there's the usual assortment of containers and lids. You know that few of them match each other, right?

I didn't rid myself of half the contents of those two drawers, but I removed almost everything that's gone unused and unneeded since I put it there 5.5 years ago. Almost everything.... I did well on the plastics, but failed utterly with the potato mashers. I've mashed potatoes once, maybe twice, since 2004. So why am I keeping three, count 'em 3, of the space-devouring utensils? Oh, yes. Because I can. Because I might need any one or all of them someday.

Progress. Progress is good. It took me 20 years to find a home handyman I wasn't living with at Toad Hall. It only happened then thanks to Realtor Bob and only because I was putting the house on the market. On the handyman front, I'm well ahead of my usual game here.

Three cheers for ServiceMagic, and the friends here on LJ who mentioned having success with them in other parts of the country. I still think well of Angie's List, especially in denser markets than one finds here in Wales. The ServiceMagic approach helped me look further afield than I would have on my own, and led me to a great home handyman. Huzzah!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
I understand. I face some of the same issues, now that we've purchased the house we've lived in for 9 years. That means 9 years' accumulation of useless and forgotten stuff... Now that I have some time on my hands, I need to go through those overstuffed drawers and cabinets and purge mercilessly..... At least I didn't have to box it up and load it on a truck. :)
Nov. 11th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
Congratulations! My version of the 5-year rule is if I find something while cleaning that I didn't remember I owned, and wouldn't have even thought to look for it if I had needed it, then I should get rid of it. Because really, if I don't know that I own it, I might as well not.

Otoh, I was quite aware of how many canning jars I had in the pantry, but it has become equally clear to me that I am doing little to no canning these days. I'm not getting rid of them all, but at least half of them are poised for give away shortly.
Nov. 11th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
Oh, that's a good rule! I hope I remember it, and find ways to incorporate it in my life.

I'm most aware of discovering things I already own after I pick up replacements for them at the grocery or hardware store. All too frequently, this happens when I'm short of cash and would have been better off waiting a few more months to buy 12 more rolls of toilet paper, packages of mouse poison, or other $5-10 items that I have plenty of sitting in a cupboard at home. This wasn't an issue when I lived in Minneapolis and running to a store to pick up something I needed was a non-trivial, regular outing. Now weeks can pass between shopping trips and I rarely run to the store to pick up just one needed thing.
Nov. 12th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
I keep all the big mashers and spoons and stuff on the kitchen counter in a child's coffee picking basket which I got at a farm store in Costa Rica. I used to keep em in a big mason jar and before that a pretty pitcher. Keeps em out of the drawers where I can see them.
Potato mashers are good for mashing canned beans to make hummus or thickening bean soups by mashing some of them or mushing up tomatoes when you make sauce.
Like hearing about your house.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Geri 2014
Geri Sullivan

Latest Month

April 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Ideacodes