DIY : Setting Up the New House – That Good You Need – Medium

Photo by Karolina Szczur on Unsplash

This Week is delayed again this week because there is so much to do in our house! After moving, an experience you can read about here, my wife Sara and I have continued to learn and grow and spend a whole bunch of money on all kinds of house stuff.

This has led to a number of challenges, thoughts, and feelings, some of which I would love to go through here, one by one, for selfish and therapeutic reasons.

#Blessed by Family and Friends

I want to first say thank you to everyone that has helped us with our move. From assisting with packing, to moving itself, to building shelves, to investigating problems with us, to buying us a Shop Vac, our support system has been so awesome.

We really couldn’t do it without all the support we’ve been getting. If you are one of these people, thank you so very much. You will never know how much it means to us!


You learn a great deal about yourself when you move and begin attempting to fill your house. I have learned that I love Ikea.

For one, they almost always seem to have exactly what we’re looking for. Several times we’ve had a very specific need, and had that need met at a reasonable price and after just one or two exploratory missions around the store. Not only that, but the store almost feels like an enormous house! It’s like another house! It’s fantastic.

For another, Ikea projects are tailor-made for me. I’m not incredibly handy. Or handy at all. I basically have no hands. I struggle if I do not have specific instructions I can follow. Reading directions and constructing step by step (day by day!) though, is something I can do.

Ikea directions are a gift. From the amorphous humanoid who greets me in the front of the book, to the friendly reminders to construct on a rug, to the very obvious parts and pieces, I love Ikea.

It me

How Do You Use Tools?

Seriously, how do you use tools?

Sara and I, sans specific Ikea directions, had to drill a hole in our bathroom cabinet. We had to do this to install a toilet paper roll holder. You know the type.

The silver bit

First, I drilled a hole in the cabinet. Then, I screwed a screw into it. Then the screw fell out. I guess the hole was too big. So we moved it over a little, still able to cover the hole with the roll holder, and tried again. This time, it worked. How fancy!

Now when people come over, they are astonished. “Wow!” they say, “You’re toilet paper isn’t just on a roll behind the toilet? It’s hanging up nicely!? WOW! How rich are you!?” It is quite flattering.

With this happy feeling pulsating through our bodies, we decided to hang a hand towel next to the sink. I know, I know, how extravagant! We set out to do this and, having learned our lesson from the first mishap, executed the task perfectly.


We, again, screwed the hole too big! Not only that, but there was a special insert we were supposed to put in the wall first, to hold the screw that would hold the hand towel holder that would hold the hand towel. It’s a traditional “Quatro Hold System”. We (Sara) finally figured this out after we (just me) did it incorrectly 3 times.

We are learning!!!


Every time I enter Lowe’s I think one very specific thought: Please help me.

Maybe it’s the sheer size of the store. Maybe it’s all the large, salt of the Earth construction people there who are unintentionally intimidating me. Maybe it’s the ones who are intentionally intimidating me. But whatever it is, I need help.

Of course, I don’t even know what it is I need. I know sort of what it looks like and what it might be for, but I don’t know the names. Didn’t you read the “tools” section of this? I feel like the Little Mermaid.


I’ll admit, this has gotten better each time I’ve gone. Last time, I even stayed longer than I needed to and looked at some locks! Personal growth! Woo!


My favorite game to play as a new homeowner is to ask non-homeowners how much they think things cost. Locks, smoke detectors, garbage cans, mops, etc. Sometimes you have a pretty good idea. Sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised. Mostly you are shocked!

At least, I am. Again, maybe this is just me! HAHA!

Anyway, I don’t really mind spending the money, as long as I have some idea of what the overall budget is, and how everything fits into it. I go into little fits of panic when this isn’t the case, and I do things like get upset about the Thingamabob that holds the hose to your house being $25.

Other times, I get excited about the idea of owning something like a Nest Hello doorbell, which records a video and alerts your phone when someone is on your stoop. It’s dope. I want it. It’s $200.

$25 necessary fixture that will make life a little easier? TOO MUCH!

$200 almost certainly over the top but also awesome smart house tech? YASSS LET’S GET ONE FOR THE BACK DOOR TOO!

It doesn’t make a great deal of sense. If only I had some forum to request something as a birthday or Christmas gift…


In the spirit of providing you That Good You Need, here are a few things I’d recommend checking out.

  • Nest Hello: Wow! These are cool! As I mentioned above, I would love to have one of these for my house. A doorbell that essentially acts as a security camera and sends messages right to your phone, while enabling you to talk to people at your door, through your phone!? Sign me up.
  • Nest Learning Thermostat: Again, I’m trying to dive head first into having a Smart Home, and having a thermostat that learns when you’re home, what temperature you prefer at which time, and can be controlled via your phone or smart speaker sounds awesome.
  • CIA Listening Devices: Not so much a recommendation, just a request. I couldn’t find any of these available for purchase, but I might as well put it on the list! With a bunch of internet-connected devices around the house, it’s safe to assume I am being monitored whenever I’m there! With a properly sanctioned CIA Listening Device installed in my home, we’ll be making the monitoring official!


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