5 hacks I learned living in a construction war zone.

Here’s little disclaimer for you: “the 22 mile home” has been no walk in the park. More often than not, I am suddenly consumed by the doomed awareness of dust that surrounds me and I can’t get away from it. That’s when I go out to the garage and blast myself with the air compressor just to feel a little more like my old, clean self once again.

Even though improvements are being made to our magnolia home every day, there are still things that go unfinished and we are required to live with, or without for that matter. As I meander through each room of our home, I can’t help but laugh as I notice some of the most red necked, jimmy-rigged things that Kendall and I have both done to make living in our home a little more bearable. And you know what? I think that most of them are down right genius, so I wanted to share them with you.

I’m calling them “5 Hacks I Learned Living in a Construction War Zone.”

Hack #1: Dog lines makes for a perfect laundry line.

This is the most noticeable hack that you can see the minute in step into the living room of our home. Since we have yet to hook up the return air for our dryer, I have air dried every piece of our laundry, from the jeans all the way down to the socks. With the amount of laundry that Kendall and I produce on a weekly basis, you’d think that there were at least five additional people living in our home. Since I’m a procrastinator when it comes to laundry and wait until my laundry pile is the size of a small mountain before it gets washed, I had trouble finding enough space to air dry the clothes.

My inspiration came when I saw our wiener dog Susan’s two long leash lines just sitting in our garage wasting away. I took them both, hooking one end to an abandoned curtain rod and the other end to an exposed wall stud. I lay my clothes out nice and neat on the line, then I indirectly point industrial fans onto the clothes, creating the exact simulation of standing out in the middle of a field on a windy day in Kansas and there is no trees for shelter. Take every precaution necessary to ensure that not one piece of your wet laundry falls out of your basket. It’s complete misery if you do. The less laundry you will have to do, the better.


Hack #2: Drop wall beams onto your floor to create easy access to basement electrical units.

When construction give you lemons, make lemonade. During one of the earlier stages of our construction, we had some rain damage to our floors, so we had to install all new flooring the upstairs living and dining room. Just after that had been finished, Kendall and I were working to demo the wall that divided our kitchen and living room. Kendall of course flipped his full-on beast mode, smashing down a huge beam that held that wall together. It came crashing down onto our brand new flooring, creating a gaping hole.

Even though we were initially frustrated by our little mistake, we had no idea how that much we’d use that hole in the floor. It’s allowed us easy access to funnel extension cords and air compressor hoses directly into the basement, even a heavy duty electrical line that allowed us to have an air conditioning unit running.

So I guess in summary, in case you are needing easy electrical access to your basement but don’t have a long extension cord, just drop something really heavy onto your flooring to create your hole. Depending on the size of the hole that you need, you will have to factor in what object you will drop on the floor.


Hack #3: “Recycle” your construction equipment to make up for your lack of furniture.

The timeline on when you buy furniture for your new home is always key. You will need to make sure that your home is 99% dust free before your new furniture graces your home with its presence. So what to do in the mean time? I have found that instead of trashing any resemble of “nice furniture” that you may still own, just use your construction equipment instead. I’d personally recommend using your husband’s aluminum saw horse as a make shift table bench. It will seat two people comfortably, three if you squeeze.

The only problem that may arise from using this hack I have found is that your guest may be sensitive to the dust that’s collected on the bench. I’d recommend wet wiping off the bench before use or just not say anything at all and hope that your guest doesn’t notice their butt is white when they leave. It’s light weight, easy to move from construction war zone to table and let’s not forget that it’s industrial chic.


Hack #4: Ugly ceiling bulb covers make for a perfect doggy water bowl*.

Kendall and I aren’t the only ones who have had to make sacrifices amidst living in our construction war zone. Susan is included as well. When we’d work at the house before we moved in, we always had a problem remembering to bring Susan a water bowl to drink out of during the hot summer months. Since our resources were more limited back then, I quickly discovered that using an ugly ceiling bulb cover makes for a perfect water bowl.

Step #1: Wash out bulb cover to rid of the dust and dead flies. Step #2: Fill with water. Step #3: Try to get your dog to understand that this water is for them.

Even though we now have a fancy little self-filling water and food bowl for Susan, she still resorts to drinking out of her bulb cover. As long as she is remembering to stay hydrated, I will continue to keep it filled for her.

*Patent pending.


Hack #5: Wood shims double as a towel rack.

Now that we have hot water and have the luxury of showering in our own home, I’ve had to create a homey little space in our mudroom as an effort to make one aspect of our lives feel a little more normal. One aspect that was lacking was a rack to hang our shower towels. You can’t set the towel on the floor because it will come back to you ten pounds heavier with dust and you can’t just hang it over the shower door because it’ll soak itself.

That’s when my entrepreneurial Shark Tank mindset kicked in and I thought to myself, what can I do to fix that right now? Going to the lumber yard for a hook was the easy way out. I wanted a solution right then. I looked around at my supply options and found that an abandoned wood shim would do the trick. I shoved it in between the sheet rock and wall stud adjacent to the shower door. For the price that you can pay at your local hardware store for a hanging hook, you can buy 100 of these wooden shims. That’s a lot more bang for your buck if you ask me.



Now obviously I am being a a little over dramatic here and would not recommend any any of these hacks to anyone. I suppose that the moral of this blog is to encourage you to be content and look for the good in whatever stage of life you may be in right now. The days and the moments pass by so quickly before they are only memories, so I want to be sure to soak in this stage of our lives and remember the days when we were the ultimate jimmy-riggers. And really though, who knows what you might create in your time of need and it actually works! You could use it to change the world.

Our doors are open and you are always welcome….

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