life in a tiny apartment.

July 10, 2019
kids room | reading my tea elaves

Tip #185: Tackle To-Do Lists.

The past forty-eight hours have been a flurry of kid-free activity in this tiny apartment. We’ve scrubbed and scoured, dismantled and reassembled, primed and painted, sorted out old and brought in new. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when two parents have the good fortune of being able to leave their children with grandparents for a few days.

A short list of accomplishments from the last forty-eight hours:

+ Primed and painted our bed frame to match the rest of the “bedroom” furniture

+ Sold + delivered our sweet crib and mattress to a family with a little one on the way

+ Picked up + assembled new-to-us bunk beds (more soon, I promise)

+ After three-months of trying, successfully managed to coordinate with our landlord/appliance company to replace our broken dishwasher

+ Washed the first load of dishes

+ Scrubbed, primed, and painted (the inside) of the new-to-us kid’s desk. (There’s a little blush of color coming for the outside, soon!)

+ Gave away a pile of children’s books our kids have outgrown

+ Re-homed a twin duvet

+ Reorganized kids art supplies and “filed” away some artwork

+ Patched and painted over a dozen nail holes (made some new ones)

+ Ate jalapeño cheese puffs for dinner

Forgive the bragging, but I’m feeling proud of (almost) all of it. There’s still more to do, but gosh if it doesn’t feel good to check off so many things at once. In case you need it, here’s some continued encouragement to tackle to-do lists, to ask for help when you need it, to breathe life into old things that are able to take it, and let go of old things that aren’t.

PS. If anyone local is in the market for a twin bed frame, we’re hoping to sell ours!

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  • Reply Cynthia July 10, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Yay for you guys! There is nothing more satisfying than primping, pruning, and sprucing while you know your children are happily frolicking in the grandparents’ lawn and being loved and adored! When my boys were 9 and 11, they flew alone for the first time to visit cousins in another state for two weeks. We had the porch torn off before their plane landed and they returned home to a porch big enough for family dinner, their bedroom refurbished from bunks to twins and a refresh for bigger boys, and a new puppy! I still can’t believe how much can be accomplished when it’s okay to eat jalapeño cheese puffs for dinner!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 10, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Ha! Amazing!!

  • Reply kim m July 10, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    I must confess I am pretty jealous and very inspired. I feel like a couple’s chore staycation is a must prior to bebe numero deux… well that an a couple’s babymoon. Look forward to the bunk bed story. What a find!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 10, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      omg, yes! still waiting on babymoon one and two!

  • Reply Jessica July 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    my husband took our kids to his parents for a weekend and by the time they came back (less than 48 hours later) I had: stained both the front and back deck, and the play set, deep cleaned the entire house (including the oven!), shampooed all of the carpets, and organized the basement. I LIVE for short stints of kid free time to get everything done in one go!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 10, 2019 at 9:55 pm


  • Reply Farai July 10, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    More on the art filing please! . And yasss to getting stuff done!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 10, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      You know…”filing”…can’t save everything!

      • Reply Suzanne July 11, 2019 at 8:05 am

        I have recently sorted and “filed” an incredible amount of preschool & elementary art. I made a label for each year and photographed most of the art to include in an online album. Then I had each kid pick a few pieces to keep out of the selection. It was certainly a time consuming project, but now I have a plan going forward as things come in and no more clutter.

  • Reply Mackenzie July 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    I always enjoy your “life in a tiny apartment” posts Erin 🙂 As a fellow 2 children-in-a-small-apartment dweller myself, I always look forward to your tips!

  • Reply Jay July 10, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Wow, impressive! Next on my to-do list: google jalapeno cheese puffs 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE July 10, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      hahaha. don’t be too shocked.

  • Reply steph July 11, 2019 at 12:18 am

    nothing better than tackled to-do lists/really love the gingko leaf print!! i’m happily enjoying my way through this list:

  • Reply Kate July 12, 2019 at 6:40 am

    This is no joke my dream these days but we’re an ocean away from my parents and a 2 hour plane ride from my husband’s mama so massive organizing while the kid’s frolicking under grandparents’ watchful eyes is not happening in the near future… but I did get 1 bookshelf organized yesterday while my son played with a spoon! 🙂

  • Reply Janet in Madison July 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    I miss that intense motivation that little kid free time inspires. Mine is fourteen now, and during a whole free weekend day I might get nothing more done than reading a book, drinking lots of iced tea and perhaps making a desultory effort with the vacuum.

  • Reply Gail October 11, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I’m surprised you use a dishwasher!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 11, 2019 at 10:46 am


  • Reply Jessica Fugate November 8, 2019 at 10:07 am

    where is the gingko print from?!

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