The great down under makeunder

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Kym Seabolt's third floor

Boywonder had his own bedroom on the second floor for years. His room, in fact, was the first room done in this old fixer-upper when we purchased it.

When the rest of the house was a danger zone, the nursery was an oasis of calm comfort. This lasted for less than two years. Then Boywonder pulled himself upright, learned to walk, and nothing was ever the same.

Our son is a raccoon. I have never seen a person hoard up any space with quite the fervor he brings to the endeavor.

A few years ago, we transitioned him to using our walk-up third floor as his space. I rarely needed to go up there. If I did, I called first. True story.

I have said to him I need to go up? Is that a good idea? No! Out of sight, out of mind.

Gone

When Boywonder decided he was heading to Australia (alone) for most of July (as you do), I decided to tackle our third floor AKA his lair.

Friends, it was appalling. His organization defies explanation. I opened one cabinet to find two bottles of Pepto-Bismol (unopened), an expired granola bar and one sock. We located one of our blenders. In a bag. In his room.

I found an entire set of drinking glasses I had legitimately forgotten I had.

I looked around at nearly 900 square feet of glorious, hot mess, and I made a decision. This was nothing a little elbow grease and Pinterest couldn’t fix. I started with the obvious.

Floor

Finding the floor under that mess. Once I found it I realized it was beyond saving.

Thus I wrestled 900 square feet of 21-year-old carpet off the floor. I knew that the outer edges of the floor were finished wood.

The center of the floor from one end of the room to the other was a roll of cream-colored carpet. I honestly could not recall what the floor looked like under the carpet.

The edges were refinished but was the center? I could not cast my mind back to recall.

So I got down on my hands and knees on one of the hottest days in over a century, grabbed a carpet knife, and got to work tearing out the old carpet.

Too soon I discovered that 21 years ago I didn’t bother to finish the center of the floor because it was going to be covered by carpet. I cursed 1998 Kym. That chick cut corners. It was not cool.

Quick

Now we had to refinish the floor in the center of the room. It is a hallmark of any Kym project that I tend to bite off more than I can chew.

“I’m just gonna paint 7 acres of wall real quick before dinner.”

I felt the same way about staining and sealing the bulk of the floor.

GirlWonder and I set out with multiple color cans of stain to test the best match. Once we decided upon the perfect color, she started on one end of the floor and I on the other.

Teamwork makes the dream work after all. We stained and swiped and moved methodically toward the center.

We were about a foot apart of the great meeting in the middle when she looked at my can of stain, looked at her own, and stopped. Why is your can darker than mine? That is something you will not see on HGTV.

We mixed the remaining cans of two completely different colored stains together and called it good. Then we ordered a 9 by 12 carpet to cover most of it.

No worries. We are problem solvers. It was really more a makeunder.

In his defense, the attic had become the place where old furniture went to get in the way. We removed six large items of furniture. We removed endless bags of trash. We stashed a lot of his old stuff away for him to sort through at a later date.

Just in case he misses those Pokemon slippers or his Cub Scout uniform, let’s say.

I made the executive decision to part with the old pizza boxes. Lest anyone think I would clean out someone else’s possessions without their permission, let me reassure you that is not the case.

Boywonder hinted that we should redo the third floor while he was gone. Thus, our surprise for him.

When he left on his grand solo adventure across the world, his entire attitude was to cheerfully say I’ll figure it out. Looking at his spotless and organized space, I’ve got to say I think the kid did just that.

His very wise grandmother pointed out that he may have, with the grace and skill of a modern-day Tom Sawyer, cleverly manipulated us into cleaning his room.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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