DAY 23 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Filter It

How often are you changing your filters? The answer is NOT ENOUGH. “They” suggest once a month and I can tell you there’s not one person on this planet doing that. You have to change them or else your furnace/AC will lock up and then that shit breaks.

And if you, dear renter, think it’s not your responsibility, STAWP. When your furnace locks up because it can’t get any air flowing through that 2 year old clogged up filter, your landlord is going to be pissed. And then you’ll be pissed because your house will be way hot or way cold depending on the season. It’s a lose/lose situation.

To help you remember to change your HVAC filter, join Your Filter Club and get them delivered to you! You can set it to deliver monthly, every other month or quarterly. It’s not even expensive! You may be paying a few dollars more than buying them at the store, but the value is in REMEMBERING, but also not having to drive to the store. Let Mr./Ms. Delivery Person remind you it’s time when they hand your filter over every month or so. Get your first filter FREE with code Flippin Wendy.

While you’re at it, change out your fridge filter because clean water tastes fantastic.

DAY 22 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Pleasure

Did that title grab your attention?

I listened to a podcast episode about pleasure once. Get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking non-sexual pleasure. They were talking about how “we can embody pleasure in our daily lives to transform our experience of wellbeing”. I of course translated this to simple pleasures in my home.

And allowing it.

That’s my problem.

I feel guilt about all things for some reason.

I took this pleasure recommendation and started buying myself candles. One at a time at first, but now I just collect them as I find inexpensive ones at Target or Goodwill. Now, I have a stash and I go through almost one a week. I burn one every night when my daughter has gone to bed and I’m chillin on the couch watching Netflix. Sometimes I burn one if I get up before the sun. I love fire. I love how soothing it is. I love how it makes my home smell so good. I love the soft light. It’s one of my favorite times of the day and in my home. The dishes and laundry can be piled up, but if the candle is burning, I’m good.

Your mission today is to add something pleasurable to your home. My idea of a pleasurable home involves soft lighting, good scents, being warm, feeling snuggly and allowing myself to relax (finally). I have some ideas on how to do that:

  • Buy a candle, of course

  • Burn some incense

  • Diffuse some essential oils

  • Buy some flowers

  • Create a reading nook you would actually like to sit in and use.

  • Set up a hammock (and use it)

  • Grab yourself the softest throw blanket ever

  • Buy yourself your favorite tea

  • Install a dimmer switch where the light is too harsh

  • Put a reading lamp in a reading corner

  • Buy yourself a new bed pillow and allow yourself a better night’s sleep

  • Wear a robe (Santa brought me this one and it is soft AF)

  • And on the opposite spectrum, I really enjoy a clean home. Like LOVE it. So, the last suggestion is to hire a cleaning lady, if even to come deep clean just ONE time. Or regularly. Whatever.

i think you get the idea. Go forth and find a pleasurable home!

DAY 21 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Entry Update

Every day I come home I am reminded of the project that is my front door. It’s the first thing I see when I get home and dammit if it doesn’t make me depressed. The last thing I want is to be pissed off when I come home. Let’s make it a happy homecoming.

Here are some ideas to help improve your arrival home, both on the inside and the outside of your home.

Side note: I realize in most of the US, it is way cold outside right now and the last thing you can be doing is painting or planting anything. I’ve added some ideas for you as well. If your personal entry is through the garage, then beef it up there. Nothing says “oh great it’s you again” like a dirty run down garage Read on…

Outside Quick Updates

  • The first thing I do at a house when I buy it is remove the screen or security door. Nothing says “Go TF away” like another door blocking your front door. I usually just stash it in the garage in case the buyer still wants it. I have yet to take the security doors down at my house, 3 years later. It’s on my list.

  • Paint your door something fun. Even your garage door can be painted something more enticing.

  • Add some planters on either side of your front door.

  • Change your doormat out (even the cold AF people can do this one)

  • Change out your door knob. BETTER YET, GYST and rekey all of your exterior door knobs so they are the same key.

  • Add a boot scraper thing outside to help take care of the mess you’re dragging in.

Inside Quick Updates

  • Reseal around your door so critters and cold air don’t come in

  • Give your umbrella a place to live.

  • Find a solution for the shoes and backpacks that pile up

  • Add some hooks or a coat rack

  • Change out your rug

  • Paint the back of the door

  • Add a dish to drop keys or sunglasses in or hooks on the wall to hang them up

  • Give each person in your home a section so it doesn’t become a cluster of giant piles

Shit there is a lot here to do just for the front door. Good luck to you.

DAY 20 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Refrigerator

How many of you have already jumped the gun and cleaned out your fridge early on in this challenge!? I told you to take it easy! There is a lot to get done. Well, I guess if you were one of the few that didn’t take the purge challenges to drastic measures and attack your entire house, then get to clearing out your fridge.

Wipe it down.

Make it feel like its new.

Paint the outside if it’s really bad.

Shit, throw some washi tape on it if it is SUPER bad.

If it’s REALLY REALLY BAD and you have been waiting for me to say, “Time to buy a new fridge.”, wellllll, ok fine I give you permission. Blame it on me if you need a scape goat. I mean honestly, replacing appliances is one of the easiest and best things to do in your house. You don’t have to move walls or take out cabinets (usually) and your quality of life will improve. Maybe that’s a little excessive but sometimes it’s the truth

Ready? Go.

DAY 19 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Vanity

Channel the DAY 7 Kitchen Cabinets and DAY 13 Clear Your Counters vibes from the kitchen and whip your vanities into shape!


Take all the shit out of it. Take all the shit off of it. Rearrange. Reorganize. Purge the shit. The end.


Paint that thing. It will take less than half a day, hopefully.


Add some. See some hardware I posted about on DAY 7 for kitchen cabinets. Here are the ones in the photo above.


Getting trickier here. Several options here:

  1. Add some stone like we did here with this marble look quartz. This cost something like $300 maybe. I can’t remember. Definitely wasn’t more.

  2. Replace it with butcher block (from Floor & Decor or the like). That is easy to cut if you have a circular saw or know someone who does. Seal it with butcher block oil or poly.

  3. Replace with a simple counter sink combo from Home Depot like this one or this one. Those are nice because they are simple AND include the sink.


Some people dislike vessels. I get it, it makes the vanity taller. If you have a lower vanity, like the one in the photo, it actually helped to make it taller without replacing the whole vanity. I also prefer the flat bottom vessels, like this one I have bought about 10 times, because the ones that look like a bowl end up spinning and leaking.


No need to replace it if it’s fine, but if you do, refer to DAY 14 for some good faucets to purchase.


Find a place for your toothbrush, your hair spray (do people still use that stuff?), your hair dryer, the hand towel…..all the shit that lays out on your vanity top. Put it away somewhere. Give it a home. Live free of crap in your face.

Check out the before and after of that bathroom with the updated vanity. Click on the photo to see more about that makeover

Below are the resources mentioned above in this post.

Go. Go forth and conquer your vanity and win your space back.