Refreshing a Disarrayed Residence

After college, I am moving into my parents’ house, but in a good way. They are empty-nesters who just did the snowbird thing of getting a place where it’s warm. They will be down there from September to March, and I’ll have the house to myself for free. Well, not entirely for free. I’ll be living there, but they asked me to spruce the place up, and oh-my-god does it need sprucing. Try shadowy drapes that haven’t been changed since the 80’s, a gas stove with only two working burners, a fridge that gets the floor wet (ugh), and my dad’s collection of college baseball paraphernalia (he didn’t play baseball).

I realize that I am lucky to have a place that I won’t have to pay for, but I’m freaking out a little bit. They’ll be paying for the upgrades, which is fine, but I’m going to be the one making sure everything gets done. I’m not a DIY person. I don’t know the first thing about making a house look good. However, when I asked them what they wanted me to do, they said, “do what you like!” Literally. Really helpful, Mom and Dad.

The house needs a major re-design – and some repairs on top of that. Where do I start?