Friday, September 26, 2014

Easy to Check-Off #1: Light Switches

My name is Amy, I am a type A personality, and I am an (almost) obsessive list maker.  Really though, it's not making the list that I like, instead it's checking things off the list.  I love finishing a task and getting to cross it out.  It's so bad that when I make a list, I have been known to put things on the list that I have already finished, just so that I can cross them off.  That's how you know you are in type A Crazy Town by the way.  Anyone with me?

Well, when it comes to my home to-do list, the items on my list are of all shapes and sizes.  Some will take months and a lot of cash, and others are quick and easy.  The first (long term) are those projects that you are really excited about for a long time after they are done, and the second kind are ones that are just nice to knock out.  Because you can.  Now.  (Hear the type A yet?)  So, we'll see if this turns into a recurring thing on the blog, but for now, I'm thinking through a few "Easy to Check-Off" projects that take very little time, and hopefully not too much cash. 

First up on the list- upgrading light switches.  Ok, stick with me here.  Just remember, "easy to check off", not "super life changing". :)

This was one on my list because our light switches were a bit of an eyesore.  They were that yellow plastic that someone had unsuccessfully painted, and half of the switch plates did not match the rest.  Did my husband notice?  No (not a type A).  Did I?  Oh yes.  

Ready for this ugly show?  Brace yourself.  (Que unnecessary dramatic music)


And the grossest of them all- the dining room dimmer switch:

For about $80, we were able to upgrade all the switches in our house with the nice flat rocker switches and new plates.  A big chunk of that cost was the dimmer switch, but I just couldn't leave it in it's ugliness. So, now they look something like this:


This is one of those updates that people probably won't notice, but it helps to create a nice clean look. 

I won't go into detail about how to wire them, as I am no home wiring expert, but we basically just cut the power, and hooked up the old switches the way the old ones were.  

I will say to make sure you take good notes before you head to the store about which are on/off switches, which are 3-way switches (which they sell in odd numbers... haven't figured that one out yet) or dimmers, and which have multiple switches on one plate, if you decide to change the switch/plate combo entirely like we did.   

We finished all of the switches upstairs in about an hour and a half, so not too much time invested there.  Most importantly, it is off the list! ;)

Any easy upgrades that you have crossed of the list?  Any of those 'why didn't I do it sooner' moments?

Have fun!