Master Bathroom: A Look At That Checklist Progress

This master bathroom project has dragged on for a very long time, but I’m definitely on the downhill slide towards the finish line. Now that the water closet (toilet room) is almost finished, that just leaves me with about three big projects, and a few finishing details.

When I feel like I’m not making good progress on a project, it’s helpful to look back and see just how much I’ve gotten done. Back on April 22, I made a list of things that still needed to be done on the bathroom, and I came across that list last weekend. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much has been done on that list!

Here’s that April 22 list with all of the things I’ve done crossed off.

  1. Finish the crown molding and trim around the mural wall — sand, caulk, prime, and paint (Done!)
  2. Install the last row of tiles around the ceiling in the shower (Done!)
  3. Install the door between the bathroom and home gym (Done!)
  4. Trim out that door (Done!)
  5. Build two vanities
  6. Build the “dresser” between the vanities
  7. Make the “chandelier” and install above the bathtub (Done!)
  8. Build the cabinet for the toilet area (Done!)
  9. Paint the walls and ceiling in the toilet area (Done!)
  10. Install baseboards in the toilet area — caulk, prime and paint (Done!)
  11. Have the bathtub, tub faucet, and toilet installed (Done!)
  12. Hang shower curtain in the shower (yes, I decided to use one) (Done!)
  13. Order countertops for vanities and have the sinks installed
  14. Finish the plumbing on the sinks
  15. Install the wainscoting on the lower walls
  16. Finish all of the rest of the trim (doors, window, wainscoting) — wood fill, sand, caulk, prime, and paint
  17. Hang the other vanity mirror
  18. Decide on privacy (window treatments? glass film?) for the window and doors

When I made that list on April 22, the bathroom looked like this…

Master bathroom remodel in progress -- large forest mural on wall behind bathtub

There was no tub, no faucet, no tile around the top of the shower, no progress in the water closet. Most of the trim was installed, but none of it was finished (wood filled, sanded, primed, painted).

So while the bathroom progress isn’t where I had hoped to be as of the end of July (I had hoped to be done with the bathroom and at least working on the home gym, if not the studio by this point), I’m actually okay with the progress since about four weeks of the last three months were focused on our new van and getting Matt out of the house and discovering a life outside of the walls of our home. It was totally worth putting the bathroom and all other home projects on hold for a while (or making progress at a snail’s pace during those four weeks).

So I’ve made quite a bit of progress, and I have just a few projects left. The finish line is actually starting to come into view, and that’s quite exciting.

At the same time, I’ve been going from one project to the next, and as is my standard M.O., I haven’t taken the time to clean up and put away between projects, so things have spun out of control a bit.

So in the spirit of full disclosure, here’s what the bathroom and the adjoining home gym look like as of this morning…

Every one of my big room remodels gets to this point eventually, and then I have to stop and regroup before I can move on and actually finish up those last projects. And every time, I generally have a couple of people freak out on me. “What about the floor!?” “What about the dust?!” 😀 Well, all I can say that that this is just how I operate, and somehow it all works out in the end every single time.

Master bathroom remodel in progress -- large wallpaper mural on wall behind bathtub, teal Venetian plaster walls

The bathroom mess has spilled over into the home gym, since that’s where I’ve had to store everything for the bathroom, including the toilet, all of the lumber and trim, sinks, faucets, paint, paint rollers, etc.

So I’m going to finish up the water closet today, and I’ll show y’all how that turned out tomorrow (with the cabinet lighting and the toilet installed), and then I’m going to have to take a couple of days to wrangle this mess and get everything organized again so that I can have plenty of floor space to build the vanities and the cabinet.

I’ve often dreamed of being one of those neat and tidy people who puts things away and cleans my work space at the end of each day, but I’m just not. This is the “real” me, and I won’t pretend to be anyone else. I know my tendency towards making huge messes drives some people absolutely crazy, but I’ve just come to accept that I’ll never be that perfectly organized person when I’m working on big projects. I make my messes, and eventually they get cleaned up, and everything works out in the end. 😀 At least I’m learning to be more organized in my everyday life outside of my DIY projects! So at least there’s improvement there. But my DIY project life will always be a mess. That’s just my M.O., as long as things keep working out in the end, I’m okay with the messes in the middle.



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  1. You do you. Self knowledge is a beautiful thing. Your progress is fabulous and the end is near. Enjoy the process and the “ new” life with Matt.

  2. However you do it, it works for you!! The results speak for themselves! As a person with similar tendencies, I say don’t mess with a process that works! Go Kristi! 😊

  3. Wow.. the number of items checked off your list and exploring the outside world with your wonderful hubby is such a win win! Good for you.

  4. My dear Kristi….. for more than 30 years I have had a sign on my desk that reads…. “A Messy Desk is a Sign of a Genius at Work!!!!” You owe no one an explanation nor an apology. You are who you are…. And are comfortable with yourself… furthermore….the end results of your sometime “ginormous” endeavors have proven…. you get the job BEAUTIFULLY done…. So as Spock would say…. “Go forth and be fruitful!”

  5. I tend to like my stuff near me as well. It’s not bad for it being the remainder unfinished space. But at a certain saturation progress is impeded from shifting everything around. I tend to forget what I got already and, can’t find it….Load up your new cabinet with the smaller materials to install yet, that’ll fit so it self empties. Also a bucket/caddy or two of the common tools to contain them. If possible store your trim in place you can grab it when you are needing it. You’ve shifted the whole pile alot already. Just be smart how you distribute it to minimise interruptions.

    1. Sometimes near the end I repurpose two boxs- to be the put away, or trash. It’s easier to switch to that, or just put one thing away leaving the room. When pausing it’s an easy to switch to a box.

  6. Great progress! I’m excited to see the vanities come together. How has Matt been faring in the summer heat? Is he still able to get out some?

  7. Kristi, I always chuckle when I read and see the photos of your work sites. Totally understand as my work sites look similar. I don’t put down floor protection and I usually work in the room I am remodeling. There are tools, scrap wood, etc. etc. in the rooms. My sister came over when I was redoing the kitchen just to help organize a place to cook in the dining room. Like you, two rooms are discombobulated while I work on a room because I need a space to move everything temporarily. You are not alone in how you work.

  8. I renovated my flat with my father. Even starting totally tidy and organised every morning, by the time we finished work for the day there was a mess. The reason we started all tidy every morning was because I tidied up after we finished work, every day (as I was living in the flat). And tidying up took a couple of hours. You, on the other hand, spend those hours working. So guess who was wasting time? (Hint: me)!

    As long as you can find your tools and the stuff you need and not waste time looking for stuff, you are good (and more productive, actually). Just my two cents. Now that said, I did buy a nice big bucket-like tool caddy, similar to this: – it held a ridiculous amount of different tools (that I still can’t believe) and because it was always at arms length, we just tossed tools in it. Helped TONS! So if you DO waste time looking for a screwdriver or something like this, perhaps get a bucket-style caddy and try if it works!

  9. I could not work in so much clutter, and don’t see how you can either. I gather that your workroom is loaded too, and if not, why don’t you keep things there until you need them? That just seems very dangerous to me. Sorry.

    1. so fortunate you don’t have to work in there! Kristi does such amazing work & i so love that she makes it work and is honest in sharing with all of us!
      The work room is on the other far side of the house – that would be a pain if everything was stored there
      Definitely not dangerous at all.
      happy decorating your way! 🙂

  10. 🤣 Kristi, it works for you. My husband always comments that when I clean, I make such a mess! Well, that’s because I tear things out and apart, and slowly reorganize, clean, and move things or throw things, and when done, as he says, things sparkle! He has found this amusing for the last 20 years and doesn’t say much anymore. He KNOWS I will get there, and it will be so nice when done. That’s you as well. It might look bad now, but after a few days straightening up and putting away, you will be ready to continue your project again and soon it will all SPARKLE! Looking forward to the next phase of work. You got this!

  11. Oh my goodness! I actually laughed out loud at the current pictures! I knew what was coming!!! I’m one of those who thinks “Oh! Those poor floors!” but I know from your other projects that it all works out just fine. I think you’re making amazing progress and what better reason could you have for slowing things down a bit? Thanks for sharing the “real you”!

  12. It really doesn’t matter what your workspace looks like, or what anyone else thinks of it, because it works for you! You do you, Kristi… because what you do is always fantastic! xo

  13. Makers gotta make, creatives gonna create, and I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about! My ‘inspiration station’ is a guest room and I sew and create at a little nightstand. The guest bed, the floor, the ironing board, every little space either has a tool, a project, components for other projects, whatever! It’s all over the place. My sweet husband gets me. He knows that things get ugly before I make them beautiful around here!

    And I LOVE lists. Listers gotta list! Lists help my brain function, help me feel accomplished and give my life order. And discipline!