The House Of 1000 Projects

The house of 1000 projects. You know the house I’m talking about.  Maybe you’re living in one, like I am. 

There are all the maintenance projects: The outside needs to be painted. The roof needs replacing.  The doors squeek.  A board in the deck needs replacing. 

Then there are all the other projects you would like to see completed: A fence around the yard.  Weed the garden.  Plant more flower bulbs.  Finish the basement…

Okay, so maybe my home doesn’t require a THOUSAND projects, but if I were to list them all, I could probably get pretty close.

My husband says we don’t get MY projects done because they all involve many many parts.  For instance…I wanted to turn an unfinished room in the basement into a playroom.  To complete the project, we needed an electrician, wall studs, drywall, flooring, heating & air conditioning, etc.  It’s been 4 years since I first brought up the idea and the basement still has a cinder block room that is just being used for storage.

HE, on the other hand, wanted bookshelves to go into the sunroom.  Low bookshelves that could run along a wall beneath the windows.  Sounds easy enough, right? He sold the idea to me by saying we could keep all our potted plants on the tops of the bookshelves.

Talk about multiple parts!  Take a look at HIS project.  It sounded simple enough, but to complete the project we had to:

  1. Move his desk (which resides in the sunroom) to another wall. 
  2. His previous bookshelf had to be emptied and removed.  It went into the upstairs hallway until a more appropriate place could be found.  The books that came off of it were stacked along the dining room wall.
  3. The couch had to be removed. 
  4. It went into my teenager’s room (which had to be cleared out first so we could get it in there.  
  5. The cleared room spurred on a decision to switch out a bookshelf and an amoire in his room for the large entertainment system we were going to have to move later for a larger TV we were getting from my brother.  The entertainment center had to be disassembled, moved upstairs and reassembled.
  6. We had to move the bookshelf from the bedroom into the basement to hold all the DVDs that came off the dis-assembled entertainment center.
  7. The armoire was so heavy, it sat in the living room for 10 days.  Finally, my teenaged son and I lugged it to the basement (into the cinder block room where it still resides).
  8. A loveseat replaced the couch in the sunroom.  It had to be brought upstairs from the basement.
  9. We went shopping for the bookshelves.  The place we had originally seen them didn’t carry them anymore.
  10. 3 stores and a couple sessions of online “window shopping” produced our bookshelves.  (I didn’t realize how difficult it was to find simple, low white bookshelves that didn’t scream “cheap”).  In fact, I wish we carried our Way Basics line at the time.  Several of the Rectangle Plus2 units would have been perfect!
  11. An hour and a half was spent assembling the bookshelves.
  12. I got the lovely job of putting all his books on the shelves.  I didn’t mind so much because I was ready to get them off my dining room floor.  He was busy “arranging his desk area” which required a couple hours sitting down.

Basically, that small, quick “lets add some shelves” project turned into a big hoo ha.  I’m not suggesting it could have been quicker, but I’m sure I’d feel better about the whole thing if I knew what was coming.  If I had planned in advance all the moving and lugging around of furniture, it wouldn’t have rubbed me the wrong way when I had to stop to do it.

I made a list.  On this list it had all the steps required to finish MY project…the basement.  Along with the list of steps, I wrote down a list of all the materials we would need to purchase.  This overwhelming project was now broken down into small steps that my husband could deal with.  We could choose a piece of the project to do each weekend and work on it.  Three months have passed since then and the “playroom” is about 80% complete.

Looking at a small task that can be done or a small expense to be faced is sometimes much easier than looking at the whole project.  When you are organizing your kitchen, do one drawer at a time.  Weed the garden one hour at a time.  Do your unpacking one box at a time.  The project will be completed in time.

Organizing and cleaning and all those other things you’d rather put off till later are sometimes best done in small increments. Just a little now and then is better than not at all.

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