While writing the book, I had an excuse to procrastinate every household project on the list. Clean the gutters? I can’t, I have chapters due. Trust me, I felt every bit a hypocrite, doing this too. Now that excuse is long gone, the book is safely on the shelves of bookstores. The house has once again been restored to its usual standards of cleanliness, but that list of household projects? The one that goes above and beyond the day to day, it is still mocking me.
About a year ago, my middle child decided to play Spiderman on the towel rack in the upstairs bathroom. It did not go as he planned and left a hole about the size of a fifty cent piece in the wallpapered wall. This is not a bathroom anyone but the most understanding of guests would see.
We’ve talked about patching the hole.
“We should patch that hole. Do you know where the spare roll of wallpaper is?” and that’s about as far as that conversation ever went. Neither of us are big fans of wallpaper, the original owner did a great job decorating, but now that 7 years have gone by, it’s time we start trying to make the house look like our own.
So Tuesday evening I went into that room for one reason or another and decided, that’s it. The bathroom is getting done this week. I picked at a corner of the wall paper and pulled. It came off the wall with a satisfying rip. I grabbed another section and pulled.
I call this my scorched earth tactic. I can ignore a hole in a pattern; I cannot ignore swaths of missing wallpaper. Wednesday I grounded myself from social media and attacked the paper with dilute fabric softener and an old gift card*. Today will be the patching and painting of three walls. I will paint. Well, I’ll paint as soon as I go to the store and figure out what color. I’ll do the fourth wall after the patch has had time to cure.
I don’t have a decorating gene, so that’s never been my motivation. If a room looks clean, that’s almost always good enough for me.
I’ve found that if I have a project, I have to get it to the point of no return while I have even a glimmer of motivation. After that point I can break it into manageable mini-projects to ensure I finish.
What about you?
What is your secret for launching household projects?
Are you as bad with procrastinating?
How do you power through?
*There’s a side story in there about toilet frogs.
A few months ago, I was walking past the upstairs bathroom and something caught my eye on the inside of the toilet bowl above the water line. I don’t know why I had glanced that way. It turned out to be a tree frog. We assumed one of the boys had something to do with the frog in the toilet and we were just thankful that it hadn’t jumped on our youngest daughter while she was taking care of business. She’s exceptionally girly about bugs, so that may have traumatized her for life.
While I was scraping wall paper, I heard a tree frog calling. I had dismantled the toilet to remove the paper from behind the tank. As I followed the frog call, I realized it was coming up from the empty toilet. I assume the little bugger is up in the sewer vent pipe on the roof. I assure you, from now on, I will be checking for toilet frogs. (The frog is now calling -to mock me, I suppose- as I type and I welcome any suggestions for humanely discouraging toilet frogs)