Works for Me Wednesday

“Finishers Wanted”

In 2009 I had the goal to at least once a month finish something on the never-ending to-do list. I’ve felt the need lately to resurrect that goal, so this month we’re starting again! I’m not even waiting for the new year (see this post which provided some motivation)! And I really need to make it a weekly goal, not a monthly one. Most of these tasks should take just a couple of minutes, and even those that take longer have intermediate “finishing” spots. It’s really just a matter of taking the time to do them!
For example, we repainted the house this summer. After replacing the light switch covers, we noticed a half dozen that didn’t quite cover the opening that had been cut out. So, for a couple of months I’ve had that “finishing” project on my list. I think part of the reason I procrastinated was that the job required a series of little steps (including getting out the ladder to reach a top storage shelf) with waiting time in between each one. This week I finally
  • got out the ladder to reach the joint compound
  • unscrewed the necessary light switch plates
  • puttied around the openings
  • got out the wood putty to fix a crack in some molding
  • waited a day for it to dry (and even put the joint compound back on the shelf!)
  • sanded everything
  • got out the ladder again to reach the primer
  • primed everything
  • did the regular errands while that dried
  • got out the ladder again to reach the paint
  • painted all the spots (six different colors, which meant washing the brush multiple times)
  • hauled out the vacuum to clean up all the sanding dust (which should have been done after the sanding, but oh, well)
  • waited for everything to dry again
  • screwed the light switch plates back in place
  • lost one screw so the job still wasn’t finished!
  • found a replacement screw (actually Wayne did) so now it’s done!!

I’m noticing that tasks that require getting out a ladder have a hard time making it to the top of the list! For example, last week as part of cleaning out the computer room I made a little pile of things that belong on the top shelf of one of the kitchen cupboards. The pile is still there. So, as soon as I’m done with this (and maybe even before!), I’ll grab the step-stool and put them away properly.

How many “little things” do you discover that need to be finished? We bought Michelle’s valance rod in August, made the valance last month, and also ordered her blinds. Once those come in we’ll hang everything. However, she noticed yesterday that there’s a small section that needs to be re-sewn. Another little thing to finish!

I finally went through and unpacked all the boxes with things the movers took off our walls. Now I need to decide what to do with all the pictures. We finally figured this would be a good wall for the circle pedigree chart. That was a couple of weeks ago. How long should it take to get a hammer and a couple of nails to get it hung?
Some things will definitely get finished, because they’re fun to do! Here’s the afghan I started so I’d have something to do while listening to conference and waiting for Michelle during seminary. Don’t be surprised if it’s completed before any of these other things!

Now that the switchplates are taken care of, replacing the broken brick at the front door is on the top of the “finish this” list. It’s another multi-step project, and the first step is actually finding the replacement bricks. It would be easy (and already finished!) if Home Depot carried them, but they don’t. Time to do some research!

Can you see that this list is just getting longer and longer and more overwhelming? No wonder nothing gets done! However, I’m trying to remember that Benjamin Franklin’s wise saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” doesn’t apply to everything. I shouldn’t just “make do” when I have the resources to fix the problem correctly. And I also can’t use the saying “A mother’s work is never done” to rationalize not completing little chores. Yes, someone will inevitably track dirt over a clean floor or toss some dirty clothes into the hamper, yet I still need to mop the floors and do the laundry on a regular basis. I can definitely call certain things “done for now” and I need to do that daily.
There’s my beautiful “Finishers Wanted” reminder plaque – hiding under another unfinished project (a baby quilt all cut out and ready to be tied) in the closet. I promise that it will be hanging up somewhere before the end of this week to remind me of my goal to not just start projects and tasks, but to finish them! Stay tuned to see what happens 🙂
P.S. If you’re looking for ideas for projects to start so that you can finish them, you’ll find a lot over at Works for Me Wednesday!