I was reminded of a strange phenomenon this weekend and I wondered if you’ve seen it too.
My sister is in the midst of selling her house here in town. She’s lived in her townhouse for, I don’t know, 10 years or something. She’s had a lot of work done to the house over those years—new carpet and new kitchen cabinets and what not. She’s been given a few punch list items from the realtor before she puts it on the market. She’s been working on them this past week to get them done—caulk the stairwell, pressure wash the porch, move a table from the hall to the living room.
One task she had to do is put some pictures in a collage frame she had in her bedroom. She’d hung the frame long ago but had never taken the time to put pictures in it. She filled it full of pictures of her dogs. She remarked to my mom, “Why didn’t I do that a long time ago, I could have enjoyed it all this time?”
She’s not the only punch-list bearing mover I’ve heard say something like that. Our friends were moving last fall and put a frame around their mirror in their bathroom. They remarked the same thing to us, “Why did we finally take the time to do that when we’re moving when we could have been enjoying it all this time?”
It’s a strange phenomenon, isn’t it? We are willing to live with the small stuff undone—for years—only to finally fix them for someone else.
I realize many times there are budget limitations. Sure, our hardwoods could probably be replaced at this point, but I don’t care to spend a few thousand dollars on it right now.
Sometimes there are time restrictions. I know mostly I’m just trying to keep up with the laundry and the blasted dust and dog hair lying on everything. Who has time for the non-urgent stuff?
Most of the time money and time stop us, but I’d bet there are things around our house we could stop and do if we’d only first think of it and second, actually do.
After thinking on this this weekend, my mom suggested I finally add some artwork to some frames in Emma’s room. They’ve been hanging in her room empty since we remodeled after the water leak last year. My plan was to create beautiful customized artwork, each frame spelling out a letter in her name. But I could never get around to it.
I batted around paying someone to paint four pieces of artwork, but I could never bring myself to pay for it. When Mom finally suggested I should put her artwork in it, I was all in.
It wasn’t exactly what I envisioned, but we sure could enjoy it in the meantime. It was so much better than IKEA’s standard insert hung neatly 4 times over. And really, I just love walking by and seeing her artwork in her room instead of mine.
Turns out it cost me zero dollars and 15 minutes.
While we’re in here, I don’t think I’ve shown you how her office space on the opposite wall evolved since finishing her crate bookcase.
She just loves her school clock (IKEA). And as you can see, I still have one more thing on my list in there—add a 4th frame. I actually bought it and primed the frame and then it rained on it outside while it was drying and I had to trash it.
You could consider acting as your own realtor even if you’re not moving. Go through each room and write down a punch list of things that need done. Here are a few of mine that I can think of off the top of my head:
- Put shoe molding down in the kitchen
- Finish the crown molding in the kitchen
- Touch up the paint in the office
- Glue down the threshold molding to the bathroom
- Fix the weather stripping thingie in the shower
- Put Emma’s toilet paper holder back up
- Hang the picture in Emma’s bathroom
- Pressure wash the front of the house
- Pressure wash the picnic tables
As you can see, even these things will take very little money and very little time. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t think of these things when we have a few minutes of downtime. A written punch list would certainly help.
I guess my point in all this is we should do some of these little things for ourselves as we can instead of waiting until we move. Really, what sense does it make not to if budget and time allow? <- asking myself
Have you found this phenomenon to be true? Tell me—what are a few things off the top of your head you could do?