your personal architect

Architectural Solutions to Human Problems

Preparing Our House for a New School Year

Over the last week we’ve been pushing through on some stalled projects to get the house ready for school. The biggest one was getting my wife’s desk moved into the living room so that all of our desks are in one place. The two main benefits are that all the kids will be doing homework where I can watch them and the old office will become a kids playroom with a Wii that some friends gave us. The actual process didn’t go as smoothly as originally planned, nor is it complete yet. Our projects typically move like this. There’s the initial activity, often involving buying the stuff (in this case Ikea table tops and shelves). Then there is the doldrums, when enough has been done to make it mostly usable. Then there is the mad rush to finish it because it’s now in the way of some other project.

And this happens almost every time the project takes longer than a day or two.

It is not unlike how architectural projects go (he said casually linking the theme of the post). There’s the slow build up where we collect pictures and work on the design and get it all laid out. Then the big moment comes when we start to do the work. But there comes a point where the work is mostly done, the space is usable, and there are other things that had been pushed aside that need to get handled. And that’s the point that many projects, especially DIY ones, stall. And getting the energy and time to get that last 10% finished is hard.

For me, what gets it moving again is that the unfinished project is blocking a new project. That’s frustrating of course – now your new project will take longer because you have to finish another first.

To get a project done quickly and completely, I find I have to get people to help me. The extra people keep the work from being too large, and the schedule forces me be ready and prevents excuses.

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