Monday Top 5: Honey-Do List Items We Keep Avoiding
One of the first thing you learn after the wedding is the Honey-Do list. This is the ongoing (and never-ending) list of jobs that need to be accomplished around the house. There may be items as easy to complete as “paint the bathroom” or as complicated as “renovate the kitchen.” DIY warriors and self-proclaimed handymen tackle these jobs one by one, dutifully crossing them off as they’re completed. But some items just never seem to get done. These are five of ours.
1) Power Washing the Driveway
We don’t know what it is, but our wives tend to get sort of crazy about the driveway. While it makes sense to clean up spills and drips, about once a year we get the, “Don’t you think the driveway needs to be power washed again?” speech. Actually, no, we don’t. We think that having a driveway five shades lighter than any other on the block in no way makes our home look nicer. Landscaping, cutting the grass, and even lawn gnomes, sure, but the driveway? We don’t get it. Plus, it’s like the world’s most tedious job. It’s not hard, it’s not stressful, it’s just dreadfully boring. Plus, when we’re done we don’t even get that feeling of satisfaction of a job well done. We just look at our sparkling clean driveway and think, “There, that’ll shut her up for a while.”
2) Clean out the Garage
There are a lot of reasons to avoid a job. With the power washing, it’s the tedium. With cleaning out the garage it’s the inability to know where to start. You back out the cars (if you can still get them in there) and look at the clutter, the leaves, the random bits of paper, projects, and toys and think, “Man, this is gonna suck.” It’s one of those jobs that you can work at for five straight hours, take a break, look over your work and think, “Nope, still looks the same.” If you have kids, you know it’s a futile effort. The minute the rug-rats see a clean spot, they’ll just want to dump their bikes, pokemon cards, and Ben 10 action figures all over it. Plus, why does the garage look fine all winter long but the minute the heat climbs past 85 (and if you live in the South, the humidity climbs to greater than 80%), suddenly it looks like a car full of leaves and toys exploded in there? Of course, there’s also the futility. You wish you’d keep it nice but you know you won’t. So what’s the point?
3) Fix the Dripping in the Bathroom
There are some things you’d just rather not get into. These are jobs that you know, in your heart-of-hearts, that if you so much as place a screwdriver on a screw head or touch a wrench to nut, that you’ll be in for a weekend of grease, skinned knuckles, and a hefty carpet blower rental bill. Sure, that drip is annoying, but if you try to fix it, you’ll probably be replacing drywall and tile if you are lucky, re-piping your entire house if not. These are jobs that have about a 95% chance of escalating into a full renovation. These are the types of jobs that professionals will swear that they never start on a Sunday. While the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is true, there is a little known corollary which goes, “and If it ain’t that broke, best to just leave it be.”
There are a lot of reasons to avoid the dreaded towel bar. It isn’t that they are so hard to do (check out our tutorial if that’s the problem) but more likely it is one of two reason. Either it’s one of those nuisance projects that keeps getting pushed to the back burner because of more important things, or you have kids. We don’t know how many projects we’re putting off until our kids get old enough not to break them. Towel racks, repainting rooms, installing hard wood… the list goes on. Really, we are being good fathers here. If the kid tries to Tarzan off the new towel rack an hour after we installed it, he’s in for it. We’re just preventing potential child abuse.
5) Fix the Leaking Back Door
How many projects make the list that seem innocuous to the list maker? Sure, just fix the back door. No big deal right? Well, what they don’t understand is that is was put on with an incorrect threshold so it has to be cut down and re-set. This is not a small job. This is something you’ll have to research and maybe even call a friend in for. You’ll spend weeks in planning and online and likely will still end up with a slightly leaky door. But she writes it down like it’s changing the oil in the car or cutting the grass.
You know what makes all of these items less daunting? Experience. Experience is the difference between fixing something and potentially making it worse. Experience makes for less experimentation and greater success in your endeavors. Want experience? Then get cracking on these types of tasks – they are the best thing for you – despite our complaints and comical comments to the contrary.