Demons of Efficiency

When I was a kid, my dad’s work schedule changed, allowing him a day off in the middle of the week- which meant that he could go run errands and take care of general requests while mom was at work.   One week, he picked up my younger sister early from school.  She was thinking “Yay!  Out of school early!”, while my father was thinking “Yay! Help with the grocery shopping!”.

The trip to the supermarket ended up taking three hours.  I’ll wait while you digest that.  Yup, three hours.

It seems that they tracked down each item on the list, in written order, criss-crossing the store approximately 50 times.*  Ask my sister about it, and you’ll get a colorful story about having to row a Viking ship to the beat of a drum.

In many ways, I feel our home renovation list is similar to that long-ago odyssey to get some groceries.  Except, as soon as one item is complete, another is added to the bottom of the list. 

We’re having a small get-together this weekend, so naturally I want the house to be in the best shape possible.  In my wildest dreams, I won’t have to say “Sorry about ____/Please forgive ____/We’ve been renovating and are not quitedone yet.”  (which roughly translates into “Um, yeah…those holes in the wall?  Been there for about 6 months- and may be there if you visit 6 months from now…”)  We’ve made great headway this week on the list- including getting most of the porch painted, the garage painted, and some trim installed-  but I also feel like we’re furiously criss-crossing the store to gather information, supplies, tips, and finished projects, just to race in the opposite direction again.  

Maybe that’s just the nature of home renovation- especially on a house that has so many projects to tackle.  I know grocery stores have maps- do home renovations have maps too?

*I’m happy to report that my father is MUCH better about grocery shopping- but to this day will lovingly be reminded of past transgressions from my younger sister.

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2 thoughts on “Demons of Efficiency

  1. If there’s a homeowner’s map, it must be like one of those buried treasure ones, steeped in cryptology! I long ago dispensed with “to do” lists for the very reason you mentioned. Scratching an accomplishment off is so anti-climactic when two or three other tasks are there to replace it. As frustrating as it can be to have to excuse the mess or apologize for the state of your digs, it’s always great when those same people come back and freak at how great it looks since they last saw it. 🙂 Good excuse to get everyone back together this fall!

  2. D

    There’s an old saying about the apple not falling far from the tree…
    Like grocery shopping, home improvements keep going on and on.
    With each one you finish and each skill you gain, a light bulb goes on and then the dreaded line comes up “We could DO that!!”
    Old house/new house, doesn’t matter, and just when you get your house mostly done, time to move! And the circle continues.
    Some comforting thoughts, The more work you do to a house, the more it becomes yours and the more it becomes ‘home’, the added bonus is that it also pays off when you do move.
    from the original “Demon of Efficiency”

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