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Getting It Done: A Foolproof Way to Cross Items off Your 'Honey Do' List

My secret to getting things done around the house never fails. Guess what it is?

I love that Home Depot commercial that tells us to, "Get more done!"

You see people planting flowers, painting walls, hanging pictures and they’re all enjoying it. It motivates me and induces guilt at the same time. There’s always so much to do at our house and I can tell you it's rare when we enjoy it. So, our "Honey Do" list keeps getting bigger and bigger.  

Very often, the list of projects gets put on the back burner because of vacations, kid’s activities, work and quite frankly, we don’t enjoy it or feel like doing it.  

Then, we plan a party.

Panic sets in and the work gets done. It’s a fail-safe plan.

  • Host a party
  • Work gets done

I guess it’s that fear of being judged by peers and relatives that motivates us to get moving although I don’t really think people visit us to check out what we have or don’t have or to see if our shelves are dusty or clean. I would hope people don't judge but I must say I do worry that they might.

I recently read an article in Working Mother which focused on the guilt women feel over the organization and cleanliness of their homes and the fear of being judged for it. According to a study that the magazine conducted, 60 percent of women feel judged by others regarding the condition of their homes and even more women judge themselves more harshly than anyone else might. It’s so sad that women have come so far yet we are still overcome by that kind of guilt. With all the important things we do in a day, we beat ourselves up over messy houses and ugly curtains. It’s crazy.    

My mother was a neat freak and somewhat of a stylist when it came to home furnishings. Our house was always neatly painted or wallpapered. We got new furniture every couple of years and our floor was clean enough to eat off of. She planted flowers and was constantly repainting and changing the look of the outside of our home too. She had a lot of energy. Our house often resembled a hotel or a picture in a magazine and my mother prided herself in her ability to make things look pretty and neat. It’s a lot to live up to and I, unfortunately, did not follow in her footsteps. I don’t have the energy or the budget but I often wish I did.

I was hoping to get some projects crossed off of our list this summer but time has eluded me. There have been more pleasurable things to do and we often choose to do those instead of work around the house. I guess there is something to be said for that, we do have a lot of fun!

Anyway, we are having a big party next week so we are in panic mode which means we will get things done this week. We will be running around like chickens with our heads cut off but it will get done.

My husband and the girls surprised me Saturday morning by finishing the painting I had been threatening to do for a few weeks. That was pretty awesome. I can check that painting off my list. Woohoo!

After the party is over and summer becomes a memory, we will most likely turn a blind eye (again) to the paint that needs to be touched up, the lack of greenery in our front and back yards, the blank wall that desperately needs some art work, the finished hardwoods that yearn for a pretty and protective carpet, the hallway without woodwork, the interior doors from 1965, the basement that needs to be refinished due to water damage, the driveway that is cracked, the photos that wait to be hung and so on and so on.

Those projects will return to that back burner again—but only until we throw another party.

Dan Reynolds July 30, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Soooo glad I'm not the only one with a family who does this. Nothing gets our house spotless like company or entraining guests.
Barb July 30, 2012 at 06:03 PM
And nothing gets those BIGGER jobs done like putting the house up for sale. Then you do the bigger jobs, and fall in love with your house all over again and don't want to sell it!
Mary Brulenski July 31, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Great article Janet. I can totally relate to it. We have been in our house for 15 years. My husband is finally painting our master bath. His parents will be staying at our house watching the kids for a few days. They will be sleeping in our room and using our bath. This was the motivation we needed in order to get the bathroom painted.
Janet Tumelty August 01, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Thanks for reading, its nice to know so many people can relate.

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