Children have to be at least a good part of the reason places like Home Depot and Lowe's exist. Almost nine years ago my wife and I bought a nice little three bedroom house knowing that we would some day have a family in it. When we moved in the place was in pretty good shape. Nothing was brand new, the house was built in 1970, but some updates had been done throughout the years to keep the decor fairly current. The carpet was clean, the paint was in good shape and even the slightly dated window treatments were in good working order.
Fast forward eight years, two kids and four cats later. The palace isn't what is used to be. Now, I don't have garbage piling up or anything, but, you can tell this is a home with two little kids in it. The bottom three feet of the walls have hints of crayon and sticky hand prints. There's a heat vent missing behind the table in the dining room. The vertical blinds had a run in with my daughter and a pair of scissors a few years back. The list goes on. Thankfully, we don't have any major problems to worry about, everything is cosmetic. None the less, I need to come up with a plan to address these problems.
I've found that you can be successful in anything you do if you find the tricks to motivate yourself. For me, it's a matter of taking the problem, planning the solution out on paper and going for the easy stuff first. Once I get some momentum going and build up some confidence with easy tasks, I find myself better prepared to tackle the larger, tougher stuff. It's always important to make sure you set reasonable goals. Set reasonable expectations for yourself, then, surpass your own expectations by just a little bit for each goal you set. I like to keep a list on paper of the tasks I need to complete. I make it a point to keep these lists somewhere I can see them. At work, I use a white board. My coworkers will see what I am up to and give me a hard time if I look to be slacking off. If I am only accountable to myself, things won't get done in a timely manner. When I share the list with others, I am motivated to keep on trucking until the work is done.
So, I am off to write up my home improvement and repair list. It will defiantly involve several trips to Home Depot and Lowe's. Hopefully I'll get some good chances to involve the kids in the work. They are getting pretty good at grabbing tools for me. Maybe if they have a hand in the work they will think twice before creating new works of art of the walls or carpet. Yea, right, it will work just like that. All I know is replacing the heat vent by the table is at the top of the list. My daughter is scared I might fall in the hole and die. She's got a red plastic bin covering it now, just in case.