I am still buoyed by the satisfaction of something I did on the LaboUr Day weekend: I painted a room. By myself. And it looks really good. I keep walking around the room and feeling pleased. Because it’s all part of the simpler living plan.
In August, I formalized this last stretch to retirement when a real estate agent viewed my condo and discussed the timing and to dos before listing it. After that meeting, I determined a schedule to have everything done by the end of January. There are a few small things I want to hire a plumber, electrician, and handyman for and I’ll do any painting, cleaning, small repairs, and, of course, minimize the contents. 4+ months sounds like loads of time, but I expect it will still be challenging for me, managing it all on my own around my job and other responsibilities.
The entire condo doesn’t need new paint but I wanted to improve the coloUr in two bedrooms. I decided to paint the one I use for a guest room first before my friend Caroline arrives for another visit. And depending on that experience, I would decide whether to paint the other room or not. Sure the rooms will look better when I list but my main motivation was actually to warm up my DIY skills—the house on the property where I’m moving next year needs a lot of fixin’.
It had been at least a dozen years since I had done any interior painting and I had never painted a room entirely on my own before. I called upon my family members, living and passed, who have been great DIY’ers to send me energy.
So what made it a great experience?
- I took my time with both prepping and painting. Not rushing or cutting corners meant making fewer mistakes and not getting frustrated.
- I bought better tools, most made in the US. Yes, worth it. Nothing broke or came loose, no paint spattered.
- I used low odor and less environmentally unfriendly paint.
- I started small. A 10′ x 12′ bedroom.
- I was my own encouraging painting-partner voice. When I had doubts after the first coat, I said: wait for the second coat. When I had doubts after the second coat, I said: wait for it to dry. The partner voice was right.
I am self-motivated with my priorities of healthy food, exercise, meditation, and study but not, I confess, with maintaining a sparkling kitchen daily or keeping up with non-essential home repairs and improvements. More than preparation for listing my condo, the painting exercise was a welcome lesson to build confidence for the reno’s ahead.
And three days after the painting, I re-installed the blinds. Last year due to stress and procrastination, I was installing those blinds in that guest room one (1!) hour before leaving for the airport to pick up Caroline. Home improvement? Compared to last year, I’d say that’s definitely high-five-plus-a-gold star improvement.
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