I grew up in a small city, so when it got here to summer time actions, there weren’t a ton of choices. In case you performed a sport throughout the faculty yr, you might need weekly practices throughout the summer time. Maybe you’d go away to 4H camp or join a brief arts program in a close-by metropolis. However there was one week in the summertime that you would at all times rely on: Habitat for Humanity week.

This was per week the place youngsters from all of the close by colleges got here collectively to assist spruce up the neighborhood via the mixed effort of an area youth group and Habitat for Humanity. At first of the week, we had been divided into small teams and assigned a home the place we’d work on residence enchancment tasks of all kinds. These duties would possibly contain landscaping or constructing, however they typically concerned portray.

I don’t imply portray a room in the home or doing a enjoyable accent wall. I imply portray the total exterior. Once I began volunteering, I questioned whether or not this mission would even be attainable to finish in per week. Our group was small, and the home was massive. I additionally quickly realized that portray the outside of a house additionally meant you could first strip all of the previous paint off of the outside of the house. So: A gaggle of excessive schoolers with one grownup chaperone had been in command of stripping and portray your entire exterior of somebody’s residence.

That’s an enormous endeavor.

One home we had been assigned had layers and layers of white paint falling off of it, and all of us rapidly set to work with our admittedly not-great-quality scrapers to peel off the paint underneath the new June Tennessee solar.  

On the finish of day one, we had been nonetheless scraping. It appeared to look worse than once we began (however that’s the way in which it goes with reno tasks). For days, we scraped and scraped and scraped some extra. And by the top of the week, we lastly obtained to placed on the recent coat of white paint, which, by then, was so rewarding. Slopping on the brand new white paint and swooshing it throughout the naked wooden is a sense I’ll always remember.

As soon as we completed, I’ve to say: the home appeared terrific. I discovered quite a bit in regards to the precise technique of getting a very good paint job (hi there, correct prep), however I additionally discovered a couple of different issues that I’ve carried with me through the years. They’ve served me nicely in my very own DIYing endeavors.

A recent coat of paint does wonders.

It simply does. It doesn’t matter what colour you select. A recent coat of paint breathes new life into any house. Once I transfer into a brand new place (sure, even leases), the very first thing I do is paint the partitions. Even after I’ve achieved so, I typically will change up the wall colour in a single room.

An accent wall is so low-commitment.

Whereas mates of mine get simply overwhelmed with the prospect of portray even a single wall, I do know what a simple endeavor it’s as a result of I’ve stripped and painted your entire exterior of a home. Altering up a wall colour doesn’t really feel tremendous formidable to me — and it shouldn’t to you, both. It’s simply paint, and it’s only one wall. You’ll be able to at all times redo it.

Initiatives are extra enjoyable with mates.

I’m notoriously a solo DIYer. However once I can let myself relinquish management of each element, I’ve to confess that tasks are extra enjoyable with mates. Even simply getting others to weigh in on some mission particulars that you just’re feeling indecisive about could make the entire mission come collectively extra easily, and also you’ll really feel assured in your design selections understanding you have already got a couple of followers onboard.

Put aside time to really do the belongings you need to do.

I’m an enormous calendar woman, and if I’ve tasks piling up I need to end, I’ll put aside a weekend to go full highschool Habitat for Humanity mode and simply get it achieved.  If we had all summer time to finish our Habitat for Humanity mission, I’m certain we’d have waited till the final minute or slowly drawn it out over the months — however since we had one week put aside particularly for that mission, it made the entire mission extra doable. And: It compelled us to complete.

So thanks, Habitat for Humanity, for displaying me what arduous work truly appears like. I really feel happy with the time and power I contributed through the years — and I’m proud, too, that I can have enjoyable doing my small DIY tasks round the home as a result of I do know that I’m able to a lot extra.

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