Have you ever combined efforts?

lobsterbirdJuly 24, 2007

DH and I just spent a week staying with friends and helping them fix up the exterior of their house and front yard. It was planned as a working vacation, and the the four of us expended a considerable amount of energy. The scope of the project expanded once we started and determined how much could be completed. It was an amazing week -- exhausting, energizing, and so much fun.

My friends initially joked that we had planned an "intervention". And my husband chided that only I would suggest spending our vacation helping friends work on their house and enlist his help. However, over the summer I've found myself giving and receiving help from friends in accomplishing a variety of household and organizing tasks, and it has been wonderful. Having someone with you while you work on a project can provide motivation to get started and sustain the momentum. It is a way to spend time with people and prompts all kinds of conversations. This past week I discovered what it is like to work as a team with close friends, and as a result, I learned a lot about how they do things, their strengths and weaknesses. All in all, it was a very supportive and lighthearted event, and we were all pleased with the results. As a contrast to all the hard work, we cooked dinners together and relaxed in the evenings.

Anyone else have experience with combining efforts to initiate and complete projects?


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I think that could really be fun!

For one thing, it's always more fun to wash dishes at someone else's house, or to paint someone else's living room. You don't experience the disruption the same way,

And, you get to feel like the hero! Zooming in, cape billowing behind you, and saving the day. (Can you tell I read a lot of comic books as a kid? I have a superhero complex.)

Of course, having help and company when you're struggling w/ your own project is really energizing, too.

And, frankly, more gets done. Which is always a great feeling.

There is something about achieving a goal, or accomlishing something, that feeds the soul. More, sometimes than lazing on the beach.

The closest I have ever felt w/ my husband was when we stripped the woodwork in the living room.

And you're right--working with people lets you learn much more about them.

I would love to be able to do something like that. I'm wistfully jealous.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 5:45PM
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We do this fairly regularly with a certain SIL and BIL, and a daughter and her husband. It works out great for all of us. We've also done this with one family who are friends, not family members. I agree that it seems easier to get more done with others helping and a deadline, i.e get as much done as possible while the help is here:-)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 8:45PM
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last year my friend and i both needed our decks staining. So, together we did my deck first and then his. They were both fun days and we worked well together. The projects were finished in record time and we saved a bunch of money doing it ourselves. Recently another friend volunteered to help paint our new screened porch. After an hour or so she confessed that she had never painted before, but was having a wonderful time ( she also did a great job!). Once my porch is finished we are going to stain her deck. She has also decided to paint one of the small bedrooms in her house. I really like working with others, its fun and the time really does fly by and the job gets finished more quickly.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 6:38AM
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Make it a party, provide food and non-alcoholic beverages. Or, if you are sure everyone will be good , have beer and winecoolers. There's nothing like free food to get people working together. Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 6:26PM
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I think this works if it is for a project that does not require any finesse - like a demolition job.

I went to a wallpaper stripping party that a friend had when when she bought her first house, and it was fun and a whole summer's worth of work for her got done in a day.

I tried letting people help me paint when they offered, when I bought my first home and I became really aggravated. There was paint on my brand new drapes!!! Paint on the floors. Things painted that were not to be touched - the crown moulding in the foyer. (They were told not to paint it! Thank god I stopped them before they got too far.) Someone painted over the smoke alarms instead of removing them. As a *surprise* someone painted the walls above the bathroom tile without washing it first. I said to myself "NEVER AGAIN!"

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:26PM
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