This week I am determined to take a boring task and make it fun. I’m going to become an expert in fence staining. Since we bought our house three years ago we have yet to do anything with our backyard fence. It looks dry and in need of some love. First off, we will not be exposing our toddler to any paint or cleaning materials (duh!).
Fence Staining Turned Fun
How do you turn a boring, labour intensive task (i.e., fence staining) into a fun weekend? Find out my plan of attack below:
- Plan ahead.
- Prioritize the task above all else.
- Accept help with the task and/or with entertaining your kids.
- Add music to the mix.
- Reward your helpers.
First, this may sound simple to plan ahead, but it’s really helpful. In summer the weekends are numbered so put the big task on your calendar and make sure you’re spouse is on board with it. It will be easier to accept help if your loved ones know you’ve got a fence to stain on a specific date! Also, if you’re tackling a DIY home project there’s usually preparations to be made in advance. For example, in order to complete the fence staining, I need to clean the wood and purchase the materials and stain.
Prioritize the Task
Second, if I want to go to bed on Sunday knowing the fence staining project is complete, I need to make it a priority. I’m accepting the fact that we’re ordering take-out dinners this weekend. While my dinners may not be homemade, I’ll still be able to make breakfast and lunch. Snacks always cheer me up! Therefore, I’ll fill the fridge with fresh berries, watermelon slices, cucumbers, deli meats, salads, and also make sure I have buns ready for sandwiches. In summer the freezer is always stocked with burger patties so maybe I’ll pull off a family dinner after all!
Third, learn to accept help. This applies to many facets of life, but especially when you’re acting as a weekend warrior to complete a large task in a limited amount of time. I’ve got my parents lined up to help with fence staining and toddler entertaining. If we rotate one person to always be with the toddler then we all get a break. That is, if chasing a 28 month old dare devil down the street on her scooter is considered a break.
Fourth, I’ve got my portable speakers ready to play us some music. My iPhone will be on Wi-Fi so I can stream music from Google Play. If we stick to oldies and Motown jams, I think we’ll all get along.
Reward/Surprise Your Helpers
Fifth, assuming my husband doesn’t read this blog post, I’m going to surprise him on Sunday because it is his birthday. While it isn’t ideal spending your birthday staining a fence, I feel no guilt. In the7 years we’ve been married he’s celebrated his birthday in Bali, Rome, and on a Mt. Rushmore road trip. Now he can add backyard manual labour to his list of exciting birthday celebrations!
First surprise, I’ll let him sleep in Sunday morning, but if he’s not up by 9am the birthday sleep-in is over and I’m sending the toddler to get him. I’ll also make him a delicious breakfast of fritti, which is my family’s version of a Churro (see the recipe here). The last surprise is a mid-afternoon ice cream treat and because it’s his birthday I’ll buy the overpriced, delicious Magnum ice cream bars.
Thanks for reading today’s blog post. If you’ve got a big DIY weekend project coming up (like fence staining), I wish you all the best. May these tips help you have a fun and productive weekend.