Confessions of a compulsive project starter

Kit Stansley

August 23, 2012

By: Kit Stansley, DIY Diva

In: General Remodeling

Here's how my decision making process usually goes for whether or not I should start a new project: Am I still breathing? Yes? Okay, then… proceed.

The truth is that I collect new projects the way old ladies collect cats. I can't help myself. I may be doing something completely unrelated to building things, and all of the sudden I get an idea for making a new coffee table out of an old wood crate. The next thing you know that pile of laundry on the bedroom floor is getting ignored (again) and I'm driving frantically to the four closest thrift stores because the world might stop turning if I don't find just the right thing.

Chicken crate coffee table

In the case of this coffee table, "just the thing" was an old chicken crate, but it could be anything. I'm notorious for slipping into Lowe's fifteen minutes before they close to get a random assortment of dowels, electrical parts, and spray paint for a project that is only vaguely clear to me, because you just never know… I may wake up at 3 a.m. and need to build a lamp out of a moonshine jug.

jug lamp

I've heard of people who hoard food as adults because there was never quite enough to eat growing up. I feel like I hoard building materials because I fear there's never quite enough time to do all of the projects I would like to.

For example, here's an abbreviated list of the building materials currently occupying all of the passenger seats in my car: One eight-foot 2-by-4 (who needs just one 2-by-4?), a roll of R-13 insulation, three boxes of staples, a gallon of interior paint, a box of coiled roofing nails, a belt sander, and two boxes of cat litter. (I also collect cats.)

black cat

I mean, we've all been there at least once, right? No? Am I the only crazy person in the room? I like to think of it less as "crazy" and more as being prepared that a spare hour may magically appear in my day that would be wasted if I didn't have the proper materials on hand to build a garden shed.

Usually I try to keep this in check with my 5 project rule, which basically means that I try to keep my number of unfinished projects to around five. This works right now if you count my entire house as one unfinished project, otherwise… eh. However, I did just finish a pretty extensive list of repairs that were required by the bank when I bought the house, which means I've got some open slots on my current project list right now. The only problem is, there are so many that I want to do, now I don't know where to start.


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