How to (finally) complete those projects around the house!

We all have long lists of tasks we need to do around the house which we continue to put off. Am I right?

Case in point: I had been meaning to clean the first floor windows and the vertical blinds of my house (screens, panes and sills) for many, many months. But I just could NOT seem to get motivated to do it! Many of the tasks on my list seemed too time-consuming, too challenging, too overwhelming, and/or too boring. Most times I couldn’t seem to get my husband to help me either…

SOLUTION: A home task “co-op”!

A home task co-op is a simply group of friends who pitch in to help each other – one day at one person’s house, another day at another person’s house, and so on. The group works as a team to get things done at each person’s house!

It is both motivating and fun to have friends come over and lend a hand with your task list! It’s very gratifying to turn around and help your friends with their home projects too. Together you can get the job done faster, better and with more fun and laughter than you can alone!


Here’s how to start:

  1. Suggest the idea of a home task co-op to your friends. You’ll be surprised at the enthusiastic response! People generally tend to be shy or reluctant to ask for help, but most people are relieved at the thought of receiving a helping hand! Isn’t the thought itself comforting!?
  2. Propose a date and time for the first work session. I suggest starting with your own house so you can lead by example. 2-4 hours is a reasonable amount of time to schedule for one work session.
  3. Determine which tasks or projects the group will complete at your house. Let them know what they will be working on.
  4. Gather RSVPs for the work session.
  5. Identify the tools, hardware and supplies (e.g., ladder, paint trays, drop cloth) that you’ll need for the tasks. Borrow these items from your fellow home task co-op members whenever possible!
  6. Consider having light refreshments on hand, such as iced tea and snacks.
  7. Divide friends up into teams (if necessary) when they arrive. Ensure that everyone has something to do.
  8. Take frequent breaks, and don’t feel the need to accomplish it ALL in one sitting. No sense in overworking your friends!
  9. Celebrate your accomplishments!
  10. Decide whose house is next! Encourage that person to start thinking about the tasks he/she needs to get done around the house.

Last weekend, despite the summer heat and humidity, four friends agreed to assist me with a short list of home tasks. They arrived in their old tennis shoes, with old Wilson tennis accessories and yard-working clothes. Tasks included cleaning the first floor windows, screens and sills; trimming all my overgrown bushes, hauling the clippings to the woods behind the house; and scrubbing the railings, boards and ceiling of my big wooden front porch.

It took just four hours for five people to do what would have taken me three days to complete by myself! Best of all, we laughed, talked and shared home repair tips as we worked!!  I now have a great looking front yard, porch and windows!

Next weekend, the co-op will resume at my friend Julia’s house to paint her guest room and turn her weed patch into a vegetable garden.

Have more ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!