I do my fair share of home improvement projects. I like the idea of doing things myself and having pride in my projects. I also happen to enjoy the planning of the project – which is not a surprise given that I am a Folder!
My buddy Mark loves it when I have a new project. Up until recently when I bought the minivan (or the Spaceship as we now refer to it to try and make it sound cooler), he would accompany me on my trips to Home Depot or Lowes because he has a pick-up truck. Normally, anyone who owns a pick-up truck is not enthused about going with a buddy to help that buddy get his project materials. I have owned plenty of pick-up trucks in the past and am well aware of how it goes from being cool to being free labor and transport all too quickly.
So, why does he enjoy going with me so much?
It’s because he loves making fun of me. See, when I am ready to go to the home improvement store for my projects, I’ve got my list ready to go. That’s no so unusual, right? Well, my list is created in Excel. I list the description of the item that the store uses on their website just in case we need to get an associate involved. I have my quantities and per item price and of course the extended price. I have the SKU – because you never know which item is going to be missing its tag when you go to check out. I look up the Aisle and Bay number and put it on my spreadsheet. I know EXACTLY where to go for every single item on my Bill of Materials…I mean my list 😉. I even sort my list in the optimal order to flow through the store as quickly as possible but to also pick up the largest items last so that I am not struggling with the big items as I try and go grab some hardware.
By the way, if you are laughing at me right now, it’s just because you are jealous that my process is better than yours! And you are not alone, because Mark laughs his butt off at me every time. To me, this seems like a perfectly logical approach that saves me time. I didn’t even think of it as strange enough to be worth writing about. But here is what’s so funny and why I decided to write this after all.
I was talking with my wife Apryll about whether I should write this post. I was going to share an example of one of my lists that I had done when I built her custom closet system. I went to go look for the spreadsheet and realized I had it saved locally on a computer that has since gone on to computer heaven. I was bummed because I didn’t have that list to use and she said, “Just recreate it – what’s the big deal?” I went into a tailspin!
I said “but I would need to go back and re-think the whole process to make sure I have all of the right items on the list that actually made up the closet. What if I miss a piece of hardware or some other little item that I used and it didn’t appear on the sheet?”
She stared at me like I had three heads.
“Who cares? Who would know? Isn’t the point just to show the sheet?”
I just couldn’t get past it. There was no way I could just fake it and not actually go back through my whole design process to make it accurate.
So…no example for you 😊