Friday, February 22, 2013

Punch List for My House

As an architect’s wife, I’m professionally jealous of my husband.

When he’s wrapping the construction phase of a project, he gets to tour the nearly-complete building and make a “punch list.” That means he goes through each room and makes a list of things that need to be fixed, cleaned, finished, or otherwise taken care of. Then the contractor and subcontractors do all the items on the list.

I want to make a punch list.

I want to walk through my yard and my house pointing out all the things that need to be dealt with, then walk away, leaving the experts do their jobs.

They could prune the bougainvillea, weed, pressure wash the drive, get rid of the wasp’s nests, clean the pool cage screen, cut back the porter weed, haul away the non-native plants—

Folks, we haven’t gotten inside yet.

What about the garage? Wall mounts for the bikes, more shelves, repaint the floor…

Drippy faucet in the laundry room, “self-stripping wallpaper” in the great room, trim that needs painting—heck, let’s paint the whole interior!

And the best part of the punch list is that someone DOES the tasks! I imagine myself giving a punch list to anyone around here—like, say, my kids—and I laugh and laugh and laugh. Can you picture them doing something I tell them to do? If I tell them to put their shoes on to go get ice cream, they won’t do it.

One of my favorite books describes these punch list items as N.U.T.s—Nagging Unfinished Tasks. Right now I’m going N.U.T.s. Anybody want to punch me?

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