How to build custom shelving
Project Inspiration | Tips & Tricks

Protect Yourself | How to Avoid Setbacks in your Project

January 7, 2018

As I look back to this date one year ago, I remember that I was overwhelmed and really sick.  My doctor thought that I had a really bad sinus infection that had turned into Pneumonia.  It turns out that it didn’t.  I only had Bronchitis and a terrible sinus infection. The pain was so unbearable.  I laid in bed most of every day for a week or so trying to escape the pain.  It was so debilitating.

If you know anything about me, you know that THAT is my least favorite thing to do and I love to be busy.  It was torture for me.  Not only the pain, but the inability to do what I really wanted to do.   You know what it was from?  I was working on finishing the basement and I wasn’t wearing a mask to do the work.  This was a time in my life that I realized and admitted that I bit off more than I could chew.  Take my advice…..protect yourself to avoid setbacks during your projects!

I had 3 projects going at the same time.  I thought that 1.  I could finish the basement myself so we could use the space for the winter (hello? football) 2. I could build my daughter two bookcases and a bench seat because I promised I would and 3. I could build a custom closet and replace the wire shelving that had collapsed.   Let me spoil the ending by letting you know that I did eventually finish all of the spaces minus a few minor details.

building custom shelves

In September 2016 we decided to finish the basement.  (You can see that here.)  I called a few contractors and got their bids.  I was really floored by the numbers and couldn’t believe it.  So, I figured I could do most of the work myself after the electrical was installed and the drywall was hung.  If you read my basement post you will see all of the work that I did.  I opted to general the project myself so that I could  include the new furniture that I wanted into the budget.  We saved $$$.  But, as I was installing all of the baseboards and doors/moulding, I got hasty and would just quickly work to get it done and not be bothered with a mask.  The drywall dust was a nightmare and ended up in my nose most of the time as well as the rest of the house.

On top of that, our closet had collapsed twice.  I HATE WIRE SHELVING!!!!  We have it all over our home and I am working to replace it all.  So I decided that, since I already set up a workshop in the garage, I would just knock out our custom closet.  Haha…knock it out.  And while I am at it, and I am hauling wood up and down all of the stairs, why not throw in my daughter’s built-ins.  I thought, “of course you can do this.”  You know what that ended up being????  NUTS!

how to custom build a master closet

how to build custom shelves

Not wearing a mask was what made me really sick.   That and the fact that I wasn’t resting at all because I was just jumping from one project to the next.  I would wake up early and get to work on the basement, closet and bookcase, work all day on it along with staying on top of the house stuff and stay up late at night to work on projects.  I wasn’t taking care of myself at all.  I thought the faster I worked, the quicker it would all get done.  What I didn’t remember was that it wasn’t a sprint, it was a marathon and to enjoy the journey.   I needed rest and my body was going to get it one way or another.

Because I didn’t take the proper precautions and wear a mask to protect myself from the drywall dust and sawdust, I was set back on all of my progress.  The crazy thing is that I had everything I needed to protect myself, but because I was impatient, I got really sick.  I could have finished the projects much faster if I only would have slowed down and taken the proper steps to ensure my body would be taken care of.

how to build custom shelves

My advice to you when doing projects is:

  1.  Take time to evaluate the project or projects and set a realistic goal.
  2.  Gauge how much you really can do yourself.  Hiring out the really hard parts or things that you don’t have a lot of experience in will help you feel more confident that it is done right.
  3.  Take the proper steps to care for yourself.  Get the proper rest for your body and your mind.  When you don’t let   yourself rest mistakes are made and THAT can be dangerous.
  4. Use the correct masks for the right projects. Did you know that not all masks are created equal?  Different masks are used for different things.  A sawdust mask does not protect you from the harmful chemicals in paint or from drywall dust.  The particles are different.  Invest in the proper masks or filters.  It is worth it.
  5. Use safety glasses and take the time to be careful.  You only have ten fingers and one set of eyes and one set of lungs and one set of ears.  Don’t be hasty and disregard precautions.  You can’t undo the damage once it is done!
  6. Enjoy the journey you’re on.  It will eventually get done.  Not all of it is fun.  But in the end it is all worth it.  And remember, take your time because the end result is going to be there a lot longer than it took to do the project.

Have a great week, my friends.  As you embark on your projects for 2018, remember this advice.  Being overwhelmed and sick is really no fun! Check out the items below for my favorite protection pieces!

Some of my favorite protective gear:

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