- Posted by Hinged
One of my sisters went over to Italy for what was supposed to be a year of grad school and hasn’t lived in the US since. Age old story: girl meets guy, married now for almost 30 years, living the Italian lifestyle, including vacationing for almost the entire month of August. Pizza, Ferrari, chianti, and closing down for the month of August are at the top of a long list of things that Italians do right.
Here in the States during the month of August, many people disappear for a week or two, but always in different weeks. Rotating vacations combined with skyrocketing heat and humidity make it hard to get anything done. Here are ten tips to help you remain productive.
- To keep from wasting a lot of time playing phone tag with home service providers, make your appointments on Hinged. Our electronic calendars show availability and scheduling is done right on the website. No waiting around for someone who probably isn’t even at work to call you back.
- Adjust your expectations for outside work. If it the temperature is approaching 100 degrees, don’t expect that all those vines will get pulled out of your trees in one afternoon. You may want to ask for an estimate based on the job instead of an hourly rate, but either way give your service provider the option of starting early or coming back when it is not too hot.
- If it is hot outside, stay hydrated and make sure that everyone working with you and for you stays hydrated too. Bringing out a cold pitcher of lemonade or ice-water for the crew fixing your stone wall is a gesture that is really appreciated.
- This advice can be applied year round, but when you’re scheduling appointments to get work done, make as many of the decisions ahead of time as possible. This will make the meeting go smoother and make it that much easier to get accurate estimates. If you’re painting decide on the colors or at least narrow it down to a couple of choices before you talk to the painter. If you’re redoing a bath, don’t just pick out the tile and grout ahead of time, select the plumbing and light fixtures too.
- Whether you are ordering materials from a store in town or online, order far enough in advance that everything will be there ahead of time. This will avoid delays once the work is started. Putting a job on hold while waiting for a delivery disrupts everyone’s schedules and can result in even longer delays while waiting for everyone to return to the job.
- If you’re doing it yourself, dress appropriately. This means hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and light weight loose fitting clothes. Don’t make the mistake I did last month of pulling vines out of a tree wearing a bathing suit and flip flops. The Bittersweet I pulled on was wrapped around a poison ivy vine and my legs and stomach are still itchy. Take safety precautions appropriate with what you’re doing. The flip flops and bathing suit are perfect for washing your car, but for landscaping, no matter how hot it is outside, you still need socks and shoes, gloves and if you’re working anywhere near poisonous plants, long sleeve shirt and pants. If you’re using power tools, safety glasses are a must.
- It is giving in to the inevitable, but consider doing your planning now and schedule so that your home will be the first one taken care of when September comes and everyone gets back to work. Get your estimates, making sure that you give everyone the same specifications and request pricing for the same options. This will make it a lot easier to compare price quotes.
- Give everyone as much lead time as possible. All the factors that make it hard to get work done this time of year, mean that lots of events keep getting pushed closer and closer to September.
- Remember that heat and humidity affect everyone differently. You might love the heat, but the painter who has been lugging ladders around your house all day, might not be as patient and happy to climb back up to touch up a spot as on a cooler day. Timing is everything, ask them to fix things the next morning when they’re fresh.
- While you’re scheduling and planning, if possible, schedule some vacation time for yourself. Just sitting in your own yard with that pitcher of icy cold lemonade can be great – after all it is August!