21.02.2011 – investment tips for middle-aged DIYers

I am too knackered to write up what I actually did today (5 hours of sanding…) so have some tips instead, the breakdown of progress will have to wait till tomorrow.

I am by no means a DIY professional, but I’m middle-aged *snerk* and have arthritis, so perhaps what I find useful others might find useful, too.

  1. realise that no, you can’t just force your body into compliance AKA work without break if said body is starting to get a tad frayed round the edges. I am learning that lesson now, and boy, is it ever an important one.
  2. take a snooze if you feel the overwhelming need to, the DIY won’t run away, and your body will be pleased. 😉
  3. forget your ladder (unless you have a reeeeeaaaally high ceiling) and invest in a work platform. The best 35 quid I’ve spent in ages. Safe, comfortable, and doesn’t hurt your feet. It’s a pleasure working on it.
  4. wear safety gear such as goggles and breathing mask. I know, I know, I should have anyway, but never bothered. I must say, as much as I dislike the goggles (BTW has anyone found a way of stopping them to mist up when sweating?) and no matter how uncomfortable the mask is, it beats getting dust and grit into eyes and airways, especially when sanding the ceiling…
  5. wear knee pads. Oh how I love thee, my knee pads. Aldi had them in one of their weekly specials and their are fab. No more shouting of OW!!! when going down onto the hard floor.
  6. buy tools with “comfort grip”, which is a thicker, softer grip, which helps ye olde knotty finger joints.
  7. always use a sanding block when sanding planes, and your fingers won’t seize up.
  8. buy a cordless power screwdriver/drill. I love mine to bits, because screwdrivers play merry hell on fingers and wrists.
  9. wear safety/comfy shoes, especially when you have to have surgical insoles. Your knees, feet joints and ankles will thank you.
  10. have a large piece of chocolate or a portion of chips slathered in mayo at the end of the day: you deserve it.

Most importantly: get a manicure when you are done! Your horrid looking nails will need it.

That’s me in my DIY gear. Honest…


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