Do it Yourself or Just Make Do?

Do it Yourself or Just Make Do?

Sarah Rainwater
Feb 15, 2011

I doubt I'm alone among Apartment Therapy readers and contributors in my schizophrenic history with DIY projects. Sometimes I'll attack one makeover after another with an obsessive frenzy and other times — usually when life's distractions, be they personal, business, financial, or otherwise get in the way — I can't even be bothered with the very idea of taking on a new project around the house.

While this month's How To's and Before & After's have been inspiring (and then some), I'd argue that there's also strong case for just accepting things as they are — at least on a temporary case-by-case basis. For one thing, you'll avoid DIY Envy, which for me is a constant state of low-grade anxiety punctuated by painful stress headaches whenever I look too hard at the room/object/area that needs a makeover. Or worse, paralysis that causes even the relatively easy tasks of home maintenance to become overwhelming (i.e., How can I even start to fold the linens when the linen closet is so hideously disorganized?, etc, etc). And let's not even mention the nausea caused by projects that have been started and left unfinished for weeks or months on end.

Sometimes, simply keeping things clean and relatively organized can make a space feel great (or at least tolerable) enough to overshadow the chipped paint, torn upholstery, pile of unpacked boxes or décor black hole in the corner. And while undone projects itch at everyone's tolerance for imperfection — some much, much more than others — there's something to be said for loving your home as it is, warts and all. Change can come when you're ready, but it's not so bad to give yourself a break and accept what you've got for the time being.

Images: Sarah Rainwater

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