invisible work

There’s all sorts of invisible work when running any household.  Who “counts” emptying the dishwasher or making sure there are stamps to mail bills or getting the oil changed in the car.  All necessary tasks, but not very interesting, hard to quantify in value (financial or otherwise), and inevitably time consuming.  And I’ll set aside feminist critiques of labor that historically has not been valued (again, financial or otherwise).

Turns out there’s a lot of invisible work in house construction, too. 

For instance, every contractor does some clean-up before leaving and I must admit they’ve all done a pretty good job.  But it’s never quite enough, especially before the next contractors show up.  Thus, at least one of us has swept and/or vacuumed, collected random garbage and recycling, and consolidated various piles of things (wood bits, nails and screws, tiles, whatever) into a central location so they are hopefully out of the way of the next tradesmen.  Again, all necessary, but not very interesting, hard to quantify in value, and definitely time consuming. 

Presumably our invisible work is saving us some money.  Otherwise, the contractors would have to get things organized before they can even start work.  In fact, no matter how much we do, there’s always a few things they have to deal with before they can get started.  But the hope is that the semi-constant cleaning, cleaning up, and organizing keeps everything moving along a little more quickly and smoothly.  Plus when we have the invariable down time between contractors, at least we are doing something to keep the whole project moving forward, even by tiny increments.

Speaking of which, a small Amish crew of two did some more work Tuesday, but they won’t come back for at least a few days.  The plumber hooked up the vanity in the main bathroom so two of three bathrooms are now fully operational (woo hoo!).  Now we are waiting for the kitchen cabinets to show up and the hardwood floor finishers to get the first half of the main floor finishing done.  Meanwhile, Ron has started to install a few of the easier lights and I’m figuring out closet organizers for the master bedroom.

Step by step, bit by bit, a lot of invisible work.

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