We're re-doing Emma's room. She's been asking for us to paint it for at least a year, but recently she really ramped up the request. As I type, she and Rob are upstairs, taping. It's always interesting to do these tasks with Rob --he prepares so thoroughly that it often takes much longer than the painting itself.
The room was already emptied of stuff (we insisted Emma do that herself, so she'd realize just how much work this stuff is --we're mean that way), and Rob has spent several hours now, unscrewing air vents, light switch plates, and I'm sure anything else that's screwed in. He's vacuumed until there is not a speck of dust left, he's taped the baseboards, and he and Emma are currently taping thick paper down to the floor, to make sure we don't get a drop of paint on it.
Last year I re-painted the guest room. I insisted on doing it all myself, which meant that I could just drag a drop cloth around as I moved from spot to spot. While I did unscrew light switches, I didn't remove the ceiling lamp as he suggested --I didn't even tape it. I just very carefully painted around it. Yes, I had to wipe a few minor drops of paint off the floor --but that took much less time than all this papering and taping business!
And, if you're wondering why I'm not up there helping, it's because he busted my thumb earlier --we had a cabinet top that had gotten paint-stuck to it's bottom. He asked me to hold the bottom down so that he could wrench the top off, and it wrenched right onto my thumb. It was very painful, is now slightly swollen, and it makes a great excuse from all this prepping. It's really hard to do things without a thumb --and it makes clear exactly how we differ from the rest of the animals on this planet.
Interestingly, it doesn't seem to be stopping me from typing. :-)