I promised my daughter I would make her bed on Friday.

I finished it on Saturday.

Of course, making her bed wasn’t just tucking in her covers, arranging her stuffed animals and fluffing her pillow. It was putting together a new loft bed with a built-in desk and shelves underneath.

Now, I don’t consider myself especially handy. I’ve hung some drywall in my time and done a few projects here and there but by and large I would admit my skills are as limited as my tool box.

So I was not looking forward to a project that had over thirty discrete steps and two hundred parts. Plus before I could begin, I would have to take apart her current bed and remove all the furniture from her room. I began at 9:00AM and continued almost non-stop until almost 6:00 PM that night.

On at least four different occasions, I realized I had put something together incorrectly – forcing me to retrace my steps, take portions of the bed apart, fix my mistake and start again.

The following day, as I was putting away some of the spare parts, I found a pack of parts that I realized were not spare at all. Another step I missed, which fortunately wasn’t too hard to correct.

She is now sleeping soundly and safely (I hope!) in that loft bed.

The alternative would have been to pay for something already complete or hire someone to build it for me.

In many ways this makes more economic sense – both in terms of money and time.

There is a cognitive bias called the Ikea Effect which refers to “the disproportionately high value consumers place on products they partially created.” This is a bias I clearly possess.

Building something, anything really, feels good.

It displays some level of competence that we can point to, maybe even be proud of. In this case, it shows my daughters that their Dad is capable of working through his mistakes to make something they really wanted. Even if there were a few hiccups and expletives along the way.

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