I want to start a trend...or perhaps it's already out there...
All your friends and family come over for a day of yard restoration. Planting, weeding, rebuilding decks...etc, and grilling out. None of the Oooh I have to dress up and be fussy, or stand around and try to make small talk...lets just create a place to hang out! And do one once a month, or every so often. That way everyone who's invited gets a little yard love.
House Painting parties!
You prep the area to be painted, toss on some tunes and all your buddies get together and create a gorgeous new room. We all know what a new coat of colorful paint can do for a room and it would get done in no time!
Now yes, I realize this sounds like cheap labor or abusing your friends...but if you look at it as getting together to do something fun and you share the oppertunity with all your buds, you all could achieve so much more! How many times have you sat in a room overwhelmed (or your yard) and wondered if you should just hire some help. I know I have! Or had a project go on for ever! (*coughs* I've got a room that I painted backwards...I did the trim last......so it's still not fully finished. I've just lived with it for a while! *hangs head in shame*)
At least it sounds fun to me. Good food, good friends, and projects done in a jiffy.