After we take down the Christmas decorations every year, I get so overwhelmed thinking of all the home projects that need to be done. Some of these things are simple, and others more involved. At this point, I typically write a long list of all the things we need to do around the house, and resolve to get them done in the coming year. I have proof of this on my phone, where I write these lists down. The sad part of this story is that every year, I end up having very little to show for it though. Am I the only one with this problem? Probably.

What ends up happening is that my motivation starts strong, doing a couple of things right out of the gate. And then somehow, at the end of the year, I am looking around, and most of the projects remain uncompleted. We still have no table surfaces in the living room, the kitchen rugs still need to be replaced, the hole in my office ceiling still has wires coming out of it (just to name a few of the many lingering items). I blame it on attention-deficit, combined with an overload of ideas followed by lack of action. Not this year though…home projects, watch out! I have a new plan for 2016.

home projects like refreshing living room

Our living room before the decorations came down. One of many rooms that needs a little attention.

Of all the things I have learned recently, the lessons learned in THIS book have really taught me to rely on strategies versus willpower when trying to do something differently than before.

My new strategy involves breaking up our home projects by space.  Each month will be assigned a room. At the beginning of the month, I will create a list of what needs to be done or purchased for that space. It’s important to have a plan. I can ONLY work on that room for that month. After that I have to move on. No going back. That will help create urgency and will null the idea that I can get to it later. Will I do it all? I’m guessing sometimes I will, and other times I won’t. What happens when I don’t? Nothing, other than time is up and now I can’t come back to it. This will also help address budget. It will help spread the expenses, and force me to be realistic to what can actually be done in one month instead of being stuck in my fantasies of what I could do. That brings me to my next strategy: accountability. How to make sure this plan works.

This blog will serve as my accountability. At the beginning of each month I will quickly share the room we are going to work on, with a list of things we would like to accomplish. At the end of the month, I will report back here with photos of the space. I also know myself well enough that this will be a major motivation for getting my act in gear.

Without further ado, below is the list of areas of focus for our home projects and refreshes in the coming year. I am starting with the boys’ rooms because Santa gave us a little head start in there getting the boys new bedspreads. He’s so thoughtful 🙂 Some may involve painting, some will just be fixing broken things and some may just involve replacing worn out pieces. It may not be a full-blown makeover, but I will be happy to just make each space “better than before”.

2016 Home Projects – Room-by-Room

January – Ben’s room

February – Max’s room

March –  Living room

April – Exterior improvements

May – Kitchen / Dining

June – Laundry pass-through

July – Bathrooms

August – Master Bedroom

September – Master Closet

I am going to be realistic and not go any further than September…for now. We will see how it goes and then assess. I have already started my January focus – Ben’s room – and will do a short post soon to outline the to-do list in there.

I’m fairly certain I am not the first person to attempt being organized at home projects, but for me it is ground-breaking. If it works. Yikes. Don’t laugh at me if it doesn’t.

2 thoughts on “A New Approach to Home Projects

  1. Dawn Marie

    Yes. Yes. Yes. My fixer-upper/projects list seems to roll over each year AND I have projects that I add all the time. It begins to feel like my laundry, never done.

    My biggest roadblock is the financial backing for the projects. If they didn’t cost money and only required my time and energy, I am confident they’d get done. However, every time I think there’s a little wiggle room in the budget for subway tile for my kitchen or chalk paint for my hutch, one of the boys needs sporting gear or new shoes.

    The other bump that puts a halt to my projects is that they snowball. For example, my master bathroom needs a new sink. Well if I’m buying a sink, I’d really like a new cabinet to put it in. A new cabinet probably won’t be the same size so we’d need to take up the floor and put in the tile we’ve always wanted. If we re-tile, we might as well remove the tub and tile the shower into a standup shower. AND now that all that is new, the toilet has a small crack that isn’t getting any better….

    It reminds me of the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books. Projects are fabulous when you are able to check them off your list but can become very frustrating when they loom overhead and overwhelm.

    So, thank you for being real and saying that you experience some of the same project list issues that I face. Thank you for sharing how you plan to tackle your list now that you’ve broken it down into manageable chunks. I look forward to your posts to see how things are coming along but know that if you fall behind, I’ll never laugh nor judge. I’ll deliver a glass of wine and we can put our feet up and toast to good intentions.

    1. Ale Post author

      You are so right, it DOES seem like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. Ha! While I do think some things will be out of the budget, the focus will be on doing what I CAN. For example, doing a purge of each room as I go along. That takes no money. And it makes it seem much less overwhelming. If there is a small budget, it can mean prioritizing how to use that money to make the biggest impact in THAT specific space. Taking the rest of the house off the table should help with not feeling as overwhelmed with all there is to do. I am hoping that the restrictions bring more focus and direction instead of feeling so scattered. Will see how it goes!

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