I know firsthand how your home DIY projects can sometimes manage to take on a life all on their own. If you’ve been reading Back to the South for a while, you know that when we moved into our home, I had a lot of projects I wanted to do, but we didn’t have a plan. We just went from room to room and when we got tired of one room, we went to another. No room was ever complete. For one year, the only two rooms that were completed was the laundry room and my home office.
I knew that if we didn’t figure things out, we were going to have a house full of unfinished rooms. And so what I started to do was to make lists and plan things out. I laid everything out and made timelines and sketches. Yes, I actually sketch out my rooms, tables, and shelves before I actually implement anything. Doing this doesn’t mean I won’t make any changes, but what I’ve learned is that things may look great in your mind, but when you see it live, it can look completely different!
I’ve got a few tips for you so you don’t spend wasted time and hours.
#1: Get a planner for your home DIY projects
Having a home decor and project planner is golden! Being able to put everything in one place together is such a lifesaver. There’s no way I would have been able to get as many of my home DIY projects complete without one. I keep mine in my purse and it’s especially handy to have it with me for those unexpected trips to HomeGoods or Hobby Lobby. Okay, who am I kidding? Is there really ever an unexpected trip to a home decor or craft store?
If you don’t have a home decor and project planner, you can download my 2019 Home Decor and Project Planner by entering your name and email address below.
#2: Know Your Deadlines
If you need to have a home DIY or decor project complete by a certain time, go back. You need to work backward from your deadlines date and plan accordingly. For example, all of my sisters and brothers-in-law are coming for a visit in June (#superexcited). We’ve been casually looking for furniture for our front porch and back porch, but haven’t been in any big rush. Now that they are coming, so that we can sit outside, talk, and have fun, I want to have the back porch completely furnished.
That means I need to have the furniture picked out, pillows purchased, bar cart made, and a few other things done 2 weeks before they get here. Why 2 weeks? I always like to give myself some cushion so I’m not working right up to my deadline. So, based on their arrival date, everything needs to be completed by May 31.
#3: One Thing at a Time
You can only do one home decor DIY project at a time and a room or project can take time so don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t have so many projects going on at once that nothing ever gets completed.
#4: Your Home DIY Projects Need a Budget
Unless you have an unlimited source of funds (and I know most of us don’t), create a budget for any project you have. As you begin to gather your estimates from vendors and determine what needs to be purchased, you will quickly realize that things add up!
If you have no idea how much something will cost, do your research! Ask friends and family, get estimates from vendors. You will begin to get an idea of the cost of something. Through your research, you may find that you don’t have the budget for something and that’s okay! You can save for it, get a part-time job, use a no or low interest credit card, or possibly look into getting a home equity loan or line fo credit.As you’re making your budget, be sure to give yourself cushion; I recommend 10 – 15 percent. Things happen and the thing you really don’t want is happen is that you get into a project, find out something is going to cost more than anticipated, and then you have no way of paying for it or finishing!One last thing, Don’t forget about sales and coupons! I talk more about this in my post, How to Make Your Home Decor Shopping Faster, Easier, and Less Expensive. Knowing how much your home DIY project will cost in the beginning will save a lot of headache later.
#5: Take a Break and Enjoy
I often relate home decor projects to planning a wedding. If you’re married, have been married, or ever planned a wedding, you will most likely understand this analogy. When you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, that’s all you do. You eat, sleep, and drink wedding. It can become exhausting and take over just a tad bit.
It doesn’t have to be like this, but you ned to take a break and enjoy the progress you’ve made. You also need to step away from it completely. I’m not saying to ditch the project, but I am saying that you should take a day or two each week to walk away and do nothing involving your project. Go hang out, take a trip, go shopping (nothing related to home decor), go to the winery. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something that is completely unrelated to the project you’re working on.
You’ll be amazed at the relief you feel and all of the ideas that come flooding into your mind because you’ve walked away!
How do you plan for a project in your home? I’d love to hear from you! Share in the comments below.