Our homes are our sanctuaries. There is a lot of truth in the old proverb, “our home is where our heart is.” Our hearts long for the comfort and peace of our homes. So it’s no wonder that most of us have ideas about how we can make our homes even more inviting. But bringing those home project ideas to fruition can be challenging when we have so many other things on our plates. Learning how to organize your home project ideas into a plan of action is the key to getting it done.
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Last year my big project was dismantling the homeschool room that I’d put together in anticipation of homeschooling my then soon-to-be kindergartner. There was a lot of emotional baggage that went with this project.
Our Home Is Where Our Heart Is
I think it’s important to acknowledge that all home projects will involve some emotion. It might be a feeling of joy as you finally renovate that kitchen that hasn’t been touched since 1950, or it might involve sadness or grief as you go through items of a recently deceased member of your family.
My husband and I struggled with the decision on whether or not to homeschool our son for about a year. I spent about six months reviewing and purchasing curriculum, organizing the homeschooling room, and investing a lot of time and energy in making the room just right.
When we finally made the decision to send him to public school, I had mixed feelings about our decision. And I kept the homeschool room in place just in case public school didn’t work out.
By the end of kindergarten, I knew it was time to dismantle it.
But dismantling required working through some of the emotions attached to our decision and allowing room for something new to take its place. It was something I needed to do to embrace the schooling decision we mutually agreed upon.
As you go through these 5 steps to organize your home projects, bear in mind the emotions that might be attached to your decisions. There might be a project that you should prioritize because it’s time to move past something.
Step One: Take An Inventory Of Your Home Projects
Step One in taking control of your home projects is to create a list of home projects.
You may have some home project ideas floating around in your head, but you haven’t made any progress in getting them done. Or maybe you’ve started a project (or two), but you got sidetracked, and now the unfinished project is left lingering in your home and mind.
For me, the best way to get started on any project is to start with a brain dump. Taking out a piece of paper and pen and spending 10-15 minutes listing out all of the ideas floating around in my head is stress-releasing, and always helps to inspire and motivate me.
Take a Tour of Your Home With Pen and Paper
With home projects, I’d also recommend taking a tour of your home with your pen and paper. I do this about once a year with my yellow legal pad (I’m a lawyer after all!) and end up with a laundry list of things I’d love to get done.
Once you have all of your ideas down on paper, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Take a deep breath. And remind yourself that projects can only get done one step at a time.
And you’ve already taken the first step!
And that brings us to Step Two. In Step Two, you’re going to prioritize your list.
Step Two: Prioritize Your List
In Step Two, you’re going to prioritize your list.
You may only have a few home projects on your list. But if you’re like me, you have more projects on your list than you can reasonably handle at any one time.
If that’s you, I’d recommend taking a look at your list and determining which projects you’d like to tackle in the next year. Go ahead and circle those projects (with a red pen if possible!).
After all, these are the projects you are going to get done this year.
Create a Future Projects List and a Quarterly Project Plan
For the other projects, create a future projects list. Write or type out each of your future projects and put it to the side for now. You’ll add it to your binder in the next step.
For the projects you’ve circled, you’ll want to determine a priority for getting them done. As a business owner, I’m trained to think of the year as divided into quarters. I’ve found this helpful when planning out my personal projects.
To do this, take out a sheet of paper and put a vertical line down the middle and a horizontal line down the middle. Now label the boxes, Q1 (quarter 1), Q2, Q3, and Q4.
Of course, some projects will take longer than 3 months to complete, but you’ll be able to complete many of them in less time than that. I’ve found this visual chart to be helpful in figuring out what’s reasonable to take on at any one time.
Once you have your prioritized list of projects, it’s time to create your home projects binder.
Step Three: Create Your Home Projects Binder
In Step Three, you’ll create a home for your projects with a home projects binder. A home projects binder will help you to get organized and gives you a place to store all of the information and stuff.
For projects that require collecting samples, like paint chips or carpet samples, you might want to consider storing them in a projects box to keep them all in one place.
I organize my home projects binder by using my prioritized list of home projects as the table of contents. Then I have a divider each project. My favorite dividers are the ones with inserts, so I can quickly throw a loose piece of paper into the binder and still keep it organized.
In the next step, you’ll create your home project plans.
Step Four: Create A Project Plan For Each Project
In Step Four, you’ll create a home project plan.
I recommend having a home project plan for each project, even if it’s a small project. There’s something magical about writing down our intentions. We are much more likely to get them done!
Each project plan will look different. But each will have a mix of the following elements:
1. Your “Why”
Before beginning any project, it’s a good idea to write out your “why.” Your “why” is your reason for completing this project.
Writing out your “why” will help to keep you motivated and inspire you to keep going. When thinking about your “why” ask yourself “how will I feel when I’ve completed this project?” and “how will my life be better once I have completed this project?”
With my homeschool room dismantling project, my “why” was what helped me to finish the project.
Most projects will involve some cost. Before investing in your projects, it’s a good idea to come up with a budget and to stick to it.
Each project will be different, but you may want to come up with a system to regularly review whether you’re sticking to your budget. And if you’re not, it might be time to reanalyze the project.
3. Materials Needed
Most home projects will require some materials.
For my home organization projects, I try to find items around the house that I could use before investing in a new purchase. Old shoe boxes or magazine folders are wonderful items to repurpose for an organization project.
But many projects will require you to purchase new materials. You can keep a list of these materials on your home project planning sheet.
4. Due Date
I’d recommend coming up with a reasonable due date for all of your home projects.
The due date is a self-imposed date so there’s some flexibility with when you’ll get it done. But it’s a great way to stay motivated and on task.
5. Next Steps
The last section in your home project plan is your next steps. Remembering that you can only do one step at a time is the best defense against overwhelm.
Below is the Home Project Plan printable I created to help keep me organized. You can request a free copy of this printable by subscribing here –> Free Home Project Plan Printable
With your project plan complete, it’s time for the final step.
Step Five: Get To Work!
In Step Five, you will get to work!
You may not have your entire project laid out on your project plan, but at least you know what your next step is going to be.
The way I like to plan my projects is to add blocks of time on the calendar for working on projects and then to treat those time blocks as appointments.
When I have nothing to do but work on my projects, it’s a lot more difficult to come up with excuses. Time blocks have helped me in completing all kinds of projects, not just home projects.
If you have a weekly meeting with your spouse, that is a good time to review your progress with your home projects.
I hope these 5 tips have inspired you to get your home projects done!
Don’t forget to request your free home project plan printable to help get you organized!
Do you have any tips on getting home projects organized and completed? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
With Love and Joy,