New Year’s resolutions and home improvement goals are meant for each other. Here is why. They have nothing to do with diet and exercise—don’t get me started on that one—and they are S.M.A.R.T.: small, measurable, achievable, rewarding, and time sensitive. If you don’t already recognize the beauty in this kind of resolution, let me enlighten you.
Home improvement resolutions will set you up for success; you can achieve your New Year’s resolutions because they are exciting and you can accomplish them in a relatively short amount of time. Here are some guidelines to help you make those home improvement New Year’s resolutions goals into a reality.
Make a Scheduled Plan
First determine what rooms you really want to tackle. Remember, you don’t have to do everything this year, some projects can, and probably should be saved for a later time. Next, get out your calendar and decide when the best time of year will be for each project. Try creating a home improvement calendar using Google calendar or your favorite calendar app. This will help you to schedule your time as needed and schedule the painter in advance as well.
By looking ahead you can plan your projects, in each room in your home, around yearly events like summer break, your anniversary, holidays and summer vacation. The right painting project colliding with the wrong calendar event can be a catastrophe.
For example, painting the wooden steps that lead to your second floor might not be a good thing to paint when the kids are out of school. Plan that for the week they are at summer camp. Don’t begin a painting project too close to the family reunion or a wedding. If you run into a problem that requires more time than you had planned on you will be pulling your hair out trying to wrap up that project and prep the rest of the house for your out-of-town visitors.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Growing up in a 100-year-old farmhouse, we didn’t have a lot of money for home improvements so painting was the best we could do to bring it out of the 1970’s. My mother would often undertake repainting a room that was in desperate need—as the oldest I was usually roped into helping her with her painting project of the moment.
Often the process of selecting new colors would inspire my mother to buy another can of paint for the connecting hallway while she was at Sherwin-Williams picking up the painters tape she had forgotten. While we waited for the first room to dry she would start on the hallways and because she has enough paint she would start on the stairwell. Before she knew it, we were in way over our heads and the end was nowhere in sight because we hadn’t finished the first room and now we had two more areas we were working on. Don’t do that.
Stick to the Plan
Whatever you do, do not start painting more than one room at a time. If you are a go getter then be my guest and paint your walls yourself. Just don’t fall victim to the whisperings of the walls in the other rooms saying “me next!”. Your own rational reasoning will also say that the hallway only has a little wall space and is a fraction of the size of the bedroom you are painting now and it’ll only take a couple of hours. Lies! Put down the paint brush, walk away and don’t come back till the paint in the bedroom is ready for the next coat.
Finish what you start
My mother always used to say, “stick to a task till it sticks to you, beginners are many but finishers few.” That was great advice and often helped me to push through the rougher parts of any project, including painting or wallpapering whatever room in the house we were taking on at the moment. With this inspiring quote in mind, you are not done with a painting project until all the lighting, fixtures and switch plates are back in their place. You may not begin decorating until that task is complete.
Gather Inspiration As You Go
Undoubtedly, you found all kinds of inspiring ideas for the rest of your house while you were choosing paint colors and reviewing Pinterest for new decorating concepts. Don’t let these ideas fade away, they will probably look great in the hallway next to that new Paisley Blue in the connecting bedroom you are doing right now. I recommend creating a Pinterest page for each room in your house. Why not? It’s not taking up space in your home to have another Pinterest board. You can even do two boards for one room and decide which color theme you like better.
If you are a more hands-on type, then get a binder and organize your photos, magazine clippings, paint chips, wallpaper and upholstery swatches for each room with dividers and sticky notes. Don’t forget to put a copy of your 2015 home improvement resolutions calendar in there to keep you on track.
Once all the fixtures are in place, all the paint supplies and lose screws that seem to have appeared out of no-where are taken care of, have a blast decorating it. It’s going to be more fun to decorate your newly painted room once all the boring and annoying details of painting are completed. Then you can really enjoy the room once the new curtains are hung and the last picture is in place.
Best part of repainting a room is decorating after the paint supplies are put away.
Even if you don’t want to paint the rooms yourself and you would rather hire a professional painter to do the messy part for you, make these home improvement goals and put them into your calendar. This will save you stress and potential disaster and embarrassment of life colliding with your 2015 home improvement resolutions. Your home will be beautiful and your friends, and out-of-town guest’s will never see the place in transition, further building your reputation as the perfect homemaker.