If you are like me and you feel overwhelmed by trying to decide which house project to tackle next (or maybe even first), then then I am writing this for you!
There can be different circumstances that lead to this particular condition:
- You just moved into a new house and it feels like everything needs to be done just to make the house livable.
- You have been in your house a good long time and projects have just piled up over time to the point where you feel it would just be easier to move somewhere else.
- You have been in your house a while and have been saving up to do some updates. But - now that you're financially ready, you're mentally overwhelmed.
Most of us have been in at least one of these situations (maybe even all of them) and it can be a frustrating to say the least!
The trick to solving your dilemma is one that you use in any situation where you have to make choices. You must PRIORITIZE. For instance, my daughter and her honey are newly engaged and are trying to choose a venue for their celebration.. and a date, and so on and so on. It's daunting. it's expensive and there's pressure to move quickly. But just like with anything else, they are using a good old, “pros and cons list”.
Well the same strategy is true for house projects.
In our house, we usually have a windfall that comes in around the beginning of March each year so at this time (the end of the prior year), we sit down and decide where the “house allotment” should be spent. Really all that means is taking stock of your house in its current state. Then, list 5 things you love and 5 things you hate.
Why, you think, would you bother with what you love? Well there are a couple of reasons for that. Sometimes we feel like we hate the whole house, there is nothing redeeming about it and we just want to get out and into something else.
I am certainly not saying that that isn’t justifiable sometimes but a lot of times, the reality of it is, if we just fixed up a few things that really drove us crazy, we could be a lot happier right where we are! And many times, for many of us, moving right now just isn’t in the cards.
Usually there are things that made you choose your particular house in the first place; a big backyard, a beautiful patio, a big kitchen, three bathrooms instead of two…you see where I’m going here. Our judgment gets clouded by a few things we hate and pretty soon, we hate the whole thing. Also, if you balance the things you love with the things you hate, it feels much less intimidating to fix some of those problem areas.
It’s pretty obvious why you list what you hate. These are the things you are putting in a logical order to try and make better. Most of what we do is driven by finances. So, maybe you can’t afford any big ticket fixes this year but that doesn’t mean that you can’t roll up your sleeves and fix a couple of the smaller issues you may have with your home.
Let me give you some examples: Does your living room feel like its stuck in the 1990’s but you can’t afford all new furniture and carpet, etc. How about painting the space a nice contemporary color. For around $50 you can give that out-of-date space a whole new feel and look. New paint and maybe rearrange the furniture in a new and interesting way, hit the flea markets and pick up some cool accessories and voila! You suddenly have a cool, new updated space and you’ve spent very little money.
Bathroom feeling rundown and yucky? Again, can you repaint it to something new and spa-like? Hit the discount stores and pick up a new towel set and maybe a new cushy rug. Ta-dah! Suddenly it’s much more livable!
The whole point to this blog is if you take the time to take stock of the areas of your home that really bother you and the things that you still love about it (to keep your perspective in check), you can come up with a manageable plan that works well within your budget.
Start with your love/hate list to help you get your project priorities in place and soon you will find that your “love" side of your list will be longer than your “hate" side!
Now, what will you do next to love where you live?