Okay, blog #3 in this series.  Now that we have set up a budget (see blog #2), it’s time to go back to the project list (see blog #1) and prioritize and make a timeline.  What you want to do to start this part of the process off is to take a good look at what projects you are taking on this year, based on your budget, and create a timeline.  How do you do that?  Well the first step comes from your budget.  If you have only part of your yearly money available at this time, then you will want to look at your project list and decide what comes first.  How do you decide what comes first?  (Man, you sure ask a lot of questions!)  Just kidding….  Here are some things to ask yourself as you begin to piece your timeline together:

1.  What things on my list are “necessity” rather than just “desire”?  In other words, if you have something that is causing you to lose money or is a danger (like a loose floorboard), you will want to fix those types of things first.  Along with your budget, this question will help you get the ball rolling.

2.  What things can we afford to do right now versus six months from now?  This seems rather obvious but really it is a great determining factor in your overall planning.  If you know you have a tax return coming in a couple of months that was earmarked for home projects this year, then obviously you will hold off on any bigger ticket items until you have that money in-hand.

3.  What projects can we knock out rather quickly?  This one is great because it will not only get some annoying little things finally taken care of, it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and that can be a great motivator to keep going and stay focused on the bigger picture.  Once you have some smaller things taken care of, it you will probably gain some momentum and that will make it easier to tackle some of the bigger ones down the line.  And as my very German, very analytical husband (whom I love dearly by the way!) will tell you, there is NO greater feeling than crossing an item off of a to-do list!

4.  What projects will require quite a bit of time, money, and perhaps outside help?  This obviously is the flipside of question #3.  If you know you need an electrician to finally get rid of the fluorescent lights in your kitchen, then this may have to wait until you have the time to be there with said electrician as well as money to pay for this type of project. 

With your budget at hand, along with your project list, and these four simple questions, you will have all the tools that you need to set up a final project list for the year along with a timeline for getting it all done!  How great will that be?!   Remember that while some of this process seems tedious and rather drawn out, the benefit of feeling completely organized and in as much control as possible will give you a great sense of accomplishment.  You will have a plan in place and a nice, organized to-do list at your fingertips where you can easily track what is happening with each of those items and cross them off as they are completed.

Shameless plug:  If you don’t feel like you want to try and list everything out for either your project list or your budget, you can buy my book “The Redesign Toolkit” and all of the listing and budgets are already done for you!  All you need to do is fill in the blanks!  The best part is, you can use it again and again!  Visit the store on our website to check it out!

Be sure and come back for part 4 of the series where we will talk about actually getting starting on the project list and some things we can do to make that seem a little less overwhelming.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?________________________________________________________________

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