Hello everyone!  I am back after a nice holiday break.  Now, however, it’s time to get down to it.  It's time to do some project planning for the new year.  I think we can all feel inspired and overwhelmed when it comes to project planning.  The new year comes and we think, okay, one of my resolutions is going to be___________. 

Well, sometimes that blank is really several blanks and they all involve our homes.  Fixes to improve things or beautify things, or make things more functional, etc.  The list goes on and on!  So how should we go about this list of things we want to fix or change?  Well that is why I’m here. 

This is the first post of a twelve part blog series, and throughout the series, I am going to teach you how to organize, prioritize, and complete those projects in 2016. 

In this post, we're going to talk about figuring out exactly what it is that should go on your to-do list for 2016. I wrote a blog not long ago called Five Things I Hate About My House.  That post talked about walking through your house and really assessing things to determine what you love about your house - and what you hate.  This really is the best way to start your planning for 2016.  Make a list and be honest.  Determine what is realistic to change and what isn’t.  Decide what smaller things can you do to help those bigger things that you might not be able to tackle this year.

It may seem a little simplistic but it’s a great way to get some perspective on what really needs to be done.  Put three columns on your list - and don't think about money just yet. Start off by making your lists as complete as possible.

List # 1What You Need to Change: 
Anything that is wasting money or posing a danger should go on this list. That includes things like windows that leak hot and cold air, a dripping faucet that is wasting water, or a piece of torn flooring that people are always tripping over. 

List # 2: What You Want To Change: 
This list should be things that you want to do to make your house function better and make you like it better.  Things that will make you more comfortable.  Things that make your home, well, more user friendly.  Maybe reorganizing your kitchen cabinets and finally getting some storage in there that helps with functionality.  Maybe you need to come up with a better way to arrange things in your family room to accommodate all of the different activities that take place in there. 

This list will probably include some purchases.  Maybe some new furniture pieces or shelving.  Maybe you need to paint a room because you are sick to death of it and how run down and outdated it feels.

List # 3: What You Dream of Changing: 
This list is the one that tops them all.  What would you do to your home if money and time were no object?  Knock out a wall between two rooms to really open up the space?  Completely renovate your backyard and turn it into an oasis?  Put all new flooring throughout your house... or maybe get all new appliances in your kitchen? List your wants here.

Now you have the breakdown.  You may wonder... why these three lists? And why bother with the last one at all?  Well if you can see the difference between what needs to be done, what you want to be done, and what you dream of having done it becomes easier to organize.  You have three smaller lists and not one ginormous overwhelming one.


Now, when it comes to prioritizing your projects - there are three big determining factors you need to consider. Time, ability and money.  As a next step, go through your lists and determine if you have the time needed to complete those items, if you have the ability to take care of those things on your own or need to hire someone, and if you have the money available to complete them.

Speaking of money…in my next blog, I'm going to talk about how to build a budget for each item on your list. Granted, it’s not fun - but it is necessary so that you can go through your lists with confidence and figure out exactly which items are doable and which will have to wait for another time.

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


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