One of the biggest questions I get asked via emails, direct messages or in person is how I manage to keep all of the projects we’re working on straight. The honest answer is that it’s hard to keep all the balls in the air sometimes. There is almost always a project or makeovers going on. Right now we have 5 in the queue. I’m not talking about painting 5 pieces of furniture either. I’m talking 5 makeovers with full planning stages waiting to be started and completed. When you add that to the booth, private pay clients and family life… it gets to be a lot quick.
Part of the project’s success comes from having a great team of people that are willing to give their best gifts to make it all happen. The other part is that I’m by nature very organized and a planner. If you’re one of my sister’s reading this, you’re thinking “bossy” J Let me assure you, you can get your diy project and home goals completed without the sass of being bossy. You also don’t need a team to help unless the project makeovers are so involved you need a contractor or skilled labor. You just need a well thought out plan that you and/or the people working with you can execute.
We’ve recently started using this DIY Project Planner Guide and it’s made a huge difference so I thought I would share it with you today. It not only helps to keep us on track but also helps to communicate the project’s goal and vision. In addition, this planning tool serves as a guide in estimating or answering that all important project question, “how much is it going to cost?” Here are a few things to keep in mind when using this DIY Project Planner Guide Worksheet…
(Right Click and Choose “Save As”)
Understanding your budget is key. Before you start any project identify in advance what you’re comfortable spending. Knowing this number will help you determine what your priorities are. For example, if you’re trying to transform your living room with $1000 and you need everything from crown molding to rugs to accessories to couches – you have to decide which of those items is the most important. Maybe you have a sturdy couch you can slip cover or you’re ok without crown molding after all. Each of these decisions will come into play because everything adds up, especially when you’re buying the supplies to complete each project.
Know your signature style. I completely understand this one can be tough. Make sure the project you’re about to tackle is consistent with the rest of your home goals. If you have boho chic in one room, farmhouse style in another, shabby chic in another room – your house is going to look disjointed. Find a way to unify spaces by selecting complementary styles, colors, patterns and textures found throughout your home. If you find yourself feeling off track during the makeover process, keep going back to your inspiration pictures prior to making decorative selections.
Do your research. Once you have your budget in mind, priorities list ready and understand your signature style, take the time to research and source materials accordingly. There are so many different places to find materials from building supply companies, salvage yards, big box stores, online retailers, consignment stores, thrift shops and of course, antique malls. Shopping multiple outlets will help to keep your budget in check while offering the opportunity to put your personal stamp on the project.
Be realistic about your timeline. It wasn’t until I got in the trenches of diy-ing that I realized how long projects actually take to complete. In my mind, everything can be completed as quickly as an episode of HGTV. The reality is there are some things that just can’t be rushed. Give the people that are helping you time to do their best work (you’re welcome, Dad, I got ya covered) and set them up for success by doing as much of the legwork as you can ahead of time like emptying rooms/work spaces or purchasing the required supplies (that one was for you, S) prior to the start of the work day. If you’re working alone, purchase supplies in advance and prep the space the night before so you’ll be able to begin the project with fresh perspective.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Unexpected things may happen. Deadlines may be delayed. You may have to change your decorative direction on a dime. You may fall in love with a something that blows your budget on the first day. You may simply change your mind. The best thing you can do is to communicate any changes that come up as clearly and as soon as possible.
It’s important to remember room and home makeovers are simply a series of completed projects coming together to produce a specific signature look. Take your time, give yourself grace and work to create a home you can be truly proud of. It will always be worth the effort spent nurturing your home and family.