I spent this week walking around the house and coming up not only with organization ideas or problem areas that needed addressed, but looking at our home as a whole and determining what our longer term goals were. I know what the house looks like right now; what do I want it to look like within Two Years or less?
This is the list that I came up with. I added $ signs to each so that we know which we can do as weekend projects versus ones that may take a long time to save up for:
- $$$ Rip out the whole yard (we have eleventy billion types of grass and weeds currently in there) and re-sod.
- $$$ Install a sprinkler system, or train my children to assist in watering the lawn in the early mornings and evenings every day until the lawn is established
- $ Plant irises at least in the 2 beds around our trees
- $$ Do something with the huge flowerbeds at the front of the house that is low maintenance
- $$-$$$ Pool in the backyard - still need to research what other options there are and what we can afford beyond the blow up type
- $ Repaint/Repair the outdoor playground unit
- $$ Re-invest in 80% solar screens instead of 90% to restore natural lighting inside the home (I am tired of living in a cave)
- Add the house numbers we purchased five years to the outside of the house
- $ Finish trimming out the windows in the library.
- $ Get a new desk for the library (the current one has some unforeseen structural issues) - incorporating at least one file drawer
- $-$$ Install trim around pieced together library pieces to give them a more custom, built in look and provide additional stability
- Move archival storage to new area in kitchen above built in desks in order to:
- Make room in library shelving to remove roleplaying books from den in order to:
- $-$$ Replace IKEA-hacked entertainment system with a more compact one in order to:
- $$ Add 2 more chairs to the den for more seating
- $ Repaint the den to continue what we started in the kitchen, hallway, and playroom (open floorplan)
- $$ Design, make, and complete custom storage solution for the area at the bottom of the stairs
- * $ Paint the stairwell and install a new banister (this needs done before anything else since ours recently *fell off the wall*
- $ Install new chime unit for the doorbell to the stairwell
- $ Refinish the kitchen table to match the new cabinetry
- $ Install new pantry doors
- $$ Install three new six panel doors so all doors match
- $$ Replace doorknobs on six doors to brushed steel instead of brass
- $ Frame all the pictures that we've been planning on for ages and form display on the two wall areas of the living room that have room for them without crowding
- $$ Get small hall tree for DH's drop zone by the garage to look nicer than the decades old scarred table currently placed there with a wall hook
- $ Paint quote around top of wall above kitchen window
- $$$ Look into flooring options or tile refinishing for existing tile floors which have proved a safety hazard
- $$ Replace vanity and toilet in downstairs bath for functional reasons
- $$$ Replace stove and refrigerator
- $-$$ Purchase seating and pub table for gameroom
- $-$$ Extend window seat out to be functional seating area
- $ Finish repainting gameroom
- $ Install doors on strange corner space in gameroom corner
- $$ Purchase new, thicker rug for gameroom for sound dampening purposes (vinyl flooring)
- $ Add smaller 10-in-1 or 8-in-1 game table to gameroom after selling off existing full size table tennis that is too large for the space
- $ Get posters for various things the tweens like to decorate the room with. Note, the one wall will probably need "Door Sized" posters.
- Repaint children's bathroom using leftover paint from the laundry room mixed with some of the samples we tried that were too green aqua
- $$ Replace vanity in children's bathroom
- Install shelf for artwork over existing hooks (shelf is in storage)
- $$$ Replace ten doors with six panel types with brushed steel knobs
- $$$ Get quote for renovation of master bath (shower needs totally redone, bad tile job swelling/breaking; vanity sinks cracking; tub never drained properly since purchase)
- Revamp furniture placement in master bedroom to restore better function of areas
- $ Repaint master bedroom
- Re-purpose upstairs linen closet, move games to corner storage in gameroom
With 43 items to do within a 24 month period, this gives us a goal of doing approximately two projects each month without trying to do anything during the winter holidays. It is quite likely that we will accomplish a goal each week on the free or cheaply done things, while the expensive ones will be waiting not for time, but for funding.
Do you have goals or a picture in your head of what you want you home to be for you? Have you examined those goals or pictures and come up with a plan for accomplishing them? I find that a time limit helps keep just enough pressure on to keep up progress without stalling, while not so much pressure that it is overwhelming. If all you have are big projects to do, make sure to space your goals out more as each IS going to take time to do justice to it. If all you have are small projects to do, leave a little leeway in goals so that you don't feel that all you are doing is constantly working on the house.
Life will be going on while your plan is on paper. Plans may change or even be discarded. New plans may make themselves known (appliance breakdown, act of nature, life changing events, etc). Your committment should be to being happy in your home and being functional, not just a committment to a list. If you only commit to the list, you're missing the Big Picture and at the end may find yourself accomplished and done, but unhappy with the result.