Well it’s getting to be that time again. No, not time to decompress from the holidays and drink yourself into oblivion under the guise of hanging with friends, or, worse yet, watching reruns of Friends by your lonesome. Instead, I mean it’s time to start making those inane New Year’s Resolutions. Mine are perennial: lose weight, read more, learn a language, do something with my life. Perhaps your resolutions are a bit brighter than mine. This year, instead of targeting resolutions that are near completely unobtainable for me, I decided that it would better if I sat down and thought about the things I’d like to change about the house and how I handle it. Here are my Top 3 Home Resolutions, and you might find they should be yours as well!
Resolution 1: Finish a Project Before Starting Another!
Surely no one else is like this, however, I have six (or an undisclosed number more) projects that are in varying degrees of completion. You know how it goes; a little paint missing here, a piece of trim unfinished there, a gaping hole in the backyard – things of that nature. It’s a personality flaw with me, but one I know I share with many people. Besides finishing several of my unfinished projects this year, I resolve to complete a project 100% before I move along to the next one. If you actually need a reason why you need to adopt this resolution, perhaps you’re in the same state of denial as I was. Aside from the simple aesthetics of it, no one wants to come over to a house and see bare drywall exposed for eight years or not be able to use the guest bathroom because your little ‘remodel’ job is 85% perennially finished. And, forget about maximizing sale price if you decide to sell your house with a thousand little projects left undone. Your realtor will kill you! Finally, just having the “unfinished project stress” removed from your shoulders should be enough to make this resolution well worth adopting.
Resolution 2: Do Some Pre-Planning
As I write this, I am well into an impromptu kitchen remodel. Here’s the thing; my wife and I decided to remodel the kitchen the day after Christmas and I began remodeling two days later. Yes, you read that correctly. There are some outside factors that drove this hasty project’s timeline, but the long and short of it is that with less than a day’s worth of planning I was ordering cabinets online at Lowe’s so that I can pick them up as soon as I got back from Ikea. Then I was painting and staining that night until 1:00 am and got up at 5:00 am to start the second coat and to clear the kitchen. Yup, what a great way to finish a christmas vacation! I now vow to do as much preplanning as I possibly can, BEFORE diving headlong into a project. Planning ahead might just save you 300 trips to Lowes and a boatload of money and aggravation.
Resolution 3: KISS – Tone Down the Dreaming Skippy!
Last, but not least, I resolve to never again even begin considering using a gold and diamond encrusted plug cover when all I need is a $.10 cover for a plastic plug that is hidden by the fridge. I end up doing it all the time. ‘Wouldn’t it be great to router in some detail on this wall stud…’ I was told a long time ago to Keep It Simple Stupid, but unfortunately, following that sage advice isn’t a strong point for me. Not keeping things simple bogs down projects over little detail work and takes twice along to finish. Or, worse yet, you don’t finish it completely at all (see resolution 1). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting using duct tape to finish drywall joints so you can just skip to the painting process, but some extra details can be skipped or done much more simply. You could brag to your buddies about the roman ogee edge you put on your sill plate, but why would you? If you don’t get carried away with complexity, frills, and unnecessary details, your projects are far more likely to hit that magical 100% completion stage.
While these are simple resolutions, they can ease your mind and help get the most out of your projects and your home in the year(s) ahead. Happy New Year!