Do you have a lot of unfinished projects? You’re not alone.
It’s easy to lose momentum somewhere between Pinterest and picking up the paint brush, because we get stuck in indecision or in not knowing where or how to start. So, today I want to teach you a strategy for finish projects.
How to Finish Projects
The secret to starting and finishing your next DIY project is to break it down into manageable tasks. I’ve used this strategy on everything from settling into a new home, to redesigning a room to organizing the house.
Finish Projects One Step at a Time
If you put “paint the kitchen cabinets” on your to-do list, you’re going to find that “to-do” being bumped to the next week, then the next, to the week after that because the task is too vague and involves a lot of steps.
So, instead, approach the project one step at a time. Decide when you want the project to be finished, making sure you take into account your schedule and availability. Then, make a list of all the steps to complete the project and schedule each step on your calendar.
Step 1: pick out paint color
Step 2: buy the paint
Step 3: prep cabinets
Step 4: prime
Step 5: paint first coat
Step 6: allow first coat to dry
Step 7: sand between coats
Step 8: wipe the cabinets
Step 9: paint second coat
and so on. Allow as much time as you need between steps while also keeping your finish date in mind.
Let’s use a current example from my home. I’m in the process of turning an unused bedroom into a study. A week ago, we moved some items out of the room and into the hallway to make room for a desk. A storage unit, a t.v. , a luggage rack, and a vintage suitcase are still sitting in the hallway because I’m not sure what I’m going to do with everything in the hallway. I am sure I want the storage unit in the closet. So, I’m going to start there. My steps will look something like this:
Step 1: empty closet
Step 2: move the storage unit into the closet
Step 3: decide what to keep in the closet and how it should be stored
Step 4: sort closet contents
Step 5: donate or throw away what I’m not keeping
Step 6: organize what I am keeping
Then, I’ll hang pictures and put the finishing touches on the room.
2 Helpful Hints for Getting Unstuck
It’s normal to get stuck at some point in a project. In that case, I’ve found two approaches to be very helpful. I hinted at the first one when I mentioned starting with putting the storage unit in the closet and it is this: go with what you know. You only need to know the very next step. Taking that action always, always reveals the next step.
The next step sounds contradictory to the first, but sometimes it’s necessary in discovering what the very next step is. I suggest stepping away for a bit and taking time to reassess, gather ideas and make decisions. Once you’ve gained clarity, just for the next step not necessarily the entire project, get back into it, and go with what you know.
Before you know it, you will have turned your vision into a reality, bringing you one project closer to creating a home and life you love.
p.s. I created a Cheat Sheet version of this post to have on hand for your next DIY project. Get your Cheat Sheet here.