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Whether you are owning a home or renting, there is always a laundry list of things you want to do to improve the place you spend the most time. Organizing this list, whether digitally or on paper, is the first step to creating the home harmony you strive to achieve. Creating this list will provide you with the vision and focus to make purposeful purchases and intentional decisions.
Before implementing an organizational strategy for my home projects, I would come home from a long day at work, sit down on the couch, and start looking around at all the stuff I should be doing – the mountain of things to be fixed, changed, or made better. Feeling guilty and stressed, I would wander around trying to make a sense of it all.
Unfortunately, over time, whatever sense I had made on the fly would get lost in the shuffle of papers and every day life. Still without a clear vision, I was back to square one.
What if you could trust your plan and stress much less about everything you need to do? What if you could actually relax knowing everything you need to do is written down and it’s already written in order of importance? What if the week before hosting a party or overnight guests you could sit and have a glass of wine knowing you already did and/or scheduled everything you had to do to prepare? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Without a list, getting sidetracked and losing focus is an all too common occurrence, but it doesn’t have to be this way. After many months of struggling, I finally found a method that cures all of your focus issues and ensures you have your list with you always.
Before I give you the how, let me give you the why…
Why you must organize your entire to-do list now and for good…
Reason #1: Free your Mind of Task Clutter.
Do you ever find yourself having a mini-panic attack before hosting folks at your house? Maybe you realized a few days before that you totally meant to re-work the organization on your kitchen cabinets for when mom tries to cook her famous meatballs. Then, you glance into the living room and realize you never finished the gallery wall over the couch. This was only a quick glance! Heaven forbid you take a walk through the main level… Who knows what else you forgot to do!… Enter instant panic mode.
What if you looked up and all of these tasks were done? Eliminating stress caused by task clutter, especially leading up to hosting events, can be the difference between enjoying the time with your family while basking in your productivity glory or running around yelling at everyone because you cut it too close. I am a firm believer that a happy home is built on one you are proud of. Every time I have executed a plan and gone the extra mile to complete a task beginning to end, I visibly notice my family cozy up a little more and relax a little deeper.
When I have clarity on what needs to be done and I can trust my to-do list system, getting things done becomes much easier and I don’t have to deal with all the anxiety and stress of feeling unprepared. So, if you right it all down and keep the handy and current, all your to-do list whoa’s will disperse.
Reason #2: Actually Prioritize.
Have you ever gone to the store to look for something for your living room and end up leaving with something for the kitchen? Now, there is nothing wrong with this except if your kitchen is basically done, but your living room is basically empty. I have been in this position many a time.
Without a clear vision on why you are even at the store, your likelihood of getting side-tracked and not completing an item off your list of tasks goes way up. Prioritizing is difficult if you do not have all of your to-do’s in a list together. How do you know if you should complete a task first if it is not even on the list? This is where freeing your mind of task clutter and then prioritizing helps get you one step closer to harmonizing you and your home.
Reason #3: Spending Money More Wisely
Organizing your projects helps you get an idea of how you want to prioritize your spending, too. Creating a list of priority tasks will help you decide what to spend more on in that particular space, such as the focal piece in each room. It will also guide you on what to take a pass on when you’re out shopping. Having a detailed list of the type of items you are searching for (and the other things found on the pre-shopping checklist) helps narrow your eye when scanning through the big stores, like Home Goods.
Do you ever find yourself leaving a decor store having spent way more than you intended? Without a clear focus, spending more becomes quick and easy. Chances are when you do get the items home, they are either not what you thought or you realize they were not really worth what you paid.
When you are not focused on a particular room, impulse buys become more and more frequent. Some impulse buys are great, but more times than not, you get it home and realize it is not going to work, so you have to return it. Now, you have to budget in an extra trip you did not really have time for.
The lesson I have learned time and time again is to take the extra few minutes to make the to-do list and prioritize it ahead of time, so you can avoid any unnecessary trips and money spent.
Reason #4: Actually Finish Projects you Start
How nice would it be to spend a certain amount of time focused on a project and actually finish it? Before organizing my home projects, I was a scatter-brain decorator. I’d be in the living room one minute, then talking about the dining room the next. I would set out to buy for a specific room only to come home with all kinds of stuff that maybe fit what I thought my vision was or maybe was a for a completely different room altogether. I would always be left with a choice to return it or reevaluate my vision.
In all of the reasons above, I have mentioned lack of focus. Without a direction or a prime reason/vision for why you are buying or doing something, it is very difficult to finish a project in a timely manner, if at all.
Actually sitting down to get an idea of what kinds of things you need and also the things you want for a particular room really helps get an overall picture of what fits you and your family’s personalities and daily life. Creating a focused vision and list of to-do’s in an organized fashion helps ensure you are working towards a goal and not just for working for the sake of working.
Reason #5: Create Cohesion in your Home
Have you ever browsed through a home magazine and gawked at the beauty of the rooms inside? Or have you ever been in someone’s home that flowed amazingly well from one room to the next? If you answered yes, then you know what I mean by a cohesive home. It is incredible how much homier a home feels when the idea flows from one room to the next either in color, theme, or style.
This type of cohesion is very hard to achieve if every room you decorate is done independently of the rooms around it. Creating a vision of what you want each room to look like as a sum of all the parts together is key to decorating your home to the fullest and creating the cohesion you hope to achieve in your own home. This starts by working through your vision for each room before even starting a room.
As I inch closer to completing my room to-do’s in my home, I’m finally starting to feel my vision coming together. Because I stepped back and considered what first needed to get done and then, second, what I wanted to achieve, I was able to spend more wisely, prioritize successfully, and free my mind enough to actually complete the projects I started. If you are searching for a cozy, homier home, you must organize your entire home to-do list now and for good.
How you can begin organizing your home to-do’s in the most efficient way…
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Ok Christin, we get it. You’ve convinced me to organize my home projects… Now what?
Well I’m so glad you asked! If you’ve read my about page, this won’t be the first time you’ve heard me talk about Trello.
Trello is my ultimate savior for organizing my thoughts. Not only is it accessible everywhere I go, but it allows me to drag and move notes, write descriptions, make checklists, add due dates, and so much more. I use this online program as my digital sticky note system.
No longer do I have to worry about forgetting my task list at home or ever have to wonder which room I should be focused on at the moment. Everything I need to know, including my measurements, color schemes, and my room vision, are all accessible at the push of a button on my phone or computer.
If you have gotten all the way to this point and you are saying, “Perfect! Thanks for the tips, but I’m not good at learning digital stuff by myself.”
Well… rather than set you off on your own to go figure it out, I have created a step-by-step guide to truly organize all your projects once and for all using Trello and the ideas the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Even if you are a digital master or a paper-only-type list maker, this guide will help you organize every detail of what you want to accomplish in your home.
Oh yeah… and IT’S FREE! Check it out and let me know what you think. Happy organizing!