It’s week 4 of the One Room Challenge, and I should have more done. Honestly, it didn’t sound like so much work when I originally planned to organize and re-decorate our linen closet and open shelving in 6 weeks. It’s almost hard to believe I did so much for the spring challenge. But fall is the busiest time of year for our family. In between painting, crafting, sourcing, planning and redecorating, we’ve taken a 6-day trip to Colorado, gone to fall festivals, and trekked all around town for after-school activities and toddler groups.
I have a bad habit of starting renovations and not completely finishing them. I get about 80% done, and then either I get stuck on something or life just takes over and I never get back to it. In the end, I feel frustrated that the space doesn’t live up to it’s potential and often don’t know how to get started again. That’s pretty much the point where I’m at with these spaces.
The upstairs hallway is a flurry of unfinished projects, and near-organization. No one would complain if I didn’t finish the linen closet, but it’s not yet what it could and should be. The to-do list is long, but with the proper motivation and discipline, the project can be completed…even if there are only two weeks left to get everything done!
5 Tips to Stay Motivated During a Renovation
1. Give Yourself a Reason to Complete Your Project
Does your house look its best when you have people coming over? For me, throwing a party or having a holiday get-together motivates me to do things that wouldn’t get done otherwise. Perhaps you’re hosting a holiday open house, or a Memorial Day barbecue. Find a reason to get the project done and commit to it. (The One Room Challenge is also a great external motivator, too!)
2. Develop a Plan
Get specific. Identify each project that is necessary to complete your renovation and write it down. When another project comes up (and they always do) ask yourself these questions: 1) Is it optional? 1) Does it have to be done before something else on my list? If both of your answers are yes, then that project must be added to the bottom of the list.
3. Keep Track of Your Progress
Make note of what you’ve done already. For some, it’s enough to take a ‘before’ picture and look at it during the renovation. Others might find it helpful to compare a ‘before’ picture to their design inspiration. You can also keep it simple and just list out your progress.
Here’s a look at our progress over the last 4 weeks:
– Purge the contents of the linen closet
– Paint the linen closet
– Update linen closet shelves
– Install storage behind the closet door
– Dip Dyed Storage Boxes (tutorial coming soon!)
Projects Started but Not Completed
– Beadboard backing for open storage shelves
– Storage containers for the linen closet
– Lighting for both spaces
Projects Yet to Be Started
– Purge items in open storage shelving
– Stain/paint wicker baskets for storage
– Find or create large sliding/rolling storage
– Improve the look of the linen closet door
– Final styling of both spaces
Your original plan doesn’t always fit the realities of renovation. It’s important to stay flexible within a framework of your primary goal. Every once in a while, take a look at your to-do list and double check that your projects are ordered in priority. Get rid of ‘wish list’ projects that don’t fit the budget or timeframe. Reorganize that list if you need to, making sure that everything makes sense for your project and your lifestyle.
5. Take a Break
Sometimes working on a project can take over too much of your time and energy. If you’re not careful, that can lead to serious burnout. Not only that, but when a project takes over your life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Developing a plan and a task list can help, but sometimes you just need to step away for a day or two.
I took that advice this weekend. Our family went to the zoo for a festival and just enjoyed spending time together. No renovation or blog talk allowed. I also took some time to read a book from the library. Just those two actions helped to recharge my soul and clear my mind. Now I’m ready to get back into gear and get these spaces done!
Have you ever stopped a renovation before it was finished?
How do you stay motivated during a renovation?
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