DIY is a lot of fun, and although I might constantly be posting on my instastory little projects that I am doing here and there that doesn’t mean it should be entirely spontaneous. I typically am the “run and gun” type where I get an idea, run to the hardware store and make it happen. BUT, that process doesn’t work for everyone and tbh usually isn’t the best use of time any way (learn from my mistakes people). You may have been thinking about the things which need fixing around your home for a long time or already have an ongoing list or pin board of all the things that you want to try, but that doesn’t mean you actually have a detailed plan for how you were going to tackle all of those individual tasks as a whole which is so important. And, after making quite a few mistakes and even more trips back to the hardware store to grab something mid-project that I forgot, I have realized that it’s so important that you take some time to do your research before tackling a home DIY project. So, in the name of saving you time, money, and potential DIY related headaches here are some of the things you need to do if you want to get the project right.
Make a plan
Making a plan before a big DIY home project is so important. Whether you plan to overhaul the entire house, build a headboard, fix up your garden, conquer a craft project, or just make small improvements here and there, it can save you SO much time and money if you make a clear list of objectives. On that list could be a detailed sketch of what you plan to do, all the materials you think you need to buy, and most importantly you’ve already mentally walked through each and every step in your head so that you know what the plan is once you get started. Think of it as your first draft, it might be rough, but it has all the important elements in it. Account in for your time to shop, your time to organize the project, your time to build, and anything else you think will be something that the project will entail. Basically you want to have a game plan so that you know what you are getting into before you even begin; there’s nothing worse than having a half-completed home project and realizing that you can’t finish it or didn’t realize how long it would take or how expensive it actually would be. Which brings me to my next point.
Make a budget
Make a budget for everything, and stick pretty religiously to that budget. Allow yourself some wiggle room, of course, but ensure that you plan out what you’ll need for each step and any necessary tools that you will need to buy or little parts for the project. The little things you might not think about like screws, nails, clips, tape, paint, etc can start to add up when you put it all together, and by that point it may not even be worth the time or effort. If this isn’t your first DIY then you might already have a lot of the materials on hand, which can save you a lot of time and money, so before you go out shopping check your stock to see what you might already have and can use – so you don’t double by. I am the king of not checking my stuff before I run out and buy and now I have doubles and triples of EVERYTHING. Do as I say, not as I do. If you are the type that constantly is getting into a DIY project then you might want to invest in tools that will last and a big toolbox where you can get a “kit” pulled together to keep you all organized. That way you know where it all is and you can quickly go through and check stock for the next one.
Stay on Task
My number one problem when starting a project is that half way through I get distracted and then end up going off on a tangent into another project which just ends up making my list longer and more complicated. When I started a recent project in my kitchen for example (the floors), my plan was to move the appliances out, sweep the old floors and then get into replacing them with new peel and stick ones. But as I started the “moving of the fridge” and I started pulling all the the advertising magnets on the fridge that I had hoarded and before I knew it I was going through EVERY drawer doing organization rather than sticking with the original project that I had planned on. So, give yourself a todo list and steps and stick with it rather than getting distracted.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
Doing it yourself can be hard sometimes and more likely than not you will run into an issue in your project once you get started. So, if things start getting tough don’t be afraid to set the project down for a day or two (or week) and then start it back up again if you need to. I have done that with more projects than I can count and then end up coming back into it with a better idea and way of doing it then I had initially even started with.
At the end of the day, these projects should be fun. Don’t take them too seriously, make mistakes, learn from said mistakes, and enjoy the process of it all – and if all else fails, call in the professionals and enjoy the fact that at least you tried.