Monday, May 23, 2011

26 May Challenge: Project "Projects" {Organizing Projects}

Since we are totally getting our "Project" on this month, I mean, really just slaving away on the old abode, I thought I would take a time out to share a little bit about how I "organize" my projects...

My brain totally goes a mile a minute, thinking up all sorts of dreamy things I want to accomplish around the home.  From updating the artwork in the main bathroom to completed overhauling the kitchen to staying up on typical maintenance items.  And ever since I have found Pinterest, it's gotten worse.  Like WAY worse.  I want to do do do!

I needed a way to keep all of my thoughts in order.... all of my project ideas and future plans for the house... enter, my house projects checklist {feel free to snag up a free one while you are here!}

{click here to download your FREE copy of the Home Projects Checklist}

I printed off multiple pages of the checklist and categorized each column for a different room/zone in our home, and started just spewing out all of my ideas onto paper:

I thought about keeping it electronically, however, I really liked the idea of being able to pop the stack into my clipboard or file and take it with me anywhere I go, or hang it on the fridge... I like being able to physically write things down and cross them off.  I am old school like that.

Curious what's on the home project wish list?  {If not, feel free to scroll past}

Living Room:
  • Switch out Outlet Covers
  • Update Window Treatments
  • Demo/Replace Back Splash
  • Replace Pantry/Closet Doors
  • Fix Leak in Fridge
  • Paint Walls
  • Paint Cabinets
  • Update Counters
  • Stain/Paint the new Table
  • Switch out Outlet Covers
  • Paint Spice Cabinet Door w/Magnetic Paint
  • Update Upper Cabinet Fronts
  • Update Window Treatments Above Sink
  • Update Garage Entry Door
Main Bathroom:
  • Install Pedestal Sink
  • Swap out Mirror
  • Install Tile Flooring
  • Update Artwork
  • Install Decorative Moldings
  • Switch out Outlet Covers
  • Replace Bathroom Door
Preston's Bedroom:
  • Upholster Headboard
  • Hang Artwork/Gallery Wall
  • Paint Dresser
  • Mod Podge Name Letters
  • Install Wall Hooks
  • Find Box Spring
  • Organize Dresser Drawers
  • Replace Bedroom Door
  • Switch out Outlet Covers
  • Organize Legos
  • Install a new Light Fixture
Parker/Peyton's Bedroom:
  • Install Closet System/Organize Clothes
  • Create Under-bed Storage
  • Install Wall Book Shelves
  • Hang Wire Airplane
  • Hang Map w/Trim
  • Replace Closet and Bedroom Doors
  • Create Headboard Slipcovers
Guest Bedroom:
  • Switch out Outlet Covers
  • Replace Bedroom Door
  • Paint/Stain new Bed Frame
Guest Bathroom:
  • Paint Pocket Door
  • Switch out Outlet Covers
  • Install new Tile Floors
  • Caulk Around Wall Cabinets
  • Fix Ceiling Fan
  • Replace Vanity Mirror/Light
  • Replace Counter/Sink/Faucet
  • Install Towel Hooks
Laundry Room:
  • Install Floors
  • Install Trim
  • Install Doors
  • Build Pedestal for Washer/Dryer
  • Install new Light Fixture
  • Paint Linen Storage Cabinet
  • DIY Utility Sink Skirt
  • Paint Walls
Utility/Storage Room:
  • Install Drawer System Under Stairs
  • Condense Storage Bins
  • Organize Bryan's Electronics
  • Organize Memory Bins
  • Organize Left Over Paint
Future Studio:
  • Install Floors
  • Install Trim
  • Install Doors
  • Paint Walls
  • Create Furniture Plan/Layout
  • Install new Light Fixture
Family Room:
  • Install and Stain new Stairs
  • Install Floors
  • Install Trim
  • Install Doors
  • Repair Foundation Crack
  • Patch and Paint Walls
  • Install Picture Ledge
  • Hang Artwork
  • Install Decorative Moldings
  • Install Floors
  • Install Trim
  • Install Doors
  • Paint Media Cabinet
  • Organize Toys
  • Install new Window Treatments
  • Hang Mirror
  • Paint Walls/Stencil?
  • Recover Slipper Chairs
Lower Level Bathroom:
  • Re-Do Grout/Seal it
  • Install Decorative Moldings
Master Bedroom:
  • Install Floors
  • Install Trim
  • Install Doors
  • Install Decorative Moldings
  • Hang Artwork
  • Install new Light Fixture
  • Trim Out Window
  • Install new Window Treatments
Dressing Room:
  • Install Floors
  • Install Trim
  • Install Doors
  • Demo Previous Closet Wall
  • Install 2nd Mini Pendant
  • Paint/Stencil Walls
  • Install new Wardrobes
  • Build a Vanity Table
  • Hang Vanity Mirror
  • Re-Grade Backyard Slope Away from House
  • Stain Deck/Paint Stencil
  • Install Deck Gate
  • Plant Garden
  • Install Garden Trellises
  • Hang Planters/Lanters
  • Build Planters for Front of House
  • Sell Gas Grill
  • Weed out Front Rockbeds
  • Trim Back Shrubs
  • Paint Porch Railings
  • Update Edging Surrounding Crab Apple Tree
  • Re-Seal Driveway
  • Install Backyard Light Fixtures
  • Paint/Stain Dining Table
  • Paint/Stain Fence
  • Garage Sale!
  • Paint Garage Floor
  • Patch/Paint Garage Walls
  • Trim out Garage Window
Tons of fun reading and adventures to come on the blog right?  I will be honest, we already had a huge house wishlist, but it completely doubled when we lost our lower level to a flood, which is why you see we are installing new floors/trim/doors and stairs throughout the lower level.  And we are no stranger to having one project lead to another....

Now that all the projects are organized, you may be wondering, when do we do them?  How do we prioritize?

First things first, it is EXTREMELY important not to get overwhelmed looking at any project wish list.  This can cause you to freeze up and not be interested.  I personally look at it as my list of FUN, since I really heart a good project and it's typically my creative way to de-stress.  I also keep in mind, although some projects may be urgent, life doesn't stop for a project.  Memories are created every day.  It's important to make sure that my time isn't all work and no play.

So here is how it goes down.  We play, we go to baseball, go to the park, take family walks and picnic with the boys....

Most projects get done when the kid's go to bed.  The hub's and I work on them together for the most part, as our way of spending time together.  For larger projects, I play with the kid's while my Mr. builds, and then he plays with the kids while I paint.  We have a pretty great hand-off system.  We try to keep our weekends to a max of one day dedicated to larger projects, one day to play and doing something together.  It's all about balance for us.

When the sun is shining, what better time to drop the inside projects and get down and dirty outside?  That's why we can never just prioritize a large list top to bottom.  The "when" we can get to a project, changes by the minute.  Really big projects may get scheduled in on the calendar, smaller ones may turn into an impromptu family fun day {love to get the kid's involved when we can!}.

When it comes time to pick a project to work on, I like to stick to one room at a time, and prioritize based off of the time I have.  However, sometimes things just really nag at me and bug me and move to the top of list.  Sometimes a project is mood induced.  And again, the surroundings and weather and schedules always play a part in things.  If I only have a spare half an hour, I might quickly paint a cabinet with chalkboard paint vs. trying to tackle a huge project on the current room of my focus. Sometimes it's all situational.  We were really struggling with the boys at bedtime, and I blamed the bunk beds as a huge part of the problem.  Which is why we went to two beds.  The two beds took out the space for the dresser, which is why we need to re-think their closet storage...  once again, one thing leads to another!   And I knew that with the upcoming basement project getting underway, the bedroom either had to get updated now, or a year from now. 

Budget is always a HUGE factor.  Some individuals budget out an entire room ahead of time, and just work on that room.  For us, it's more of a, save up some extra cash for a new light fixture or item as we can, and create a separate budget for the really big entire space stuff.  So although something may only take 10 minutes to get done and mark off the checklist, if we don't have the budget for it, it has to wait...

And sometimes the house gods aren't looking out for us... for example... last week our dishwasher started spewing out dishwater from the front panel and underneath, all over the kitchen floor...

The important thing is to roll with it {after you are done crying or cursing or freaking out}.  Other projects now aren't as important, something new moved to the top of the list, and that is OK.  Because after it was all taken apart and a repair would cost almost as much as a new one, our home improvement budget had to be re-evaluated and other projects have to be tucked out of sight for awhile, but as we all know, "it happens".

The biggest thing we have learned in all of our project glory is to try and button up an existing project before moving on to the next.  When we don't do this, chaos ensues almost each and every time, and again, that overwhelming feeling comes in to play.  It's OK for projects to take multiple days from beginning to end.  And although I am the worlds most impatient gal, I have learned to realize it's better to take my time and get it done right, vs. rushing for the sake of the never ending list.

And lastly, I can't stress enough, things always get worse before they get better.  Every organizing project or room project I do, ends up causing my hallway or adjacent room to become a giant temporary disastrous eye sore of a dumping ground.  And I have learned to walk by without flinching at the mess, and no group therapy has been needed!  It's all for the sake of plugging through a great project!

With all the projects we still have on the wishlist for upstairs, we really are missing the expanded living space we once had downstairs, and have decided that getting that started is most important right now.  {however, working on the downstairs has impacted some of the updates to the upstairs to get jump started as well}.  So this weekend we took a trip to our local HD and snagged up our new flooring, trim and stair treds!

So project "month" is absolutely in full swing for us, and we really have been plugging away at getting things done, but we are also playing hard at the same time {the kids and bff and I totally played "Just Dance" for the first time on Wii this weekend and had a blast, I highly recommend a good booty shake to keep things fun!} and just because "Project" month might come to an end, this most definitely won't be the end of things to come on the blog or for casa de Jones!

Now that I shared my project organizing method isn't really all that organized {make a list, play and work on projects when you can}, what other tips can you share for prioritizing the never ending project list?  What's the most exciting project you have on your "to do list"?  Who's been plowing through them this month and feeling incredible because of it?

I decided a little challenge would be fun! This month we are getting all those projects done!  Any project big or small counts!  Wanna join?  Take photos and blog about your awesomeness as you go!  I am hoping to do a giant, "We did it!" celebratory post where we can all link up our project completing success stories at the end of the month!


  1. I so need this printable. Just yesterday I said to my husband that we have alot of balls up in the air in terms of house projects. it will be great to organize my thoughts room by room. Great post!

  2. pinterest is killing!!! i LOVE it!!!

  3. Wow that's a lot of projects lined up. Can't wait to see them.

  4. WOW that is what my list used to look like, but it was in a small notebook when I started it. I think I have to change over to this sheet that you so nicely are letting us have for free. LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing with us. But thank goodness our list has become shorter since a lot of the work is done our home now, but it's not all done by any means. I think this list will have to be printed and placed into my "Home Binder".

    By the way, what is "Install Drawer System Under Stairs"? Sounds interesting. Thank you.

  5. Great idea! I am like that too, I have a million ideas bouncing around in my head. I'm going to be printing off a ton of those and doing the same. It's such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  6. Thanks so much for the advice! I will be printing off several of these. I just began the decluttering, organizing and decorating phase and there's lots to do. You're such an inspiration! Thanks!

  7. Have you gone blonde? Looks fab! x

  8. Thx so much for posting this project list. Inlaws arrive in exactly 6 days and I've been totally lagging on getting my house together before they arrive. This should whip me in shape!!

  9. Girl your list and my list would be BFF =) I'm so excited for your new flooring! =) Congrats! <3

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  10. First- cutest boys ever! {except for mine, of course} ;)
    Second- that happened with my dishwasher this month, too. Ack. Had to use every towel in the house. Took forever and a day to dry them all. But then we got a new dishwasher for $500 off! And we paid cash! Yay!
    Third- key for me in not losing my sanity during 'projects' is accepting that my husband does things on a purely random basis. He rarely finishes one project before he starts another; it's all about what he's in the mood for at the time. So, I have to be very patient and tell myself that it *will* all get done...eventually. Otherwise, we are going to argue and I am going to be frustrated and resentful. I'd rather live happily in an ugly house than alone in a pretty one.

  11. Wow. I am sometimes so grateful that we don't own our own house, its a challenge having to work around the structural features that aren't ideal, but we don't have to worry about budgetting for structural work or replacing flooring and so on.
    I love the printable sheet. I keep 'must sort out' lists but they are spread around so many notebooks as I brainstorm in whatever one is to hand. I'm just starting a home-management-binder and this will be a great addition.
    As others have said, you really do have cute boys!

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  13. So love the new printout-- I too I have a mile long to list and it's been so overwhelming that I never started it. Just last week I decided to put pin to paper and start chopping down list. Can't wait to organize everything better with the new printout!

  14. We're in the middle of huge jobs on the homefront as well ... thanks for the printout!

  15. I'm posting my summer cleaning and organizing plans on Thursday! I do something very similar during my summer vacation!

  16. OMG i so know what you mean about pinterest!!! we are addicted. so happy im following you now :D

  17. Thanks for the printable. Just printed a few out and my husband and I are working on what we need to get done in each room of our house. We have so many projects started and unfinished and our goal this summer is to complete several of them before starting more!! I think your printable will be a great guide so thanks!

  18. That is an intense to-do list and your home already looks so great! I am totally inspired!

  19. Oh wow! I live in an apartment so I am going to utilize your printable for things I need to do to "de-clutter" my little abode and my storage unit. The storage unit is a never ending battle of do I "really" need to put this item or that item in there...OR do I really need to just make a trip to Goodwill...? I've decided in the next few weeks that I am going to clean it out and make a trip to Goodwill and the same goes for my closet!!! Wish me luck.

  20. Keep rockin those projects out and rollin with the punches. You're doing great :-) Your boys are adorable....those eyes! (get them from Mom? :) )

  21. Thanks so much for the printable!
    Random question - do use a tool in photoshop to make the color in the boys' eyes stand out so much? They are adorable by the way!

  22. Finally got my summer organizing post up!

  23. Do you have this printable in non-pdf format? Acrobat has decided to take a vacation on my laptop. I want to open and print it, but Adobe Acrobat refuses.

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  25. Just featured this post in my new blog! :)
    Thank you for all your great ideas and the free printables

    That's the way my printable looks :) Thanks!

  26. Thanks Jen, I just came across this post from years ago...I am preparing for my Project Year and will start organizing with your Home Projects Checklist!


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