Capitalizing on Your Time: Project Planning and Life

"How do you have time to do all of this? I could never do that. I wouldn't even know where to start. You have so much energy!" These are all loving, typical things that I hear from folks when they stumble upon my blog or now a days, walk into my house. My MIL frequently says, "Young people... I don't know how you do it." Well here's the thing about me, I am totally TYPE A- as in, when they wrote the definition of type-A, they knew that I would come along one day and become the poster child for that personality. I like to think that I am not a typical type-A, lawyer, A-hole. I can be, but I don't necessarily enjoy that. I also am a product of the 21st Century-- I multitask like it is no-one's business. I hate being idle. I LOVE accomplishing things. And I thrive when I am busy.

You combine those two traits-- type A with a side of ADD-- and you've got me. So here's how I handle it all: life/house/wedding/exercise/project planning.

Weekly I use lists that incorporate goals and projects. I sit down every Sunday and write out my lists for the week using these forms. (I don't remember where I found them, so someone PLEASE link them on up if you know!). I also LOVE checkboxes and checking something off on my list feels like a reward (such a good student). I put smoothie in every single morning of the week, as well as which days I am going to exercise and when with a little checkbox.


Calendar2-819x1024 I actually usually start with the one below (Project List) because it allows me to thoroughly brainstorm a project that needs to get done. I have one list for home and one for wedding. I sometimes add a column with the store name next to the thing I need to do/buy. I then go back to the weekly planner above and decide what project steps on here I can work on throughout the week and incorporate them into my weekly schedule. Task-List-819x1024 This one just saves us money-- period, without question. Not to mention the nightly "Can you stop at the store? What do you want for dinner?" annoyingness that happens. Meal-Planning-List

Researching/Starting Projects When something pops into my head that I would like to do around the house, I do one of two things: I either put it into my Wunderlist app or write it down on my project list above. And then... I google and pin my face off. I do a TON of research into whatever project I am thinking about doing. I usually start at Young House Love and then bounce between google and pinterest. For example, I am currently trying to decide what to do with our backyard. So I started a board just for that. (You can see that the fence is really the biggest thing right now).

In my Wunderlist app I can create sublists: Wedding Projects, House and Grocery are my most commonly used. Right now in house projects are shutters, trim outside, crown molding and board and batten in the hallway. Having it in the list makes thinking about all of the things that I want to do WAY less stressful. Also, when we happen to be wandering through home depot, I have a list I can look at to remember what I'd like to tackle next before I just buy a light fixture with our home improvement budget that I don't need. Speaking of budget, we each put $40 a paycheck into our home improvement fund and about once a month we decide to spend it or save it for the next bigger project. This amount will increase after the wedding, but at least we are not dipping into our debt payoff plans to do fun projects around the house.

In terms of furniture, I am ALWAYS looking at Goodwill, Craigslist or ReStore for good stuff. I figure that even if I can't use the item in my house, I can always sell it on craiglist and maybe make a few bucks.

The Final Tip: Worth $1 MILLION You just have to do it. Just pick up the paint and the brushes! Buy that wood! Grab that hammer and those nails! And just try! I GUARANTEE that at a minimum you will learn something. As Ashley's contractor dude said: "Even if you do it yourselves, screw it up, and re-do it, it'll still be cheaper than paying someone else!"