Don't you just love all those wonderful magazine spreads?
Lots of beautiful home decor projects complete with great photos and easy, step-by-step instructions.
You notice the headline. It promises... Done In Just One Weekend!
Have you ever tried this?
Have you ever actually accomplished it?
Let's face it: some 'weekend' projects simply cannot be
finished in a month of weekends! Of course, the real
question is, can yours?
The answer? Maybe, maybe not.
The key: separating the planning from the doing. Both are actually necessary
components of the project, but the planning needs to be completed well in advance of the weekend 'doing'.
So, begin with the planning phase... (and start with the end in mind)
Use a picture, a magazine article, or even a simple drawing
you've made yourself. You need to envision the end result
so you'll be able to identify it when you get there.
What will the project cost?
This one is vital. We're talking about both financial & supply costs as well as time costs.
Get a sheet of paper and start some lists: first, the materials or parts that you must have
in order to complete the job. Actually walk yourself through the project (do a
dry run) from start to finish. Visualize yourself doing the work. What tools will you need? Do you have them or
do you need to borrow or buy them? Do the same for all necessary supplies.
Now calculate the time that will be required to complete the project. If you've broken the project down
into discrete steps, simply estimate the time required to complete each step and then add
them all up. And be generous! Interruptions often do occur. You'll need to
take rest breaks. Your tools may break. This part of the planning process allows you to seriously consider if this
really is in fact just a weekend project. If more time is needed, schedule accordingly.
By this time you should have thought the project through quite thoroughly and probably had to solve
a few problems or overcome some obstacles. Still want to attempt the project? If not,
you've just saved yourself a weekend of frustration. Still up for it? Your planning has simply whetted your appetite
for the real thing!
Assembling the parts
With your lists in hand, gather everything that you'll need in order to complete your project from
start to finish, including preparation and clean-up tasks. This is the area where most
frustrations usually occur. For example, it's late on Saturday night and you just ran out of paint. But that won't happen to
you because you've planned thoroughly, right?
After assembling all the parts, take just a few minutes to organize them so they'll be
close at hand on the big weekend. Take a few paper bags, mark the outside to reflect the
materials inside (cutting supplies, clean-up tools, etc.) and sort all of your stuff.
Plan your environment
If you neglect this step your project will be doomed. Are you planning to stencil a beautiful floral design on the old wooden floor
of your deck? Do you have children? How about pets? They'll need to find another route into the kitchen
for the weekend. Planning to use chemicals that will require plenty of ventilation?
Check your local weather forecast and plan accordingly.
Take a day off beforehand
You'll be much more excited and raring to go if you give yourself a break right before
you begin the project.
Now... go, go, go!
The big day has arrived and you're ready to get started! Dive right in and make
your weekend project happen!
One last suggestion...
Enjoy the time that you spend creating and improving your life. Whether it's your home, garden,
career or even yourself, you now have the tools you need to make conscious improvements and achieve the satisfying results
that you desire.
Colleen Langenfeld delivers deals, tips and creative resources to working moms who want
the most out of their homes, families and careers.
Visit her at www.paintedgold.com
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