Working from home is not new, but in the past, people associated the term with a home-based business. The lockdown resulting from the pandemic saw a shift from working from home to working remotely. When you work remotely, you perform the same job you do from the office, from home. With this new work format came benefits and challenges. Home projects fall into both of those categories.
On the one hand, there is this idea that now that you are at home, you can quickly tackle some projects that have always been on your to-do list. You can finish the last proposal while waiting for the proverbial paint to dry. But, before long, you have a half-painted wall, a deconstructed bathroom, and a backyard filled with dead plants in the pots they came in — this is the downfall of DIY.
Procrastination, underestimating the project’s scope, and overestimating your skillset can lead to unfinished home projects. We are sure that many of us have unfinished projects, so we decided to talk about the most common and some interesting insights about what to do. Let’s make that house project procrastination free!
In this guide, we hope to give you the tools to complete projects at home and the know-how to help you determine when to outsource.
Why do we procrastinate?
Procrastination is known as the act of postponing tasks to the last minute or, in extreme cases, past their deadline. While there are diverse types of procrastination, the bottom line is that procrastinating leads to higher stress levels and lower well-being which can affect those who work at home more easily.
Procrastination with home projects can happen when we are overwhelmed by the project and lack the confidence to see it through. Procrastination occurs when we are distracted and want to prioritize something else over the project. It can also happen because the task is out of the regular schedule of our day-to-day.
We really recommend finishing home projects, especially once they are halfway done or started. When we complete those home projects and remodeling tasks, there is often a sense of success, a decrease in our stress levels, and an accompanying opportunity to celebrate this success with friends and family. Completing a task on time and within budget, you can add saving money to the list of benefits. Actionable ways to decrease procrastination include setting up a schedule, clearly understanding what the task entails, and reducing distractions.
Indoor home remodel projects
Working remotely can allow improvement in many areas of your home and life. If you decide to focus your free time on home projects because you’re a new home buyer, then that is totally amazing and can be fun. We recommend focusing more on projects that make your home space more comfortable and any other projects that are like kitchen remodels left for planning and budgeting since you will need professional help with that. One of the projects that are everyone list that most people can tackle is painting projects.
Doing some home projects that are about choosing the right color palette, comfy furniture, and artwork can create a space that elevates your mood and tranquility. Completing yearly general maintenance or fixing that ever-dripping tap can lead to a better night’s sleep. Creating that yoga space you always dreamed of can bring that much-needed calmness or inspiration that can help you lower your stress levels and even offer sparks of creativity.
So, if you have already started and you are on the procrastination backslide, we recommend you take a weekend and reevaluate what you can actually finish yourself and what will require professional help. It’s okay to adjust and change your mind. You would be surprised how much stress you can remove off those shoulders by just deciding to hire a pro if you found out you can’t do it on your own.
If you come up with a small list of tasks, then we recommend you set up a schedule as you would with a work task and set up a deadline for the stages it takes to finish the project. This will motivate some productivity and progress.
Painting and revamping your walls
The wall refresh can quickly and easily improve your surroundings. Make a realistic timeline and deadline for the project. also include the time for clearing and prepping the space, dry time, and clean-up time. Make a budget and list all the materials you will need for the project.
Choose a durable, neutral paint color palette and add pops of color with accent pieces. If selling your home is on the horizon, this choice will also allow potential buyers to imagine themselves and their belongings in your space. If you plan to stay long-term, you can implement some color psychology.
To make your wall an accent piece, use a modern, easy-to-install wallpaper in a neutral palette and thought-provoking pattern. An even more straightforward way to draw focus is to create a gallery wall. Frame your favorite black and white family photos or take a collection of your art pieces with a typical palette and group them on one wall.
If you need space management and a focal piece, consider the myriad of shelf options, from floating live edge wood to glass-covered cabinetry.
The bathroom remodel is also known as the sneaky disaster. One wrong move, and you could be without a shower for days or even weeks. Don’t let that stop you, though. Plan, plan and more planning can help your bathroom-based home remodel succeed. You can see a significant improvement by changing the faucets and fixtures. If you feel confident about tackling more extensive home projects, replacing old caulking and baseboards can boost the look. Even more, so is laying new tile on the floors and backsplash. If DIY isn’t your thing, let professionals of bath remodeling in Sacramento, Folsom, or wherever you are, make the changes you want, and also give professional advice on what fits and doesn’t fit your space. Whatever your bathroom home project entails, follow the same process as walls — plan, budget, and set deadlines.
Laying down carpet
Old carpets can store odors and dirt and lead to unhealthy air quality. Over time, repeated cleaning can stretch the carpet out, leading to lumps and rolls. Carpets can decrease noise, decrease heating costs, and bring a sense of coziness to a home. If you are considering updating or installing new carpets, explore all your carpeting options for the best choice for your needs. Measure your space and know your traffic expectations. These details can give the carpet salesperson the tools to assist you best.
Make a list of tools you will need. Unlike changing a fixture, the tools you need to lay a new carpet are probably not already in your tool kit. Adding an underlay can increase comfort and decrease noise. Prep the surface thoroughly to ensure your home project goes smoothly.
Outdoor home projects
Working indoors, even in a beautiful space, can sometimes feel confining. Give yourself the benefit of an outdoor oasis where you can easily relax and entertain. What kind of oasis you create depends on your needs, goals, and your space’s current condition.
Tending to your plants and spending time in nature can increase work productivity and creativity, while having a comfortable meditation corner can give you the space to clear your head. Having an outdoor space you love can also increase your enjoyment of necessary family time by decreasing distractions and eliminating potential hazards. Well-demarcated sections can impart a sense of order in an otherwise chaotic world, leading to improved mental health.
Landscaping is a DIY home project that can be as simple or complex as you can afford. You can do much to enhance your outdoor area with even a little green space. Start by adding your area’s soil and irrigation needs. Step back, look at the home and yard as a whole, and note places with gaps in height and width. Plan out plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers based on your zone. No sense in planting a perennial that won’t make it through the winter or a water lover in a desert. When planning the placement, chart out the time of year and the color of the blooms. Transplanting is best done on overcast days because the sun can burn roots and cook the plant before it has had time to acclimate to its new environment. Food-based gardens are returning in popularity, and children love heading out to pick fresh tomatoes, blueberries, and zucchini.
Creating an outdoor living space
An outdoor home remodel can also include creating an outdoor living space. By creating clean lines and adding a walkway, you can make order in the chaos of nature. Go a little further, and create a focal piece like a fire pit. Check with your local bylaws to see how often you are allowed to burn wood — a gas fireplace may be your only option in some areas. Either way, choose safety first by ensuring your firepit is at least 10 feet from your home and any flammable structures like a shed or fence and laying down gravel or brick to prevent the fire from jumping to dry grass. You can also create focus and serenity by introducing a pergola or gazebo.
Adding or updating a home security system can give peace of mind to you and your family. It can also help decrease your home insurance and provide added safety to your neighborhood. Lastly, it can increase your home’s value should you consider listing it shortly.
Doorbell cameras come in simple and complex options, and their ease of installation varies. Most have an app you can download to your phone or tablet to see what is happening on your doorstep from the couch or when you’re on vacation.
Motion-activated lights come in easy-to-install options like solar-charged, which don’t require hardwiring into your home’s electrical system.
Security cameras can also increase safety in your home, and some are even as simple as screwing in a lightbulb.
DIY vs. hiring professionals for your home projects
The home project experience can be stressful or rewarding, depending on your approach. On the one hand, DIY home repairs can give you the satisfaction of completion and success. Looking around your home and seeing the results of your hard work can be most rewarding. That is contingent upon you having completed the project and doing it well.
When considering a DIY home project vs. hiring a professional, consider the following:
- Is this project beyond my skill set, and is my time better spent elsewhere?
- Will this project entail getting a permit and having an inspection?
- Would making a mistake during this project cause severe damage, be hazardous, or have disastrous consequences?
- Am I planning to sell this home in the future?
If you answered yes to any of those, you should strongly consider hiring a professional to at least help, if not tackle the whole project.
For more straightforward home projects or home repairs like changing a light fixture or power-washing your entryway, the DIY approach is a cost-effective way to achieve that feeling of completion and improve your overall surroundings. Larger projects that have the potential to disrupt your family and your workflow, like a kitchen or bathroom remodel, are better left to the professionals.
How to stay on track with your home projects
Whether DIY or working with a tradesperson, you can stay on track by following these simple tips:
- Set realistic goals and short timelines for more straightforward DIY projects. For example, if you are updating your dresser, set a goal to gather all your supplies in one area and prepare to complete the project. Step back and if you feel you can put in another 20 minutes, move on to your next small step.
- Make lists, lots of lists. Make a list of the lists you need to make. Create subsections for your lists.
- Plan everything out before getting started. Everything from start to finish, including expected timelines, people involved, and potential disruptions.
- Give yourself time for production and delivery. This is especially important for items like cabinets, appliances, and unique order fixtures. Don’t uninstall before these items arrive.
- Be prepared to ask for help, even if it’s just guidance or moral support. Many hands make light work, or they make great coffee.
Above all, choose your DIY projects based on your skillset or small projects you can learn quickly, and prepare for completed projects that are simply good enough.
Working remotely can be challenging. Many Americans expressed feelings of procrastination, difficulty managing their time, and an inability to complete DIY home projects and repairs while working remotely. But, completing home projects and home remodels can improve your quality of life and your productivity at work while working remotely.
Once you’ve successfully completed your home projects, why not reward yourself with a well-deserved workation? Taking a break from your remote work routine and enjoying a change of scenery can be a rejuvenating experience that allows you to appreciate the fruits of your labor while staying productive.
We hope that this guide to overcoming home project-based procrastination gives you the tools to complete that home remodel, home repair, or DIY home project on time and a budget to enjoy your successes sooner.