Nearly everyone takes on a home improvement project at one point or another. Some from the moment they buy a house, which is a great option if you have the vision, time, and money to fix up a place. Others take on the slow approach doing one project at a time.

We recently bought an older home and are taking on the one project at a time version of home home improvement. In the last six months we put in a vinyl fence, painted a room, replaced our dishwasher (not by choice), replaced our stove top (not by choice), and if we are lucky we can start doing some of the items on our list by choice. First on that list is finishing our office.

Whether your project is large or small you still need to try to have sanity in your home. Here are some steps that we found inspired by “Houselogic

1- Storage Systems. I know that doesn’t sound all that interesting, exciting or new. However, if you have a room that is being worked on,organizing the existing “stuff” is going to make the project much more managable, it makes your items accessible and gives you the chance to actually relax in your home for the next month. Build some shelving in the garage and collect the items in large clear bins.

This will be vital for our office revamp, we haven’t done this in the past and basically our garage became our disaster area. We throw all our “project stuff” in there, and its total chaos. Don’t make the same mistake we have.

2- If you are going to be producing a lot of dust, block off the area. You can pick up huge sheets of plastic at Amazon or from a hardware store. Use it to cover up things that you don’t want to clean later on, isolate the room or space you are working on as much as possible and save yourself the headache of always having a dusty house.

3- Expect projects to take longer than you want them to. Unless you are willing to take a few days and dedicate them solely to your projects they will like last longer than you want them to.

Our fence was only supposed to take 2-3 weeks with me working on them in the evening. We started that project back in July and its October. I still have one gate to put up. Some of the delay is because I needed to wait for material, or wait for the manufacturer to put the gate together. However, the majority of the delay is me not taking the short trip to the hardware store to pick up that thing I don’t have. Luckily that project is outside!

4. Prioritize, if you have an older home, likely there is more than one project that desperately needs to be done. Make a list, prioritize them by number and get to work. Be sure you are happy with your main living spaces (your kitchen, living room and bedroom) so that you have a space you love where you can escape the project when needed. A little paint, crown molding, or a new light fixture for one room doesn’t take much time or money and can give you a sanctuary away from the dust.

Before we started into our bigger projects we painted our living room and trim so that we had at least one room that was customized to us, that we loved and were proud of, Heres the before and afters.

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The paint didnt cost much but it has made this room so much more enjoyable and gives us motivation to move to the next project.

Show us what you are working on! We would love seeing your before/afters as well. Happy Home Improvements!