When a large home improvement project looms, like adding a deck or updating your kitchen or bathroom, it can be overwhelming. As you write out the supply list, you may find yourself thinking of all the other things you would rather be doing. If you aren't careful, those thoughts can take over and the project moved to the back burner. To avoid this scenario, it may be helpful to look at the project as a series of stages.
Say you're updating your kitchen. If you think about everything you have to do from the sanding to the painting to the lighting, you are sure to get overwhelmed and put the kibosh on the whole thing. If, however, you take the time to sit down and stage out the process, you are more likely to proceed with it. So, sit down and make a list of all the tasks that need to be done. Do you plan to change out the lighting? Write that down. Do you plan to paint the walls and cabinets? Write that down. Do you plan to replace the trim? Write that down. Do you plan to add a backsplash? Write that down. Do you plan to change out the countertops? Write that down. Keep going until you have every task listed.
Now, take that list and determine what tasks should occur first. Painting, for example, should probably come before the new trim, lighting, backsplash and countertops. That way, you won't have to worry about spilling paint on any of the new items. Once everything is painted, you might want to tackle the trim-your walls and cabinets will then be complete. Next up should be the countertops. Once they're in, you can install the backsplash and the under-the-cabinet lighting.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Not to worry. Get out your calendar and schedule each of the tasks, giving yourself plenty of time to complete each. Don't try to paint everything all in one day. It won't happen. Give yourself a weekend to prep and paint the walls and an extra long weekend to tackle the cabinets. Work on one section of the cabinets at time. Do the lower cabinet bases one day, the upper cabinet bases the next and the cabinet doors the day after that. Wrap everything up on the final day with the installation of the doors and new hardware and whatever touchups may be needed.
Once you have the tasks scheduled, you can start gathering the supplies and preparing for the work ahead. It is important that you have everything you need to complete each task. Multiple trips to the store will slow progress considerably. It is also important that you commit to the schedule and do your best to stick to it. Veer off too many times or try to do too much at once, and you may never get back on track again. You don't want to spend the next five years of your life working on your kitchen, or worse, stop work altogether and end up with a half-finished kitchen.
Motivation, of course, is half the battle. If walls getting painted and new lighting going up is not enough to keep you on track, don't hesitate to try something else. Have some friends over to ooh and ah over what you have completed and cheer you on to the next stages, or treat yourself to a movie or dinner for each task you complete. Do whatever is needed to stay motivated. The more progress you make, the more disciplined you will become and the closer you will get to the kitchen you envisioned.
Attacking large home improvement projects in stages can make quick work of them. Give it a shot. You just might get the project done and be free for other pursuits.