New Home To Do List: Which Projects Do You Tackle First?

New Home To Do List: Which Projects Do You Tackle First?

Sarah Rainwater
Nov 4, 2009

Wes & Kayla's admission in yesterday's wonderful house tour that getting their apartment looking just right took a lot longer than they expected really hit home for us. It's been over two months since we moved in to our new place and instead of plowing through projects, our to do list just keeps getting longer and longer.

We've gotten some work done, like finding the perfect paint color for our living room and removing miles of nasty contact paper from the kitchen cabinets, but with holiday entertaining right around the corner, we're a little (um, a lot) disappointed in our progress. Jobs, kids, budget limitations, the hopeless quest for perfection, and life's general business haven't exactly helped the situation. But these factors don't even compare to the paralysis that comes from staring down the sheer volume of things to do.

There are the eyesores that really irk us, but aren't exactly a matter of life or death, like the hideous railing (shown above) that is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. Then there are the larger tasks, like buying a new boiler, that don't add to the home's design appeal, but are crucial and costly. Is it better for us to spruce up the kitchen with fresh paint and cabinet hardware or wait until we can afford new countertops and appliances and overhaul the whole room in one fell swoop? And let's not even get into the little things like, oh, unpacking and arranging furniture — should we get down to it or wait until we have more time for organizing and a few new storage pieces?

In the face of this list that threatens to get ever more overwhelming, we're focusing on small, but key, projects now and we'll make decisions about the larger items as time and means allow. Right now unpacking and organizing are priority number one — even if that means reorganizing again in the future. We know we'll never be able to move forward as long as there are boxes lying around. Then we're going to take care of walls, windows and floors: finish painting, hang artwork and curtains, and invest in some desperately needed rugs. We're hoping that once these things are done, the house will feel more "finished," while we take our time shopping and saving for new furniture and larger fixes.

What advice to you have for tackling an overwhelming to do list?

MORE TIPS FOR SETTING UP A NEW HOME:
AT On Moving and Feeling at Home
In the Interim: Useful Ideas After a Move
Moving Limbo: Tips & Tricks to Unpacking A Home

(Images: Sarah Rainwater)

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