One Ingredient All the Most Successful DIY Projects Have in Common

published Jan 19, 2021
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

I’m currently sitting below a section of un-sanded, un-painted drywall on the ceiling. My husband and I decided we were going to take on this project — a quick patch of drywall removed to make room for new ducts — to save time and money. It has certainly not saved time, since the ceiling has been unfinished for weeks.

I’m envious of people who can follow through on all their home DIY projects. But in my envy, as I watch folks on Instagram show off their completed spaces, I realized that all the most successful DIY projects have one thing in common: A deadline. Without a deadline, that “one room challenge” could have easily become a “one year challenge.”

Not that you should rush your projects. Hurrying can often lead to disaster, especially if you’re getting your feet wet with a new technique or material. But you need a timeline to keep yourself accountable.

Taryn's Tips

If you tend to start lots of DIY projects that never quite get finished, put regular “project days” on your calendar to keep things moving along to the finish line.

Last Monday as part of the Cure, you selected a priority project to kick off the year. And today’s assignment is to keep it going, and keep yourself accountable…

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Day 12: Work on your project.

Spend some time tonight on your selected Cure project and move it forward, or even complete it, if possible.

If you can’t complete your project today, just do what you can — it doesn’t need to be finished, just worked on. Can you get a few steps of the work done today? Or do you need to order supplies, or make some phone calls? Figure out what will move you forward on your goal, then give yourself a deadline (in a week, or a month) to get it done and bring the project home.

If you’ve already finished your project (congratulations! please brag about it in the comments or our Facebook group), you can use today to catch up on anything else you feel behind on. Or if you’re feeling good about your progress, enjoy a well-earned day off.

More Ways to Participate in the January Cure: