How to Make Time for DIY Projects

“How do you find time for DIY projects?” It’s a question we both get all.the.time.

Our lives are pretty jampacked…with jobs, the blog, husbands, and now a baby on the way, there aren’t many hours leftover for fun DIY projects. However, we’re still getting stuff done around our places.

The truth is we don’t find time to complete projects around our homes, we make time for DIY. And we truly believe that you should find time for DIY too! You’ll learn new skills, improve your home,  work with your hands (which gets you off your phone and computer for a few hours!), and have a hell of a lot of fun along the way.

Tips to Make Time for DIY

Take it from these 2 busy gals, if we can find time for DIY we know that you can too! And we have some tips to easily incorporate home improvement projects into your busy schedule.

Make a List

Maybe we’re such good DIY’ers because we’re such good list makers. We absolutely love making a big dream list of things to accomplish and then checking those items off our list as we fulfill them (just take a look at Monday’s post for proof!).

If you want to accomplish some home projects in 2018, we highly recommend walking around your home and making a list. Go from room to room and jot down things you want to fix, replace, renovate, decorate, etc. Write it all down. If you have a roomie, husband, or significant other…sit down and talk through the list together so you’re both on the same page on what you want to accomplish around the house.

Start Small

So you’ve got your big dream list. Now it’s time to cut it down a tad. Channel your inner realist and cross off items that truly aren’t possible to get done in the calendar year. Maybe it’s budget constraints, advanced DIY skills you haven’t yet acquired, or your list is just too lofty. Narrow it down until you’re left with a realistic list of home DIY projects for 2018.

Once you have that, let’s choose a small project to start. Instead of a bathroom renovation, perhaps it’s changing out your faucet. Or instead of re-doing your entire guest room, perhaps it’s painting the guest room. Start small so you can build up confidence and skills to move onto the bigger projects. Once you choose your first project off the list, head on down to the next tip…

Do your Research

Now you know what home project you want to accomplish first…that’s awesome!  It’s time to figure out exactly what goes into that project. Watch youtube tutorials, visit your favorite blogs, read step-by-step tutorials online and simply gather as much info as possible. You’ll want to figure out how much this project will cost and how long it will take.

Schedule It

Now you know what home project you want to accomplish first…that’s awesome!  Let’s say you’re looking to add board and batten to your entryway for extra storage. Clearly, we have a thing for this project as evidenced by Casey’s entryway, Bridget’s dining room, her hallway, and her bedroom. Whoa…bring on all the board & batten! Honestly, we love this project because it is a great starter woodworking project. You get to use some fun tools (hello, miter saw & nail gun), and it makes a big impact in your space.

This is a 1-2 day DIY project. So in order to make time to DIY, we suggest blocking off the exact dates in which you’re going to accomplish this project. Don’t make it tomorrow, but look at your calendar and reserve the exact dates you are free to get this done. Also, make sure to send a calendar invite to anyone else who may be helping you with the project. Which brings us to…

Ask a Buddy for Help

DIY projects are always way more fun with a buddy by your side. Maybe it’s your spouse or your bestie, whomever it is better be ready to get their hands dirty. Our husbands aren’t really into the whole DIY thing, so we’re lucky to have each other for these projects. It makes for some much-needed girl talk and best friend time, plus we get to accomplish some great renovations side-by-side. 

If one of us has a project to tackle, we look at our calendars and both reserve the project dates. This increases the likelihood that the project will get done. It’s kinda like working out…if you have a buddy, you have the extra motivation to show up to the gym!

Buy Supplies During the Week

You’ve got a project and you’ve got a date on the calendar. Now it’s time to really prep for your DIY project. Make a list of all of the supplies you will need to buy and ones you’ll need to gather from storage or your garage. Then, hit up the home improvement store during the week. Seriously…this step is important!

Instead of heading to the store on a weekend morning, we always head to the improvement store after work on a weekday. It’s way less crowded, and you can zip in and out in no time at all. Plus if you can’t get something on your list, you have a couple days to find that item before it’s DIY day!

Gathering all of the supplies days before we’re supposed to start projects has been a gamechanger for us. That way we can just wake up on DIY day and get right to work!

If You Don’t Finish…Schedule Time to Get ‘Er Done!

DIY projects rarely go perfectly. We are always running into some small issue that delays things. Like the time we kept jamming our nail gun, only to realize that we purchased the wrong size nails for it. Or the time we ran out of paint and had to run to the store for more…only to realize that the color didn’t match. Ugh. There are alllllways going to be hiccups when it comes time to DIY. Roll with it, laugh through the chaos, and most importantly…FINISH!

The worst thing you can do is leave a project half-done. If you don’t get a project done in the time you allotted, whip out that calendar again and put more time down. There’s nothing like the feeling of finishing a DIY project, so we want to make sure you finish them all so you can get that satisfaction. 

It’s a new year and it’s time for a fresh start! You can create the home of your dreams…one DIY project at a time. We think this quote sums up so many things in life…but it truly applies to the journey of home ownership.

“A year from now you will wish you started today.” – Karen Lamb.

So what do you say? Ready to get started, friends?!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.