Setting 2023 Home Goals

Hi everyone and welcome to 2023. I had a wonderful break with my family and was able to sneak in some DIY projects too, which is a win-win for me! I hope yours was a good one too. I’m excited for the new year here at The DIY Playbook and can’t wait to dive into my 2023 home goals.

The hornbeams in our backyard

Every year, I like to create a Home Goals List to prioritize the projects I want to accomplish during that year. (You can view last year’s right here.) Just like with any task, if I don’t make a plan, it’s unlikely to get done. Even if you don’t have a blog, I recommend this practice because it gives you clarity on where to focus your attention, and dollars, for the year. Plus, it always excites me and provides lots of motivation to start the year fresh! I enjoy looking at the 12 months ahead and setting my sights on what I really want to accomplish.

Main bathroom renovation reveal

Last year, we accomplished a lot around here, but I didn’t quite hit everything on my list. (Here’s a mid-year report on what we got done and you can see my 2022 recap right here). The basement flood threw a wrench in our plans, so that large project has been shifted to 2023.

2023 Home Goals – Master List

  • Finish Basement – Stage One
  • Add Stairwell Accent Wall
  • Renovate Basement Bathroom
  • Organize Garage
  • Updated Landscaping
  • Personalize Basement – Stage Two
  • Organize Storage Room, Crawlspace, & Attic

Finish Basement (Stage One)

How to install vertical shiplap in your home

The first projects you will see around here will all be happening in the basement. I will be painting the doors and walls and adding the wallpaper. Those projects will all be going live on the blog this month! Once the walls are all done, Finn will move his office back down here; I’ll set up the furniture, and I will bring the toys down here. I’m considering that Stage One of this project. It will be a pretty and livable space for our kids, but it won’t be quite “finished”.

my basement design plans
My Basement Design Plan

I always like living in a space for a while before I buy, buy, buy. I know that we will need some sort of toy storage solutions down here and I want to add areas for books, easily accessible toys, and more. However, I want to see how the kids actually use this space before I come up with these solutions. The same goes for Finn’s office. He needs to use it for a bit to figure out what he actually needs to make it his dream office space.

I’m going to let us enjoy this space for the first few months of this year before I even think about buying anything else.

Add Stairwell Accent Wall

Wall in the stairwell

This project has been on my mind since we bought this house, almost four years ago. We have a large wall in our stairwell, leading from the first floor up to the second floor of our home. It’s a blank wall just begging for a little action. I was originally planning to tackle this project much later in 2023, but I’m working on a sponsored project for a brand and it’s actually happening this month!

I’m planning to add a wall of wood, in a pretty design, to elevate the space and make it look more custom. I’ve done plenty of similar woodworking projects in the past, but this will be a bit different because the wall is so tall! I think I’ll need to rent some scaffolding to safely get it done, so it will be quite a big project for me! Stay tuned for that project later in January.

Renovate Basement Bathroom

Our basement bathroom

My big spring project will be our basement bathroom. As you know, it was damaged in our basement flood and it’s just been sitting there ever since. I had our contractor drywall the space and I hooked up the old vanity and faucet myself, so it would be a working bathroom. I’m eager to rip out the old tile, lay some new tile, and get a pretty vanity in here. I’m hoping that I can do it all by myself, but it may be a slow-moving project.

Our old basement bathroom

My game plan is to tackle the floor tile in February and then slowly finish up the rest of the space throughout the spring. I haven’t done a DIY bathroom project of this scale since our condo (remember this project?!), so it should be a fun one.

Organize Garage

One of my 2023 home goals is to finally organize our garage!

This is one of those tasks that makes my list every single year and it never happens. Ha! Will 2023 finally be the year that we do something with our garage? I hope so! It has become a dumping ground for Christmas decorations, outdoor kids’ toys, and so much other random stuff. It’s a 2.5-car garage with a lot of potential and I would love to make it work better for our family. I’m hoping Finn and I can tag team this one over the summer months.

Updated Landscaping

Our cozy corner on the patio

In August, I shared this blog post all about the things I wish we had done differently with our backyard renovation. Much of that post discussed the plants and trees in our backyard that just aren’t working for us. Some of them are already dead. Eek! This summer, we plan to swap out a few of the bushes and do our research to find ones that work well in our climate.

Home goals 2023, update our front landscaping and add new sod

I also want to spruce up the front yard landscaping. Over the summer, our neighbors removed a tree that was near our property and it now feels very stark out here. Also, we recently had our exterior sewer backup system installed (more about that here) and it resulted in a large manhole in our front grass, which is not the best look. We will need to lay new sod near the manhole and I want to add new bushes and plants out here come spring.

Personalize Basement (Stage Two)

By fall, I think we will have a good sense of how our family is using the new basement space. At that time, I want to really make it a special place. I’d love to add a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall in the stairwell, highlighting family memories, art the kids create, and more.

Adding more creative toy storage to our basement

We also have lots of space near the stairs, at the entrance to the basement, and I don’t know what needs to go there just yet. I want to add some creative elements for the kids and ensure that we have enough storage for all of their things. The fall will be all about creating the playroom of their dreams!

Organize Storage Room, Crawlspace, & Attic

The storage room
Our Organized Tool Storage

Finally, our storage room needs (The above photo is from long ago when it was actually organized.) Ever since our basement flooded, we’ve been shoving random items in here to store while we’ve worked on the rest of the basement space. It needs a good purge and an intentional organizational system. We also have a crawlspace in here (through that door on the right) with random boxes shoved inside. I want to sit down and actually make a plan for all of our stuff so it’s less chaotic and stressful for us.

Blog Changes

On a different note, I wanted to chat about a change I’m making to the blog starting in 2023. If you’re a longtime reader, then you know that I do a monthly “Break Room” post, highlighting a few things I’ve purchased, articles I’ve read, and a behind-the-scenes look at what our family was up to during that month. It’s a popular post and one of my favorites to write.

Now that the kids are getting older, I’m feeling the urge to protect them as much as possible. Putting their photos here on the blog and on social media doesn’t feel good to me right now, so I’ll be moving my Break Room post to a newsletter format. My newsletter is a much smaller community and it feels safer to share family anecdotes and happenings in that way, as opposed to my blog, which gets so many eyeballs.

I plan to keep the format similar (items I’ve purchased, things I’ve gotten for the family, articles I’ve read, and family updates), but it will be delivered to your inbox, as opposed to here on the blog. I may share family photos, but I likely won’t be sharing the kids’ faces anymore. If you’re not already signed up, you can join my email list right here.

Let’s Do This, 2023!

An honest review of my Castlery dining room table

This list of projects just about “finishes” our house and I’m sure many of you are wondering…”What’s next?” To be honest, I don’t know! We aren’t ready to move and we want to enjoy the fruits of our labor in this house for a while longer. We’ve worked on just about every single space in this house and have customized it for our little family of four. I’m not ready to leave that!

My feel good makeover from 2022

I do hope that I can do a few more projects outside of my home this year. Last year, the Feel Good Makeover was the highlight of 2022 and I’m hopeful I can do another project of that scale again this year. Together, we will see where 2023 takes us. I’m open to lots of new possibilities!


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.

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