We’ve all got them — the projects we hoped to have completed by summer’s end but can’t seem to get started on. Whether your goal was simply to perform a deep clean or was something as big as installing a new section of your home, it can be difficult to actually get started on the projects you thought you’d have time for when the summer brings a plethora of parties and vacations that take time away.
Now that we’re nearing the end of July, it’s time to take action and at least get a solid start on your home improvement project for the season. If you’ve been having trouble getting started, there are some simple ways you can help yourself get motivated to start working. Here are five tips to help you complete your summer home improvement project before the cooler seasons come.
1. Make it a date
Accountability is probably one of the strongest motivators known to man. When you enlist the help of friends or family to get something done, you immediately gain a support system that will hold you accountable for progress.
To motivate yourself to break ground on your project, invite a friend or maybe even a whole crew over to help you. Naturally, you’ll need to offer some incentive like food or drinks to make it worth their while, but it will be worth the small expense when you start making progress on your project.
The key here is to set a specific date for when you’ll have them come help out. Don’t just leave it as an open invitation for an event that may or may not happen.
2. Drum up inspiration at work
What better time to daydream about the progress you’d like to make on your home than when you’re stuck in the same place for an eight-hour stretch? Next time you open your Spotify at the office, try closing out of it and opting to listen to a home improvement podcast instead. As dull as this may seem at first, you’ll probably find yourself really getting into how the hosts are able to transform their homes through simple projects. Today’s Homeowner is an excellent option for this.
Although it’s never wise to waste time on your personal social media at work, there will be times when you go to check it out anyway. Rather than looking at your Facebook or Instagram, try starting a Pinterest board for projects similar to the one you’d like to complete. If it’s something like cleaning, you could check out organization pins or even pins for DIY projects that use recycled items as materials.
3. Set a goal and a plan for financing
Financing could quite possibly be one of the largest factors keeping most homeowners from getting started on a project. If the money simply isn’t there, it might be best to hold off until next year and focus on a cheaper project this summer. However, if there is a way you can make it happen with some saving, start your project by setting a goal and a plan for financing.
If you’re anything like most of the population and have trouble actually putting money away instead of spending it, technology can help. You could start by setting up an auto transfer from your checking to your savings account with the amount you’d like to save, or you could take it one step further by using a finance app to budget.
The app I’d recommend is Level Money, which links to your bank account and tracks your spending against your income to offer up suggested spending and saving amounts.
If you’re working on a larger project and will need to take out credit or a loan to complete it, be smart about the lending option you choose. Even seemingly harmless credit cards can really cost you in interest each month, and payday loans usually come with extremely high APRs. Instead, some experts recommend options like a secured loan that allow you to use the asset you’ll be investing in to add value to it. You could also look into options like a HELOC (home equity line of credit), a HEL (home equity loan) or a low-interest or 0 percent interest credit card.
4. Mark your calendar for milestones/completion
A great way to remind yourself to make time in your schedule for working on your home is to set goals for milestones/completions in your phone’s calendar. This way you’ll have consistent reminders that you’re coming up on days when you’d hope to have a certain part of the project done.
If you choose to take step one and set a day to work with your friends and family to complete the project, you can create a shared Google Calendar and set an appointment for the day you plan to meet, which would be even more beneficial.
5. Search consumer reviews for contractors
If the initial phase of your project requires contracted help, you’ll want to be sure their work gets done as quickly and painlessly as possible so that you don’t make a habit of dragging your feet until completion.
The best way to vet potential contractors is to do your research. Ask around to see if there is a certain contractor your friends, family and neighbors recommend for timeliness and quality. If that search turns up dry, you can use online resources to complete your research. Sites like Home Advisor and Houzz offer excellent review platforms where real users can provide feedback on their experience with certain contractors.
So there you have it — five ways you can inspire some productivity to finally get your home improvement project checked off your summer checklist. Once you’ve got that out of the way (or at least off to a good start!) you can focus on the more important summer to-dos, like working on a solid tan.
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