We’re already ending the second week of the New Year and hopefully you’ve started working on your 2010 Decorating Resolutions. Today we’ll take a closer look at Resolution 3 and Resolution 4.
I will set a decorating budget by <insert date> and stick to it.
Before you start decorating you need to know your budget (how much can you afford to spend) and how you’re going to allocate the funds to complete your goals (see Resolution 1 ). Set a date for completing a written budget – it’s a step you don’t want to skip.
Creating a written budget helps you think through what you need to meet your goals so you end up with a finished project that delights you. It also keeps you on track, helps you make good decisions, and, believe it or not, sparks your creativity.
Items you need to budget for vary project by project and depend on the extent of your plans (e.g. knocking down a wall costs more than working within the current footprint). General items to consider might include:
- Paint and painting tools (rollers, brushes, drop cloths, painters tape)
- Wallpaper and tools (rollers, paste, brushes, cutting blades)
- Trim (baseboard, crown or cove moulding, door trim)
- Flooring (removal or refinishing old, installation of new)
- Window or door replacements
- Window coverings (drapes, blinds, shades, panels, valances)
- Lighting (overhead, ambient, task, highlight)
- Furniture (new, reupholstered, repainted, from somewhere else in the house)
- Appliances (stove/oven, microwave, refrigerator, garbage disposal)
- Cabinets and Counter Tops
- Plumbing Fixtures (sinks, faucets, tubs, toilets)
- Hardware (door handles, door knocker, cabinet pulls)
- Art and Plants
- Accessories (toss pillows, candles, vases, area rugs, picture frames, etc. )
Be realistic about your budget but know you don’t have to spend top dollar or buy everything brand new. Less money just means you need more creativity. When thinking through items for your budget expenses ask yourself these questions:
- Do I already have this in the house, garage or attic?
- Could I find this at a garage sale or a thrift shop?
- Can I wait until I find this on sale?
- Is this something I could make or repurpose from something else?
- Do I need to hire someone to do this or can I do it myself?
Answering these questions helps you decide where you really want or need to put your money and how you can get the big ticket items you want by saving money in other areas.
Once you’ve created your budget – use it! Take it with you when you shop, refer to it when trying to decide between two items you like, and track your purchases against your budget so you know where you stand as the project progresses.
I will determine appropriate time-lines.
Now that you’ve decided on your project and goals, prepped your space, and set your budget, your next step is setting deadlines for yourself. Determine how long you need to complete each of your goals and the overall project by considering:
- Construction time
- Availability of contractors
- Your available project work time and your skill level
- Order fulfillment and shipping
- Availability of funds
Break a big decorating project into smaller tasks with associated time-lines and then meet each timeline. Even if your project is small and involves only you, milestone deadlines help motivate you and allow you to see progress. If you wait for a single big chunk of time to do the entire project you may never get started.
Setting time-lines is a bit of a juggling act. You don’t want to rush the decorating process (time-lines that are too short often result in ignored budgets or shoddy workmanship). You need to leave room for evolution (during the process you may discover something you want to add or change) but you also don’t want to procrastinate or stall either (a reason to set a definite date for yourself). Estimate the time needed for each step of the project as best you can and then work your on your goals within the time allotted. Adjust your overall time-frame as milestone deadlines are met earlier or later than expected.
Tracking your time-lines allows you to see progress on your project and enables you to adjust critical deadlines when needed (you don’t want the carpet layers to show up with your brand new carpet as originally scheduled if you’re still putting up crown moulding and haven’t even started painting the room).
Now that you’re “Ready” (Resolutions 1 and 2) and “Set” (Resolutions 3 and 4), the next step is “Decorate!”. Next Thursday we’ll dig into Resolutions 5 and 6 so you get on your way to successfully completing your first 2010 Decorating project.
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