Pinterest is filled with organizing hacks, promising to help you achieve your wildest organizational dreams. But just how good are they? I set out to test 10 of them, and today I’m sharing the results with you. Click through to compare their versions with mine, and to read my thoughts on the functionality of each one.
1. This hack worked quite well. I’m always struggling to find my rubber gloves in the deep dark depths of the cabinet, so I love that they are now easily procured. I mounted my hooks on the cabinet door, so the setup also eliminates some clutter underneath the sink.
Verdict: Fantastic, especially if mounted on the cabinet door.
2. Corralling appliance accessories in a basket does indeed make it easier to locate what you’re looking for, but it doesn’t really save space because these items are so irregularly shaped.
Verdict: Easier to find things, but not a space-saver.
3. My yarn used to be in a giant trash bag, so this is a major upgrade. Having the yarn organized by color also makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. And three cheers for taking advantage of vertical space!
Verdict: Awesome solution and great use of vertical space.
4. I’m not lucky enough to have a big drawer like the one on Pinterest, so I used a wooden wine crate to store plastic containers. Dividing a mess of tupperware into two sections allows you to find the top that you’re looking for quicker, and it makes things a bit more organized… but you still have to be diligent about stacking similarly-shaped containers with each other.
Verdict: Somewhat helpful.
5. I have wooden shelving in my pantry, so I glued clothespins to the shelves using E6000 glue instead of hanging clips from wire shelving. This hack is totally clever, assuming you have the right setup. Also: the clothespins don’t hold super heavy bags. It’s best to do it on a shelf that holds things you don’t use very often, because as you can see, the bags block what’s behind them. But being able to see what you have open is a total game-changer. Hopefully it will cut back on waste by preventing the chips from going stale because we forgot about them.
Verdict: A major improvement, especially with strong clips.
6. I decided to use this hack in my craft closet, because I didn’t see it being useful in the kitchen (in our house anyway). So I glued magnets to the back of tupperware containers using E6000 and then glued the other magnets to a piece of wood which I then mounted on the wall. It’s a good use of wall space, but it could get expensive to buy a ton of containers and magnets.
Verdict: If you have a lot of small items in need of organization, this would be helpful.
7. This was my favorite! I used wooden shims instead of the larger triangular wedges they used, and it worked out well. It’s a great way to get shovels and rakes up off the ground and organized. And again, an excellent use of vertical wall space.
Verdict: Genius! I might even make another one.
8. This worked quite well, but my only concern is creasing over time. If it’s something like elastic that you’re clipping it won’t matter. If it’s ribbon, like in my case, it may need a quick pressing with an iron.
Verdict: Quite clever if you don’t care about creases.
9. I printed out a measuring equivalent chart here instead of doing something permanent like chalkboard paint, and it has come in handy a few times. And I like having the measuring cups right next to the spice rack, however they do clang around when you open and close the cabinet door. But I’ve gotten used to it.
Verdict: Helpful but loud.
10. I love this hack because my oven mitts are more easily accessible than they were before, but I placed them on the door of a corner cabinet and the first time I attached the hook on the door it wouldn’t shut because the mitts got caught. But I just redid it and placed the hook off center, more toward the hinges and it works well now!
Verdict: Handy, with some modifications.
Do you have any organizing hacks that work well in your household? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments section!
When we thought about all the functions that would be helpful to have in our son’s bedroom, which can definitely be described as “cozy” when it comes to the size (real talk: this room is small), he needed:
a bed to sleep in
book and toy storage out in the open
some concealed storage for papers and other toys/games
added bonus: a hangout-y lounge spot for reading or playing with his sister or a friend who comes over
he also requested his own desk for drawing/homework/playing with magnets (yes, we have a current magnet obsession going strong right now)
We definitely could have pulled the “your room is really small for a desk, not sure we can do that” card – but we thought it was worth a try thanks to the idea of customizing a built-in desk right next to the bed that could double as a nightstand. And low and behold, it worked like a charm. So yes, this small room has everything on that list we shared. A bookshelf, a desk (that also works as a nightstand), a big cozy couch-like bed that both of our kids hang out on, along with ample clothing storage and toy storage in a whole bunch of out-in-the-open and concealed spots in the room.
This is a very belated sharing of these projects (we completed these custom closet shelves a year ago in January of 2021 (I can’t believe it has been a year – I had to look at the date on my phone pics). So we’re happy to report that not only do they look nice, they’ve worked really well for an entire year.
Thanks to the modest size of this space, we definitely had to be intentional about working all of that stuff in. Our kids love a cozy room, so we didn’t worry that our son wouldn’t like or use this space (both of our kids hang out in here far more than in our daughter’s larger room – go figure). But a small room isn’t always easy when it comes to squeezing in all the functions. Sometimes you just have to pick & choose and get creative about what you store outside of that room – which we thought we might have to resort to with this space.
But long story long, we’re thrilled with how much we got out of this room thanks to a few simple DIY projects. Getting to check off everything on our list – including a few “nice to haves” on top of the necessities feels really good. And it sure has come a long way in here. The photo below is from our first walk-through of this house. Vaulting the ceilings made SUCH A DIFFERENCE in how much less cramped this small room feels (more on that here). The picture below is essentially the same view as the one above. Three cheers for turning a small box into a vaulted box with all the built-ins.
The photo below is another angle of the room as it looked when we bought the house:
And here we are with an after shot from a similar angle:
We debated everything from adding a bookshelf inside of the closet – or even a small desk in there, but realized that clothing storage in that nook felt the best for keeping the room functional long-term (a hanging bar can always be added up top whenever that need arises, and we can always add a door back on, although now it’s super functional without one since it fought with the main door to the room). So after deciding the closet worked best for clothing storage, we considered everything from shoving a tallboy dresser in there to hanging some fancy Elfa storage bins with pullouts for clothing storage, and eventually landed on shelves with large fabric baskets. Super easy to use. Super flexible. And something our son has used before when it comes to clothing storage…
… see, both of our kids actually stored their clothes/pjs/swimsuits in baskets on shelves at the pink house for the entire summer when they shared that tiny bunk-room! (Soft theory: that’s also where they developed their love of squeezing into small cozy spaces together).
Thanks to the pink house and a year of using this setup here, our son really likes how simple it is. He puts all of his clothes away himself when they’re fresh out of the laundry, and it also makes it easy for him to see if he’s running low on socks or bathing suits so we can hurry up and do a load to remedy that (nothing can really hide in these baskets like it can in the back of a larger drawer).
Does it mean we won’t add a door, a hanging bar, or a built-in dresser down the line if that feels like it would be more functional during that older stage of life for him? We certainly might. We’re all about evaluating exactly what works for the life stage you’re in – so it’ll be interesting to see where we end up when he’s older and he actually has items of clothing that have to be hung up (his current count of that = zero). Fun fact: this closet used to have a hanging bar but it was full of our clothes because the first 10 months we lived here, we didn’t have a closet in our room. Thank goodness we changed that.
As for how we added these simple closet shelves, we basically followed the same method that we used to create our built-in pantry in the pink house so you can see that step-by-step tutorial here. A quick summary of our method = nailing and screwing in brace pieces of wood that you level on the sides and back of the closet, so that MDF shelves can rest on top of them and be nailed into place.
These are those brace pieces that support the MDF shelves, which we made with 1×2″ pine boards (we got the pre-primed ones for easy painting) from Home Depot.
We used the same 1×2″ board to make the shelves appear chunkier (just add one along the front of the shelf to heft them up). That part of the tutorial is also much better explained here in this pantry shelf building post if you need more details and visuals. Oh and we painted the walls of the closet nook one of the colors in the wood slats that we used for that accent wall, so it fits right in. The color is Livable Green by Sherwin Williams.
You might remember that we added the built-in bookshelf back in 2020, which is still going strong – along with that colorful planked wood wall (more onhow we did that here). One newer addition is that brass shelf that we hung above the bookcase, just for some more vertical interest on that extra tall wall (it’s the vaulted side of the room, so it’s nice to have something to draw the eye up and use more of that wall).
If you’re sitting there thinking “Ok, where are all of his trinkets and books and pokemon cards and gadgets and snap bracelets and other small items?!” – a ton of books can be stored here on this built-in bookshelf, and those two cloth baskets are full of pokemon cards and other smaller trinkets & toys. That wood box also has more collections of things (rocks, lots of rocks) and I got him the cutest four-drawer cubby after taking the photos for this post (of course!), but you might have seen that on my Instagram stories. There are also three desk drawers and many more baskets full of toys/games/more rocks/etc under the bed, so literally everything he wants in his room has a place.
And yes, he put “Florida and Me” on his little blue-green letterboard. Makes me laugh so hard. This is a better shot of that brass shelf we added. I really like the rounded edges and the fact that it’s exactly the same width as the wood slats, so we just lined it up with one of them when we hung it. Talk about a happy accident.
One really nice thing about this room’s setup is that it’s so easy to grab a book to read or a basket of cards to play with on the bed right from bed. Sometimes smaller spaces = even more efficient in that way. Small can literally mean easy access to lots of things right at your fingertips.
Swinging around to the other side of the room, here is the little floating desk concept that we came up with. By keeping it attached to the bed (the opposite side attaches to the wall) it really feels lighter and less crowded in here. And the best part of the desk coming right up to the side of the bed is that it doubles as a night table, with his sound machine and fan right there, along with a coaster for his nightly drink of water.
I think another smart choice we made in here was pushing the bed against the wall and creating not one but two upholstered panels to go behind it (one for the side and one for the back) so it has a really inviting loungey daybed/sofa vibe. This spot = where both of our kids hang out a ton (along with other neighborhood friends who stop by to play) thanks to that couch-like feeling. And the upholstered panels were so easy to make. Here’s a post with all the steps for you to create your own. Tossing a bunch of comfy pillows like theseand these finished it off (yes, our son has a special way he likes to nestle himself among all of those pillows and stuffed animals every night).
As for how we built the desk, it’s made from MDF, and we once again usedthat pantry shelf-building method to help hold it up. We used 1×2″ boards along the back wall and that left side wall, so the MDF top rested on them. As for the right side, we used some of the same MDF to support it against the bed. You can see how it’s just two pieces of MDF, and one rests on top of the bed rail while one goes to the left of the bed, sort of “hugging” it. We secured them by screwing into them from under the bed (so you don’t see the screws but it’s doubled up and very securely held in place).
And the best thing ever is that we also have tons of under-bed storage in our son’s room. There are various baskets of other toys & games & stuffed animals down there, and they can tuck deep enough under the bed that they don’t look cluttered (see how you can’t see any in the photo below)…
… but they can easily be pulled forward to gram something and play with it, like the basket you see peeking out from under the bed in the photo below. We actually initially bought him this bed because it had two large wood drawers that pull out from under it, which seemed very storage smart indeed. But we learned after living with them a while that smaller cloth baskets that can slide in and out made more sense than having to move two bigger and heavier drawers every time he wanted something. Plus individual baskets work better for the specific items he stores (like collectible cards, more rocks, did I mention there are lots of rocks?). Live & learn. (Am I the only one who says “and get Luvvs” in my head every time I hear or say that?).
We are SO HAPPY with how this room has evolved, not only for our son, but for our whole family. No joke, if we’re looking for the kids, 9 out of 10 times they’re either outside on one of the swings or hanging out in our son’s room together (in this case, listening to the Encanto soundtrack on repeat). WE DON’T TALK ABOUT BRUNO-NO-NO… but we love to talk about storage 😉
Also, see that rectangle of wood under his built-in bookcase? That’s ADDITIONAL secret storage because we don’t like for a single square foot to go to waste. This is an old photo below, just to show you what we mean:
That panel pops off if we press it in the right corner, and it currently houses some spare picture frames because our son doesn’t have any need for that additional storage. But as he grows if he does have a need for it, we’re happy to hand it over for whatever he needs. We could even add a handle to pop the door off a little more easily anytime he wants to access things down there.
We need to write an updated post about our daughter’s room because we added a desk a while back (and swapped out her nightstands for the ones we used to have in our room, which you can see peeking into frame in the photo above). We do love a good switcheroo. Also, how interesting is it that one storage bed has worked out so so well without much change (our daughters, which you can see above – and read more about here). But our son’s storage bed’s big selling feature – those two large wood drawers – just didn’t pan out for us. Again, ya live and ya learn. And ya get Luvvs.
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Now Trending is our one-stop spot to get ahead of all of the biggest things for 2022 — before everyone else knows about them. From the surprising color that’s taking over kitchens to the TikTokers you need to follow and so much more, check out all of the top trends of 2022 here.
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A DIYer’s work is never finished. There’s always something that can spark inspiration and a project that needs to get done. Maybe a popular item has swept social media, and they want to see if they can do it differently for their followers. Perhaps they’ve been putting off a detail in their home that could use some attention, or it could finally be time to commit to an overhaul that’s been under lots of consideration. Given their wide-ranging creativity and penchant for photo-ready projects — from bathroom redos and kitchen accessories to backyard updates and bedroom must-haves — it’s thrilling in its own way to see what’s next.
With a whole bunch of 2021 projects successfully behind them, we asked a few DIYers what they have in store for the next 12 months. But instead of letting their imaginations roam freely, we had a small caveat to that question: We also sought to know if any of those projects can be accomplished for less than $100.
The responses I got range from big projects that span entire floors to little ones that barely cover a wall. They also note how keeping control of a budget can be good for the environment, since reusing paint, sifting through thrift stores, or upcycling furniture is as kind to a wallet as it is to the environment. As 2022 gets underway, let these creatives inspire you to think about the projects you’d like to accomplish alongside them, including the ideas they list below.
Read on to learn which projects are on their radars, and keep an eye out for their work in 2022.
Catherine Meschia, a DIYer at Ctrl+Curate, has plans that are mostly personal, but based on her highly approachable portfolio, many readers will likely be able to follow her lead.
“I’m looking forward to tackling a mural in our nursery. We’re expecting our first baby in March, and we’re feeling the pressure to get his room ready. Right now, it’s just a white box with no personality,” Meschia says. “I want to tap into the rich, tropical colors we have around us in Florida to make him feel connected to our home state. I’m planning on using chalk to draw out large-scale leaves, and choosing from sample-size paints to stretch the colors and budget. It’ll be cheaper than installing a mural, and I’m looking forward to getting into a therapeutic flow with it.”
Designer and DIYer Geri Alessi of Geri Loves Emi Paper Co. is hoping to incorporate more earth-conscious practices into her projects next year, including for a piece in her daughter’s room.
“In 2022, I want to work on being more sustainable wherever possible, and instead of always replacing old with new, I want to dabble in more furniture upcycling projects. In my daughter’s room, for example, there’s an old IKEA cabinet. I’d like to breathe new life into it by using a mixture of sample-size and leftover paints, adding half-wood dowels to the doors, and then placing new handles on top. It will be a simple but really impactful change.”
Refreshing a Laundry Room
DIYer Stacie Abdallah of Stacie’s Spaces has a lot of ideas brewing for the coming year, but she’s most excited to tackle an area that often needs more design attention: the laundry room.
“My 2022 project list is ever-evolving, and the year hasn’t even started yet. One of the projects on my list is a laundry room refresh, and it should be less than $100 for sure,” Abdallah says. “We are going to add a quick board-and-batten treatment, lots of paint, a little stain, a new light fixture, and maybe some peel-and-stick wallpaper. I know that sounds like a lot, but it is a small space, and we already have some of the materials. As for everything else, I’ll be looking for deals! This room doubles as our mudroom, and with three little boys, it gets a lot of wear and tear. It’s time that we show it a little love — on a budget!”
Painting a Neglected Area at Home
Casey Finn of DIY Playbook has big ideas for 2022, starting with her basement. Her plan to make it feel more welcoming is one more example of how a simple coat of paint can sometimes have the strongest impact.
“Since we bought our home, the basement has been pushed to the bottom of our to-do list. That all changes in 2022!” Finn says. “My first task? Paint! For a $45 gallon, you can make any space in your home look completely different and refreshed. I’m planning on a dark, moody navy for the entire basement, including some of the ceiling to hide the ductwork. I know a painting project isn’t the most exciting DIY, but it’s something everyone can do, and it will instantly change the way a room looks and feels.”
Trisha Sprouse, who DIYs for various home publications and runs the Vignette blog, wants to see if she can figure out a way to make an often pricey home item much more attainable in the new year.
“In 2022, I’d love to add more artwork to my home. Instead of spending a ton of money on new or expensive art, I like to find thrift store pieces that I can easily flip,” Sprouse says. “For instance, if I find a great frame, I’ll replace the existing artwork with a new print that I’ve downloaded from the internet, and perhaps gild the frame with some Rub ‘n Buff. Or I’ll paint over an outdated canvas painting with spackling to give it a minimal makeover with fabulous texture. It’s such a simple and sustainable way to create new art by upcycling older pieces — and very budget-friendly, too.”
In an effort to get organized early in the new year, I’ve been making myself little desk accessories to get excited about computer work. And I’m happy to say, it’s actually working. So, I thought I would share one of the projects that I recently made, for a jumbo wood block perpetual calendar. The larger size makes this calendar a statment piece and adds a fun playfulness to the typically bland work station. Click through for the step by step tutorial.
saw (if you don’t have a piece of wood that is exactly 12 inches)
1. Start by painting each of the 4 wood blocks a difefrent color. You’ll want to paint all sides of each block. And come back with a second coat if necessary. Tip: Be sure to use a paint and primer in one to save yourself the extra step of having to prime the blocks first.
2. While the blocks are drying, cut a piece of 1×4 scrap wood down to 12 inches in length. This will keep the base length lined up with the dowel rods. *If you already have a piece of scrap wood that is 12 inches in length, you can skip this step.
3. Next, paint the pieces that you’ll be using as the base all one color (wood dowels and 1×4 wood from step 2). I went with black for mine, if you’re looking for suggestions. Set aside and wait for the paint to dry completely before adding another coat (if necessary).
4. Once the wood blocks from step 1 are completely dry, it’s time to start the lettering process with a paint pen. If you don’t have great handwriting, find a friend! That’s what I did.…Lettering for this project was done by Rachel Brewer.
Knowing exactly what numbers, days, etc to put on each block can be a little tricky. So, I’ve included exactly what you’ll need to write on each block to take out the guess work…
Day Block: Write Sat / Sun together on one side of the first block. Then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each on their own sides.
Month Block: Write these month combinations each on their own side of block two: Jan / Feb, Mar / Apr, May / Jun, Jul / Aug, Sep / Oct, Nov / Dec. And be sure to write the second month in each combination upside down from the first. This will make more sense if you refernce the photos.
Number Block One: On the first number block, write the following numbers (each number on it’s own side of the block): 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Number Block Two: On the second number block, write the following numbers (each number on it’s own side of the block): 0, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 (an upside 6 will make a 9).
5. Once the blocks are finished, set them aside. Then, using wood glue, glue the painted dowels to the painted wood. And clamp the rods to the wood for at least 30 minutes to insure proper adhesion. *One dowel will be on the edge of each long side of the wood. This will keep the wood blocks resting comfortably inside the lip, instead of just sticking on a regular block of wood.
Note: If after the glue has dried, the blocks don’t perfectly fit inside the rails, no worries. The blocks can also rest on top of the front rail (dowel rod), for an elevated look.
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IKEA may no longer be publishing its iconic catalog, but peek into its “new” section and you’ll find all the latest releases. The page is filled with gorgeous stuff, everything from sculptural pendant lamps to cottage core bedding — but as a DIYer, I have an eye out for the products that will be the most hackable. Here, my five picks for the best hack-worthy new IKEA products for 2022, plus ideas for how to make them your own.
The IDANAS wardrobe joins IKEA’s already impressive closet lineup. What makes IDANAS unique is that it is the closest standalone wardrobe in height to the taller version of their popular PAX line (PAX closet system comes in either 79 ⅛“ or 92 ⅞” high; IDANAS is 83 ⅛”). The IDANAS also has bi-fold doors to save floor space and finished legs. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a furniture piece instead of a full closet system.
Hack it: One of the many beautiful things about IKEA closets is that there are already a ton of different DIY ideas that can be applied to the IDANAS. Sarah and Kevin Reid-Morris of Readmore House made their PAX wardrobe blend right into their Victorian home with era-appropriate trim and moulding. Take a cue from the Reid-Morrises or incorporate different textures — like beadboard or cane webbing — and colors that suit your own home.
BERGSVIKEN Black Marble Effect Door
BERGSVIKEN offers a realistic marble effect in black or beige as a door option in the BESTA line. Yes, it’s a door — but lay it flat and now it’s a faux marble tabletop.
Hack it: BERGSVIKEN’s three sizes lend themselves to all kinds of table DIYs. Grab individual desk legs from IKEA or upcycle an existing desk like Mia of Beautiful Inspiring Creative Life, who used a KULLABERG desk as a base for her faux marble desktop. The smallest BERGSVIKEN would be perfect for a side table while the largest could work for a vanity top.
YTTERVÅG Four-Poster Bed Frame
YTTERVAG is IKEA’s first poster bed, and comes in a queen or king size and light brown or black wood. The clean lines already make it look like it comes from a high-end showroom, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to elevate it further.
Hack it: Boutique designers have been showcasing their takes on hanging, cushioned headboards. Studio McGee recently used a white linen cushion against an oak frame for soft contrast while Amber Lewis’s Rhys bed utilizes buttery leather. Hanging, cushioned headboards add practical comfort while letting the wood of the bed frame set off a textile moment. You can create your own from scratch like Geneva of Collective Gen, or add loops to existing cushions and attach them to YTTERVAG’s headboard posts.
GUNNLAUG Sound Absorbing Curtain
When was the last time you got excited about curtains? IKEA’s new GUNNLAUG curtains have a unique composition and weave that makes them able to absorb 50 to 100 percent more medium-high sound frequencies than other fabrics with similar quality and weight. That means these are the perfect curtains for anyone trying to catch more sleep or those who want to create the acoustically perfect movie room. The only downside is its limited style options, since these curtains come in just solid white or solid gray.
Hack it: GUNNLAUG’s white and gray options are good DIY bases.Alisa of A Glass of Bovino made her standard IKEA curtains look completely custom with Greek key trim.Add your own trim to the sides or bottomor try one of these other curtain makeover ideas.
HÅVERUD Table with Storage Ladder
According to the designer, the HÅVERUD began with the goal of making a flexible dining table that gives people more room for activities in a small space. They envisioned the unique, integrated ladder becoming a hub for different functions in a home. This is a piece that was literally made to be hacked with different storage solutions.
Hack it: DIY a hanging canvas organizer like The Merrythought’s Caitlin to hold gardening tools and turn your HÅVERUD into a potting zone — or use one to hold patterns as the HÅVERUD becomes a sewing station. Whatever you use the HÅVERUD for, there are endless ways to hack it for your workspace needs.
There are the DIY projects that you can tackle in a weekend — and then there are those that require looking at the full year holistically and wondering how on earth you’re going to get it all done. If your 2022 goals involve one of those DIY remodeling projects and you’re feeling lost on where to start, look no further.
Three seasoned DIYers with everything from drywall to molding under their [tool] belts are sharing their top tips for planning, executing and finishing your DIY renovations by the time the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, 2022 (or, hopefully, long before).
Consider every task and its timeframe.
Content creator and DIYer Dominique Gebru has tackled everything from a bookworm’s dream wall to a modern take on arched drywall, and she offers straight-to-the-point advice for would-be DIYers. “Large-scale DIY projects are considered challenging for a reason,” she says. But Gebru has developed a system to help the process go smoothly.
“Start by writing down all of the discrete tasks that you think you’ll need to accomplish as part of the project,” Gebru recommends. “For example, I recently added drywall archways to our condo’s entryway. That included framing everything with two by fours, attaching the drywall, mudding the drywall, priming and painting. Not to mention this was my first time working with drywall, so add in many hours’ worth of YouTube videos.”
She then advises DIYers to take a look at their schedule — as in life, not DIY — and compare it with their proposed project time frame. Blocking out time specifically is key. “Write out exactly how many hours and at what time of day you plan to get those individual tasks done,” Gebru says. “I like to organize everything into a spreadsheet — it gave me a road map to look at while I was spiraling mid-drywall project.” And don’t forget to add in extra time, since DIY projects never go as quickly as planned.
Melissa Lee of East End Home agrees, noting that your available time should be a deciding factor in the projects you take on. “Budget time according to the scope of your project and remember that you’ll feel better accomplishing something smaller than feeling defeated when a project doesn’t get finished,” Lee says.
For Meghan Grant, the DIYer behind I’m Fixin’ To, this is a must. “I start every DIY with a vision board, even on the most basic project,” Grant says. She pulls inspiration for both ideas and specific products from Instagram and Pinterest and narrows her selections down to an actionable vision that is attainable within her budget and timeline. Sometimes that means creating a board for an entire room, but, currently, she’s working on a primary bedroom closet. That, too, got a vision board.
Be patient and gather everything you need.
With supply chains in their current state of flux, Gebru recommends waiting until you have everything you need in hand — the last thing you want to do is put a stop on work because you can’t get a critical piece of the DIY puzzle. “Yes, you might need to run out to the hardware store to pick up an item here and there,” Gebru says. “But that’s better than having to halt mid-project while you wait for a major component to come back in stock.”
Lee expands on the idea, advising DIYers to be patient and wait it out when items are out of stock or require a few months of additional saving. When it comes to saving up to get what you really want, instead of a cheaper substitution, Lee speaks from experience. “It’s worth the wait,” she says. “You’ll appreciate what you get and end up saving money in the long run.”
Don’t leave the completion date open-ended.
It can be tempting to jump in, but the experts would advise against starting until you have a beginning, middle, and end on the calendar. As Grant works through her closet overhaul, a project that disrupts the her daily routine, she says having an end date keeps her focused. “I find it helpful to have a projected “due date” for completion,” Grant says. “With a firm end date, I can plan and make a checklist to work through. While there will always be unexpected bumps, having a due date and an organized to-do list makes the project flow as smoothly as possible.”
Outsource when necessary.
Even on DIY projects, there’s no shame in bringing in the professionals if you need them. “Outsource parts of the project that are too complicated or time consuming,” Lee advises. In her case, she knew she could learn to lay tile — but with two kids and a full time job, it didn’t make sense. Looking back, she says, “It was worth spending some extra money to pay someone else to do it!” Consider the cost-benefit and don’t feel bad hiring a pro.
Remember, it’s a journey.
Everything will get done in time, including your DIYs. “In 2021 we tried to accomplish too much,” Lee says. “There were moments at the end of the year where I looked around and felt discouraged. But design is a journey and some journeys take more time than others! Embrace the process and enjoy the wins along the way.”
Take note of your small wins as you go to stay motivated and see your project through to the end. By December, you’ll have created something to be proud of — and will have more hands-on experience under your belt, too.