How to Sail Through Home Improvements  

Planning a project takes a while, and that’s not a bad thing when you consider you’ll have to live with the results. So build your ideas gradually, plan out what you’d like and what your budget is, then scout out ideas or inspiration.

Get in the Mood

Make an ideas or mood board to gather colours, textures and patterns that will make the atmosphere you’d like for your space. It helps you figure out which colours work together, for example, so you don’t end up with something that looked great in your imagination but not so brilliant once it’s on the walls.

A simple scrapbook will do the job for something physical and portable, or you could go all out and make a hanging board so it’s always visible. You can keep a digital version of your mood board on your phone to refer to while you’re shopping.

Ways to collect ideas include:

  • Take home wallpaper samples and paint chips.
  • Buy tester paint pots.
  • Snap photos of room layouts, furniture items, or fabrics that catch your eye in shops.
  • Scour the Internet for inspiration.
  • Look for ways to upcycle or repurpose existing furnishings to keep the cost down.

The array of colours and styles is vast and can be overwhelming. But by deciding your end result, then focusing on individual elements, you can build up to the big picture without getting spoiled for choice.

Make a Work Plan

Sketch out a floor plan if you’re doing a DIY kitchen or bathroom update and need to move existing fixtures. In fact, a quick pencil sketch is useful even if you’re just flitting furniture around in the living room. It’ll help you figure out what fits where and how people will move through the area. It’s easy to overlook the need for a plug socket or cable connection, for instance, when you’re choosing a new site for the TV or computer.

Before you think about getting stuck into the actual work, consider the practical logistics such as how to store furnishings so they don’t get damaged or paint-spattered. There’s plenty of self storage in High Wycombe (where I am) as well as across the rest of the country, and this is often a practical solution to clear space to work in.

It’s also a good idea to make a project calendar and set a start date. Pick a time when your other work load isn’t too heavy and you don’t have lots of other events going on. You could include a running task list that details all the individual jobs along with the order to do them in. Tick them off once they’re done, so you can see some progress and nothing gets forgotten.

Take Advantage of Sales

The planning stage is a good time to snap up bargains for use later on, with New Year adding to the bargain opportunities through all the sales. Instead of cluttering up the house with stuff you don’t need yet, rent a small self storage unit and put it all in there.

You could also take inventory of the tools you have and gather them all in your storage unit too. From ladders and paste tables to hand tools and paint trays or dust sheets, having everything in one place helps you get organised. It’s so frustrating to get set up to paint the ceiling only to realise you’ve got nothing to cover the carpet with.

While you’re putting together your mood board or just gathering ideas, keep a running list of stuff you need to buy so you can snap it up when you see it.

Working Efficiently to Get the Job Done

A common mistake is to constantly move things around from one end of the room to the other during decorating or any other home improvement project. You waste so much time carting stuff around, and it’s a lot easier to get on with the job if the room is clear.

If you took advantage of self storage options for stowing materials, you already have the ideal set-up. Pack up valuables into sturdy tubs or boxes, empty sideboards so they’re easier to lift, and remove smaller pieces of furniture that would otherwise be in the way.

As you move tools and supplies out of your self storage room, fill it instead with the furniture and items you’ve packed up for safe keeping. You’ll have a clean sweep of the room or rooms being worked on, and be able to get the job done in super-quick time.

Whether you love home improvements or they’re something you dread, making plans and getting organised makes the best use of your time and resources.

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