The Secret to Planning Home Projects Without Wanting to Kill Your Spouse

Last Updated on March 3, 2022

People ask me all the time how we get so much done around our house. We have a secret to planning our home projects and staying on track without killing each other in the process. We use one easy way to plan an entire year's worth of projects and it is SO much simpler than you can imagine.

As anyone who has been around here for a hot second knows, I LOVE to plan and do all things efficiently. Through the years, Joe and I have developed a foolproof system for keeping track of our home projects. We are able to plan an entire year's worth of projects with (almost) no fuss or disagreements. In today's episode, I let you in our secret so you can kill the home maintenance/home project game without killing each other in the process!!!

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All the Details From This Episode

  • Sometimes the things we do that seem totally normal to me, are totally revolutionary to other people.
  • Everyone wonders how we are able to get so much done around the house. Our super-secret earth-shattering way to not only plan but to actually execute projects is to make a year-long spreadsheet. This is what mine looks like–I made it with Google Sheets.

  • The process is:
    • create a spreadsheet.
    • braindump all the projects you want to do (all sizes).
    • create a high-level list of to-do's for your project.
    • go through and estimate how long it will take to complete the project (it's beneficial to overestimate the time).
    • assign a month to each project when you want it completed.
  • I finished the kitchen cabinets and got to mark it off. Yay!

blue painted kitchen cabinets

  • Next up is the dining room! (Which we are working on now–you can see our plans for it HERE and follow along with what we've done so far HERE).

dining room mood board and paint plans

  • You can create the spreadsheet as a couple or one person can make it and then you can fine-tune it together.
  • You don't have to assign times to the entire year out, but at least get the list down on paper. We like to go quarter-by-quarter. Sometimes things get moved out of necessity!
  • You can do this for any size projects. We learned we have a tendency to do too much at a time and this helps us slow down and space things out so we don't get burned out. For some people creating a list helps you move faster! It is helpful either way.
  • Creating the spreadsheet makes it all feel a little more doable.
  • This would also help people like Thea who always have every weekend booked with social stuff. She likes to do the fun stuff and this would really help to make time to get stuff done. (we talked about how to find time in 7 Tips to Find Time to Improve Your Home).
  • The only things that make it on the list are things we both need to be involved in. If it impacts both of us in any shape or form–even if it is one of us manning the ship and the other doing the project–we put it on the spreadsheet.

man doing work in attic

  • Lists can look different for where you are in the life of your house. Thea's is all about what needs to happen to sell. Mine is all about things we want to change now that we are in the new house.
  • It's also smart to slot in the yearly maintenance house stuff, like changing your air filters and changing your smoke detector batteries.
  • This is a good way to keep everyone on the same page. We can both easily access this list in a spreadsheet but you should make your list wherever works for you!
  • Being able to see what I have finished and what I have left to do makes my brain happy. And if it makes it on the list that means Joe and I are both on board with the project.

Want to hear more great episodes about relationships and creating a home you love? Listen to Love & Renovations- How to Survive Renovation Stress and How to Marry Different Decorating Styles and Tips for Couples.

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