How to finally finish neglected projects

  • By Angie Hicks
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014 5:08pm
  • Life

Just because I write about home maintenance, yard work and related topics doesn’t mean I’ve got my own house in pristine order. I’m as human as the next homeowner.

But I’ve developed a plan, ideally suited for New Year’s resolutions, that can help you and I get going on those projects we’ve neglected in the past year. And I’ve broken it down into five manageable steps:

1. Make a commitment. Pledge that after the holiday bustle fades, you’ll take action.

2. Objectively review your home. Grab a notebook and pen and take an hour or two to assess each area. Pretend you’re a prospective buyer. Write down anything that needs to be repaired, replaced or checked.

3. Make a plan and follow through. Create a priority list of a reasonable number of projects to undertake in the next year. You might do only one a month or one a quarter. Make sure the pace fits your lifestyle and budget.

4. Safety first. When ranking projects, consider putting first those that involve safety and structural integrity.

But don’t overlook a few that will leave you feeling more relaxed and happy, whether it’s decluttering the pantry or planting flowers.

5. Join forces. Share your pledge and plan with friends. Hold each other accountable and decide on incentives. Post “before” and “after” pictures online.

If you could use a little more motivation, I’ve compiled some free resources at www.angieslist.com/pledge.

But remember that however you put your pledge into action, the whole point is to give yourself the gift of a year without the trouble and cost of home emergencies that might have been avoided with routine maintenance.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care; www.angieslist.com.

More in Life

The “Hamilton” marquee at The Paramount in Seattle. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
Seattle’s ‘Hamilton’ is everything it’s hyped to be and more

The blockbuster musical at The Paramount in Seattle runs through March 18.

Andrea Rosen, mother of two, quit eating sugar more than 1,000 days ago. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
How kicking her sugar habit changed a Mill Creek mom’s life

Andrea Rosen quit eating sweets 3 years ago, lost weight, felt better and her family also benefited.

Beer of the Week: Hazy IPA, 4-Ways

Four Snohomish breweries decided to brew a single malt hazy IPA made with four different hops.

Tiny book “Tonic” packed with with homeopathic remedies

Tanita de Ruijt’s recipes help support your body’s natural defences and heighten your state of mind.

Exceptional eggplant: 4 recipes with the funny-shaped veggie

By Daniel Neman / St. Louis Post-Dispatch Let’s face it, eggplant is… Continue reading

How to roast Brussels sprouts to crispy goodness

Toss these compact cabbages with toss with homemade sweet and sour vinaigrette.

Ambiguity of ‘The Invisibility Cloak’ by Ge Fei is tantalizing

The story of a man offered to build an incredible sound system delves into odd turns and noir.

These tasty enchiladas take only 5 minutes in the microwave

Serve this Mexican-inspired turkey and refried bean dish with fried corn on the side.

Peanut butter helps West African-style stew find the ‘sweet spot’

This recipe is a colorful medley of sweet potatoes, tomato, bell pepper and collard greens.

Most Read