using dave ramsey’s debt snowball method to knock out projects in your home

project ADD graphic

You guys! I am the master project starter! Jon Acuff, if you’re reading this (yeah right!) just know I am at starting stuff. I started your book “Start” like a boss!

But back to what I was saying…

Give me an idea and I will have it started in no time. Finishing projects, not so much my thing. So, to combat this I have to mentally coach myself to power through and finish a project. My husband and I purchased a fixer upper 2 years ago. And by fixer upper, I mean it had really good potential and if I were a rich girl these projects would have been no big deal. Done. Complete. That’s a wrap, folks. However, despite how awesome I would be at being a rich girl, I am not. So, Brent and I have been fixing up this house little by little over the last 2 and a half years. We both have SEVERE project ADD.

It hit me one day that I am never going to finish anything if I continuously have 20 projects going. So, I made a commitment to myself that I would not buy a single item for another room until I had my patio done. And guess what? It worked. I now have a “finished” patio for the summer.

Disclaimer: Notice how I say finished patio and not finished back yard. We have 2 acres, about an acre of that is our back yard. The privacy fence needs mending, there are sink holes from a mixture of all the rain and gophers throughout the yard. There are piles of branches that need cut up into firewood. You get the idea. But isn’t that how life is? It will never all be completely done. If it is, pinch yourself because you’re probably dreaming.

Just about everyone I know knows about Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball. The concept is you write down all your debts and you start by paying off your smallest loan first, then the next and so on. Lets apply this principle to our home projects. Make a list of areas in your home that need to be finished, start with the one that will take the least amount of money/effort to finish and finish it first. Apply all of your brain and willpower to completing this one project before moving on to the next.

Here is my project list:

  1. Patio
  2. Powder Room
  3. Kitchen
  4. Master Bedroom/Bathroom/Closet
  5. Living room/Dining area
  6. Office

I chose to complete my patio first because it is summer time and we spend so much time out there with our family and friends during the summer. I broke my own rule though because this is not the least expensive area to finish. However, it is seasonal and I chose to finish this area first. Lets look at this as a guideline, not a rule. I hate rules.

Some of these areas of the home will just get the “quick fix” version of project completeness. Our house was built in 1994 so the bathroom fixtures are dated but they’re still functional. So, we probably won’t replace anything big like that in the near future. I am a big believer in using what you have available. Our bathtub is that 90’s faux marble that has yellowed over time. Pretty, right? But the tub is big and works great so why replace it. I’ll style around it. I may even try painting it with tub and tile paint. Who knows? But the point is, this isn’t a magazine. Our budget is tight. I do not have someone willing to just give me a new stuff (that’s not real life) and I’m not about spending money just to spend it. So, I’m not going to have a picture perfect home. By the way, no one lives in those. Even the lifestyle bloggers that post all the pretty pictures of their perfect homes, don’t have perfect homes. They’re great at cropping. Ask them to zoom out from that picture. There is probably a mess on either side. They’ve stolen objects from around their house to style this perfect picture. Homes aren’t meant to be picture perfect, they’re meant to be lived in. Let’s stop beating ourselves up about this shall we?

(I may have gotten a little off track.)

Quick recap:

  1. Make a commitment to yourself and your family that you will stop the project ADD madness.
  2. Pick one area of your home that will take the least amount of money/effort to complete. Or the area that you need completed for a season, family function, etc.
  3. Do not shop or even window shop (online shop) for items relating to another project. As you have ideas come to you for other projects, write them down in a notepad journal so that you will have them when the time comes to finish that area of your home.
  4. Complete the area. Give yourself grace that it won’t be perfect (this is not a magazine picture). Just make it clean and comfortable for your family.

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