How to Make a Realistic Renovation To Do List

A renovation to do list seems neverending when you're a weekend warrior with limited time. Learn how to make a realistic list & get everything checked off.

A renovation to do list can be lengthy.  The number of jobs to check off is overwhelming! If you’re working full-time, or even part-time, you have limited hours to commit to your renovation. You want to make those few hours as productive as possible. Logically, you chunk the work into smaller sections and choose a few things to complete over the weekend. Unfortunately, this often results in overestimating how much can be accomplished in the time you have. It’s then easy to feel discouraged when you don’t get everything checked off. So, how do you set yourself up for success and actually get everything done on your list?

Create a realistic renovation to do list

Generally we overestimate the amount we can accomplish in the time we have. Creating a realistic renovation to do list is as simple as making it a bit smaller. Aim to fill only 80% of the time you have.

One way to do this is to make a list and then take something off before you start working. Another way is to estimate the time needed for each task and then add 20% more. Either way, you will be creating a renovation to do list that is feasible to complete in the amount of time you have.

A renovation to do list seems neverending when you're a weekend warrior with limited time. Learn how to make a realistic list & get everything checked off.

Why a shorter list helps you:

1. Pretty much everything in renovations takes longer than you think it will

Delays can be caused by a variety of reasons: weather, fatigue, more supplies or tools are needed part way through the job, a trade doesn’t finish to the point you expected, and many other things can impede progress. It’s common for something to throw a wrench in the schedule – pun intended!  It is part of the process, it is ok, and you will get through it.  The good news is that knowing things take longer means you can plan for it.  By creating a more realistic renovation to-do list, you are automatically building a time buffer into your schedule.

2. It’s encouraging to cross everything off your list

There’s something that happens when we make a list that turns what could get done into what should get done. It’s a subtle shift that can have a huge impact. When we think we “should” be able to do something and don’t it’s disheartening– even if there is a perfectly legitimate reason for why we couldn’t get it done. Being able to complete our list gives us a sense of progress and satisfaction.

A renovation to do list seems neverending when you're a weekend warrior with limited time. Learn how to make a realistic list & get everything checked off.

If things go smoothly – you have all tools in hand, all materials needed and all goes well – you may complete your smaller than usual list with time to spare. If this happens, (and we hope it does) we encourage you to keep working to chip away at the larger project list. Creating a shorter renovation to-do list isn’t an excuse; it’s to help you be realistic with what you can actually get done so you stay motivated.

What helps you get everything checked off your to do list?  Let us know in the comments!

Cheers,

Denise and Sean

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