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A Bucket List To Get Excited About!

Updated: Jan 1


It’s another new year! A time for new beginnings, new habits and new promises. So, this year why not start a new tradition? A tradition that benefits you and your home! A yearly homestead bucket list!


Let’s face it, upkeep of your home can be time consuming and sometimes a bit overwhelming. Large or expensive projects are usually put off for as long as possible because of either the cost or time needed to handle them.


We all have at least one thing we keep putting off, that one project we keep saying we will get to one day. Well, the bad news is, that stuff is not going away….in fact it’s just going to get worse. The good news? Now you have a reason to start your 2020 Home Bucket List!!



"Why make it a bucket list?" you ask...

Bucket lists were originally a list of goals or experiences that you want to achieve in your lifetime. This is where the motivation to complete this list comes in, after all, our lifetimes are not defined, and the clock is ticking! Well if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.

Just making a list of things you want to get done in your home isn’t quite enough motivation to actually get the projects done. But, making this list your yearly bucket list sets an automatic timeline of one year to help keep you on track. Checking off these projects gives you the satisfaction of seeing them complete, but also helps you keep focused on what is needed to be done.


Your Homestead bucket list should have no more than twelve items each year. That’s only one project per month. You could also do a shorter list if you’re not as excited about homeowner maintenance as some of us, but I do not suggest a longer list. Piling too much on will surely make you want to shove this list in a drawer somewhere within a month or two.



Let’s get started

Getting started is easy. Don’t try to be too organized, and don’t put too much thought into it. Don’t worry about what you can afford at this point, or what you do or do not want to have to deal with. After all everything on this list needs to be done at some point, you can divide the projects up later.


If you have an older home there is surely a few large projects that will need to be added, go ahead and list those big budget jobs. When you are choosing your final twelve, pick one of those projects for this year and one for next year’s list and the year after if needed. Some things might end up on a 2-year plan or even a 5-year plan, but I promise there are a few weekend projects that you will be able to handle. It’s not a race, it’s a goal!



To get started, take a walk around your house, inside and out. What stands out to you? Is the front porch falling apart? Does the downstairs bathroom seem to back up a lot? Does the stove only have 2 working eyes? Do your walls have smudges, nicks or holes? Is your carpet stained or torn? Are your door handles loose? Or….is your house immaculate but you just hate the bathroom? What have you been putting off that really needs to be done?


I promise you will find something that could use a little sprucing up. Cosmetic improvements should always make it on your list. After all your house is constantly aging and without a face lift every now and then old paint, carpet, and even light fixtures can start to look a little dingy.


High traffic areas in your home are probably not holding up as well as some of the less used rooms of your home. You will be amazed at the big difference in your home’s appearance that some of the smaller projects can make.Don’t worry about putting things in order on your initial list, just get it all written down; You can go back and organize when you do your final draft.


Immediate needs such as leaking roofs, clogged gutters, septic and plumbing issues are just a few items that need to be on your list. These types of needed repairs will just keep getting worse if left unattended.


Next, separate your list into projects that require funding and projects that just require time and elbow grease (we’ll call this our handyman list). Depending on your budget, choose a few from your funded projects list and the rest from your handyman list.

Now you should have your twelve items that will be on your final Yearly Homestead Bucket List.


Finalizing your list

Your final list will be a bit timeline sensitive. How much funding you need will dictate the timeline of your projects a good bit, as well as how much time you will need to dedicate to each task; Keeping this in mind, assign each task to a month. Keeping larger projects spread out between a few months of smaller projects is a great formula to go with. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed with your to do list.


Some things to think about when deciding when to do each project…



Timing

Remember, projects will range from simple weekend projects to larger ones that require some vacation time from work. Large projects that are likely to interrupt your day to day activities, like having some remodeling done on a kitchen or bath, might require you to adjust your lifestyle a bit for a few days.


Some of your projects being done by a professional might require you to be at home during construction, so go ahead and set aside a few of your vacation days if you have a large project that also demands a large portion of your time.


For the most part you should have plenty of weekend warrior type projects on your list, these types of projects can be done over a weekend. Some examples would be things like painting a room, repairing a hole in the wall or fixing the doorbell. These are things you can get done anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.


Larger projects that might take a little more planning and time, or that you will be bringing in a professional for, should never be done at stressful times. Holiday season and busy work seasons do not make a good time to tackle a project that is going to add complications to your life.Even when having a professional handle your project, expect to be inconvenienced at least a little. Be prepared to give up the space being remodeled during any renovations.



Cost

Set a budget and stick to it. Your bucket list should not put you in debt. If you do not already have money set aside for home improvements, start a fund for your projects, Decide how much you will need for each project, whatever does not seem feasible to just pull out of pocket will need to be saved up or funded..

That being said, I think what is more important than how much a project cost, is to ask yourself “how much can I afford to put towards this project?”. Whatever your budget, there are ways of making an improvement. Let’s say your bucket list is centered around your curb appeal; You might not have it in the budget to replace old ugly window shutters this year, but I bet you could come up with enough in your budget for a pail of exterior paint and some sand paper. Don’t shy away from your projects, just get creative!


Not all your projects will be costly. Some will just require work, muscle and your time. As for the jobs that are best left to a professional, costs can be cut dramatically by doing your research and shopping around before hiring someone. Get several quotes! One recent set of quotes we got for a bathroom ranged from $10,500 -$31,000… that’s a big difference!


Once you know your budget for your larger projects, figure out how you are going to fund it. Will you be setting up a savings throughout the year? Or is this project worth getting outside funding such as loans or financing options? If this project will improve the value of your home, such as replacing a deck or remodeling the kitchen, it very well might be worth it.


Once you have your list sorted and finalized post it somewhere you will see it. You can sick to the fridge or build it into your calendar. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is somewhere you won’t be able to forget about it... Now, all you have left is to get started!


Have fun with your list and take lots of before and after pics. Let's see what you can achieve in 2020!


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