We couldn't have made this house into our home without the help of family and friends and a lot of planning over the years. My grandfather helped us with the down payment, and my father taught Mitch almost everything he knew about carpentry while working on the kitchen and bathroom. Probably our favorite memory of my father (who passed the first of January 2014), was him singing (Black Horse in a Cherry Tree) up on scaffolding, in the most annoying voice he could muster. All while trying to hang sheetrock in the vaulted ceiling of our kitchen.
The original plan did NOT have a vaulted ceiling, my dad mentioned that it would make the space feel bigger, and I agreed.
Mitch however, did not agree and was seriously pissed about the amount of extra work my dads comment would create. But alas, my father just smiled (an "I'm so sorry dude") smile, and started getting to work, because he knew what Mitch was still to learn... Once the idea was there and the means to get it done, I was a force to be reckoned with.
I wasn't actually pissed about anything else except the time frame we had....30 days to do a full kitchen and bath demo and remodel, now add a vaulted ceiling. Talk about creating more work...
We've come very far with this house (& life) but certainly haven't accomplished anything alone. Although we lost my father, he taught the both of us a lot about life, love, and carpentry. As we recorded this video it dawned on us that some of our reluctance to finish our projects has been his absence, it just hasn't felt right to move on and finish projects he helped start.
This year we have had time to mend some of the heart ache and we are ready to continue working on making this house our home. Check out more about the house on Our Tiny House Page.
Here's what we have planned for #finishthatspace, we hope you will join us by printing the worksheets linked below and starting to finish your own spaces. Don't forget to follow along with us on instagram and tag your progress with #finishthatspace . We would love to see your spaces!
Planning for the Year
Create your own plan for the year
We have always had to have some type of plan every year for all the projects we do, it usually changes due to life and budget constraints, but isn't that the way it is for all of us?
Having some type of plan can;
- Keep you on track. Having a plan in place keeps you on track, and hopefully you won't have to go back to finish.
- Help you quickly re-evaluate the plan if the budget changes due to unforeseen expenses. Like the $1700 truck fix we had a few weeks ago; some projects got cut out after that ouchy.
- Make you think ahead to other seasons and schedule things in accordingly. Instead of haphazardly realizing you needed to finish the exterior paint on the first day of snow, like us.
- Help you to compromise with your time and with your partner. We have our anniversary, and a birthday every month of the summer, which makes it difficult to get major projects done as well.
Start with the Big Picture planning
Use the monthly printout to schedule in projects starting with the current month. For us January, February, and March bring snow and with our detached and wood fire-heated garage, we can't be out there painting or staining. So this worksheet helps us to evaluate what goes where.
Starting in the month you are in (if it happens to be March when you get to this then use it from March to March). Then you can use the worksheet in a few different ways:
- Picking a room or space each month. For us this has been the most useful in completing projects we really needed to. Otherwise we tend to do the fun stuff and never get around to things like all the paint.
- Picking a project each month. This isn't a race to the finish line, its about finishing some things off the punch list. So pick things you know you can accomplish during the busy months filled with Birthdays, Holidays, and Vacations.
- Any variation of the two above. Pick a space each month and limit yourself to two projects in that space, two weeks to complete each project.
Then, break it down by area
Print out as many of these sheets as needed, we need one for each month. Then answer some questions about the space like:
- What projects have you already completed for this space? Its always nice to remember what you have already completed when your looking at a daunting list of things to do.
- What items (furniture, decor, art) do you already have to use in that space? Think outside the box on this one. That old piece of furniture your mom gave you might look really great with a new coat of paint.
- What projects have you already started that need completion? These tend to be the cost effective projects because you usually already have all the materials on hand, just needed to actually #finishthatspace!
- What NEEDS to be done? Don't be surprised if this is the area that creates tension amongst partners. What I see as a NEED is sometimes vastly different from what Mitch see's. DO your best to compromise here.
- What do you WANT, and any dreams for the space? Make sure to add small items into this category, that way you have different price points to play with when your budgeting in. Lots of times this category is really hard for me to share with Mitch because dreams can be crazy and change so much. After I reveal ideas to him and give him a second to adjust and see a vision, I always feel so much better for speaking about them.
Overwhelmed with planning the year?
Just like everyone else we have time and financial constraints. Planning for the year helps you to see which projects are the most cost-effective, what has to be done, and what "dream" items you you may be able to accomplish. So you can stop being overwhelmed by the laundry-list of items you can't afford to complete, and work on the things you can complete.
Finally, create project lists!
Once you have you spaces broken down you can create project lists. This is where we take the previous sheet, compromise (with a bit of arguing) on the things we will be doing, and start planning for the year.
- What is the budget or estimate of what you think it will cost?
- What are all the small tasks that go into this project and whats a time estimate? That way when you have a spare 25mins, you can do one little piece.
- What purchases do you have to make and which need to be made first? If a product is special order you may have to wait weeks to get it.
Finish your own spaces
Want to join us and finish some of your projects or spaces by planning for the year? Download the worksheets below, you will need to print the second and third sheets multiple times for your needs. Tag your work with #finishthatspace on social media so we can follow along with you!
Planning for the year help's us to get more items accomplished, but we all have things that get in the way sometimes, or changes that take place. When we hit a bumpy month, we quickly re-evaulate what can be accomplished.
Whether its Mitch having to run out mid-project for one of the countless reasons our town may need his police services, or an unexpected financial issue. We have the same hiccups as everyone else.
Try to roll with the punches and remember, you're not alone. Heck I'm sure I could list off enough items we haven't finished in the last 6 years to create some shock!