Today we are going to learn that home project planning can be simple, useful and most of all fun. As we go through the process of planning we get to see our project come to life in our imagination as we map out a way to make it happen in real life. Never start another project without knowing when you believe it will be done, and what the cost will be.
WHY DO I NEED A PLAN?
Most projects will have a bunch of little steps that you need to follow to get to the end. Project planning can be used for lots of things we do every day. Let’s use making dinner as an example. What do you have to do to make dinner? Well if you don’t have a menu plan the first thing is what to make? Then, do I have the ingredients, or do I need to go to the store? If I have to go to the store do I have enough money in my account to get the stuff I need? All of this could have been avoided with a simple meal plan. It’s the same for projects that you want to do around your home. Big or small projects have a project plan.
OK, SO HOW DO I MAKE A PROJECT PLAN?
I’m glad you asked. First, download the free project planning template. HINT sign up for my newsletter and you will get the cover for your notebook, and a notes sheet as well. We will be making a birthday meal for your friend.
Now that you are looking at the planner, fill in the “Steps to Complete” section, and give each step a due date. Fill the date in the “Complete by Date.” Using our dinner example it might look like this.
Now we need to make sure we have everything we need, and we discover that we need to buy cake mix and meat, potatoes, eggs and milk for this dinner.
Fill it in the ” To Purchase” and the “Needed by Date” Needed by is the day you have to use the purchase. In our dinner example, you need everything by the day you are making the meal.
Now we want to know what it is going to cost for this. We go to the weekly grocery ad, and fill in the information. The budget part is really important, don’t skip it. On our simple plan, it’s not life changing unless you wanted to serve Prime Rib, but the budget says burgers. You have to know what the expected costs are going to be before you start. If you don’t know a cost, Google it and get as close as you can. It’s an estimate, not an exactimate. (I love making up words) Finally, after you shopped fill in the actual part of what you spent. For our dinner party, we were a little bit over our estimate. I Now your plan would look like this:
Now your plan for the food part of the Birthday Dinner is done. But now you have decided that you want to add some party decorations as well. You can either add that to your existing Birthday Plan or make another sheet for the decorations.
I am going to plug my favorite pens the FriXion erasable pen right here. In case you forgot a step or need to modify a plan you just erase and keep going. I have 3 sets of these pens in various places in the house. Did I mention they come in fun colors? You can also buy ink refills for them. You can get them right here. Ok now back to our plan.
A Bigger Plan with Subpages
Now let’s consider a bigger plan. Like my moving plan. There are lots of things that really can be done in any order. But as you start to consider the pieces you realize that maybe there is an order. For a big project like this, you could use a master list written on a long narrow post-it note. You can put them on your list and move them around. I get sort of warm and fuzzy inside when I get to play with my Post Its and my FriXion Pens. I can’t help it, it’s my inner geek coming out. Just ordered myself some more or the notes. I plan on lots of plans this year.
This is the main moving projects plan. The large parts are written on Post-its, so you can move them around if you need to. You may think of a reason why you should put off a project until something else is done first. No problem just move the Post-its around, and change the dates if you need to. For now, it would look like this:
Each main project on the Master List will have its own subpage that tells us how we will get through that part of the project, with expected times and costs. This an example of the subpage for the office:
PLANNING IS FUN!
Did I just say that? Yes, I did. Think about spending several hours looking at lights, furniture, bedding, shelving, or whatever you need online or in a store in the name of planning. No you don’t get to buy yet, you have to finish the plan first. If you buy now you may not have enough left in the budget for other items. You get to play with all your colored pens, and post-it notes. You may just enjoy doing this so much that you find yourself planning out even small projects, just because the planning part is fun.
Let’s make this our year to go forward with all our projects that we have in our heads to make our homes more comfortable and inviting for our families and friends, but with a plan! Plans keep us on track, are easy to make, and are fun.
Till next Time…