Tackling the Small Stuff

I don’t know what’s more difficult:

a. Tackling the big, expensive projects like replacing flooring and windows, OR

b. Tackling the small, touch-up projects.


When it comes to screwing on switch plates or painting trim, I tend to think: “Oh, I can finish that anytime.”

Unfortunately, two years have come and gone, and “anytime” just hasn’t happened yet.

As Dave and I head into our third year of home-ownership (August 1st is our house-iversary!), I feel like all those little loose ends will never get tied up if I don’t act NOW.

Therefore, I’m instituting a master plan to tackle the small stuff which I’m calling:


Hopefully, with the help of my master plan, I will have completed all of this by August*:

the march2

That’s roughly twelve weeks and 30 projects.

Therefore, I need a very detailed master plan so that I don’t waste time wondering where to start.

Wish me luck!

HAVE A LONG TO-DO LIST…but don’t know where to start?

Developing a detailed plan is half the battle and will help keep you focused and on task.


A detailed plan should include:

  1. A photo list of projects needing to be completed.
    (Ugly pictures are motivational!)

  2. A specific list of materials needed to complete each project.
    (5 yards of fabric, 1-inch angled paintbrush, etc.)

  3. A list of any preliminary steps.
    (Measure door frames, sand rough surfaces, etc.)

  4. A time frame for each project including prep time.
    (We’re talking minutes and hours: 1 hour to paint trim, 10 hours to reupholster large chair, etc.)

  5. A calendar on which to schedule each project.
    (Click here if you need a pretty calendar to help get you in the mood.)

Here’s to tackling to small stuff!

What’s on your list?

(For perspective on loving our homes despite all the small stuff, check out my friend Rita’s post!)


*Photo Key

1. Replace doors and install knobs

2. Repair broken (or missing) electrical outlets

3. Caulk and seal around window A.C. units

4. Install A.C. vents

5. Hire electrician to repair staircase lighting

6. Install lighting unit in study

7. Install supplemental shelving in study bookcases

8. Hang curtains in the living room

9. Reupholster green chair #1

10. Reupholster green chair #2

11. Reupholster ottoman #1

12. Reupholster blue chair

13. Swap out dresser in den for a sideboard

14. Finish painting trim & install towel rack in downstairs bathroom

15. Touch up ceiling paint in bathroom and kitchen

16. Rehang doors that don’t shut properly

17. Repair & reupholster ottoman #2

18. Wash & paint and design on living room rug

19. Swap out red rug in den for painted rug

20. Put photos in frames

21. Touch up paint in window seals that were scuffed from window replacement

22. Install switch plates in kitchen and bedroom

23. Touch up around new kitchen lighting units

24. Sand & paint interior of kitchen cabinets

25. Paint & install heating grate in kitchen (it’s currently being held in place by weights)

26. Touch up exteriors of kitchen cabinets.

27. Install towel rack/cubby in master bathroom

28.  Install new lighting & vent in master bathroom


8 thoughts on “Tackling the Small Stuff

  1. That’s a long list, Leilani. I’ll look forward to your updates as you accomplish your goals. That’s a great idea to have a master plan. 🙂 Good luck ~ I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life

  2. Ugh! Still waiting for ‘any ol’ day’ to finish sinking finishing nails and apply sealer to all these door/window trims (5+ yrs. and counting) and replace trim on the back door (9 yrs…..) Never did apply that grout seal on the new bedroom tile either.

  3. Love this idea–especially the pictures. I’m always discouraged by how long the small things take. Can’t wait to see how you do with this. And thanks very much for the link. 🙂

  4. That’s a big list!! I am just starting to form my summer bucket list! It is hard to get motivated when it is the end of April we have had snow flurries today….burr!

  5. You are going to be a busy girl! I have places I need to touch up around here and I’ve lived here for 12 years. Always work to be done!

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