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There’s no time like spring for giving the house a bit of a freshen-up. If you’re planning a spot of DIY, the last thing you want is for the job to run on and on. Most of us want to just get it done then sit back and enjoy the results.
Here are some top tips on getting organised and whizzing through decoration a lot faster.
Plan Your Job
No matter how small, every DIY job takes some planning. Even for very tiny tasks, you still have to plan when you’ll go out and buy a pot of paint or a packet of screws.
For larger jobs that fall more into the realms of renovation, quite extensive planning is necessary. You may need to organise tradespeople or other professionals, and choose and source fixtures and fittings, not to mention surveys and permissions.
If it’s a bigger job, break out a notebook and pen and jot down a few lists of the materials you’ll need, the tools required, and any potential roadblocks you may need to navigate.
For smaller jobs, maybe all you need is a few minutes with a paint shade card. It’s still planning, and it’ll prevent mistakes so you know once you have the materials you can get on and be confident you’ll like the result.
Gather Your Materials
Working from your initial lists, even if they’re just in your head, create a fresh list of the things you need to buy. Start this gathering phase as early as you can by shopping around, taking photos of colour schemes or layouts in shops, and snapping up bargains when you see them.
A self storage room for DIY materials can really help, even if it’s just a locker to stow your rolls of wallpaper. Being able to buy stuff when you see it, even if the job is months in the future, means you don’t miss out. Shops change their lines all the time, and it’s very frustrating when you go back and find the one you love is no longer available.
Organise Your Time
DIY jobs always take longer than we think they should. Planning the ‘when’ is crucial to getting the task done as efficiently as possible. It doesn’t hurt to add a few hours to your initial estimation, even a few days or weeks if the job is a big one.
Decide in advance if taking time off work would be useful. Bear in mind it’s quite hard to start decorating after a full day at work, when all you want to do is watch TV or meet up with friends. Have a day or two clear with nothing but DIY planned. It gives you the breathing space to crack on in comfort.
Think about the layout of the room you’re tackling and how you’ll manage all the items in the room. If you can, pack up valuables and breakables, arrange self storage for furnishings, and arm yourself with plenty of dust sheets and boxes.
Being able to clear a room completely gives you a blank slate, and moving things out just once is far easier and less tiring than shifting them around the room multiple times while the work is in progress. It also means you don’t have to worry about damaging something expensive, like spilling paint all over the sofa.
Plan for Delays
This applies more to larger jobs than the small ones. When you’re working with other people, there are all kinds of things that can go wrong, especially when tasks must be done in order. One tradesperson letting you down can have knock-on effects for all the others, for instance. In the worst-case scenario, you might end up having to reschedule the whole thing.
It’s stressful, but a lot less so if you’ve anticipated it and made some plans to cope.
Rescheduling works is one of the harder things you might have to deal with. Other things that can go wrong include childcare falling through, but it’s relatively easy to arrange a standby if needed – as long as you thought about it beforehand.
So, depending on the job, try and anticipate potential hold-ups and make a plan to minimise them.
Tackle Steps in Order
Jobs go much easier when you do steps in the right order. When you’re decorating a room, start at the top and work down:
Ceiling first, then walls, then skirting boards, door and window frames and finally the doors themselves.
This way, you won’t accidentally dribble paint from the ceiling all over your new wallpaper or smear your newly painted skirting boards with wallpaper paste.
Spring is a brilliant time to tackle DIY jobs around the house. With longer evenings, weather that’s nice but not too hot, and logistical help from self storage and pre-planning your stages, you’ll breeze through most jobs in no time at all.
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