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DIY PRODUCTIVITY SERIES: 4 Tips on Maintaining a Project and Life Balance

The questions I get asked most start like this:

“How do you deal with the chaos and mess…?”, “How do you manage to hold it all together when the house is constantly in disarray…?”, “How does constantly renovating not make me anxious…?”

A mistake many people make and we haven’t been guilt free in this is that we would let the projects (emphasis on the plural) consume us. It would be all we tried to work on jumping from one to another before anything is even completed. It left us fumbling with the project and our responsibilities.

Over the years we noticed if we followed these 4 tips we were able to create a balance between renovating and daily life. We didn’t want out project to be the reason we slacked in our responsibilities, it needed to become a part of our life and these 4 tips helped make that happen.


Set goals so you know EXACTLY what you’ll be working on and stick to them! The best thing I’ve done for our DIY life is my monthly DIY checklist. It has kept us focused on a project at a time while giving us a very generous timeframe. Now all our finances, time, and energy is dedicated to that one project and we’ve been marking off the checklist with plenty of time to spare.

Last year was a whole different story. We were split all over the place with no definitive project or deadline. We were making purchases for multiple rooms and it left us feeling burnt out without accomplishing much. So in my book the first thing to productive DIYing is to set a goal and deadline. You have to know what you plan on achieving and by when, just don’t over extend yourself- keep it realistic and practical.


Take your goal and create a detailed plan. Before you put your body to work you need to work your brain. Make a list of all the materials you’ll need. Measure and draw out everything and then do it again. Nothing is more annoying or time consuming then having to fix mistakes while in the middle of a project. Break your project down by day and set small meetable deadlines. Everything goes a lot more smoothly when you know what to expect. I recently read this commented that has really resonated with me, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” and isn’t that the truth.


Prepare for your project. Make sure you have all your materials bought and all your tools are accessible and charged! Clear your schedule of other tasks. Take care of all chores and responsibilities that are unrelated to the project for the day.

I cant emphasize this one enough. You shouldn’t be changing your daily life because of a project, you should be including it into your daily life. Don’t let the project be the reason you end up slacking on your responsibilities, so it’s really important to make sure it’s taken care of before beginning.  I follow a daily cleaning schedule  so my priority is to make sure my schedule is checked off, we are all fed because we don’t need any hangry people DIYing and the kids are preoccupied. All of this needs to be done before we can focus our energy on a project. Once your responsibilities are taken care of your project can have your undivided attention. You’ll accomplish your goal so much faster when you’re not having to multitask.


If you can keep the mess outside, do it. Any construction that can be done outside of the home. Do it outside of the home. Of course it’s expected to get messy inside as well, but keeping as much as you can outside means the less that’ll be inside.

In regards to the mess that does make it inside- clean as you go. Setting smaller goals in your plan should give you time to clean along the way.  This is where teamwork comes in at Casa Nimistyle. Hubby does his cutting, nailing, & drilling while I’m right behind him with a broom. We didn’t always work this way, but once there were kids in the picture and kids that are always around us we didn’t want their tiny feet getting hurt, or getting dirty and then trailing that around the house. It made such a difference in the after clean up that we’ve made it a permanent thing. We also leave enough time in our schedule to do a full cleaning of the space at the end. When wrapping up for the day all tools go back in to the garage. The space is broomed, dusted, and mopped.

We live here and use these spaces, just because there is a project going on doesn’t mean we let the space go. It needs to be clean and safe enough for our 1 year old to be around and it needs to still be treated as part of our home.


We love making upgrades and changes to our house but we don’t want to do it at the expense of our sanity. By just taking these 4 simple steps we have kept the renovating chaos at bay. We only have one space to worry about while the rest of the house continues to function as expected.

If you enjoyed this post make sure to check out the bext part of this series:


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