Whenever I work on a project, I am so motivated and excited to get going that I could work on it all day and night! As the project moves along, and my short attention span kicks in, I start anticipating how wonderful it will be to have it finished. Does this ever happen to you? Sometimes, though, I discover that all the enthusiasm in the world won’t carry me through to completion once the Interior Design Project-Killers enter my mind. And guess what? It can apply to any project you want to tackle, not just your DIY projects.
This all started when I decided that creative projects were missing in my life. So I decided that every day for a month my focus would be on quilting. It used to be my first love after all.
Immediately I started feeling a little stressed. What if I make a mistake? What would I make? Which fabrics should I choose from my stash? Wow! I was in overwhelm already and nearly gave up. It was time for a deep breath…and a plan.
And that’s when I realized that these project killers are the same for quilting, gardening, and even interior design. Let’s take a look and see which ones might apply to the way you approach a project.
Afraid of making a mistake – There are so many choices, so many options available to us, and sometimes it sends us into overwhelm. What if we make a mistake? What if it isn’t perfect? What if my mistake costs a LOT of money to fix? Overwhelm is a trap. When we see everything that needs to be done on a project, sometimes we freeze and do nothing. Then we feel stuck and can’t move forward.
Solution: Make a list of all the steps, and then take one small step at a time.
Hurrying – When we’re in a hurry, usually it’s because our to-do list is bigger than what we can get done in a day. Has this ever happened to you? When I’m crazy busy and trying to work on a project I feel out of step. I don’t enjoy the process. And sometimes, I don’t enjoy the results when i get there because I’m running off to the next project.
Solution: Make a plan before you start. Study the plan so you know all the steps. Then start the work. (Hint…Have you ever been in a rush while you’re baking and forgotten an ingredient or two? When I do that, it’s mostly because I didn’t read the directions ahead of time.)
Going for the cheapest…putting cost before quality – We all like to save money. Right? Well there are parts of a project where it’s OK to economize, and parts that aren’t. Remember the old saying “you get what you pay for?” It’s true. You hire the tile installer based on his low price, and 4 months later, the tile falls off. A lower priced faucet with plastic parts instead of one with ceramic parts will break in a year. Get the picture?
Solution: Do your homework before you start. Educate yourself on the price ranges of the products that you want to include. And then take it one step further and look at the descriptions of the products, including any ratings and reviews they might have. This helps you plan your budget and make an educated decision about the best product for YOUR project.
Too complicated – No matter how hard we try to keep it simple, we sometimes seem to get over excited when it comes to our design projects. We see this great design. It’s a little intricate, but we love it and we’re sure we can create it on our own. And then it happens! We realize it’s bigger than we can handle and have to hire a pro to finish it. Or worse yet, we struggle through it, hating every second, and wish we had never started.
Solution: Keep it simple!!!!! Only plan for what you know in your heart you can do yourself. Or…hire a professional to create it for you.
Stuff happens – Sometimes things happen that we didn’t expect. It might be a plumbing line running through the wall you wanted to move. Or it could be as simple as discovering the granite you have your heart set on is out of stock. The impact is always the same. Disappointment.
Solution: Take a step back. Take a deep breath and know that, if you’re willing to compromise, there’s almost always a solution.
Too much stuff you never use – Now, who can’t relate to this one? I seem to have noticed a tortilla press from the 80’s tucked away in my pantry (and never used). Do you have a limited space that even the best designer or organizer can’t expand on to create as much storage as you want?
Solution: Sad but true, it’s time to take a serious look at all your stuff. If you haven’t used it in the last 5 years, chances are you won’t miss it. How much Tupperware do you really need?
Binge watching design TV – Have you ever spent a day watching one program after another and come away feeling like Super Women? You know, you have that feeling of confidence that says “I can do this! I can gut my kitchen, organize my garage, turn my basement into party central, and maybe even roof the house…all in one week.” Sorry folks. This is not always reality. If you believe it, you’re setting yourself up for failure before your even start.
Solution: These shows are filled with creativity and good ideas…most of the time. But watch them for the entertainment factor and then look for tips you can use on your own project. Always keep in mind that there is a team of people working behind the scenes to make sure the design is perfect and products are selected and delivered on time. It was not created overnight, and it was not done for free.
Now that you’ve seen my 7 Design Project Killers and how to get rid of them, the real magic is about to begin on your own project. It’s time to work Your magic, make it happen, and enjoy the journey!
If you find yourself stuck on your next project, and confused about what to do next, contact me at Randi@RandiDestefano.com to schedule a Design Strategy chat. And if you leave your name and email in the box to the right, my newsletter, Life In the Kitchen, will be delivered to your in-box twice a month. I hate SPAM as much as you do and only send design tips and trends that you’ll find useful.