Efficient Project Planning With Our Project Wall

When you have a long list of projects you want to tackle around the house, it’s hard to know where to start. And sometimes when you do start, you find that you’ve tackled the wrong projects first, making other projects more difficult than they needed to be.

When the project ideas start flooding my brain faster than I can execute them, I like to plan them all out with master lists. In the corporate world we use Microsoft Project to execute large projects and plans, because it lets you list all the tasks and link them in order of dependency. I.e. if you have to paint the walls before you hang art on them, the tasks are listed in that order.

This past fall I needed a more tactical approach.

Enter the Project Wall.

Living Room Project Wall

The back wall of our living room is really just the hall wall that leads to the bedrooms and bathroom. And it’s empty, even after 4 years.

I’ve been putting that blank wall to good use as my project planning board. I created a sticky note for each category, and then a sticky note for every project I wanted to do. I sorted the sticky notes the order they should be completed.

The overall project of creating the nursery is a great example of why I needed to lay everything out on a planning board, because the steps in the nursery created a waterfall effect of projects in other parts of the house.

Here are some examples of nursery projects, followed by the waterfall projects they caused in other rooms:

  • Move office out –> Create office in another room / Rearrange living room to hold secretary desk / Rearrange basement to create full home office
  • Move closet & dresser out –> Empty junk out of tiny master bedroom closet / Install closet system so all my clothes fit / reconfigure master to hold dresser, etc.

Then, once the nursery was empty, I wanted to do the projects in the most efficient order. For example, spackling and sanding holes came before vacuuming, then touching up paint, then steam cleaning carpet. No sense steam cleaning until the mess has been made.

Living Room Project Wall Detail

As projects were completed, I moved their sticky notes down to the bottom. It was really motivating to watch the “completed project” side grow!

By laying out every project, I was able to prioritize and make sure that projects got done in the most necessary and most efficient order. As a bonus, when I had a little down time and wasn’t sure what to work on, I could check the wall and find a project that required only a little time.

But what about the big, empty wall?

During our trip to Italy two years ago, we bought a large painting from an awesome Venetian artist, with the goal of hanging it on the empty living room wall when it’s framed. Ryan and I recently realized that one project on the wall is “frame and hang Italy painting.”

Seeing as the sticky notes hang where the painting should be, I guess that will be the last sticky note project we tackle.

How is it Now? Upcycled Window Frame Jewelry Organizer

My upcycled window frame jewelry organizer has been one of my most popular and most shared projects to date. Therefore I thought it a good candidate for a “how is it now” update, where I share how a DIY project has actually held up with time and use.

Upcycled Window Frame Jewelry Organizer

I’ve made two of these jewelry display windows over the years, the first having window screening in the panels to hold earrings, and the second having burlap-covered-boards in the window panels to hold earrings.

I’ve been using the second version, the burlap and lace one, for more than 2 years now. I’m pleased to report that it’s working just as well now as it was on the day I made it!

If you’re contemplating making this yourself, I strongly recommend the burlap version over the metal screen version. The metal screening was hard to work with, and the burlap looks nicer.

Having my jewelry hanging on display has made it so easy to see what I have and to easily put it away when I’m done wearing it. I’m really glad I came up with this idea and I can’t imagine going back to a different jewelry organizing system.

The verdict? I’d give this DIY project an A+ for durability and usefulness.

If there’s a particular project of mine and you’d like to know how it’s held up over the years, just let me know in the comments!

Honey Lemon Ginger: A hot drink for cold & flu season

For the last few days I’ve been drinking a lot of hot Honey Lemon Ginger drinks as I’ve been fighting a cold and sore throat. It’s one of my favorite cold-weather drinks which also makes a refreshing summertime sipper when chilled.

Hot Honey Lemon Ginger Drink

Because this easy drink is such a big part of my diet every winter, I thought it fitting to share here on the blog.

Honey, lemon, and ginger are supposed to have medicinal properties, and though I’ve never researched it, I can say that this drink is our go-to solution for colds and flu. The strength of the fresh ginger and lemon help clear out the sinuses and loosen congestion, and the honey adds necessary sweetness while soothing the throat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lemon, halved
  • 1 inch piece fresh Ginger, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp Honey

Instructions:

  1. Heat two mugs of water until almost boiling.
  2. Using a microplane* or other fine grater, grate the ginger and divide between the two mugs.
  3. Squeeze ½ fresh lemon into each mug.
  4. Stir in 1 Tbsp honey.

*If you don’t have a microplane or grater, you can pulverize the ginger with a little bit of water in a blender or food processor.

It’s really that easy! If you have other cold-weather drinks, feel free to share in the comments!