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Where Should I Start a Home Update?

I’ll be the first to admit my overwhelm with home projects. I’ve been known to get lost in the world of backsplash, searching for the exact matte finish large tile in my mind only to delay a simple project for months. Or, to just look around at all the projects and think, where do I even begin? Even the easy ones feel too daunting at times. In time, I’ve come up with a process which has made the whole thing less overwhelming! I’m sharing my tips for home updates here. 

entryway with rug, table, baskets, and mirror

Find the Pressure Points

No matter how well planned a home, there are always pressure points. Spots where life gets tripped up during the day. 

When deciding on home updates, I like to look for the ways to improve functionality. Because above all else, this will make a house feel comfortable.  This is often the kitchen, bathroom, or entryway. But you might notice that your work life would improve with an update home office or maybe a designated playroom.

As I write this post, the pressure point in this house is our entryway and lack of organization system for shoes, soccer gear, and back packs. There also always, I repeat always, a log jam in our laundry room which leads to the garage.

As I decide where to begin home updates, these are two places I will start. 

Home Update Example: Entryway Decor Ideas

black and white kitchen with wood shelves, pendant light, and decor
previous kitchen remodel – main focus of this home update

Would You Rather?

Another approach to starting a home update is to find the space or the upgrade that will make the biggest impact. 

Now, I get it, it’s easy to say all of it. Trust me, I’m living the 80’s dream here with rust colored walls and shiny brass doorknobs. But if I had to choose one singular space that would absolutely have a major impact on this home, it would be our kitchen. 

I like to to compare this to the favorite “would you rather” game. Would I rather live the next four years with cheap black tile countertops or shiny brass doorknobs? If I can upgrade my countertops, I’ll live happily with those doorknobs for a little longer…

So, when I’m feeling stuck or overwhelmed, I think of the biggest impact and start there. Even if it’s just a baby step.

Update Example: Small Kitchen Remodel or Bright Kitchen Before & After

black and white bathroom with vanity, mirror, and vanity light

Unlock the Chain Reaction

One of the biggest reasons we get stuck in the tornado of home updates is that everything is connected. It’s like a big ‘ol chain reaction – you pull one and everything down the line is affected. 

For example, a bathroom countertop upgrade also likely also means a new sink and faucet. Plus, then you’ve got to worry about the backsplash and maybe you should just replace the entire vanity cabinet while you’re at it? 

I like to “pull the thread,” and see which items either need to be updated or decide that it’s worth it to make the update now.

For example, in the bathroom remodel above, the existing vanity needed to be removed to replace the flooring. Because the existing vanity was a poor quality and kitchen countertop height – it was not a good contender to keep and paint.

Instead, I made the decision that it was worth it to replace the entire vanity (including countertop + sink) while it was *already removed, which would ultimately save money and time down the road.

Home Update Example: Small Bathroom Remodel

updated black front doors on big porch

Find the Easiest Home Update

Ok, so this tip might conflict with #2, but sometimes, when all else fails, you’ve got to just start with the easiest home update. 

Why? Well, like lots of things in life, getting started is the hardest part. So, if you just choose one little thing, it can open the flood gates and move everything forward. There are times where I’ve felt so completely overwhelmed, I was just stuck. Every home update felt hard and impossible. 

So, then, I painted the doors. Or I changed out the bathroom vanity light . And you know what, this started a positive forward motion of other projects coming together.

More: 9 Easy Home Updates Under $200

graphic for home update post

Hopefully, this helps you move through that sense of overwhelm when it comes to home updates. If it helps to narrow down project options, I also recommend brushing up on which home projects have the best return on investment for real estate.

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