It’s time to give my work space a spruce, and today I’m sharing the steps I take to plan a home improvement project, a planning printable, and the plan for my home office makeover!
How to Plan a Home Improvement Project
It has been about four years since I last gave my home office a makeover. In that time I’ve learned a lot about home improvement projects, organization projects, and my own style preferences.
I’m so excited to create a work space that better fits my style and my needs! But with a kiddo in college and another one headed there in a year, I’m on a tight budget. So, I’m really going to have to flex my creativity muscles with this one!
Today I’ll be talking about how I plan for big home improvement projects like room redos as well as giving you a few peeks at my plan for the project and my inspiration.
I’ll also share my home improvement project planner printable with you. It’s where I keep all of the important details related to my projects organized and handy.
Let’s get to it!
Step #1: Gather Inspiration
I always start a big home improvement project with lots of inspiration gathering. This is where I take my vague ideas and start molding them into a clear visualization of the space I want to create.
I usually begin this step months before I’m ready to start a project. I peruse Pinterest and stalk my favorite Instagrammers for inspiration. 😉
Inspiration for My Home Office Makeover
I love being outside in nature, birding, gardening, or reading. For this project, I was inspired by that love and the idea of a botanist’s or naturalist’s office.
I’m envisioning a beautiful neutral wall color, some dark wood elements, lots of natural items (faux and real), a good-sized desk where I can work and spread out, a comfy chair to offer an alternative work space, and a natural fiber rug to tie the room together.
Here are a few of the pins that helped me crystallize this vision:
I get so excited looking at these pins! That’s how I know I’m on the right track with the vision for this room.
Step #2: Declutter & Clean
Once I have a solid vision for my room makeover, I’m ready to take the next steps to help me prepare for my home improvement project: a good decluttering and a deep clean.
Not only does this make the project much easier because I’m not moving a bunch of stuff I don’t need, it also helps to put a spotlight on any trouble areas that need to be addressed during the redo (more on this below).
My Home Office Declutter & Clean
I began my home office declutter and cleared out a couple of trash bags and a box of items that I no longer need. But during this process, I discovered several trouble areas that require some extra thought and attention.
I have too many craft supplies in my closet craft “room.” My crafting has shifted over the past couple of years. So I completed a second, more in-depth decluttering of my craft supplies and moved most of the remaining items to the basement.
The supplies I use regularly are staying in my office closet: adhesive, my Silhouette and accessories, my paper cutter, stamped cards and envelopes, neutral card stock, my watercolor supplies, and all of my bullet journal supplies.
I also discovered that I have a large, chaotic assortment of books on my office shelves: business books, fiction, personal development books, and reference volumes. I moved some of the books to the shelves in our “library” (our living room and upstairs landing). But I need a better system for determining which books stays in my office and which ones belong elsewhere.
The cleaning piece was a little easier! I do a fairly good job of cleaning this space on a weekly basis, so the cleaning was minimal. But there are a few chores I’ve ignored for too long: dusting the light fixture, wiping down the door and trim, spot cleaning the carpet, and cleaning my blinds, the window, track, and sill. I made a note on my project planner (grab your copy below) to work on these a little at a time over the coming weeks.
Step #3: Complete a Space Audit
The next step in my home improvement project process (say that three times fast 🙂 ) is to do a space audit and determine what’s working and what’s not.
I usually spend a week or so thinking about the current space and making notes about things that aren’t working and enhancing things that are working. I keep these notes on the back of my project planner or attach additional pages, if necessary.
I’ll also make notes about additions to the room. It was during this step that I realized I wanted an armchair in this room so that I had an alternative work space.
My Home Office Space Audit
Here are the items I noted during the space audit of my home office:
What’s Not Working
#1 The wall color needs to go: I want something less bold and more neutral to better fit my style. I also want this room to feel like a calm sanctuary because I spend four to six hours a day in it.
The current wall color, Fresh Peaches:
#2 Still too much stuff: I did a big declutter several years ago, but there’s still too much stuff in here. I need to complete another declutter to create more open space and to lessen the “stuffed” feel in this room.
#3 Dark, mismatched furniture: These dark, heavy pieces are making this room look small and oppressive. Not to mention none of the pieces match or fit my style aesthetic.
#4 No room for an armchair: This addition is at the top of my want list, but with the current floor plan there’s no space. I need to rework the layout of the furniture and clear some pieces out to make room for the chair.
#5 Better use the closet craft room space: I’m crafting less now than I was three years ago. The closet “craft room” is prime real estate in this small office.
I already decluttered my craft supplies and moved most of them to the basement. Now I need to rearrange the closet, find a better storage system for my Silhouette and accessories, convert more of the closet space to storage, and create a charging station in this closet.
This step could help with making room for my comfy chair! I’ll move items into the closet that are currently out in the main area of the room.
#6 A better mix of function and aesthetics: This room is really functional, almost too much so. I want it to feel less like an office and more like a haven.
My plan is to bring in a rug and more décor pieces while still maintaining the function of the space. I’m striving for a good balance here.
#6 Camouflage or hide away the ugly pieces: I’m hoping to up the pretty in this room, so I also want to hide away and camouflage the eyesores.
The first thing to be hidden away?
The printer! I thoroughly dislike looking at that hulking monstrosity. But I need it to remain easily accessible and, if possible, within arm’s reach of my desk.
#7 Create a system for books on the shelves: Create a system for determining which books stay on my office shelves and which ones go to the home library shelves.
Phew! That’s a lot of changes for this room. It may leave you wondering if anything actually works in here. 😉
Here are the things that are working in this room:
#1 Shelving: Although I don’t like the color of the shelves (they’re currently black), I love having two large bookshelves in my office. It’s a great place to display some of my favorite things (artwork, family pictures, collectibles, books) and keep frequently referenced items handy (binders, books, magazines).
My plan right now is to repaint these shelves then reorganize them.
#2 Large work space and lots of drawer space: Again I don’t like the look of my current desk, but I love the size of it! The work space is big and allows me to spread out while the drawers on each side make cleaning up a breeze.
I’m planning to replace this desk, but I’m putting large work space and lots of drawers as must-haves for the new one. I also like having my business file drawer located at my desk because I reference my client files multiple times a day. This is another must for my new desk.
#3 Zones: I currently have a few zones set up in this office including a craft zone (most of which is going away), a reference zone, a filing/printing/scanning zone, and a work zone (my desk).
I want to preserve these zones as much as possible as they make staying organized much easier. I’ll also be adding a couple of zones (closet storage and that comfy chair for journaling, reading, etc).
Although this space audit can take some time and energy, it’s an important step in planning a home improvement project. I encourage you not to rush it. This is where you can really plan a space that works for you and your needs!
Step #4: Create a Plan
Okay, so at this point in the process I have some good inspiration and a solid idea of what I want this room to look like. I’ve decluttered and cleaned the space to make the project a little easier, and I’ve completed a space audit to determine what is and is not working.
Now I’m ready to start the planning for this project. Whew-ew!
In this step, I’ll:
- Choose a few wall colors to test out
- Set a budget
- Make a list of tasks I need to complete and prioritize them
- Determine what products and supplies I need
- Make a list of DIY projects I want to complete and list any additional supplies I may need
- Sketch a new layout for the room
I’ll keep all of this information organized on a printable, of course.
And you can snag a copy to help you plan your next home improvement project: Home Improvement Project Planner!
This is a 2-page planner. I usually print it on two pieces of paper (rather than back-to-back) so that I have space for notes.
My Home Office Makeover Plan
So, finally, here’s my mostly finalized home office makeover plan!
This collage includes a peek at the color palette for the room, the bigger items I’m planning to purchase on the cheap, and a few of the fun extras I hope to incorporate.
I chose a few wall colors to test out and created a poster board swatch with each of them. I’ll move the poster board around my office over the next couple of weeks to see which I like best in the room at different times of the day and in different levels of light.
*This photo doesn’t do these colors justice (they’re beautiful in real life)…there’s a reason you don’t see my photos on here often. Photography is not my strong suit!
My budget is set at: $700.00
This is a little higher than I originally planned because I scrounged up some birthday and Christmas money to throw into the pot. Yay!
I added all of the tasks mentioned above to my tasks list and created a list of the DIY projects I’m hoping to complete:
- Drawer Organizers (to save a little money in the budget and to make the most of my drawer space)
- Shelf Stoppers
- A Charging Station
- Cord Camouflage
- Pillow Cover/s
- New Curtains
- Old Lamp Makeover
- Silhouette Crafting Cart
- Sewing Cart
Finally, I’ll sketch a new floor plan for the room (I’m still playing around with the arrangement).
How to Plan a Home Improvement Project & My Home Office Makeover Plan
So, now YOU have a process for planning a home improvement project. And I’VE got a plan for my home office makeover!
Which project are you going to plan and tackle first?
I’m ready to start transforming my home office into a haven of work and creativity! Stay tuned for some fun and functional DIY projects, sneak peeks, and the full reveal of this renewed space.
This post is part of a series chronicling my home office makeover. You can follow along with each post below:
- How to Plan a Home Improvement Project & My Home Office Makeover Plan
- 12+ Simple Ways to Control Office Cord Clutter
- 8 Beautifully Organized Offices
- Best Affordable Desk with Added Storage
- An Easy and Affordable Solution for Office Cord Clutter
- DIY Concrete Colorblock Bookends
If you enjoyed today’s post, you might also find these related posts helpful:
- Organize Your Home Office in 8 Steps
- Supercharge Your Organization and Productivity with Office Zones
- How I Squeezed a Craft Room Into a Closet
- How to Add DIY Shelves in a Closet
What tricks have you discovered for planning and carrying out home improvement projects?
Don’t forget to pin it!
Thanks for joining me today!