About a month ago, I posted a question on Facebook. What is the #1 thing that keeps you from tackling DIY projects? Between TFD Style and my personal Facebook page, I received a variety of answers. All of which I have been able to relate with at some point and time throughout my own DIY journey. But what I found interesting, was that one of the main reasons people reported that they don't DIY, is actually one of the very reasons I do DIY! So today, I want to talk about those roadblocks you are facing, and hopefully, turn those roadblocks into mere speed bumps. And who knows, maybe eventually you will be looking at them through your rearview mirror!
One of the hurdles you ladies talked about was a lack of time, and let me tell you, this one is a biggie! And not just in the case of DIY projects. If you think about it, this is probably the #1 thing keeping people from doing any of the "extra" things they would like to do in life (go to the gym, plant a garden, volunteer in your kiddo's class, you get the picture). Because, let's face it, you are a busy mom. Not only do you worry and care for yourself from the second you wake up until the moment you drift off to sleep after a long day's work, you likely also do the same for a number of other people. Mornings are spent rushing around the house to get everyone fed and out the door, and evenings are literally a race against the clock by the time you get the kids from school, feed them a snack, then taxi them to practice. Not to mention that there is homework to be done, dinner to be made, and baths to be had. But I'm here to tell you that it can be done. I know it can, because I too, am a mom to two, busy little people and a husband who works a lot of hours to support our family. In fact, his being gone is part of the reason I've learned to take things into my own hands.
There are times when I don't have time to wait for him to get home and help me.
My advice is to start small. Make a list of all the projects you would like to complete, then put them in order. Pick out the one thing that you could do the quickest and easiest and start there. Heck, maybe it's just to replace a cracked electrical cover or touch up some paint on a scuffed up baseboard. One night after the kids are tucked in, take a few minutes to finish that one project and cross it off your list with pride. Or schedule just an hour on the weekend, and impress your man with your new found Weekend Warrior skills! Once you see how good it feels, you'll be itching to move on to the next project on your list.
Tools were another frequently mentioned hiccup, and again, I feel ya sister! However there were different issues with tools...or should I say the lack thereof. How exactly are you supposed to build that awesome coffee table that you saw on Pinterest without a saw? Wellllll, I am super excited to tell you that you don't always have to own the tools to get these projects done! Many times, you can have the local hardware/lumber store do your cuts for you (this depends on the type of cuts and the store, but don't be afraid to ask-Home Depot is a great place to go if you want them to do the cutting for you)...and guess what? We just saved you time too! Another option if your tool selection is a little skimpy at home is to rent (again, Home Depot is great for this), orrrr you could always take your bestie some fresh baked cookies and borrow her husband's.
If however, your problem is not the lack of tools, but the knowledge and confidence to actually turn them on and cut, drill, or sand something, then my friend, you are in the right place! As a side note, I think it's good to have a healthy fear of power tools. That's what keeps us safe.
Power tools are scary!
So long as you don't let your fear keep you from learning how to use them, you will be creating bad ass stuff in no time. I had the privilege of growing up with a wood worker for a grandfather. As a child, I spent many hours in his workshop, watching him cut, sand, and router chunks of wood into objects. I truly believe that all of those hours spent watching him use those big, scary machines gave me the confidence needed to use power tools on my own. As I got older, he taught me how to use many of his tools. I will never forget watching my grandpa's hands as he meticulously guided the wood around the blades. His fingers were crooked, hands scarred...each one a reminder how powerful the tools really were. I know that you can't all be in my garage with me when I tackle my own DIY projects, but I'm hoping that by making videos and teaching you how to use these tools, over time, you too will become comfortable with them, and ready to make your first cut. In the meantime, take advantage of any opportunity to watch someone else while they are using power tools. Maybe your husband or neighbor is working on a project over the weekend. Ask if they need an extra pair of helping hands. You don't actually have to cut, drill, or sand. Just be there to grab tools, hold boards, etc. You'll find that the more you watch, the less scary it becomes.
Lack of creativity was also mentioned, and it's one that I hear often. I have a whole post planned on this topic, so if you find yourself nodding your head in agreement on this one, stay tuned!
I've saved the biggest and best for last. Can you guess what it is? I'll give you a clue. It's a lot like the time dilemma. We could always use more of it...Yep, you guessed it. Money! I was shocked when I saw that money was a deal breaker for people. Not that there is anything wrong with their answer. It's just that, hands down, absolutely, positively the number one reason I DIY is to save money. Let me say that again...
I DIY to SAVE Money!
I mean, yes, I get that projects cost money, but if you are looking at buying something brand spankin' new at the store or making it for yourself, you can almost always save yourself some cash by getting creative and making it on your own. Or maybe it's a decision between hiring a professional to do it, or figuring out a way to tackle it on your own. Again, I can almost guarantee that the hired hand is going to come out more expensive in the long run. So I suppose, if it's a decision between doing nothing or doing it yourself, then yes, doing nothing wins. But if you have a project that is going to be done one way or the other, I'd venture to say that you'll come out ahead of the game if you DIY the heck out of it. For instance, when we were remodeling our money pit, eh ehm, charming 100+ year old home...we were (finally) nearing the end, and needed to save money wherever we could. However the floors, shower, and kitchen backsplash needed to be tiled. It was something that had to be done, but we had the option to do it a little cheaper if I was willing to figure out how to lay tile and put in a little elbow grease. And that's exactly what I did...with a baby...on my back. No really, I had a baby strapped to my back as I was bent over on all fours laying hundreds if not thousands of those tiny little hex and dot tiles. I'm not looking for an award or even a pat on the back, I just want to show you that it can be done. And if it's got to be done regardless, you might as well save yourself some money and be able to stand back at the end of the day and say,