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Home Improvement: DIY Tips and Tricks for Projects Around the House

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Home Improvement—In the post I wrote last week, I said we're all creative, just in different ways. I guarantee that even those of you who think you aren't creative in any way have some form of latent creativity. For some, their creativity gets expressed by what they do to the furniture or walls of their home. They are "Do-It-Yourselfers", and they fall into that certain breed of creative people who salivate at yard sales and home improvement stores.

In a MomItForward Twitter Girls' Night Out (#gno) party last week sponsored by Olympic Paint, DIYers and non-DIYers alike chatted about what's worked for them to get home improvement projects done. Here are their top 10 tips:

  1. Prepare. @2sic2mooov and others said that what works best is to prepare. Maybe the really artistic types can just start with nothing but a mental picture and a can of spray paint, but most agree you're more likely to like the end result if you plan things out ahead of time.
  2. Create a timeline for labor-intensive projects.  @tcreativeblogs suggests that you follow this link or this one for suggestions on how to create one. Research if you need to. YouTube is a great resource, according to @troypattee and others.
  3. Make time accordingly. If it's a big project, clear out all distractions. For most of us, for whom finding one big chunk of time is perhaps the biggest challenge of the whole project, @ladyozma says "I find quick and easy jobs for when I'm walking by. That way I can nab them on the way to do other things."
  4. Don't get daunted. When you've prepared, then start. @scoopstweet recommends imagining what the room or piece of furniture will look like after you're done, and to cut photos from magazines to get inspired.
  5. Give the kids something to do that makes them feel involved, but which doesn't actually involve them unless they're old enough to actually contribute. You might want to try letting them create place cards for dinner with the old paint chips, says Olympic.
  6. Take your time.
  7. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If the project needs to be done, but is too big for you alone, ask a girlfriend to help. If it's bigger than that, hire it out. Whoever you hire to do it is "doing it themselves," right? That's a form of DIYing, right?
  8. Don't panic, even if you make a mistake, says @bigklittlea. "You can always start over. Chances are no one sees that mistake but you, anyway."
  9. Have confidence. @mimibakermn says: "Women need to KNOW they can do it! Don't be afraid of power tools and DON'T buy the pink ones!" @thegraciousgirl offered sage advice from a reliable source: "My mother, the daughter of a carpenter, always says, "Put your mind to it and don't give up." It's proven to be sound DIY advice."
  10. Invite company over. If you get stuck or have a lot of project paraphenalia lying around that you're not motivated to clean up, invite people to help. This was almost unanimously agreed upon as one of the most effective ways of restarting or finishing up a project.

Whether you consider yourself a "DIY-er" or not, you can tackle home improvement projects.

What DIY projects have you tackled in and around your home? What are your DIY tips and tricks for home improvement projects?

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