A few months ago my parents decided to move. In the weeks leading up to putting their house on the market, Tim and I helped with an assortment of small repairs and improvements. Many of these were items they’d had on the to-do list for years, but simply didn’t get to until it was time to attract a buyer.
One of my tasks was to paint their master bathroom, which was the same builder’s-grade white it had been since construction. It was a blank slate, and I couldn’t wait to transform it with color.
My mom picked out a warm, earthy green. It only took a base coat for us to fall in love. With the natural sunlight coming through their bathroom window, the room had been transformed into a beautiful, inviting space. My mom kept saying, tongue-in-cheek, “Why are we moving again?”
Why Wait Until It’s Too Late?
I had a similar experience before moving from our previous house. Preparing it for market, I touched up lots of paint, rearranged furniture, and hung decorations on the walls that had been sitting in my basement for years. I cleaned out closets and reorganized storage space until our tiny rancher felt twice as big as it had when we decided to move. “Why are we moving again?” I asked myself.
Of course, there were many reasons for our move, and those simple changes certainly didn’t negate our decision to find another house. Nor did the painted bathroom change my parents’ minds about moving on. However, most of the repairs and changes we made were relatively simple and inexpensive. All they required was intention and a little bit of time. The end results far outweighed the costs.
Emptying the Bucket List
All these little projects add up to a homeowner’s bucket list. They’re things we mean to do, but don’t get around to until the end is near (the end of homeownership, that is).
After painting my parents’ bathroom, I’ve been looking around my own house with a different mindset, asking what our home’s “bucket list” might be. What changes could we make, with a minimal investment of time and resources, that would enhance our home’s functionality and atmosphere now?
One, for me, would be upgrading our kitchen light. It’s old and dim, and from day one I’ve struggled with seeing well enough to avoid slicing off a fingertip. Considering how many hours I spend in my kitchen, good lighting is well worth the investment, and won’t do anything but increase the kitchen’s appeal if we ever do decide to sell.
What’s on your home’s bucket list? Freshening up a paint job? Replacing a faulty faucet? Adjusting a door so it doesn’t drag on the carpet? Why put those things off until you’re ready to sell?
In thinking about your home’s bucket list, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. What, exactly, do you want to accomplish, and why? How will this change enhance the functionality or enjoyability of your home?
2. What’s holding you back? Time? Finances? Product selections? Do you want to do research first? Do you and your spouse have differing opinions? Do you need professional help to get the work done?
3. What resources will be required to turn your goal into reality? Do you have what you need on hand, or will more planning be involved before you can take action?
I hope these questions help you empty your home’s bucket list so you can enjoy the benefits for years to come. Happy planning!