Hold your horses, it’s prioritizing time.

The marvellous weather this past weekend inspired me to get outside and start my spring clean up of the yard. As I didn’t move into my house until October, I really didn’t get a lot of yard work done before winter hit. All that was accomplished last year was ripping out the play set (which was given to my cousin for his kids) and removing the horseshoe pits, so I have a fair bit of work to take care of this spring. A fair bit may be a bit of an understatement, actually. My outdoor to-do list is long and gets longer the more I think about it.

If I win the $50 lotto max on Friday, I wouldn’t bother trying to decide which things on my to do list are going to get done this year. Seeing as I don’t intend on buying a lottery ticket chances of winning are pretty slim, so I guess I’m going to have to figure out which tasks are a priority and which can wait. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far being a new homeowner is being patient about tackling house or property related projects. I want everything to be finished now: the deck, the landscaping, the basement, everything. Prioritizing the to do list is still a struggle, because there is so much to do and I want it all to be done. It’s really tempting to try and get everything done right away, even though I realize I might not have the cash or time to get all the projects done. To help myself overcome my impatience, or at least try and cope with it, and restrain myself from blowing every cent I have on yard improvements, I’ve divvied up my outdoor to do list into 3 categories:

  • Priority tasks: the projects that have to get done this year. These things can’t wait or be put off because not getting them done will mean bad things will happen to my house/yard.
  • If funds/time allow tasks: this category is for the tasks that I would like to get done, but if I don’t have the time or cash, it’s not the end of the world.
  • Hold your horses, these tasks can wait: these projects are really just a ‘want’ and can wait a year or two.

Here’s my categorized, prioritized to-do table, with guestimated costs.

Priority tasks

If funds/time allow tasks

Hold your horses, these tasks can wait

  • Tree cutting – there’s a couple trees around the property that are too close to the house or dying. My Dad I can cut these down ourselves and then use the wood for firewood (FREE)
  • Paint the deck/house. If I don’t paint the deck/house this year, moisture will get into the wood and rot it. That would be bad. ($300)
  • Buy a lawn mower. Would love not to, but the neighbours might not appreciate the hayfield next door. ($500)
  • Clean up the junk around the edge of the yard – includes cement blocks, rusty tire rims, garbage and other junk. ($15-20 for a trip to the dump).
  • Replace flashing on the roof. ($150)
  • Plant trees for living fence along the road. ($50/tree x 6 = $300)
  • Remove and replace front part of the deck. The stairs are too steep and I hate the railing in front of the picture window (I hate it SO much!). ($400)
  • Paint the lawn chairs. They’re functional, just not pretty. ($30)
  • Edge and replant gardens ($150)
  • Remove stumps. I can burn a few of them out, but some will have to be ground out. Not a huge deal though, so this can wait.
  • Finish the half-finished pergola on the back patio. For now, it might be a nice hammock site.
  • Move the woodpile lean-to. It’s not going to kill me to walk an extra 50 feet.

As you can see, getting my priority list done will cost me $970. Thankfully, I don’t have any major or super expensive repairs to do outside, like replacing the roof. Given that, I may be able to swing one project from the ‘If funds/time allow tasks’ category, but we’ll have to see. Seeing just how much my priority tasks will cost though is helping to calm the burning desire to get every single project done this summer. As well, I don’t think I want to spend every spare moment this summer working on something, I need to be able to take some time to enjoy the place too.

How do you cope with to-do lists, or prioritize your tasks? Do you have any big projects planned for the summer?

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Categories: Goals, Housing, Spending | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Hold your horses, it’s prioritizing time.

  1. I do whatever I have to do soonest. But most of my projects have a deadline; ie homework assignments, errands, etc. if it doesn’t have a deadline then I just work on whatever I want to first, which is a terrible method.

    • I sometimes miss having deadlines. Maybe should I get someone to give me deadlines for all my menial tasks and maybe I’ll be more inspired to get them done!

  2. They have programs in the states through the United States Department of Agriculture that sell very low priced trees. I don’t know all the details as my husband always deals with them but I would check to see if they have something similar where you live. The little trees are as low as about $1 apiece.

    • We have programs like that as well, but it’s for itty bitty saplings. Ideally, I’d like to get trees that are a little bigger so that I get to keep some of the privacy at the front. The local Township sells trees for $25 a tree, so that might be an option as well. I will keep my eyes and ears open for deals on trees though!

  3. The only projects I need to focus on this year are a) getting as many credits done as possible for school, and b) getting my passport redone, since I might be applying for a green card in the next year or so.

  4. I’m trying not to think about all of the things I have on the go right now. Between starting a blog, training for a 10k, taking a photography course in May, and planning a wedding, I’m mostly ignoring the big picture and just getting one task a day complete.

    Sometimes I feel that making lists makes me feel more rather than less overwhelmed, sometimes having a big list laid out seems insurmountable.

    • Whew, you’re a busy girl! My list is far less involved than yours. I agree though, big lists are overwhelming. I get overwhelmed just looking at my cleaning to-do list 😉

  5. I love the way you do this – I need to put my house jobs onto a similar style chart. Excellent. Thank you:)

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