It is that time of year again that the weather is warming up, and we need to start thinking about our projects.
Here are some things you can do now while it is still cold to prepare for the coming year. Hopefully the ideas will help you be more productive.
I know that some of the things that I am doing here should make a difference to help solve at least some of my issues I’ll run into this year.
The others… Who knows.
If you prefer to watch.
Hello and welcome to the eighth episode of the BudDIY Podcast. I’m your host Buddy Lindsey. Today, we’re going to talk about things that you need to do to start preparing for the coming DIY season.
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So with that, let’s go ahead and jump into our main topic today and that is to discuss what you need to do to prepare for the coming DIY season. And really what I mean by the coming DIY season is in the United States here, and I’m sure other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, it’s about to become summer.
Right now though, we’re in a segment, we’re in a period of time where we have some really nice days and then we have some really crappy days. But we don’t have a lot of consistent really nice days. It’s an opportunity to not get a lot done because we don’t know what to do. So I’ve come up with some ideas of things that you can do now to prepare for the coming time when it’s a lot nicer outside and we can really get a few things done. Some of them are things that are better to do in the winter and then some of them are just to help you prepare.
So with that, let’s hit our first topic and that’s gardening. If you like to have a garden in the summer, then it’s, now is the time to start planning. It’s actually, it might be a little bit too late on some stuff unless you hit it right now. And that is, you need to figure out what you’re going to plant.
Right now, we’re coming up on the time to start planting some of those early spring crops and some of the crops that can survive in the ground through a quick frost. So we really need to jump on those and start figuring out what you want to do. And then also planning for some rotational things that you need to do for later on in the season and get things ready for those with amendments, with planning, with just how you’re going to lay out your garden. Think about what you did last year, how you can improve those.
You also need to figure out where you’re going to plant your garden as well. If you want to move it this year, then you need try to start thinking about where you’re going to do that, and/or if you want to build some raised beds or if you’re going to do some container gardening as well, it’s time to start getting in the flow of planning that. And in some cases, go on ahead and get started depending on where you’re at.
And then finally, you need to prep the ground area. Do you need to add some compost? Do you need to add dirt? Do you need to add some soil amendments, things of that nature? So those are a few things to think about. So really now is the time to hit full bore into figuring out what you’re going to do with your garden if you’re into gardening.
So the next thing is related to gardening, or being outside and stuff like that is wasps. Now is the time on the really cold days, it really stinks, it’s not a lot of fun, but to go and get those mud dauber nests or other nests and things that you don’t want. I know that mud daubers around here are terrible if I let them go and I don’t get them soon enough, so I like to go out on freezing cold days and get those mud dauber nests that I can find and take care of them.
If I’m sure to do those early on in the season like this, then I’m not fighting 40 or 50 wasps throughout the rest of the year. It’s just the ones that can elude me and get things done. I know one year I didn’t do it at all and it was terrible and so many wasps. And then one year, I feel like I got most of them and I only saw probably 10 or 15 wasps the entire year, so it was pretty awesome. But now is the time to start going after wasps and even potentially some other rodents that are around your property as well.
I know right now I’m fighting an armadillo. He just will not leave and I don’t want to take care of him if I don’t have to, but he’s a pain in the rear right now. So it’s time to get rid of some of your rodents too. It’s not a fun time to do things because of the weather, but it’s time to start getting it done now, so that you don’t have the problem going into the spring and summer.
Next up, we should make up a list of things that we want to repair or fix this summer. I know I have several things on my project list, not only a build list of things that just need to get done, but also repair. I have a back porch that the ceiling is rotting out on the inside and I really need to get that, at the very least, this year pulled down, if not actually fix it for good as well as the supports that hold the whole thing up.
It’s been one of those things. It’s been a problem I’ve noticed and it’s getting worse, but it’s not getting worse that fast. And so it’s like, oh, there is other projects that take priority and I just haven’t planned well. So this year I’m going to put that on my list of one of my higher priorities of getting fixed.
So now is a good time to mark down all the things that you want to repair and then start prioritizing them. Figure out, what is your most important and go look at them. Try to figure out what is the most important thing that needs to be fixed based on time, effort, materials and things like that. Go ahead and make a list. I mean, as many projects as you can think of, go ahead and just list them all out. And then your brain can start processing and figuring out what the best thing to do.
And then once you figure out your priorities, go ahead and start writing down the materials that you need to accomplish those. And that way, because if you can plan out several projects, you can start figuring out the crossover of materials and you’re not buying too much materials and it can save you a little time and money.
Besides, when it’s 32 degrees outside, you don’t necessarily want to go out and do a lot of things. So sitting at your computer plugging things into Excel and in a word document can provide you a major time saving in the summer, so it’s less you have to think about. You can just execute during the spring, summer and fall. So definitely recommend a plan for all of the projects that you want to do and a materials list of things that you need to get because it can save you so much time and money.
And then there is the final added benefit to a plan and a materials list, you can also figure out just what you’re not going to do. Sometimes that’s just as important as figuring out what you’re going to do.
The next thing is something that most of us should have already done and that’s our lawn maintenance. Things around the property that we just didn’t do last, at the end of last year. Maybe one final weed eating because you have weeds sticking up in various places or maybe you want to spray some Roundup around the house or something to take care of a couple of things whenever it’s about to start blooming. Maybe you clean some of your lawn tools that you just were like you’re hot and sweaty and tired and you just threw into the shed and you’re like, I’ll take care of it later. Now it’s February and you haven’t actually done anything with it.
It’s probably a good time to go ahead and pull those out on the nicer days and start cleaning those up and getting them ready for the season, so that you’re not frustrated with yourself for not having done it. You spend 30 minutes of the cool morning when it’s going to be 100 degrees outside and when you could be working and now you’re cleaning a tool.
Same thing with your motorized equipment. Go ahead and make sure those are clean and they’re running and they’re in good shape. And if they’re not, go ahead and take them into a place to get worked on now before it gets crazy a little later in the year when everyone is trying to get their mowers out and their weed eaters out and they’re all broken down and they’re trying to rush in. I know that your local mechanic shops are going to like the business at this time of year and it’s going to save you time and headache down the road.
And then finally on the lawn care, are there any new tools that you need? Did your lawnmower break last year? Did you weed eater break last year? Did your chainsaw break last year and now it’s time to just go ahead and bite the bullet and buy a new one? It’s a good time now to go ahead and assess and figure out what you need to do and get those things while they’re still in stock at some of these places that sell them and you’re not on back order.
The next thing is if you’re homesteading, it’s a good idea to go ahead and pull the trigger on the animals that you’re going to get. You need to go ahead and find where they’re going to be. So something you should’ve already done, but now is better than in a month. Go ahead and figure out what you’re going to get for sure. Find a local supplier. If you’re doing chickens, what hatchery are you going to use? If you’re going to do pigs, find a local breeder. Whatever you’re going to do, go ahead and get those done.
If you’re going to take them to the butcher, it’s a good time to go ahead and schedule your fall butcher dates as well because those fill up fast. I mean, I know some people who’ve already called in and scheduled their butcher dates for the fall of this year for some of their cows. Same thing if you’re going to do beading stock on cows. It’s time to execute on animals that you need to do.
I know this year I was planning on doing my normal meat chickens this year, but that’s just not going to work out due to some family things. This year for me is going to be a little relaxed unless I do some laying hens in the fall, but yeah. But now is the time to go ahead and [inaudible] livestock you need in, so that you can start planning and getting things figured out for those as well.
The next thing I recommend is setting up a schedule. It’s actually two different schedules. One schedule is a what all are the projects that you need to do? Come up with a time estimate of what it’s going to take to get them done. Generally, I recommend doubling whatever you think that time estimate is going to be. And then lay them out throughout the year and figure out what you can and cannot get done. That helps you prioritize the projects that you had thought about earlier on the things that need to be repaired. You could run into a project that’s going to take you two months. And it’s just, hey, it’s not worth doing that and so you can deprioritize and move something else.
Also, it helps you. It gives you goals to what to hit as well as understanding timings of when things are going to get done, so that if you know you have an indoor project, you might want to save that until the middle of August. Whereas, if you have an outdoor project where you need to dig a hole or a trench, you might want to move that forward into the year. So it lets you play with timing throughout the summer and spring and the fall of the best times to accomplish specific things that you want to do.
The next schedule I recommend setting is an actual work schedule. You have a work schedule and you’re going to work from eight to five. You’re going to work from seven to three. You’re going to work from three to midnight. Whatever that schedule is going to be like you would have at work. I recommend setting that for your home as well and putting it on a calendar and everyone knows that, hey, between this time and this time I’m doing this project. That way it helps give you accountability as well, as well as the rest of the family knows, hey, this is the time that this stuff is going to get done and to A, either not interrupt you, or B, offer an opportunity for them to come help, or even C, everyone knows what needs to get done when it’s going to get done and it can be planned for.
That’s a big thing, is making sure that we have things on the schedule so that it can be planned for. And when things come up, we can say, nope, I already have that time scheduled, or you know what you’re stopping from doing, so that you understand the effect of what you’re doing. But I really recommend a work schedule for doing your DIY projects as well.
I know doing this and doing my regular job and then doing family time, my days are planned by the hour, so that I know what I can do and when I can do it. I sat down with my wife with an Excel spreadsheet with every hourly block for the entire week and this is the schedule of what’s going to be worked on when. And that way, I know when I’m going to be able to get work done and I know when I’m going to have family time for sure.
And then I have blocks that are swappable, Saturdays are specifically. Those are, if I have time to work outside on projects, I get that done. But also, I realize that something might come up family-wise and I need to not worry about that. However, I have specific times during the week in the evening that I know I can get stuff done, so it doesn’t feel as bad, or it doesn’t, it’s not as painful mentally whenever I have to just swap out an entire Saturday from getting projects done.
Plus, I know that I’m going to get time with the family. So I know it’s like, hey, I’m going to spend time with the girls on, at these specific times, so that I know I can be more productive on the times I am working, so that I’m not feeling guilty I’m not spending time with my girls. Especially since, most of the time I’m doing work, I’m doing work outside at night in the shop after they’ve gone to bed and so they’re sleeping, so I’m working. So it’s not that big of a deal in that case, at least right now. When they get older, I have to figure that out, but it allows for better accountability and just a better mental awareness of what’s going on if you can hyper schedule your day. Some people aren’t wired like that. Fortunately, I am. I recommend people try it and see how it goes.
Finally, there is one last thing and I debate between this being the most important or being the least important for the year and getting ready for the year, and that’s to clean your work area. Clean your shop. Clean your tools. Clean the shed, On the nice days, just go out and say, I’m going to spend the day and I’m going to clean this thing up. I’m going to build that little storage project that I need because every year I come out here and I can’t find this particular thing. If I just had a little box that I could put it in then that would make life easier.
Go ahead and clean your area. Make sure it’s swept. Make sure things are organized. And if you could do that all right now before you’re actually getting out there and using the tools, then when you get into the swing of things in the spring, summer and fall, then you know where everything is. Everything is clean. You’re not tripping over stuff as much. You’ll be able to get more accomplished quicker because you’re not trying to navigate, where is that tool that I just had last year in the fall that one time that I was trying to change the blade on the mower? And because you finally got it changed, you went out and mowed and forgot where you put it.
Whereas, if you take a day, I mean, just cut off an eight hour day on a Saturday and be like, I’m going to clean my shop, I’m going to clean the shed, I’m going to clean whatever and just get it done. And I can guarantee your summer is going to go a lot better whenever you go out to start doing work. So I really recommend doing a cleaning of your area. Those are the things that I recommend that you do for preparing for the coming DIY season.
So let’s move on to the final segment and that is a failure. And the failure that I ran into this last week was I forgot to look at the plans on the woodworking project that I was working on and I totally delayed myself by a couple of days of what I could get done on my project. I was super excited that I was getting this bench built and I got it all glued up. I had a couple of hard glue-ups. I mean they were hard for me cause I hadn’t done this kind of a glue-up before.
I got it all together and I was super excited and I’m like I’m going to let this thing dry. And I spent a couple days letting it dry because I had work and family stuff and other obligations and thought that, hey, when I went out Saturday morning I thought I was ready to just sand stuff down and put a finish on it. Well I got started sanding and realized I’m missing putting two boards on here that cannot be screwed. They have to be glued on. It totally blew me having the entire project done by Saturday night because instead I was out there sanding and sanding and sanding for about two and a half to three hours. Then I got everything sanded down and then it was like okay it’s time to put these last two boards on. And then I have to glue them on, so they have to set.
They have to set for 24 hours for sure since I’m not going to secure them with screws or anything. And then I get to sand those too. So it’s going to be probably 30 minutes of sanding to get those down to the right thing. Then I can actually start working on the finish. What I had hoped to finish this weekend, I will not be able to and I’ll have to probably finish next weekend or in the evenings this week.
So definitely double check your plans all the time, especially when you have that euphoria moment of being done. Make sure you’re actually done. If I had done that, then I wouldn’t have been in the trouble I was because I could have just run out there real fast one night and for 10 minutes and glued those pieces on and then Saturday I could have finished the project. But that’s not how it worked out and that’s what I’m going to have to deal with. So anyway, that’s how life goes sometimes. Hopefully you can learn something from that. I know I did.
So with that, I thank you for your time and I hope you have a great day. Feel free to join us on our next episode, episode nine of the BudDIY Podcast. I’m your host, Buddy Lindsey. Thank you and have a great day.