A new year. A fresh start. Resolutions. Goals. Intentions. Do you make any of these in January? I love goals…thinking about them, setting them, accomplishing them. I don’t just save them for the new year though. I like to make plans in the new year, the beginning of each month, the start of a new week, and whenever an idea pops into my head. Doesn’t everyone do this? Call them goals, resolutions, plans, hopes, dreams…whatever you want! Just don’t stop making them! What are your big plans for the coming year?

I have a very ambitious list of house goals this year. We had a lot of big stuff done in the last year—getting our front porch fixed up, having some siding fixes done, getting a whole new and wonderful deck built, and having brand new, energy efficient windows installed. These are things we had been wanting to do for quite some time and it feels like a huge relief to have been able to get them done. But, back to this year’s big plans…

I’m going to break this list down into Exterior and Interior Plans (It’s a loooong list so I’m hoping this will help it seem more attainable. Wishful thinking?). Today, I’m going over my Outdoor List.

Doors. These could go on both lists, but I’m choosing exterior. Getting new windows has really emphasized how awful our current doors are. We’re talking drafts that could blow out a cake full of birthday candles. This has been especially miserable during this cold snap we’re having. And there are visible cracks that we’ve been living with since moving in. So yeah, new doors are high on our house plans list.

Painting the house. I got a jump start on this in the fall and the front looks oh so lovely, but we still have three more sides to paint! Come on, mild weather!


Staining the deck. I’m itching to do this, but alas! Winter. And we had to wait for the wood to dry out. I’m still trying to decide on colors…at first, I was all for painting the railing white and staining the floor grey. But I came across a couple pictures of dark rails that made my heart grow two sizes. I really need to spend some quality time staring at my deck to figure this one out.

The front walkway. We bought most of the bricks for this project a long while back. The husband and one of our dear friends took turns wielding a jackhammer to break up our old aggregate path (which had been cracked and uprooted from an old tree root). Our bricks have been “temporarily” placed for close to two years now—oye! We’ll get to it THIS YEAR. I need to order Crusher Run and sand…and some warmer weather.


While I’m placing an order for gravel and sand, I need to plan for extras because I really want to add a patio to our side yard. This is where I want our grill to go. I also want an outdoor fireplace or fire pit here. And some comfy seating. Can you see it? Summertime marshmallow roasts…cookouts…lounging…fun times! It will be an awesome extension to our outdoor living space.


Porch aprons. Our newly finished porch is quite enchanting, but it’s missing a little “sumthin-sumthin.” Porch aprons are the answer! Sure, I could just plant something in front and call it a day, but just you wait until these porch aprons go up! Our house may just turn into the sexiest house on the block. Or the cutest. Either way, it’s going to be awesome.

Crawl space rehab. This place is a storage nightmare. We are lucky to have a crawl space with standing room, but we’ve never done anything with this area other than pile stuff to the sides. That’s going to change this year. This is going to become a storage haven. I’m picturing sturdy shelves, pegboard, bike racks, organized yard tools…it’s going to rock my organizational world!

Trash and recycle bin containment unit. This isn’t entirely necessary, but it sure would be nice to contain these bins in a neat little box.


Front lawn rehab. Oh, our poor little lawn! One time we installed gorgeous sod. We did it right…got a truckload of a really nice compost blend, mixed that in with our existing soil, didn’t walk on the sod for four weeks, kept it perfectly watered. It was beautiful. For one whole season. Then it went kaput. Grass is temperamental, moody, and very high maintenance (at least for me). I don’t even want a lot of lawn…just a small area that the kids can kick a ball around on. It can even have some weeds! I’m not picky, I just want a little green area. I threw down some handfuls of contractor seed on a whim this past fall and, lo and behold, it grew! Nothing fancy, but it grew! And it’s still there, hiding under the snow. Not lush and full, but there. I have a bitty patch of greenish grass! So in March or April (depending on the temps), I’ll be getting myself a bag of contractor seed, flinging handfuls across my dirt lawn, and hoping for something the husband can mow.


Front hill planting. We added two raised garden beds last year, which is nice, but we need two more to make it complete. We also need to figure out what to plant on the lower third of the hill. I have some lovely balloon flowers that spring back every year, but the hill is still missing something. We need mass plantings that will pretty up the brown slope and make us smile.


Backyard privacy. A fence? A living fence? I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we need to do something. Especially when we add that awesome side patio. I love my neighbors. But we also enjoy our privacy.

Are you still with me? I told you it was a long list. Stay tuned for my Interior Plans!