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Make a list of DIY projects for the New Year

By Allen Norwood
Allen Norwood
Allen Norwood writes on Home design, do-it-yourself and real estate for The Charlotte Observer. His column appears each Saturday.

There are four splotches of paint on the wall behind one bedside table in our bedroom, another four next to the window in the bedroom and four more over the tub in the bathroom. The colors in each set of four range from soft celadon to a sort of medium mossy teal.

They’re samples, of course. Designers say you need to see sample colors in different spots at different times of day.

We decided we like the mossy teal the best.

That was a couple of months ago – and I still haven’t painted the rooms. The samples remind me of that every time I walk in. (In my defense, the trout were biting this fall up at Wilson Creek. Linda doesn’t say anything because they bit for her, too.)

The point is that painting is on the top of my chore list for the coming year.

In years past, I prepared a calendar for the Home section of month-by-month tips for handling household jobs large and small. One tip for January was to prepare a list of the chores you intended to tackle during the coming year. Experts say that will ensure you don’t forget little things and will help you allot time and money for big things.

We don’t need to budget for the paint. We already bought it.

Best seasons for chores

Two gallons of eggshell mossy teal are sitting out in the garage – a double reminder. (In our defense, the trout were biting at Curtis Creek, too.)

Anyway, I always liked the idea of the New Year chore list.

Late winter is a good time for interior painting. (I’m right on schedule!) Spring is an ideal time for repairing, cleaning and staining the deck. It’s a good time for exterior painting, too, because temperatures will be comfortable, and you can open the house up as needed.

During the summer, be sure to keep shrubs and tree limbs trimmed away from the house, especially around the heat pump or air conditioner. Overgrown greenery can cause mold and moisture problems and block crawlspace ventilation.

Fall, of course, is the time to prepare your home for winter. Caulk and seal. Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Check the roof for curling shingles and cracked plumbing vent boots. If you have a well or sprinkler system, make sure it’s protected from hard freezes.

Don’t lose your chore list

I like the idea of a New Year chore list so much that I made one a while back.

I’m certain that painting the bedroom was on the top of the list. I’m pretty sure that I scribbled the list on a yellow sheet torn from a 5-by-8-inch legal pad. Alas, I have no idea where I tucked away that list for safekeeping.

It might be in that bedside table, under those four splotches of paint.

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