Do you have #HomeGoals for 2020? In this episode, Cara sits down with Home School’d Podcast Host Tracy Pendergast to chat all things home ownership + home resolutions for 2020. She talks about some of the logistics behind home ownership and some ways to make planning & home maintenance simple and manageable.
what i’m loving this week
Home Maintenance checklist
This checklist gets you started with annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and monthly checklists that cover the basics of home maintenance.
Snag yours to get on track with your home goals for 2020: GRAB YOUR HOME MAINTENANCE PLANNER HERE
stuff we just need to talk about
Home Resolution Ideas
The internet is filled with all kinds of amazing ideas for home resolutions. To make it easy on you, I pulled together a list of the best ones (with links to the articles they came from) so you can browse and pick which ones fit your home best. Download the super FREE master list here
let’s talk about it!
What do you think!? What home resolutions are you setting for 2020?
Tracy is a lifestyle blogger, creating and cultivating her own content over at Hey-Tracy.com. She uses her platform to bring together her favorite things: family, food, general life hacks, the transformation of her SoCal home and of course, all the life along the way. Tracy believes in a strong balance of DIY and hiring out- and lives by the philosophy that your perfect living space is built over time. Tracy is also the cohost of Home School’d podcast, a podcast that educates homeowners with a new guest instructor each week!
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EP 25 TRANSCRIPT
…just in case you wanna read
Cara: 00:00 You’re listening to the MakeSpace podcast, episode number 25
INTRO: 00:23 Welcome to make space a home design show made to inspire you to create spaces you truly feel at home in Cara Newhart. Sits down with amazingly brilliant guests for conversations that dive deeper than pin worthy rooms. To tease out the essentials of creating spaces that feed your soul and inspire your creativity from home design strategies to decor, advice to interior design, tips and tricks. These conversations help you dream up a beautifully lived in home. Cara is the designer and chief creative enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. Her work has been featured in print publications like PEOPLE StyleWatch and Denver style magazine as an influencer. Kara has collaborated with brands like Amazon,H and M, Twitter and Thrillist. Here’s your host, Cara Newhart.
Cara: 01:21 Oh my gosh. Hello. And happy new year. I’m so excited to be back. It feels like it’s been forever even though it’s been just two weeks, but I am back with an amazing conversation today. Um, so this episode is going to be geared more towards home owners, but there’s still going to be some great tips if you are a renter or if you’re living in a space where you’re not necessarily responsible for maintenance items. Some of this episode won’t apply to you, but there’s still some good tips and still some things I think you can use if you’re renting. So if you are not yet a homeowner but you’re planning to buy a home in 2020, you’re going to want to go check out episode number six where I sat down with my realtor friend Chelsea to talk all about home buying and selling. So if that’s something that is a goal for this next year or it’s on your list, that’s a super good episode to get started with. And then you can circle back to this episode once you’ve bought your home. Hashtag obsessed
Cara: 02:34 what I am obsessed with this week is probably the weirdest thing I’ve been obsessed with so far. Because if you know me, it’s very unlikely it’s out of left field that I am obsessed with this. But it is a home maintenance checklist that I’ve made. Um, I am not one for planning or checklist. Those don’t really come naturally to me, but I’m excited about this because with buying our new home, um, and really this episode talking to Tracy has got me really inspired to kind of be intentional about home maintenance in 2020 even though the word maintenance literally makes me cringe. Like when I hear it, I’m like blah boring. No, I’m not doing that but I am going to do that this year and I made this checklist to help. So, um, I had to have my husband weigh in because he kinda keeps our stuff together around here. Like he’s way better at the details, like remembering to change furnace filters and like fridge filters and all those little things. But um, I put together this list and I’m hoping it will help you too, so you can snag it on the website. I’ll put a link in the show notes and hopefully it will help you get ahead of, um, home goals for 2020.
WAIT, WHAT?: 03:47 [Wait, what]
Cara: 03:55 Okay. My wait, what for this week is actually not really shocking, but there are tons of awesome new year’s resolution ideas for your home on the internet. This is something I didn’t only think about like in the past when I’ve done resolutions, it’s always something about like my health or working out or like self care. I really haven’t done any home resolutions before. It’s usually just like lifestyle, get my life together kind of stuff. But if you’re like, wait, what new year’s resolutions should I be making for my home? Then you’re in luck because I put together a list of some of the best ones all in one place so you can like browse through it and pick some that support your home goals for 2020. This is super free and you can snug it. Um, in the show notes post there’s like a little thing to fill out your name and your email and I will email it straight to you so you don’t have to like spend hours scrolling around Google.
Cara: 04:56 It’s just like a quick list. Pick your goals and set some resolutions. Cause I think it’s really important. Um, and we talk about it in this episode too is just like having a plan for your home and having a plan for like maintenance and like how you approach like owning a home. Um, so that you can kind of keep up with things a little bit at a time and it doesn’t get overwhelming and you’re not like stuck dedicating days to task that are really not fun or stuff like a burst pipe that maybe wouldn’t have happened if you like planned ahead and you like did your own home IX inspections and like learned about your home. So that is free for you. You can find it in the show notes, but yeah, sorry if the, the hashtag obsessed and wait, what segments were underwhelming this week because I just told you things that I made that I think are helpful for home ownership.
Cara: 05:47 But if you’re a planner, you’re going to love them. And if you’re not a planner, here’s the plan. You don’t have to make up your own plan or start from scratch. So I think these will be really helpful you guys. So let’s dive in to this interview with Tracy. She is the coolest human and someone that just like I totally resonate with. Like, you know, when you talk to someone and everything they say you’re like, Oh my gosh, me too. Like that was literally this whole conversation for me the whole time. I’m like, yeah, yes, yeah, yes. Because it was, it’s just like everything. I was like, I resonate with all of this. So I’m really excited to share this with you because I feel like I learned a lot. Um, she has a lot of really, really good tips and we’re kind of diving into more of like the logistics of home ownership where I usually like to talk about design and like falling in love with your home and colors. Like this is more of the practical nitty gritty of like how to make your home function and how to keep up with it. And she has some great insight. Um, she is also a podcast host. She has a home-related podcast, which is really, really good. Like it’s when I listened to every week. Um, so I will link that in the show notes and she’ll, she’ll also tell you all about that in the episode. But without further ado, let’s dive in and talk to Tracy.
Tracy: 07:08 Hello.
Cara: 07:08 Hi.
Cara: 07:09 Oh my gosh, I’m seriously, so happy to be sitting down with you today!
Tracy: 07:13 I’m excited too. I, I love watching everything you do on your feet. It’s like kind of the joyful part of my Instagram feed.
Cara: 07:22 Aw, thank you. That’s sweet. So for listeners out there, Tracy and I actually found each other on Instagram and it turns out she also hosts an amazing podcast in the home space. So we decided to collaborate and I’m way too excited about this. So let’s just first dive into your story so the listeners can get to know you a little bit more. Can you share kind of a little bit about your story and how you got into like the DIY home area?
Tracy: 07:51 Yeah, I’ll, I’ll tell it like in a nutshell. Um, I have actually an acting and hosting background. And when I got pregnant with my son, I, um, I went to a couple auditions pregnant and I was like, what? This is not as fun and I think I’m just gonna stay home and, and find ways to be creative within my own space because what I really wanted was to like dive in and enjoy that nesting period. So, um, that is really why I started blogging and working on our first house, um, in that transition into motherhood. And then when it came time for me to, when I had the decision whether I wanted to like keep doing what I was doing or go back, I was like, this is, this is what feels natural to me. This is where I belong. And kind of just stayed in this space and kept creating and, and just decided to do it within my own home. So that kind of how it started. Yeah.
Cara: 09:01 That’s so, so, so cool. I love cause I’m like from oil and gas finance background, so I had like a similar experience, different career, but like motherhood kind of pushed me out of that. And then yeah, there was no question I wasn’t going to.
Tracy: 09:15 Yeah, it’s, it’s weird. You kind of have this shift towards wanting to create this home for your family as you enter that period in your life. And it’s really cool that nowadays you can take something that comes so naturally to so many of us and make it into a community and meet other people and create things as a job. It’s pretty,
Cara: 09:40 it is cool. So, so cool. So what has your own home journey looked like? Like how long have you owned a home? What was that process like getting into it for you?
Tracy: 09:50 So my husband and I actually lived in new year, New York 11 years before moving back to California to buy our first house. So we came from living in a two bedroom, New York apartment to owning our first house. So it was a huge shock and amazing. Yeah. So we just love that we could customize everything. We were like, wait, we can like paint the walls any color. Um, so we’ve been homeowners now for six years I think. Yep. Um, and we started with a much smaller starter home and did everything in that house. And then recently in the last three years we moved into a larger space and have kind of played with the balance between DIY and hiring out just because of the scope.
Cara: 10:42 Yeah, for sure. So what has the process of like transforming it been like, is it like you like to take it slow? Are you working room by room? Like what’s your strategy?
Tracy: 10:53 So I think, um, a lot of parents can probably relate to this or actually anyone who has, you know, have a full time job and can’t give all their attention to their home. Our first house, we did everything and we would just plow through projects. And I loved that. Like you got the instant gratification of start to finish within a couple of days. Um, when we got this new house and we had two kids under five, we had to kind of figure out a new way to get things done. And not not expect them to happen quickly. We really tried to tackle like a single part of a job start to finish but we just were, we take it very slowly and kind of do like small project by small projects and then it’s the expectation is a lot easier that way. I think you can probably relate to that.
Cara: 11:56 Absolutely. Yeah. No it is like cause it is my full time situation cause I’m creating content around it but I have so many people and especially listeners that are, do you have a full time job? So like learning to make time to invest in your house is like, it’s such a balance for sure and small projects are the way to do it without overwhelming yourself.
Tracy: 12:17 It is. And I think just looking at everything as a series of steps and not as the whole job as a, like the scope of what you’re doing really makes it easier when you’re just popping in to do little things at a time. Cause then you can actually check things off your list.
Cara: 12:37 So I kind of want to use this episode to dive a little bit deeper into like some logistics of home ownership. We usually kind of focus on the fun part, AKA design is what’s fun to me on the show. But um, I know your podcast is kind of focused on home ownership and you talk about a lot of, not things that aren’t fun, but things that are more planning and more like logistics of owning a home. So for this episode I wanted to dive into like some home resolutions and maybe tips for improving your home or even playing ketchup on your home to do list as we’re starting the new year. So while there’s no magic, there’s no magic to a date change on a calendar. I feel like the new year is such a natural time for us to look back on the past year and like reassess and make goals as we’re starting a fresh year. Um, are there any home resolutions you’d recommend for homeowners since we start in 2020
Tracy: 13:34 Oh my gosh, so many.
Cara: 13:35 I love that.
Tracy: 13:39 So I think, okay, I’ll do like a couple. The first one I would say, and this is just for adults in general, I think it’s so important to continue to learn and expand your skillset. It’s what keeps you alive. It’s what keeps you feeling. It just creates so much happiness. Not only that you’re putting yourself in a position not to deal with huge problems in your home, down the line when you are constantly dealing with maintenance. And so I encourage you to take one room at a time in your home. Go through it like literally get down on your hands and knees, look around the perimeter, look at the flooring, look at everything and really create a plan for maintenance in all of your spaces. And I know that sounds overwhelming, but just write out a list of all of all of the things and we’re not talking about like design like I need, right?
Tracy: 14:41 The things in your home that you know, you can see possibly like a little moisture coming in windows or you can see little cracks like work, create a little maintenance list and pick away at that. So you’re not dealing with some huge issue down the line. And really educate yourself in that arena. So that’s kind of like number one for me, especially people that deal with crazy weather, you know, or we live in California so there’s earthquake. Yeah. So that would be one of the resolutions is just keep learning about the different things in your home, what keeps them working properly and kind of add maintenance to your list. I know that’s not so fun.
Cara: 15:28 It is, is so true and so important because like you could have a gorgeous project and like finish a whole room, but if you’re not maintaining your house like that could be flooded or you know, something crazy happens just because you haven’t been paying attention. And I know that’s something I struggle with cause I’m not a detail person. So luckily my husband’s really good at keeping us on track. But no, that’s so important. And I think for first time home owners too, it’s like, because we’ve only ever bought new houses personally and I’m like adding to it, fixing it up. But there’s a lot you don’t know about your house even, right know you just, you have to learn. And it is like a journey. So I like how I like when you phrase that as like, yeah, be constantly learning and I don’t get overwhelmed by it. I feel.
Tracy: 16:13 Exactly. And when you’re educated, even if you hire someone to come work on your house, you can, if you’re educated you, they can’t take advantage of you. You know, which questions to ask. And that’s really empowering as well. The other thing I would say, and this is just, I mean this is such a, this is a full life goal, but really being intentional about what you bring into your space and the space you’re creating, that’s a big goal for me. So I’m one of those people who I’m a creative, crazy brain. And when I feel really overwhelmed, I’m very, um, like I just will spontaneously do things and that’s great. I think that’s really, really great. But, um, I don’t think you need to constantly be doing all this crazy stuff. It’s, I think it’s good to sit down and really think about how you can make your space serve you.
Tracy: 17:15 So you know, even when you’re creating a guest room, you know my first, like the first thing I want to do is like fill drawers with like 9 million samples of lotions and like all these crazy things get like sunblock and 500 different shapes and fill all these doors for people. But okay, when someone comes and stays with you, like they probably don’t need drawers and drawers of like crazy stuff, right? So you can still serve your guests and create a space that’s really intentional and and thoughtful, but maybe we just don’t have to go so overboard all the time. So that’s kind of a goal for myself.
Cara: 17:59 Yeah. That is so true for me too. It’s funny as you’re saying that, I’m like, yep, that is my life. Like I wake up and then instead of finishing like the hundred projects I have that are half done, I’m like, I’m going to do this project today. And I’m like going to home Depot, grabbing the lumber, go into hobby lobby, like getting all this stuff and it’s like this is what we’re doing today because I woke up and decided that. But like, um, that’s something for me too that I’m working on is like having a balance between like, okay, how can I plan and be really intentional about how I’m approaching projects but also leave room for like creativity and being spontaneous but doing it in a more yeah, meaningful, intentional way.
Tracy: 18:37 Yeah. Should be. I mean, so there’s a local place around me that it’s a vintage store and I follow them on Instagram. I had to kindly unfollow them because I would just randomly buy a headboard. They, I literally bought a headboard that I didn’t think about the fact that it wouldn’t attach to our frame. Um, and it’s like, Oh, so now we have to basically build a bed frame to accommodate. I had more like, I think it’s taking a couple steps back before you pull the trigger on anything and really like having a plan. And that’s kind of what, um, so the homeschooled podcast, we have a different instructor on every single week and whether it’s an organizer or someone telling us how to like do pest control. Literally every single person has said the same thing and not known that the, you know, says the same thing and it’s, you have got to have a plan and I think 2020 is about the plan, like creating systems in your life. That makes sense. And, and yeah, that would be another great goal for homeowners.
Cara: 19:54 Yeah. No like that’s funny because as a podcaster you like, there’s always themes that emerge. Like for me it’s like the DIY is a journey and you need to like do what you love. But it’s so fun hearing like that cause it’s like a totally different perspective that I haven’t talked about on my show before. But it’s so, so important.
Tracy: 20:15 Oh it’s crazy. Every single person has, has just stressed the importance of, of planning and it, it really is true and it’s, it’s something that is not hardwired within me. Just go out to like the, when I’m like, that’s cute, but like is the material washable? Uh, are these going to go with like in the big picture or do these fit into our life? Like, you know, I, I really think that’s a good thing to work.
Cara: 20:47 It totally is. And yeah, I’m the same way where it does not come naturally at all. Um, and I, I have other design friends where it does am literally in awe. Like I have a friend Nicole and she’s like an engineer by day and then she like goes to do a project and everything is like methodical and she measures like a hundred times and I’m just like, wow, my brain does not work that way.
Tracy: 21:09 Yeah. My husband too, he like, um, it wasn’t SketchUp, but it was a program really similar where he would sit and like create our kitchen in three D for like hours. And I’m more like, um, like measure it, draw on a piece of paper, show the contractor a Pinterest picture. I think there’s a happy, a happy medium for sure.
Cara: 21:34 There totally is. There totally is. Um, yeah, but let’s dive more into your podcasts since we kind of brought that up cause I want to share all about it cause I feel like listeners are going to love your show if they love this show. Um, you like talk about kind of what it is, how you got started. Um, all that.
Tracy: 21:53 Yeah, sure. So, um, it’s called the homeschool to podcast and it’s funny cause a lot of people are like, do you teach your kids at home? And I’m like, it’s like schooling people in all things home. So it was kind of a play on words. Um, that didn’t go so well for him anyway. Um, every single week it’s a classroom type setting and every week we have a new guest instructor, c’mon. And school us in an arena of the home. And um, we have talked to, I mean everyone we’ve talked to, um, people who curate the Elizabeth who curated the feed for cheap old houses. That’s like an Instagram cold favorite. And then we’ve had organizers. Like I said, we’ve had emergency preparedness. Um, we’ve had plumbing, we’ve had tiling. And I think it’s just breaking down all of these subjects that can feel so overwhelming in 45 minutes in a way that makes you feel like, okay, I think I probably could do this now that I’ve listened to it, but even if I can’t, now I have a base understanding. So when I decide to hire someone to do my flooring, I can ask them the proper questions. Like, is this type of wood going to be okay with the moisture in the location that I live? It’s about really empowering yourself to make educated decisions in your home. And that’s so important.
Cara: 23:27 It is. And that’s, that’s so good. Cause I feel like what the problem you’re solving with your show is like helping people understand what they don’t know. Cause if you don’t know what you don’t know, you have all these like surprises and you have no idea kind of what you’re doing. But if you know and you’re aware of the things you don’t yet know, you know how to like, ask the right questions and learn about it. So, yeah, I really love that approach so much.
Tracy: 23:52 Yeah. And it’s, it’s just like nowadays we are a society. We really don’t work as much with our hands and we don’t get in there and do stuff. I mean, our groceries can be delivered to our door. Everything is still immediate. And, and listen, I get my groceries delivered to like I’m not perfect and it’s, for me it’s a, it’s a component that makes my life easier right now so I can do other things. But yeah, I think it’s a give and take of like still getting in there and trying things and doing things. Um, and I just, I just love it. Like, um, we had a gentleman come on a couple of weeks ago to teach like a woodworking class and that is not anything I’m really interested in because I’ve always been so intimidated by the math component of it. And so I just told him, I said, I would love to do this, but I, I’m always been, I’m not good at math and I’ve always been intimidated about like the measurements and the cuts.
Tracy: 24:58 And he gave me like five reasons why I should not be intimidated. She, there’s fractional calculators, they’re SketchUp, there are million things, there are resources and the things in our head that hold us back are lies. We can figure this stuff out. And that’s why I love what you do honestly. Because first of all, like your whole feed has like the most like joyous heartbeat and it’s like, it shows that like this stuff can be fun, you know, and it, it’s not all fun but it can be fun. But also like anyone can get in there and just do it. And if it’s not right, you do it again.
Cara: 25:37 [inaudible] so true. Yeah. That was me with woodworking too because I mean I can do math but I don’t like it. But what I’ve realized is like, like okay, for example, I’m putting up like an accent wall with some wood and like I am, other friends would have like measured the wall and like sketched it all out and planned all the angles. And I’m like, Nope, I’m just going to throw a piece of wood up there. And then the next one I’ll measuring cut and like as I go along I’m like, you know, creating it and it’s like there’s an art component to it too. So it’s like just got to get into that art side of your brain and be okay with things not being super perfect. Like unless you, you know, really are OCD and you really need like crazy, crazy, amazing joints. Like you’re doing it and you’re not like a professional woodworker.
Cara: 26:22 So like give yourself grace if you can create what you want and know like, and know your boundaries like no when you need to outsource, which really yeah, that’s another thing we should, I had been to actually, um, cause I’m like a DIY or through and through and I love making things but like there are so many times where you need to outsource. Like my dad was a home builder and electrician, so I learned early on that there are some things you don’t DIY. Like do not DIY your own electrical work. No. Do you have any tips for like knowing when you’re out of your element, like knowing when you should hire a contractor?
Tracy: 27:00 Um, so I’m actually gonna use advice that we got from Mina from good bones on HGTV cause we asked her this because she’s very much like you where she does everything herself and I liked her answer. Um, you think of the worst case scenario and if the worst case scenario is you getting like really hurt or potential flooding or damage, then you don’t do it. If the worst case scenario is it doesn’t look good and you have to pull it down and try again, then you do it. Yet. I really liked that. So like for me, a lot of times when I’ve hired out, a lot of times I’ve actually been bummed out because it’s stuff I feel like I could do, but I can’t safely do it with a three year old and a four year old at my feet and I can’t, there’s certain things you just can’t do at night in the middle of the night. So sometimes it’s about like just um, a time component. But safety is probably like the number one thing. Um, you know, I do think people can do more with electric than they give themselves credit for. Same with plumbing, but when it comes to that major stuff, you know, I think it’s best to just hire someone who’s licensed for sure.
Cara: 28:26 Yes. And that I feel like, yeah, just having self awareness and kind of knowing what you don’t know again, but like that comes with learning about your house and knowing what needs to be done because you’ve taken the time to learn. So yeah, circling back, it’s all one in the same. Um, can you chat about some of the basics of hiring someone, like maybe sharing some tips on how to find the right person? Do you just Google search? What are your tips for finding a good contractor?
Tracy: 28:56 Yeah, so I happen to live in a community that’s like older homes. I live in a beach community. So the great thing about where I live is if you ask around enough, you can probably find someone who’s worked in a home within your community. And someone’s had a personal experience with them. And I think that is probably, if, if it’s possible, the best way you can hire someone is to go look at someone’s work in a home similar to yours and ask them about the experience. If that isn’t a possibility, the next best thing is looking at, you know, Yelp or Angie’s list or one of these sites that um, provides. Because you know, if something is a little off, I mean someone is going to tell you, someone doesn’t tell, someone, tells you if there isn’t a fork with their food. Um, so I would just really do the deep dive on reviews and then ask to see examples of their work.
Tracy: 30:02 Um, I really do think it’s great though to hire someone who is used to working within your community. So if there’s a certain thing that’s, um, you know, in your home that maybe all the neighbors have to, for us, we, our community is so weird. I’ll almost all the houses have the same floor plan. So anyone who has, who does work around here kind of knows what’s up, you know, so that’s good. And then really having a big conversation about expectation, timeline and money and, and laying it all out there. Um, timeline you’re going to have to be a little bit flexible on, but it’s good to really set those expectations with whoever you’re going to work with and communication. Like we talk about that a lot. Communication with anyone you work with, whether they are mowing your lawn or building all your cabinetry is so important. Um, so you just find someone you really feel comfortable communicating with.
Cara: 31:08 [inaudible] no, those are all really good tips and I really like the tip about like looking at work they’ve done, which is something I feel like as a new homeowner it’s easy to miss because it’s easy to like dive into Yelp and like, okay, read reviews. He sounds awesome, but like I have to really look at what they’ve done because you know, then you know, if it’s a fit for you, it’s not even like do they do good work, although you’re obviously looking for that. But like, is this what I want? Like is this is what I want my house? Like, can they really achieve what I’m going for? Cause when it’s, especially with big projects too, you have to really, really communicate that. Like what’s going here, what is it actually going to look like? Because without communication, that’s how all the mistakes happen, which a lot.
Tracy: 31:54 And I find with like, um, with the contractors, so you know when you go to get a haircut and, and they ask you like, so how do you want your hair? And you’re just trying to like describe it. It’s probably best to bring a picture, right? So you can give somebody an actual, so it’s not, so the contractors will, will act to like you’re being annoying, but I don’t care. Same time, so many Pinterest pictures that the guys who did our kitchen just because I think sometimes, you know, things can get lost in translation. Like, you know what I think is, if, I think I’m describing it one way, someone might just imagine it differently. So I would just be armed
Cara: 32:40 with lots of visuals and ask them, do you think you can achieve this? And I think some people will actually say if it’s not in their skill set, they’ll probably say no. Yeah, they should. Yeah. God, I hope so. Yeah. No, that’s so true. That was me with the electrician that hung the lights and like the guest bedroom I just did, I like a thousand pictures. I like can sketch stuff at one point. I’m like up on the ladder holding the fixture. Like I want it to be dragged and all. You see how this is a diamond, it needs to probably thought I was crazy. But he, he did it. He did great. I think we’re a little crazy but there’s got to also be an appreciation for homeowners that actually can communicate what they want. Cause I’m sure it’s a lot more frustrating for contractors when people don’t say anything until it’s done.
Cara: 33:28 And then they want to change. Yeah. Oh my gosh. And then app about it and he’s like, well you didn’t really tell me that. Exactly. Exactly. Okay. So let’s talk about something that I have a problem with, which is the trailing to do list. Um, I know that this time of year can make us feel a little guilty sometimes as we look back on all the things we didn’t get done that we’d told ourselves we wanted to. Um, do you have any tips for tackling those nagging to do list items that always seem last on the list or are just straight up like no fun to work on?
Tracy: 34:06 Um, so I do not want to act like I’m the expert at this, but I am getting much better and I’m figuring things out. And um, the number one thing that has worked for me is breaking each project up to the smallest steps so that you are constantly making progress. Because when you put something on your list like hang wallpaper, right? I mean you’re going to look at that item for weeks.
Cara: 34:43 That’s going to take me days.
Tracy: 34:45 Exactly. But if you write down order samples, watch YouTube tutorial on hanging wallpaper, measure room, um, pick sample, like select, select wallpaper, order what you selected. If you literally break everything down to every single nut and bolt, you will see a lot more progress. And when I was talking about even working on the maintenance of your house, like if you crawl around and look at everything and you just, you know, you make like a big sweeping list, but then if you go back and you just like kind of flip through your calendar for the year and just like say on Wednesdays you put in a little line item, that’s a maintenance thing. It’s just, I think just spreading it out and simplifying it and looking at everything as a series of steps and not a big project will really help.
Cara: 35:44 Oh that’s so true. Because there’s so many things that I avoid, like big projects that aren’t like fun for me. Like they don’t feel exciting to me, but it’s like I avoid it because I am like, I don’t want to devote two days to that right now. So we’re just going to keep putting it off and putting it off. So the little steps that’s really, really good
Tracy: 36:05 to also, so like in our house for example, there’s some stuff I really want to do but it requires pulling everything out of a room and then it requires, you know, I need to figure out who’s gonna be with my kids that day so that they’re not like, you know, crawling through bins of stuff and it’s a lot of logistics. So I think sometimes just figuring out the logistics are what’s so overwhelming. But honestly just break it down and then put dates on the calendar. Like if your schedule these things in like they were anything else, if they were a, you know, a doctor’s appointment or anything else you needed, like actually schedule these things in on days and create time for them because I mean no one’s just going to wake up and realize that they randomly had two hours to like hang curtain rods, schedule. You’ve got to, you know, mindfully schedule that time so that, that would be another piece of advice.
Cara: 37:06 Amanda. It was really good cause that’s something I’m, I’m really hoping to get better at in 2020 and I didn’t really know how, but now man, that’s really good.
Tracy: 37:15 Oh but listen, listen, it’s like we have so many things going on in our lives and like there’s so many activities. We’re also like, you know, we’re maintaining homes, we’re feeding our families, we’re taking our kids all around, we’re trying to be good spouses. We’re like, you know, taking care of that. I feel like when I’m really working on the inside of the house, then the outside goes crazy. When the outside looks beautiful, then the inside looks crazy. So listen, like no one, no one person can do it all, all the time. And I think it’s also about sometimes looking at those big things that are looming and just are not getting done and haven’t gotten done for a really long time. And maybe considering starting to put aside a little bit of budget to have those big things taken care of. You know, I think that’s okay. You know? Yeah. There are certain things that I cannot get around to anytime soon. And I think I’m very aware of that and I just start tucking money away and those, that’s when I have someone swoop in and help, you know
Cara: 38:28 too. Cause like yeah no one’s the expert in. Like if you are, it’s kind of suspicious that you’re doing like okay. But no, that’s a good tip. It’s like give yourself grace if you can’t get to it. Like you have the best intentions and you tried but it’s not happening. So like let’s find a backup plan instead of beating ourselves up about it or letting it still linger on unfinished.
Tracy: 38:51 Exactly. And like we had the clean mama on our show on mine like next week. Oh my gosh. Okay. First of all, she’s amazing. You will love her. Like I really wanted to talk to her cause I was like really? Are we really doing this? I would be really cleaning every single day. And when I talked to her, it really opened up my mind in a lot of ways and I think it applies to everything and her whole philosophy is she just cleans every day for 15 minutes, like 15 to 30 minutes. And because she does a little bit every day, her house is maintained and I think it’s the same thing. It’s like, you know, penciling in a little home maintenance time. You know, you might not get to do it every day, but maybe like, you know, Wednesdays and Fridays or whatever. Um, I think if we just pick away at stuff, it, it, the overwhelm definitely subside.
Cara: 39:54 Absolutely. We just did like a 30 minute purge thing. Me and some Instagram friends, right? Every day we like picked a space to purge and it was hilarious because it’s like stuff I’ve been avoiding doing, but like 30 minutes in like the room is transformed. Like that’s actually so much time, but it doesn’t, it’s like not a lot of time out of your day, but you can get so much done in this 30 minutes.
Tracy: 40:19 Think of the time we like scroll on our phones during the day like there. I’m sure there’s 30 minutes of time where we’re just kind of sitting kind of zoning where we could just quickly do one drawer. I love that challenge by the way. I loved watching everyone’s stuff. It’s very satisfying. But yeah, I think it’s such a good point just to set the timer, set the timer for 15 minutes, 30 minutes a day, and just, you know, knock a little, a little something out.
Cara: 40:51 Yeah. That’s so good. Um, so kind of checking in with this maintenance thing, cause I know some people like get the concept of, you know, I need to do it a little bit at a time and like keep up with it. Um, but as a homeowner, you know, there’s so many things to keep up with, but it is way better to be like proactive versus waiting till things go wrong in breakdown. Um, is there anything like more specifically we should be doing like annually to keep our homes in great shape? Like maybe a mini checklist of items for like as we start January, like what do we, what do we look, go look at?
Tracy: 41:26 Yes, definitely. Um, there’s definitely seasonal things. So like when you’re preparing for the summer for example, that’s when we’re starting to pull out all like the deck furniture, hosing it off, getting the patio clean, um, starting to like treat our plants differently so that they can make it through the heat. Stuff like that. In the winter we’re really looking, well that’s like kind of pre winter but we’re looking for um, you want to go around the perimeter of your house and look for like any cracks, any, um, you want to look at the roof. You definitely want to take care of any trees that are getting close to um, like your, your water gutter, you know, the, the water gutters. And um, so this time of year, let’s see, we’re going to be coming into, I’m like what, what, where, which day is it? It’s like the holiday.
Tracy: 42:21 I’m like coming into spring. So it’s so different. Cause I live in California, Denver to Houston. I’m like, well all this stuff I knew about snow no longer apply. Right. I lived in New York for 10 years. I’m like, what happens again when it gets cold but really going around like the exterior, your house is a really good important thing to do this time of year, sealing those windows, looking at the roof. Um, you know, anything that could be affected by like lots of rain, snow, cold. Um, and I definitely seasonally there, I hate to say this, but um, if you go online and I do this all the time, if you search like fall checklist, spring checklist, winter checklist on Pinterest or even this is like so old school, that’s Bob vila.com actually has ruined green checklist.
Tracy: 43:19 Yeah. Um, you can definitely, I, I’m sorry I haven’t given more off the top of my head, but you can be more specific. But also like the water heater is a really important thing to look at. Um, just we’re coming into that time where we really want to clean everything out, you know, after there’s winter. So, you know, cleaning out all those drains and making sure all the bugs, once it gets warm again, can’t find their way in stuff like that. No, but that’s good. Like letting it guide you because like you probably shouldn’t have everything memorized off the top of your head that you need to do. Like there should be space for other better information in your head or somewhere way. Now I’m like, I mean on my checklist right now is basically digging out from the 500 pounds of like wrapping paper and holiday stuff that is like, gosh, the box. Oh my gosh, I cannot remember a year that I’ve felt so buried in stuff after the holidays and we went so minimal this year. And it’s funny. It just still, it finds a way of exploding on ya. This bomb is one of my friends. It,
Cara: 44:32 it’s true. It’s a Christmas. It just explodes in your house.
Tracy: 44:35 It does. And Oh man, it’s this time of year. It feels so good to do that deep clean. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I am over the next couple of couple of days and then like the new toys and stuff come in so you can feel really good about purging all the old stuff up and donating it. So that’s on my list.
Cara: 44:54 That’s good. So what’s, do you have anything fun coming up for you? Any like projects you’re working on or anything with the show you want to share? Um,
Tracy: 45:04 yeah. Well we have so many amazing guests coming on. Um, and just like you said, I know everyone that loves your show will love ours and we actually have you coming on alert. Yeah, we’re really excited. Um, so yeah, just like a lot of really exciting guests, um, coming up. And then, um, I had video content rolling out of every other week starting in January, which I’m really excited about. And um, just fun stuff. You know,
Cara: 45:40 I just saw her video of like the um, backdrop where you did like the evergreen and little notes and stuff. Oh my gosh,
Tracy: 45:48 cute. I love, yeah, that’s the first one of, of a whole series that I’ve shot and just starting to really share the work that I’m doing on my home and it feels so good too. I took a break of doing like video content and everything just because I was in such a season of that fulltime mom life, which I still am, but now my kids are at an age where we all get involved in it and do stuff together and it’s just so fun. I love it. So yeah, I’m excited for you. Thank you.
Cara: 46:25 Oh, and then, okay, so I will link to the podcast in the show notes as well as your blog, but do you just want to like let everyone know where they can find you on the internet? Like [inaudible]
Tracy: 46:34 right? Yeah, yeah. On Instagram and Facebook you can find me at, Hey Tracy Pendergast. Um, and then, um, the podcast is the homeschool, the podcast. It’s um, schooled has no E so it’s just the D and um, yeah. Uh, Hey tracy.com is my blog.
Cara: 46:56 Yeah. Well, perfect. I’m excited for everyone to get to connect with you and find your show because that’s what’s fun is like finding a new show. You have so much to catch up on. So, so many episodes to binge.
Tracy: 47:08 Yeah. And the fun stuff about home shows like yours and ours is, you can just listen to the episodes that apply to you so you can bounce around and kind of use it as like a DIY guidebook and it’s so fun. Use it as you need it.
Cara: 47:22 Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks so much for sitting down with me today was great. So fantastic. I so much fun and work
Tracy: 47:30 excited to talk to you. Um, the next month or so it’s coming up. Yep. Cool. Well, thank you so much for having nice cars. Thank you.
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