Staying ‘Organized’ in the Home Decorating Process

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How to easily organize and make progress in decorating your entire home. {free home decor planner printable}

Monday’s post about everything we’ve accomplished in our home in the last two years made me think about just how hard it is to decorate an entire home in a short period of time. I think the huge success of shows like “Fixer Upper” and the like are due to the fact that with the magic of TV a home goes from run-down to perfectly gorgeous in a 60- minute show, but as we know, real life home decorating isn’t like that. Most of us live with partially decorated rooms and a never-ending list of home projects to do. Time and budgets are always the biggest obstacle–even for those of us who blog about decorating our homes for a living! 🙂


How to add touches of coastal and beach decor to your home | 11 Magnolia Lane


Today I thought I’d talk about ways to keep focused on spiffing up your home and not constantly feel overwhelmed at the thought of it. When you move constantly you learn  how to best tackle settling into a new house and facing a million ‘things to do’. If you are new around here, Christy and I have moved multiple times since the inception of our blog, 11 Magnolia Lane. I just counted that we’ve lived in 8 houses all together! {Seriously? That is a lot of home tours to share!} Some of these homes have been rentals too so we both know all to well how hard it is to make a short-term {rentals or military housing} feel like home.


Holiday Open House--Christy at 11 Magnolia Lane


Last spring we launched our Whole House Home Decor Planner and based on the number of times it has been downloaded, I think that the struggle to pull together a coordinated, polished, home is real!  The Planner is free for our readers, so be sure to take a few minutes to download it and work through the planning process.  It also helps you stay on track to systematically and progressively make updates to create a cohesive, welcoming home.




Here are some of our top tips to pulling your home together:

–Don’t try to decorate everything at once. I admit to constantly making this mistake! Any HomeGoods shopper knows that you may stumble upon the perfect find for a room you haven’t even thought about decorating and start down a slippery slope of painting, more shopping and more projects. Consequently, the room you were working on gets put on hold and another room gets started. Suddenly you have a half-decorated house, trust me, I am pointing a finger right back at me, I am guilty of this one!

–Decide what your home priorities are. If you have a kitchen that you can barely cook in, a baby on the way, or vile carpet you probably have different priorities than someone who is just looking to spiff up a newly built home.

–Public Rooms matter more. Even bloggers admit that their bedrooms get decorated last because it is a space only you (and your spouse) really see. A good plan of attack is to start with the spaces inside your front door and pull those together first, then move to the rooms you use the most–typically your kitchen and den/family room.

–If you have children, make their rooms feel personalized for them a priority. Moving can be unsettling for kids so fixing up their spaces is always among my top priorities in a new home.  In my daughter’s room, I did a quick makeover right after we moved in, then refreshed it again this year. Her space may always be a work in progress but her tastes change as she grows so that is OK.

–Don’t be afraid to make your home work for you. It makes sense to turn your unused formal dining room into a playroom if you have small children, or create a home office from a formal living room so you can work or manage your household or turn a closet into a “room” like we did here. It is your home, I encourage you to do what you need to make it work for you. Take time to think about how to make the best use of the space you have, again there are tools in the Planner to assist with this.

–I approached our new house with a “one room per month” plan the first year we lived here. Did I hit all my goals? Absolutely not! But, I powered through some smaller re-do’s {like our powder room} before tackling larger projects {like our kitchen}.  Having a plan motivated me to keep moving to the next project on the list.

–Embrace Pinterest. Organize your home boards by room and save images you love. During your planning process, look through to see what you consistently pin to solidify your design plan. During our kitchen makeover, I used my Kitchen Inspiration Pinterest Board to reinforce that I truly wanted pure white cabinets, since I discovered had about 100 pins that had pure white cabinets–and I love them, BTW!

–Use the Whole House Home Decor Planner to think about all the decor and DIY projects that are involved in fixing up a room or space in your home. That way you can combine shopping/home improvement store trips, keep your eyes open for small accessories while you are out and about and keep focused so you can finish one space before you move on to another.


Organize your home decor with our Whole House Home Decor Planner


–Try to focus on one or two spaces at a time. Blogging and the constant need to have home decor projects to ‘show off’ certainly helps me with this, after all it isn’t that you all want to see our partially decorated rooms! If you don’t have a blog, pushing through to a finished room will give you a sense of accomplishment :). You can always show it off on Instagram! {Tag us, we’d LOVE to see your spaces!}.

–All in all, don’t lose heart. Everyone has different budgets and situations.  I love visiting my friend’s homes and the ones I love the most are not the perfectly decorated ones but the ones that have personal style. Trust yourself, buy and create what you truly love and your home will make you happy!

Thoughts? I’d love to hear them in the comments!




Click Here to Download our Free 10 Page Whole Home Decor Planner


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  1. Great advice, your blog is becoming one of my favorites. I get excited when I see it in my inbox.

    I cannot do a room a month, but during my slower months (less kids sports) Jan.& feb Im planing a kitchen update. 18 years ago we totally remodeled our kitchen, and now it’s looking a little (alot) tired.

    I will definitely download your whole house manual and use it. I know what you mean about personal style, I have friends with oak cabinets in their kitchen because they fear painting wood, i really like painted cabinets even though mine are currently maple?


    • June–Do not feel like you have to do one room a month, I failed at that I promise! However, it helped me whip the house in somewhat presentable shape to prioritize and keep plodding through to at least have home goals. I know what you mean–I don’t know how to get anything done anymore with sports all weekend! I’ll miss it when they are grown though–right? So I’m trying to slow down and enjoy it. Keep us posted on your progress! XO, Amy

  2. Great tips, thank you. I find that I have two “big” projects going on right now and wish it was just one (one kind of bled into the other. . .) I like the idea of one room a month and THANK YOU for “giving permission” to use a room in a way that works for our family, not necessarily as it was meant to be used. I’m feeling better about my dining-turned-family-office now. . .love your blog and your inspiration.

  3. I really love all the fantastic things you have done to your home, I was a room jumper but i will try decorating one room at a time, i’m motivated, thanks!!!

    • I hope that works for you 🙂 I try to stick with one at a time even though I am not always successful! Ha Ha–good luck… XO, Amy

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