Nearly everyone has a laundry list of things they’d like to do to their home when they get the chance. Replace old floors, renovate the kitchen, expand the bathroom, finish the basement– the list can really go on even in newer homes.

When the home really needs a lot of work, however, and you’re feeling fearful of embarking on a major renovation, sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin. Do you deal with the areas in the worst shape first? Or take on something smaller to test the waters, so to speak? Maybe, the best thing to do is to just bite the bullet and do the whole thing at once?

This is the stage where coming up with and setting clear goals for yourself can help. Yes, your home needs a lot of work. And yes, you have a major renovation coming. But what do you really want from it in the end? Is it a better-looking home? A more functional space? More space in general? It’s not enough to know that you need to renovate; you need to also know what your ideal end result will be. Otherwise, you may not end up satisfied in the end.

Step Back a Bit

In the end, you want a home you can be proud of; that’s beautiful, functional, and has enough space for your needs. But what does that really look like for you? Remember, your ideal home isn’t necessarily going to look like your neighbor’s. So, what will it look like? At this stage, you need to step back a bit and get practical about how your home is going to perform and function when the renovation is complete. Looks and style will come later, and in fact, you may even find that they follow much more smoothly once you know the types of designs and materials that will best suit your needs.

To do this, try to focus on how you see yourself using the space when it’s finished. How do you see your family using the space? What will make the space more functional for you? What do you absolutely need to include in the remodel to make the home perfect? Again – do not focus on things like color, style, or appearance, but rather on how the home will work.

For example, if you’re remodeling a bathroom, ask yourself what the problems currently are with the space beyond the cosmetic. Is it too small for your family? Do you need more storage? Would you prefer a performance shower or a soaking tub? How many people will be using the room at a time? Do you need a double sink to clear up the line in the mornings?

Once you define the issues, you can begin setting clear goals for yourself as to how you’ll fix them. If the room is too small, you can take a look at nearby areas and potentially expand into them. This extra space can be used for storage, a bigger shower, or a longer vanity with a double sink.

If the room is going to get a lot of traffic, you’ll want practical surface materials that will make cleaning easier. This will narrow down your choices and make it easier for you to design your dream bath. Now, you have a clear goal of what you want your new bathroom to look like beyond simply knowing that it needs to be done, superficially.

When you’ve set these goals, you’re more likely to feel in control of the project, which in turn can lead to feelings of excitement as you move toward completion.

Set Yourself Up for Success

It’s not easy, but by setting clear goals you make things easier for yourself to accomplish in the end. So, take the time to really look at your home and see what will improve it. You’ll find that the end results will be that much more satisfying once you do.