Making An Efficient DIY Shopping List

As the pandemic continues, so do the DIY home improvement projects! When shopping for home improvement projects, having a good DIY shopping list is essential. It will help you stay safe and get things done with as few trips to the store as possible. Of course, if you are still uncomfortable entering a store, you have other options too! Many stores will allow you to order online and have the items delivered or pick them up curbside.

Here are a few suggestions that will allow you to limit your shopping to a single trip.

Build Your Project List

The first thing that you’ll need to do is figure out exactly what you’re hoping to accomplish. Think about more than just the project that you’re currently working on. Instead, look at your overall DIY slate. Not only can taking all of your projects into account help you cut back on trips for supplies, but it can also make it easier to see where supplies can be used for more than one project. You don’t have to list every single project that you might conceivably do. However, you should at least create a list of the next few projects that you hope to tackle. Write all of these projects out on a separate list, before creating your DIY shopping list.

Having trouble motivating yourself to take on a DIY project? Here are our tips for increased productivity!

DIY Shopping List

What Do You Have on Hand?

Figure out everything that you’ll need for the projects on your list. Then, start looking at what you already have available. Maybe you already have some lumber, wires, or fasteners on hand. Check and see if you have enough to get through all of your projects. If you don’t have the exact materials you’d planned on using for a project, do you have anything similar that could be substituted? Be sure and take things like paint, sealer, and similar materials into account as well. Knowing what you already have will help you narrow down exactly what you do need. This will keep your costs down and make your shopping trip go faster as well.

What Do You Still Need?

Take into account everything that you’ll need to finish your projects. This includes any additional tools you’ll need to pick up and anything you’ll need for maintenance or decoration. Organize your list as best you can. We suggest grouping items that should be located in the same area. This will reduce your back-and-forth time and keep your contact with others in the store at a minimum. Be sure to check this list twice! Anything you miss will mean another trip to the store at some point.

There are a ton of great projects you can tackle with your DIY shopping list. However, don’t forget there are some projects that are better left to the pros!

DIY Shopping List

Planning for Multiple Stops

Another thing to consider is that you may not be able to get everything that you need in a single stop. If this is the case, organize your DIY shopping list so that you group everything at each stop together. This means that if you need to hit the hardware store, all of your hardware purchases are in that part of the list. Any big-box specific purchases would be in another part of the list. Once you have these divisions in place, you can use the same tactic from above to sub-group items that are in the same part of each store.

You should also use this time to plan other necessities for your trip as well. Make sure you have a mask or other protective gear and hand sanitizer. It’s also a good idea to come up with a timetable for your trip. Figure out what time everything opens so you can go as early as your schedule allows to avoid crowds.

Making Your DIY Shopping List

One last thing to consider: while you may be used to keeping shopping lists on your phone or through a digital assistant, if you’re in an area where you really want to minimize potential contact with germs or other contagions then individual paper lists could be a better option. This reduces the possibility of your phone getting contaminated while you look at it or touch it. Plus, the lists themselves can be disposed of once you’re done with them. It can also help with your organization since you’ll have a single list to work from with each stop that you make.

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About the Author
Shannon Jones has been selling real estate since 1998 and specializes in listing and marketing homes. She has consistently been one of the top Realtors in the Long Beach area. Prior to her award-winning career in real estate with the Shannon Jones Team, Shannon has had successful careers in journalism and public relations. She holds a bachelor's degree from UC Irvine and a master's degree from UC Berkeley. Shannon holds E-Pro, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), and PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) certifications. Shannon is very personable and maintains a very strong moral compass, always putting the best interest of home buyers/sellers above monetary goals. A California native, Shannon enjoys gardening, travel, reading, cooking and poker when she’s not selling homes.

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Lic# 01247705 | CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) | E-Pro | PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist)