Melissa Dubravetz, advertising writer

Cold weather, snow and other winter weather conditions are all good reasons for homeowners to tackle interior home projects that were put off during summer and fall. From repainting a room or repairing furniture to home renovations or appliance replacement, crossing these projects off the ‘to-do’ list will free up future warmer weather days and let you enjoy time off.

Let’s face it; your walls aren’t going to paint themselves any sooner than your items in need of repair are going to magically start working again. The key to getting these interior projects and tasks completed is having a plan and then sticking to that plan. Yes, it takes away from your free time. Yes, it could take some money. And yes, spending your Saturday or Sunday afternoon working around the house may not be your idea of a relaxing weekend at home. But before you put off your interior projects for another day, weekend or month, consider this: The sooner you get these items completed, the sooner you can lounge on the couch and enjoy your winter weather weekends.

Personally speaking, I usually create my “winter month project list” sometime around New Year’s Day, and I add all the items to a list I keep on my phone. Some items on my list are major – such as going through stuff in the basement and organizing everything. Some of the items on my list are minor – like rearranging the food in the kitchen cabinets (weird, but true). I then add goal dates for when these items will be completed, and I actually check each one off the list when it’s done. In fact, so far this winter I’ve repainted a bedroom, organized the kitchen and checked the expiration dates and labels on food in the freezer and cupboards. Next up? Getting rid of clothing, shoes and coats I no longer want and finding an organizing solution for the front coat closet.

While I have enough interior projects on my to-do list to keep me busy for a bit, I wanted to hear what other homeowners have on their winter month project lists.

Charlotte, a homeowner for the last 10 years, uses the winter months to tackle long-term projects. “This winter I would like to repaint our kitchen, living room and downstairs bathroom,” she said. “After 10 years, there are some scuffs and scratches that just can’t be touched up anymore.”

“I am planning to spend the winter months adding some color and décor to my home,” said Marie, who just built a new home with her husband and moved in late last summer. “Spending more time indoors inspires me to get things decorated to our liking, and I’m working my way through the house a little at a time.”

William, who rehabbed his first home a few years ago and does many, if not all, of his own repairs and projects, said his winter to-do list for this year includes projects that go way beyond home organization. “Winter is a good time to tackle larger home projects, including flooring and bathroom remodeling.”

Regardless of what your winter project list includes, planning ahead and allocating sufficient time to complete the project are key to success. Don’t expect to get everything done in one day – or even one weekend in some instances. Work through your project step-by-step, cross things off as you go and keep your goals realistic.

“Ideally, I would love to start working on finishing the basement, too, this winter,” said Charlotte. “I’m not sure that will happen yet though.”

Let me know what you think. What home projects are on your to-do list this winter? I welcome your suggestions on making a decision, tales from your personal experiences or anything else you want to talk about. Send an e-mail with your name and phone number to homeownership@thebeaconjournal.com. For additional real estate information, visit homes.ohio.com, the key to hassle-free home hunting.