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How to Stay Motivated through DIY Project Setbacks

Fall '22 One Room Challenge - Week 6: How I Stay Motivated through Setbacks

Before reading all about How to Stay Motivated through DIY Project Setbacks, be sure to check out our ORC Week 5 post on our DIY Magnetic Chalkboard!  As well as the other participants who are working to complete their own ORC!

At what point during a One Room Challenge are you able to accept that you are not going to complete your room in the 8-week period? 

We have been working hard but unfortunately have had several set backs, not just with the project itself but also with sick kiddos who pass their germs to Mom & Dad! 

So we are currently sitting with several partially completed projects for the playroom reno but nothing complete this week.  So this weeks post is more of a status update on where each of those projects stand and a few tips on staying motivated through DIY setbacks.

Staying Motivated through DIY Setbacks

Floating Desk Nook

The desk build in the nook in the playroom was going so well and moving forward quickly!  I started by framing out the desk with 2x4s.  The nook is 100 inches wide, so I grabbed 9 foot framing 2x4s and cut 8 inches off to make the front and back sides of the frame.  Then cut braces to place ever 12 inches between the two. 

I started to run into problems once I completed my frame.  The problem was always there, I just failed to notice or recognize it.  I had planned to use sanded plywood for the desk top, but these sheets only come in 8 foot lengths.  So I was going to have to combine two sections.  I really did not prefer that!  So this is where I  made shifts in my timeline – I decided to wait for some custom cut boards.  The boards are being cut at exactly 100 inches, which will make such a nice large work top, without any middle seam! 

Once this is completed I will share a full how to post with measurements, tools, links, etc! 

DIY Floating Desk

Chalkboard Storage

Staying Motivated through DIY Setbacks

I feel like this one hurts the most for me; likely because I thought it would be so easy!  I had simply planned to hang some hooks to the left side of the chalkboard and then hang buckets on the hooks to hold chalk, erasers, and magnets. 

So far I have bought 3 different pails/buckets.  The first was way too big! The second were smaller buckets with handles on the side, I couldn’t stand hanging them from the side.  The last one (this is going to show how OCD I am), didn’t have a center groove in the wooden handle.  So when hung on the hook it would slide into one of the off center grooves and would hang crooked!  I simply couldn’t stand it!  So anyway, I am still on the hunt for some buckets to hang and I am tired of returning buckets! 

Built-in Cabinets & Bookshelf

For this project I planned on using 5 unfinished 30 inch cabinets from Home Depot as a base, then I would add a counter top to the cabinets, and from there, build bookshelves on top that would go to the ceiling.  

Before sharing the setbacks I’ve faced on this project, I have to share a WIN!  When you buy 5 or more cabinets in-store you receive a 10% bulk discount.  Now, most stores never have 5 of the same cabinet at one time!  And even on the day I headed to the store to buy cabinets, online it said there was 3 in-store.  Well surprisingly, there was actually 5, which is the exact number I needed.  I was so excited.  We had two employees help us to get them all down and load them up.  The best part, I received that 10% bulk discount! 

Staying Motivated through DIY Setbacks

There are a couple setbacks with our cabinet/bookshelf build.  The first, is the counter top is like the floating desk.  Since I decided to get custom lumber cut for the desk, I wanted to get the same for the top of the cabinets.  I wanted to make sure the wood tops would match. 

Waiting on lumber also creates a delay in building the bookshelves.  Before we can build the bookshelves on top of the cabinets/counter we will have to wait for the custom cut lumber as well.  

Then, I made the poor decision to not prime my unfinished cabinets.  So it is taking 3 coats of paint to get a good finished cover on the cabinets.  So a lot more time literally waiting for paint to dry! 

Staying Motivated through DIY Setbacks


I am not here to lie to you!  I find myself feeling totally discouraged when my timelines shift to the right.  So I use some tools to keep myself motived and excited.  

First, acknowledging all the work that HAS been completed!  I will look back through my pictures and videos on my phone to just remember where I started!  It’s basically like comparing workout progress pics! 

Next, I spend time in the room/space!  Might seem crazy but I will just hang out in the space.  Just the other day, for this playroom renovation, I sat in the room while listening to an audio book.  I was at a standstill, literally waiting for paint to dry, so I just sat there looking around and listening to my book.  

I found myself smiling at the kid’s chalkboard which is covered in magnets and scribble!  Then, I looked over at the little bits of art work hanging on the curtain wire above the floating desk frame; then I jumped up and decided to sit on the desk frame – I am really so proud of how solid it is! 

Lastly, and probably not at all the most healthy recommendation, I start a completely new project!  Simply put, for me, I like to stay busy and I have a list of DIYs throughout my house!  So when I get stuck on the current one I will move on to a smaller project elsewhere.  Just keeping busy keeps me from being sad over a standstill! Staying Motivated through DIY Setbacks can be hard, but pushing through it to get to that completed project is worth it! 

Staying Motivated through DIY Setbacks
Staying Motivated through DIY Setbacks
This is what the Room Currently Looks Like!
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