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RISMEDIA, February 1, 2011—HGTV’s Carter Oosterhouse shares his motivation and insight for tackling projects around the house

What projects should you do first?
When cold weather arrives, try to lower heating bills by properly sealing your home. Look for drafts around windows, doors, and vents, and then use caulk or weather stripping to seal them. It may not be glamorous, but it will pay you back down the road.

Organizing an entire home can be daunting. If someone has the time and energy to tackle just one room, which should it be?
If you have never taken on a major project, start with spaces such as the living room, spare bedroom, or the garage—rooms that won’t limit your ability to function. Once you get your feet wet, the timeline and preparation for your next project will be that much more organized.

This month you worked on a closet update for Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine. What’s the trick to an organized closet?
Space is key! Many times, people have maxed out their closet and have no more room to add, let alone organize. That’s when it’s time to evaluate. Donate clothes you no longer wear to a charity, store seasonal attire in a separate location, and separate his from hers.

What’s your best advice for someone starting a big project?
Have a plan of attack. If you think you can just start up any big job without a plan, then you are in for a world of frustration. Know your capabilities and limitations. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and request the help of others.

Which projects offer the most bang for the buck?
The kitchen is huge, along with the master bedroom and bathroom. These can boost your resale value and attract buyers who want a space that’s move-in ready. If you can stand not being able to cook for a little while, the investment can come back to you in a big way.

This article is excerpted from Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine, 2010.

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