we just closed on our first (actual home)! we've been leasing-to-own our double wide, it's fantastic, but the one we found is holy grail.
I stripped our current place apart, literally. And when thinking about touching up the new house, this is what I've learned from all I've done.
#1: Reno your house 1 strip at a time, 1 room at a time. That way you can gauge how messy it is going to be, what tools you'll really need, and if you like the outcome enough to do it throughout the house.
#2: Don't peel off the vinyl paper to expose the sheetrock/wallboard. It's just so much easier to leave the wall structure in tact and work around it. Take the battens off by all means, but removing sheets of vinyl turned out to be much more work than it had to be.
#3: Don't throw away all your trim until it's replaced. Use the old pieces as a template for new door casings and crown moulding measurements, this saves a lot of time.
#4: Live with it. As much as you think you want to go to town on (x, y or z) in your house, live with it for a few weeks or months in it's current state (unless it's filthy- then clean) and use that time to figure out which rooms get the most traffic, what annoys you the most, what will be hardest to change, then make a list and start small.
#5: Fresh paint can hide a multitude of sins. Seriously. Even if you want those battens off now... paint over them in a few rooms first, see if you can live with it, if you can't then change it, if you can then you've saved yourself a lot of work.
#6: Use the right tools: there is definitely a difference between good caulk, OK caulk and crap caulk, make friends with the good caulk, it will come in handy. Use drywall joint compound (all purpose) instead of spackle it's less expensive and much more versatile. A quality primer and paint, with the right brush and a great roller cover will do just as much work as you do, and help get the job done faster.
Well I've babbled, but only because I learned a lot and wanted to kick myself when I realize how hard I made simple projects by thinking everything had to be perfect and not starting small.
Hope this helps.
The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest, and most beautiful of all.