Unless you’re in a position to take a relaxing vacation while your home is being renovated, the reality is that you’ll have to live in the house as it’s been torn apart, repaired and painted. Now matter how good your intentions (and planning) are, a home renovation always takes more time, money and energy than you expect.
You won’t be able to find things, you’ll keep automatically entering the bathroom that has no toilet or sink, and you’ll actually start to wonder if you could get away with murder every time you see someone with a power saw in hand.
There’s a certain amount of stress that just comes with a home remodel – whether you’re redoing the kitchen, adding on a bathroom, or gutting the entire interior – but it doesn’t have to make you insane. At the point of no-return (roughly halfway through the reno), you’ll look at the mess you used to call home and despair that you ever thought this was a good idea.
Here are a few tips on getting through a live-in home renovation without losing your mind.
No matter how many windows are open for ventilation and how careful the crew is when tearing apart or building things in the house, there’s no escaping the dust. A painter’s or surgical mask will help you breathe easier.
Sealed Storage Bins
Put as many of your belongings into well-sealed plastic bins as you can and store them in the basement or garage, or at least a room that is not being worked on. If you have more bins that will comfortably fit in another room, consider renting a storage unit at a local self-storage facility for a month.
If your kitchen is the room being remodeled, rather than attempt to maneuver around the equipment and debris (if it’s even safe to enter a room being worked on), set up a temporary “camping” kitchen elsewhere in the house. You’d be surprised how much you can do with a mini fridge and hot plate. Tired of “camping meals”? You could go out to eat occasionally, order meals in, or sign up with a meal delivery service.
Communicate with the Contractors
Don’t be shy to ask what’s going on. Being involved can ease off some of the stress because you won’t feel like you’ve completely lost control of your house and your life.
Stick to Your Routines
Despite the chaos that is your kitchen or bathroom or entire house, keeping as many of your regular routines as possible will help ground you and maintain a certain level of sanity. So if you enjoy watching your favorite TV program at night, continue to do so – even if your TV is temporarily in the hallway. Just grab a couple of cushions and make yourself comfy!
Yes, a renovation is stressful, but remembering to be grateful that you have the means to undertake such a large project and turn your house into your dream home will keep the stress in perspective.
The reality of a live-in home remodel is that it is messy, noisy, crowded and simply won’t adhere to your specific timeline. And no matter how well your friends or contractor warn you about the stress, you will still find yourself bursting into tears as you walk into the chaos that was your kitchen.
But rather than plot the perfect crime or move to Canada to sell Maple syrup out of the trunk of your car, if you remember these tips, you’ll get through your home renovation without losing your mind.
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