Clients often call me after they experience a crisis, like a flooded room, or after they start a renovation. Both situations cause chaos.
Being surrounded by boxes of stuff, piled up furniture and building supplies can be miserable, especially if it follows a calamity. When you take on a home renovation – or are forced into one – planning is key to making the process slightly less tedious.
You are going to be overwhelmed with paperwork, so set up a file or a binder to keep track of all the bids, contracts, receipts and insurance claims. Don’t rely on your memory or someone else’s recall of a conversation. Get a notebook and write down details so you can refer to them later.
Make a list of things people can do so that anytime someone asks if they can help, you’re ready. Taking a bath, eating in a dining room, watching TV from someplace other than your bed, bringing over a load of laundry – these are small things friends can help with that will make you feel better.
While I believe that renting storage is a waste of money in most cases, this is a good time to consider it. Before you store anything, offsite or at home, make sure everything is clean and dry, to prevent the growth of mold and insects.
If you are living at home during the renovation, create one space that is calm and clutter free. The space may need to function as your kitchen, living room and bedroom, so divide the area into zones for sleeping, eating and storage. Keeping the space clean and organized will make things feel more manageable.
When you’re living in a construction zone, sweep or vacuum at the end of every day and ask the crew to dispose of trash daily. They might not be accustomed to working with the client onsite, so remind them that their job site is your home. Yes, it’s going to get dirty again the next day, but you’re going to get tired of seeing piles of trash and construction debris.
Although it probably will take longer than you thought, remind yourself that it is a temporary setback. Some planning and daily maintenance will allow you to get through it so you can enjoy your refurbished spaces.