By Kate Dyer
Pulling your house to pieces isn’t exactly a recipe for stress-free living. There’s a lot of dust involved, and the continued removal of things so essential to daily life makes it hard to relax at the end of the day. First it was the sofa, then the dining table, then the pantry and stove.
We’re completely overhauling our kitchen/dining/living space at the moment and we threw out just about everything except the kitchen sink. No carpet, no walls, no ceiling. After a particularly tough week at work, the house situation inched closer to intolerable and I had a good think about how I could cope.
Making dinner at the end of a long day is a real drag when this is your kitchen outlook, but there are ways to make it more bearable.
1. Know that it’s not permanent. You (hopefully) won’t be living this way long term. Set a deadline and stick to your plans - having an end in sight makes the hard slog easier to bear. Start a countdown if you have to and keep your eyes on the end goal.
2. Clean up at the end of the day. If you have to step on loose nails or in piles of dirt on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you’ll get cranky. Get a vacuum cleaner that can handle hardcore filth and use it when you’re done working for the day. The extra 10 or 15 minutes will buy you the patience you need!
3. Eat good food. Don’t call for pizza every night. Set up a camp kitchen if you have to (I’m loving my slow cooker right now), but be sure to eat nutritious meals most nights. Good mental health is supported by a good diet and you need to look after your body if you intend on putting it through serious manual labour.
4. Celebrate your progress. If you’re tackling a huge project, be sure to stop and admire how far you’ve come from time to time. Take a few before, during and after shots and high five yourself for getting a step closer each day. It’s easy to forget all you’ve done when there is still a lot to come.
5. Ask for help when you need it. We recently booked a rubbish skip for a weekend and soon realised that filling it would be beyond the abilities of a pregnant lady and a man with a bulging disc in his back. A much as we want to ‘do it ourselves’, there are days when a few mates or a professional trade or two makes all the difference.
Have you survived a renovation project? What survival tips can you share for those considering or already undertaking the daunting task?