Due to sudden illness, I ended up in hospital during my first bathroom renovation at our current home. Needless to say, I was miserably unprepared and, after two weeks, returned home to find the bathroom completely gutted, with not a single item (not even a toilet) selected or purchased for the new bathroom. I’ve learnt a few things during this process and will be ready for the major renovation taking place at my home in a few months’ time. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home for a smoother transition.
1. REDUCE YOUR STUFF
In my home, I have stuff for in case I go skiing, stuff for in case I receive lots of flowers, stuff for in case VHS players come back into fashion, stuff for in case I have grandkids one day, stuff for in case I want to make fresh pasta (ha ha ha) and stuff for in case I need to use my home as a wedding venue. You get the idea, if you haven’t used it in a year, chances are you never will! Get rid of that ridiculous egg poacher and device for pipping olives and move on! Hire a storage facility for all your larger items, or move it into the garage if it’s big enough.
2. SET UP WORK STATIONS
Think about what you do every day, especially when you’re running a household with school aged kids. You will need a place to prepare snacks and school lunches, cook lunch/dinner, a place to put kids in a naughty corner, clean dishes and don’t forget about the endless piles of washing. Set up an area, whether it’s in the garage, undercover entertainment area or lounge room, where you can go about your daily routines without too much interference. Pack plastic containers on wheels with all the bare essentials you will need for each activity. If you are doing a kitchen reno, learn to love your BBQ and you might also want to consider freezing a few meals to save on the take-aways.
3. CUT DOWN ON AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Do you really want extra sports uniforms to wash and coming home after dark and then start cooking dinner? It might only take 3-6 weeks to complete your kitchen or floors, so missing a few after hour activities will not be the end of the world.
4. SHOP ONLINE
Make use of whatever technology has to offer. Shop for groceries online, or get that little party dress you’ve had your eye on delivered at your door for the big housewarming party!
5. BAN THE KIDS FROM DANGEROUS AREAS
A worksite is filled with discarded nails, sharp tools and heavy equipment. Make sure that your kids understand that it’s not suitable to be playing cowboys and crooks on a work site – a game of doctor and nurse will be more appropriate (of course, if they are over 13 and the neighbour’s kids are around, you might want to reconsider this particular game).
6. ASK FOR HELP
Let all your friends and neighbours know about your renovation plans. You’ll find they will be very happy to help out if you get stuck picking up the kids, or might even kindly drop a meal at your door.
7. THINK ABOUT HOME SECURITY
It’s hard to keep your belongings under wraps during a renovation. Make sure all your valuables are locked away and alarm systems in place if your home is left unsecure, especially if you’re replacing a roof, doors or windows.
8. CONSIDER PRIVACY
Find out what time your builders will start in the morning. They might not appreciate the saucy minx coming downstairs in her best flannelette pj’s and cotton weave robe or even accidentally catching you in the shower. Make sure you have a designated private area where builders will not be allowed to enter (unless they are extremely handsome and you’re not married).
9. KEEP POOCH SAFE
Pets are very susceptible to loud noises and changes in their environment. Doors will most probably be left open and gates unlocked during the renovation, so best to have doggy go for a play date or safely stay in a kennel.
10. GO GET A BREAK
Living on a building site will push everyone’s patience to the limits. Make sure that you’ve left some room in the budget to take a break in a cabin somewhere far far away in the woods.
All problems solved – how about that! Now that the theoretical part is done, let’s put it to practice. To find out if you should stay or go during a renovation, visit our renovating tips tab.
Cheerio ’til next time!