Are you in the middle of a renovation? Maybe you’ve just started, maybe you’re thinking of starting, or better yet – maybe you’re in the home stretch! No matter which stage you’re in, there’s no way around it: Renovations are hard. Between the endless micro-decisions, physical mess, money and that elusive timeline (what timeline?!), simply put, it can be tough to stay positive. But! When you’re on the other side, it’s pure magic. We’ve been through the thick of it – scratch that, we’re in the thick of it! – and so we thought, why not ask our friends how they keep their chins up?
This is our first Collective Q+A, a blog series focused on sharing voices other than our own to promote new ideas and encourage outside-of-the-box thinking. Today we’re asking, What is your best tip for staying positive through a renovation?
We take a pause and head out for a beer or dinner. You don’t even need to get cleaned up first…just go. — The Grit and Polish
Cathy and Garrett, The Grit and Polish | Whenever renovation fatigue sets in and we’re questioning why we decided to renovate in the first place, we take a pause and head out for a beer or dinner. You don’t even need to get cleaned up first…just go. Get your eyes and mind off of the project for a few hours and hopefully you’ll be ready to start fresh in the morning. When that fails, we plan a party. There’s nothing quite like the threat of imminent guests to light a fire under you and their ohhhs and ahhhs over your progress will surely get you excited about the project again.
When you get frustrated, envision the memories you’ll be able to make in your newly renovated space when it’s finished. Renovations are tough, but temporary. — Beginning In the Middle
Catherine and Bryan, Beginning In the Middle | Keep the end in sight, always. Renovations are inherently stressful, mistakes will happen, design plans will pivot, and the middle part – where you feel like you’ve made so much progress but still have so much to go – can feel like an eternity. When you get frustrated, envision the memories you’ll be able to make in your newly renovated space when it’s finished. Picture yourself taking a bath in your new tub or sitting at your dust-free kitchen island or hanging out under the stars in your upgraded backyard. Renovations are tough, but temporary. When you’re finished, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come and it will be amazing. You’ve got this!
Having kitchen comforts is maintaining my well-being when everything feels torn apart and upside down. — The Gold Hive
Ashley, The Gold Hive | We’re currently living through a gut-job kitchen renovation (and during a pandemic, I might add!) so we’ve had to adapt during challenging times. I’ve managed to maintain a sense of normalcy by setting up a temporary kitchen in the dining room. It’s really functional and comes complete with a fridge, cooktop, toaster oven, pantry storage, and reusable dishware. It truly has everything but the kitchen sink! Sure, it isn’t perfect and the renovation is tiring, dusty, stressful, and messy. But having kitchen comforts is maintaining my well-being when everything feels torn apart and upside down.
Problem-solving becomes fun when you’ve accepted that things won’t be straightforward even when you think they will, and you’ll feel more accomplished for working your way through the challenge. — Daniel Kanter
Daniel Kanter | It took me a really long time to learn how to stay positive during renovations—truthfully it all felt like a slog, and the joy was only reserved for when things were finished (which, naturally, gets diminished because is anything REALLY ever finished? Newsflash: perfection doesn’t exist!). But this meant that I was neglecting to appreciate the process, and what I WAS doing instead of all the things I wasn’t getting done. So i think the first step to staying positive is accepting that things will move slowly, unexpected challenges will come up, costs will hit you where you don’t see them coming, plans will change, and mistakes will be made. Even though all of these things are unknown by nature, knowing they’ll almost certainly emerge during a project helps you avoid disappointment when they do!
Problem-solving becomes fun when you’ve accepted that things won’t be straightforward even when you think they will, and you’ll feel more accomplished for working your way through the challenge. While my to-do lists are always more ambitious than my progress, I don’t stress so much anymore about getting it all done in the time I think it’ll take. Bearing in mind that every step forward is progress toward the final product keeps the focus on all those small victories along the way—and getting anything done at all is a small victory! Take a minute at the end of the day to appreciate those little steps forward and eventually you’ll be appreciating the big victory of a job well done!