We’re just now starting to get our heads above water after months of moving and renovation mayhem. We lived in a constant state of chaos for a while, logging extra hours of childcare, taking time off work, and just getting s*** done. We moved into the house of our dreams a few months ago, and while it has all the good bones, there’s a lot of work that needed to be done to make it our own. (bright red carpet and yellow walls just cramp my style a little, I’m sure you can understand.)
I like to call those first few months “Phase 1”. We made some adjustments, got the house to a liveable state, and moved the family in. There’s still loads of things that need to be done eventually, but we took some big steps!
Today I want to go over what we completed in this first stage of home renovation, and how we handled to stay (mostly) sane during the process.
We knew that this project was going to take over our whole world for a while. So we strategically went through our calendar and decided what can stay and what cannot. We cancelled a weekend getaway or two, we said no to a lot of invites, and signed up the kids for less stuff. We scheduled childcare for every Saturday for a few months, to give us some weekend time for cranking out work at the house. Ryan and I both took some time off of work, and our entire life was renovation for a while.
The point: go into a remodel with an empty calendar (as much as you can), and build in time to get the work done. If you’re constantly stressed about all your other responsibilities, it will be a terrible experience.
This one feels overwhelming, because I could literally just write “EVERYTHING” and be done with it. But you have no idea how amazing it feels when you get it all out on paper. Everything from new paint to knocking walls down to updating hardware, get it all out on paper. Don’t think about what comes first yet, just get it all out. There’s just something about taking a pile of thoughts from your brain and putting it on paper that feels like a therapy session. You’re welcome.
Start to arrange your tasks in an order that makes the most sense for you and your family. Assess your needs, budget, and availability, and go from there. Decide what needs to get finished before you move in, in the first few months, and in the first few years. (Yes, I said years! We’re not looking for perfection right away over here.)
For us, the first priorities were the kids rooms. We didn’t want to deal with moving them in and out over and over, so we decided that we would get their rooms completely finished before we moved in. We got a studio set up for me (eventually we’ll renovate the Mother-in-Law for me, but for now I get a guest room!), gave the entire upstairs a new coat of paint, and installed all new trim and carpet. We added some fun accent projects to the kid rooms (some wallpaper accent walls, shiplap, and some custom trim), and got the kids rooms finished!
Our downstairs still has a huge to-do list, including flooring and a kitchen update. We’ll tackle the exterior sometime next year, and my studio will come sometime soon too. We’re doing our best to not rush the process, to do it right, and to maintain our sanity through it all. (Getting your house perfect right away isn’t worth the stress and misery!)
We still have lots of work to do, but it's so fun to see these photos side by side! The to-do list is overwhelming, but seeing these spaces come together one by one is so exciting. It makes me so excited for the many years to come in our home!