How to survive a renovation

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Renovating is hard. If you’ve been there, you know. We’ve been renovating for 5 months now and it’s tough. People ask you about your plans for the weekend but all you’re going to do is rip off old wallpapering and cover yourself in dust again. Almost every evening and every weekend we do something in or around the house. And while I think our renovation is quite substantial, I know people are going through even bigger ones than ours! Guys, you have my respect.

There are ways to keep enjoying life while renovating. It’s very important! So I thought I’d share my experiences and help you guys get through. Maybe you’re currently renovating, maybe your going to, maybe you’ve did it once and thinking: NEVER AGAIN. My thought are with you. Let’s go!

My number 1 tip:
Finish room by room! Instead of wrecking every room and realizing that you now haven’t got any comfortable spot in your house anymore, work from room to room. We had 4 weeks to finish our livingroom and bedroom, before we moved in. Everything in those 4 weeks were focused on those 2 rooms. You need to have a spot to relax, sleep, watch tv, whatever. We didn’t succeed in finishing everything in those 4 weeks, but that’s okay. We had a dining table, a couch, a bed and at first that’s all you need.

Number 2:
Go out and have fun. So important. It is so nice to put on nice clothes after running around in your dusty old clothes and go to a party. Or have a small drink with your friends. Laugh and let them make you realize there is more to life than that one %$@#%& wall where the %$@#%& wallpaper just won’t come off.

Number 3:
Don’t forget to eat and drink during renovating. Taking care of yourself and keeping your energy level up is much more important than busting your balls on finishing that room today. It doesn’t go any faster, sometimes.

Number 4:
Take breaks (maybe you’re like “duh” now). Especially with the lovely summer weather that is happening now! While for instance working on our kitchen every now and then we sat on the bench in our front garden and let the sun warm our faces. It’s good to be out of the “dusty zone” in your house and again this is a great way to realize there is more out there than that renovation.

Number 5:
If you’re not an expert on renovation costs, don’t set yourself a budget. You could ask your friends and family but don’t expect them to give you 1 price. It will piss you off, all those different numbers they will throw at you. Your total cost depends on so many elements, so I would advice you not too bother yourself by setting a budget and then realizing it’s not achievable at all. The way we do it is finding out the costs for every room and then asking ourselves if we feel it’s worth it. For instance: we have a wooden floor in our hallway but are considering a new tile floor. We find out the costs and then we give ourself some time to think about if we feel that cost is necessary and worth it.

Number 6:
Go out for dinner after a day of renovation, or a little simpler: buy ice-cream after your dinner at home. We noticed it’s so good for us to have a little walk and chat. While working we’re both focused on our task and by doing something together we can have fun as well. In my relationship advice voice: Not only your house needs work ;-)

Number 7:
Try laughing your ass off. It’s hard, I know. Yesterday evening while I was cooking my husband noticed our ceiling came down about 30 centimeters and was about to fall to the floor. It was a setback, but we laughed (after preventing it from falling down off course!). We said to each other: “fuck man, we thought we were almost done with the kitchen”. Just laugh. I realize you won’t laugh when you’re entire house is falling down and insurance won’t cover it. But laugh when your house is fooling you and you were able to fix it. I know you can!

I could probably write a thousand more tips, but I will stop here. Those are my most important tips and I hope they will pull you through! I know you can do it!

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