A few years ago, I went through a massive kitchen renovation. That meant three months without water, counters, floors and more! Did I move out? No. How did I cope? With these five key tips and tricks for surviving a long renovation without going crazy in the process:
Published December 6, 2017, Updated April 3, 2022
Tip 1: Stay Inspired
My inspiration collage is what kept me sane and helped keep the end product in mind when the going got tough. Keep an eye on your gorgeous inspo and know that one day, it’ll be all yours. No pain, no gain, right?
Plus, keeping constant watch over your inspiration helps you keep it top of mind. This way, while renovations are underway, you can remain watchful to ensure details are on track.
Three Months of Renos
This is how my home looked for three months! Do you see why it’s important to keep your goal in your mind’s eye?
Tip 2: Prioritize Your Pets
I have two sweet dogs and I know renos can be particularly hard on pets. Introduce your pets to your renovators. Your furry friends don’t have to be best buds with the reno crew, but animals are territorials. You should accustom them to the smell of the humans who will occupy your home for the next however many weeks or months.
Also, major makeovers can mean confining your pets to a small area of the house. Make up for this by providing them with interactive toys, food puzzles, pet TV on YouTube, more one-on-one playtime and more walks.
Tip 3: Be Vigilant With Cleaning
Staying on top of cleaning is a must during a reno. Your house is going to get more dirty and untidy than usual while confined to smaller quarters. Make both a daily and weekly to-do list. Your daily list should include a 30-minute tidy and clean sessions: Pick up and put back anything out of place, clean up any obvious, highly visible dirt or grime, ensure all dinnerware is washed and stored and give the place a quick vacuum and mop. Your weekly list should include cleaning nooks and crannies like window sills and tracks, dusting anywhere dust accumulates like the tops of furniture and a thoroughly bathroom clean.
Don’t Forget to Clean the Air, Too!
Clean air is so important to me because I have severe allergies. If you are living through a renovation or you have kids or pets, clean air should be a top priority. Air purifiers are proven to reduce allergens, odours, volatile organic compound emissions and even certain bacteria.
Related: Top Amazon Air Purifiers Under $200
Tip 4: Do-it-All Kitchen Gadgets
It takes living through a reno to realize how hard it is to live without a kitchen. How hard, you ask? Very hard. Imagine not even having access to a full-sized oven to bake a frozen pizza in!
To stay sane, I opted for small-space appliances that can cook a whole meal. My slow cooker was my saviour. Also, a compact toaster oven is also great if you are going to have to go longer periods of time without a kitchen (and mine was pretty long). Its pretty small, so plug it in just about anywhere to create a makeshift mini oven. You can use it to make anything from roasted meats, fish and vegetables, to quiche, pizza, muffins and more.
Tip 5: Get Your Best Sleep
As often as you can, get a full night of great sleep. The key to surviving a reno is to decrease your stress. And trust me, there’s a lot of stress. Not only with living in a confined corner of your home, but also with hiccups in the delivery times, delays and changes.
Make sure you have a safe, clean bedroom retreat to rest and restore before conquering the next day. And remember to keep looking at your inspiration photos; it will all be worth it in the end.
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