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Four Tips for Living Through a Renovation

Type in “How to live through” in the Google search bar and it will suggest the most common queries – the first being “how to live through a pandemic” and the second being “how to live through a renovation.” So we think it’s safe to assume that people do not enjoy living in their homes during renovations. 

During many of our major renovation projects, homeowners often choose to move out of the home during some, or all, of the renovation process. This choice was a no brainer pre-pandemic when short term rentals were easier to come by, but in our new normal, these rentals are less attractive and less available.

If you are embarking on a major renovation with no secondary place to go – fear not. We have some advice on how to best navigate living through a renovation.

Declutter Before You Start

One of the first things you should do prior to the work starting is to declutter your home. Many of your items will need to be packed away for months anyways, so it is a good time to evaluate which items should stay and which should go. It would be a shame to unpack your items after many months in storage only to realize you didn’t need any of that stuff. If you are looking to donate items to a worthy cause, we suggest our friends at FIND. Every donation helps individuals and families moving out of homelessness through the Housing First program in Edmonton. All proceeds benefit their Housing First participants to help them make their new space a home.

Create a Secondary Kitchen

Living in your home during a kitchen renovation is particularly challenging but not impossible. Be prepared by ensuring that you have a working BBQ or a space where you can set up a secondary temporary kitchen, including a dedicated area to wash dishes.

We also advise our clients to look into purchasing an Instant Pot as they are small and very versatile to use. Once the cabinets and countertops have been installed in your home, you can start moving some of your items back in. 

Designate a Private Space

Even if you are not an introvert, you will likely want a space in your home that is all to yourself. It can be helpful to designate a space as “off limits” where you know you can close the door and forget about the chaos around you. Another great option is to have an RV on the driveway or in your side yard to use as a place to cook, eat, and simply get away from the renovation regularly. There will be dust and many visitors in your home during a renovation, but by having a designated private space, you will be able to escape for some solitude whenever you need it.

Be Gentle With Yourself

Renovating is an emotional experience and living through it can feel like the entire process is dragging on. Be gentle with yourself and take breaks away from the house as often as you can. Remember that this will be over eventually and you will be left with an incredible home that you love. You can get an idea of the emotional ups and downs of a renovation in the graphic below:

If you are embarking on a major renovation and need design advice, book a discovery call with our Principal Designer, Brenda Brix, to find out how we could assist you in making this renovation as stress free as possible.


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