So, if you’ve not been following me on Instagram, you may not know that we’ve been renovating our bathroom (among other things). It’s been what you might call interesting… With that in mind, here are my top five tips for surviving your renovation.
1. Make a Plan
Write down all the tasks you need to do during the period; work, home, and your renovation. Be as detailed as you can, including dates and times. Then tear it into pieces and scatter it to the four winds. You won’t do even a small percentage of it. Prepare to lose control; expect the worst, and experience the delight when it doesn’t happen.
2. Keep the End in Mind
The thrill of the renovation wears off quickly in the face of inconvenience you weren’t expecting, like losing your workspace, your main wash basin (I still can’t believe how often I go looking for it), and having the mains water turned off. But, remind yourself that these trials are mere blips in the long-term, and that end the end of them you will have a beautiful and practical bathroom/kitchen/extension/loft/basement/whatever.
3. Plan Your Meals
Even if you aren’t on your hands and knees doing the work, you’ll be exhausted from all the emergency shopping, decision making, and clearing up. You may be too tired to be creative about what you eat and fall back on high fat and high salt take-out meals. Think ahead and plan some nutritious and quick to prepare meals, even if that’s steak and salad (thank goodness it’s barbie season).
4. Schedule Dates
On the assumption that you and your beloved are united in your desire for the perfect result (even if you don’t agree exactly what it is) and to stay married, make time to be together away from the house. The construction noise and dirt will up the stress ante and set you both closer to the edge than usual, so get cleaned up, go for cocktails and a nice meal, and pretend none of it’s happening. Maybe spend a night in a hotel. Perhaps have a marriage counsellor on stand-by.
5. Make Time to be Alone
Alone time might not be as much of a problem for others as for me, but renovations mean that there are other people in the house 24/7, and I need my alone time to remain civil. If you’re not doing the bathroom, an hour in the tub might do, or perhaps you could go shopping and stop at a café for a quiet latte. Or even better, visit your local library (especially if there’s a shushy librarian in residence).
And When it’s Over
You’ll either be divorced or have a stronger marriage as you’ve overcome a shared obstacle. And you might even consider further work. At some time in the future. When you’ve forgotten all the drama. Maybe.