Few things feel as disruptive in the home as going through renovations. Space must be made. Things are moved around, piled up, bagged, or stacked, sometimes for an extended period of time. All while I’m trying to get through my day-to-day life.
Earlier this year, my building decided to replace the windows on all of the units. Ever since I found frost on the inside of my bedroom window my first winter here, I’ve been an advocate for the window replacement project. However, it’s challenging to keep up the enthusiasm when the actual work is being performed. For each window installation, 5 feet of space has to be cleared in front of the window. And it has to stay that way for days, sometimes weeks, until all the work is finished. Furniture is piled up away from the windows and covered with drop cloths. And no curtains.
In order to keep my sanity throughout the process, I rely on a few things I learned from moving. The first trick is to adjust (i.e., temporarily suspend) my expectations and standards. I have to get used to looking at stuff piled up and remind myself it’s temporary.
Another adaptation is planning extra time for routine tasks, some of which may take longer because everything is displaced. For example, my designated practice area was consumed by stuff relocated temporarily from the living room. Consequently, I now have to move things around to recreate a suitable space, and take it down when I’m finished. Cleaning also takes longer, and it needs to be performed daily during the construction period. So much dust!
Now that I know the construction will go on for longer than anticipated, because something always comes up, I work that into the plan too. When I move everything, I make sure to keep things I may need easily accessible. And I designate special places for critical items such as keys, phones, wallet, chargers, etc.
One of the most important things for me has been to maintain one space that I can use for an oasis when it feels crazy. This time around, I’ve been able to keep my bedroom clean and clear.
If I ever get renos done in the future, I’ll be adding money to the budget to stay somewhere else for the duration of the work.