Deep breathing and keeping some routine during renovations

koala_emOctober 21, 2006

The bathroom has started and the kitchen will follow (6 Nov) back to back with the bathroom.

In this time I will have 2 family birthdays- DD and DH. There are many boxes of tiles, a new fridge, and boxes of kitchen appliances through the familyroom. The kitchen guy wants to put the cabinets in the dining prior to installing.... there is STUFF everywhere and my peaceful routine is going down the gurgler! Hard to feel motivated to waste my time vaccuming and dusting in a demolition site!

I am washing each day- plumbing and electricity allowing. I am cooking each day for now- but that will soon evaporate. I am also juggling working 4 days a week and am planning Christmas for 13 here (pending a completed kitchen!).

Send me calm thoughts- I am feeling like my peaceful santuary is in tatters. Any sanity tips? Clean up aftermath tips?


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Oh, Em...I've been there, Done That. Deep Breaths now, you will get through it. First of all, when planning your ''celebrations'' give up on any family traditions, and take your party outside the house. Plan something fun at a favorite place like a great play, roller skating, a concert perhaps? Just getting yourself ready to go when your home life is a mess is a challenge in itself. Don't try to cook or do more than what is absolutely necessary; it's not important right now. If you have strong nesting instincts, try to make one room a sanctuary where you focus your attentions. Keeping up with the rest of the house isn't an option when there's construction going on. We lived on bagged salad (rinsed well and dried in an salad spinner), chicken from the grocery deli, fruit and a handful of take-out menus within a short driving distance. Paper/plastic everything you can throw away, because washing gets to be too much. I kept out a small cutting board, a good knife, some microwave dishes and had an electric skillet for pan toast and an egg or grilled cheese sandwiches. We used our bathroom for washing dishes, but it sounds like you won't even have that option.

We're remodeling our bathroom between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, and I'm skipping all the Christmas fal-da-rah just to keep things sane. When it's all over, I may just take a vacation!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 1:14PM
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We did quite a lot of prep before our kitchen remodel.

Made sure the fridge was easily accessible in the living room. I put all of the living room/dining room furniture piled together and covered with a tarp taped to the floor.

We had a family rooom on our bottom level. We moved the kitchen table/chairs down there so we felt like we had a place to live. Set up microwave/coffee maker and crockpot in the laundry room. Planned two weeks worth of meals, precooked and frozen so that I could basically just reheat or put the frozen stuff in the crockpot. Bought a supply of paper plates and cups.

All of the loose stuff from the kitchen went into, my favorite, laundry baskets and piled along the walls before covering. Now's a great time to declutter as you remove it from drawers and cabinets. Having things tightly covered made a much easier clean up when it came time to move everything back.

You didn't say if you were hiring the work or DIY. Our contractor was great. He taped paper down over all rugs each morning. Vacuumed the work area daily before they left. We didn't have to do a ton of sheetrock, but enough to raise some dust. He really made me appreciate someone who keeps a clean worksite. If you have someone, be clear with expectations. Daily vacuuming with a shop vac will help keep the dust going everywhere. Seal off as much as you can.

Our kitchen model went like clockwork. Demo and all back in, except flooring, in 9 working days. But planning was the key. They didn't touch anything until we knew all of the cabinets were in and perfect. Our only snag was the kitchen sink arrived broken and the store owner drove over a new sink. There was never a hold up for supplies.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 10:16PM
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Box up everything you don't use often and label it. Cover everythng upwith a tarp like Gloria suggests. If you happen to have wine, liquor or beer anywhere in the house, move it over to a locked area.
Any valuables like jewelry, small wonderful breakable things go into seclusion. I am in 90266 and I notice you are close. Real people deliver stuff, work on things and ocassionally come with somebody else who is working on the house. We knew all of our workers--and yet there were minor problems. Problem is everybody in our area is busy and so we can end up with a great worker one day and somebody awful the next (doing the same job like laying terrazzo)
Deliveries can be late, or the wrong item can show up. If you have a deadline to entertain you will be tempted to allow something that needs to be torn out and redone. My husband was the GC and the terrazo guys were wonderful and then brought in two different guys to finish up who were awful. So he made them tear out the area that was poorly done. We wanted to move in before now. But Verizon and SCE are tearing up our streets for underground utilties--and that caused a delay.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 4:11PM
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