Renovating your home can be a major stressor on a marriage and family, according to marriage counselor Dr. Don Gilbert as cited in Houselogic. “It has all the components that couples stress over — money, multiple decisions, and different preferences,” Gilbert said, adding that renovating can bring out communication and conflict management weaknesses that may already exist.
Here are some things you can do during a home renovation to make it as stress-free as possible for everyone.
1. Keep it simple.
If your kitchen will be a construction zone for a week or two, move the microwave and coffeemaker into the dining room, and invest in paper plates, napkins and cups. That way, you can heat up easy food or takeout leftovers without dealing with dust, wet paint, or electricity being turned off. Keeping things as simple as possible will dial down the hassle factor of your renovation and hopefully keep everyone’s impatience at bay.
2. Take breaks.
Whether you’re at work all day wondering what’s happening at home or at home listening to the noise and breathing in dust, you will likely need to get away from time to time. Plan a day trip that keeps you away from home until the workmen have left for the day or schedule dinner and a movie out. Taking a break can make things more bearable and get you through the worst of renovation headaches. Even just going for a walk after work can make a big difference.
3. Practice good communication.
It’s easy to let decision-making and the mess get you frustrated and ready to scream, but it’s at these most stressful times that you should put every communication skill you have to good use. The key to good communication always rests in understanding the other person, and putting that into practice will help you realize that your spouse and family aren’t trying to be difficult on purpose, and that they are just as frustrated as you are.
Talking about how great your home is going to look after a renovation can help you handle the mess with grace.
4. Get help with cleaning.
If your contractor hasn’t included weekly whole house cleaning in your contract (and most don’t), you may want to invest in this service while your house is being renovated. The dust will inevitably migrate away from the construction zone into every corner of the house, and the process of living in only part of the house will lead to more clutter and wear on the parts you are living in.
5. Get out.
An extensive renovation may make it unbearable to live on the premises for the duration, so it may be a perfect time to take that trip you’ve always wanted. At the very least, you may be able to stay with friends or rent a camper to park nearby. Living in may seem like the best way to keep an eye on progress, but an RV in the yard or down the street can do the trick just as well, without any of the dust or paint fumes.
Are you planning to renovate in the coming months? Call Moonworks at 1-800-975-6666 to get a free estimate on your home renovation project.