And so it began…

While we were going through the (never ending) planning process we decided there were some changes we could make to the Master bedroom, so it could act as a sanctuary amidst the chaos of an eventual renovation. We focused on mostly cosmetic concerns including removing wallpaper, re-plastering, putting in new architrave, skirting and picture rails, building bookshelves and a built-in dresser.

With much enthusiasm we started pulling up the carpet one March morning and took to removing the smokers-teeth yellow wood-chip wallpaper. Only half way into the day did we stop, look around and realise that we had no vacuum cleaner, broom or mop. Smart, eh? We were new homeowners and it hadn’t crossed our minds! I scooted off to the shops to pick up bare minimum and the other half continued to pull down layer after layer of wallpaper – we were making progress and we now had a vacuum to clean up at the end of a full day. Oversight, rectified.

But next oversight wasn’t so quick to fix. When we had begun in earnest, we hadn’t moved our bed out of the room as we didn’t want to deal with the disruption. Now that may not seem like a massive blunder: if the bed was covered and clean did it matter? Well… yes. The steamer we used to take the paper off the walls had left our room feeling overwhelmingly tropical, even with the windows open. Welcome to the worst nights sleep in my 32 years to date. So heed this warning and don’t think you know best – if you can get out, do! I understand that people have one-bed and studio flats, but do your best to plan for and around the disruption. If you can’t relocate within your property, sleep on a friends couch or book a few days away. You’ll be glad you did!

Other things to consider:

  1. Preparation is key. Fully prepare your room / rooms in advance including moving out furniture and anything you want kept clean. I know I’m stating the obvious, but I’m a relatively intelligent person and I drastically underestimated how much an impact a small project could make upon my ability to even sleep in a room.
  2. Recognise your limits. Some renovations are going to be more uncomfortable than others so you need to think about how to stay comfortable and minimise stress during the process.
  3. Seek shelter. If at all possible, don’t plan on living in the same room where you are working. Think about the renovation process and the different steps so you can transition between rooms while you are completing work. Its a dirty job and not having somewhere to seek shelter only compounds to the feelings of distress and frustration that accompany pretty much all projects!

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