Home Improvement for the New Year

Home Improvement for the New Year
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Home Improvement for the New Year: Tips to Keep Things Running Smoothly

Now that we're into 2014, it's time to start tackling some of those home improvement projects you've been putting off. My family recently completed a home remodeling project, adding a third bedroom to our two-bedroom San Diego home and refurbishing our existing kitchen. It took just over six months to fully complete the project, so we're well aware of the disorder and stress that remodeling can have on homes and families! 

However, we made it through by following a few simple tips to keep our remodel running smoothly.

1. Keep the end in mind

Yes, it's easy to get cranky and stressed out when your kitchen is completely covered in tarps for the second week in a row, or when you come home from work to find out that your contractors weren't able to complete what they had said would be finished that day. If you're doing parts of the remodeling yourself, chances are that you and your spouse have gotten into at least one shouting match as you try to figure out exactly how to build a wall or install a new kitchen sink.

However, you have to keep the end in mind. Remember that you are working towards a better house for you and your family, and that this will only be a short period of discomfort for a vastly-improved end result. Go through the process with as much grace as you can to ensure that you create happy memories.

2. Keep the rest of your house as clean as possible

Just because one or two rooms of your home are covered in plaster dust doesn't mean you have to track the detritus of your remodeling throughout the entire house. Keeping the rest of your home clean, tidy, and dust-free does a lot towards keeping morale up during a remodeling period. It also helps remind everyone in your family that the remodeling is only temporary and that house rules still apply; everyone still needs to pick up their toys, wipe down the bathroom sink, and take care of any other day-to-day maintenance chores. 

3. Find ways to make it fun

As soon as we started to rebuild the interior wall of our new bedroom extension, I gathered my kids and told them that we were going to make a time capsule. I explained that 100 years from now, another San Diego family would find their time capsule hidden in the wall, and that those kids would be so excited to learn what life was like for us in the early 21st century. 

My kids loved the idea. We took a few special photographs, including the kids holding up their Leapfrog tablets so that future children could see what technology was like in 2013. I even convinced them to give up one small toy each to put into the time capsule; the children of the future will have access to a 2000s-era Hot Wheels car, a unicorn figurine, and a Pokemon card that, who knows, might be worth millions!

This kind of activity helped the kids feel involved in the remodeling project and gave them a way to contribute that was both helpful and fun.

4. Put excess stuff into storage

Whether you're remodeling a kitchen, a bedroom, or a basement, chances are you're going to have a room's worth of extra stuff that you don't know what to do with. Yes, you could store it in another part of your home, but that defeats the purpose of Tip #2: keep the rest of your house as clean as possible. 

I knew I didn't want to spend the entire remodeling process stumbling over boxes, so I looked up some of the self storage San Diego has available and put all of our extra kitchen and bedroom stuff away until we needed it. Contrary to popular belief, it's easy to put items into storage for even as little as two or three months. As Storage.com notes, you can find a storage unit of any size, for any term length -- even a small 5x5 unit is perfect for stashing things away until you've finished your new remodeling project.

5. Remodel once and get it over with!

Regardless of how well you follow the rules, remodeling is still a stressful and consuming process. With that in mind, if you have multiple remodeling projects to get through, it's best to just plunge in and do them all at once, instead of spreading them out over several years. That way, you are able to enjoy your completed home as soon as possible. 

Image: Wikimedia.org


About The Author

BeckyBecky Wilcox is a freelance writer who has a passion for education and technology. In her spare time she loves to experiment with new dishes in the kitchen and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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