As house renovators, my husband and I have tackled a few projects in our time, and the older we get, the bigger they seem to become. It wasn’t meant to be like this, we tell ourselves, but we really wouldn’t change it for anything as the satisfaction of good old “doing it yourself” is the best thing ever. AND it has got us where we are today which has made it all truly worthwhile (not that we’re by any means finished yet!) This is our kitchen, by the way!
DON’T GIVE IN TO “OVERWHELM”
However, it can be really, really hard at times and when those times strike, before downing tools and hitting the bottle, it’s good to remember why you are doing this, and so here are a few tips to help you stay on track and prevent you from becoming an alcoholic!!
HOW TO KEEP GOING WHEN YOU’RE EXHAUSTED AND LIVING ON A BUILDING SITE
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Never look at the big picture. If you’re like my husband, who knows all the millions of tiny (and huge) jobs that will need to be performed, you would just run for the hills.
Always think of the big picture!! If you are like me and you love thinking about your decor and how it’s going to feel living in this amazing space you are creating, that is the only thing that will get you there.
Turn up every single day and do something. Even half an hour of work, or preparation, or tidying the site, is progress. It all adds up.
Take a day off! We try to source a lot of items through free-ads, Facebook and classified sites. Go and collect that old door or sink, but make a day of it. Take this opportunity to explore, have some lunch, maybe check out if there is a salvage yard in the area. Do some research, take photos of things that inspire you or might give you ideas for your own project. Take that day off AND make progress at the same time…win win.
Only concentrate on the task in hand. Don’t let yourself think about what comes next, just for today, just until this task is done.
Celebrate little achievements. Every. Little. Thing.
Embrace the awfulness! A lot of jobs that house renovation entails are tedious, hard-work, dirty and…well, generally not very pleasant. Accept that today your hair will be dusty, you will be sweaty and uncomfortable (or colder than you would really like to be!), your arms will ache and the monotony of the task will drive you insane. Dont fight it…that zaps your energy and puts you in a bad mood. Remember when you are done, you will be another day further on, and hopefully a shower and a glass of wine, a cold beer, or whatever is your thing, will perk you up again…until tomorrow anyway!
Listen to some music. Anything that takes your mind of the job in hand. If I don’t, I always seem to have some awful ditty looping in my head over and over again…like God Save the Queen or Jingle Bells!
Have a “hospital job”. These are smaller tasks that can be fitted in when you are not working on the big job. Great for when you need a break but want to keep up with progress.
Have several “hospital jobs”! Swapping around can help to keep up your enthusiasm, and if you have enough there is bound to be one you don’t mind doing today.
Take lots of photos. This goes without saying! You soon forget all the processes you went through to get where you are. In renovating so many things get hidden, like insulation, studwork, concreting etc. It’s so good to remind yourself how far you’ve come, and how much has been achieved this week, month or year.
Simplify your life off the job. Be sure to meal plan in advance, make shopping lists and try to stay organised!!
Use a slowcooker crockpot for a ready meal at the end of the day when you are on your last legs.
This is the one that saves my life (and marriage!) several times a week.
Have routines in place for getting housework done and out of the way (as much as you can when you are living in chaos!), but don’t get too precious about it. You have priorities and a bit (even a lot!) of dust never killed anyone.
Pick daily, weekly or monthly goals to stay focussed and on track. We made a 10 year plan once upon a time, and achieved it in 5! It’s amazing what you can do if you stay motivated.
Look after yourself. Eat a healthy breakfast to fire you up. Yoga or a few stretches first thing in the morning can ease away the aches and pains that often come with the job and get you ready to face the day.
Don’t forget who you are. If you’re a girly builder, go ahead… put on your makeup and a quick spritz of perfume. If you’re not, feel free to pass on this one!
Don’t let the little frustrations get you down. There are always trials and tribulations to deal with. It’s not always easy to see these as challenges and not problems, but it really helps if you can! (This point was prompted by our nearly 18 year old son, who is having a very tiresome day with a piece of plasterboard…but he IS learning a lot at the same time!)
Help yourself to my FREE INSTANT DOWNLOAD of 28 Motivational Quotes. Print it out and stick it where you can refer to it often to give you a boost of energy and determination!
AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS…THERE’S ALWAYS WINE!!!
WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING WHEN YOU’VE REALLY HAD ENOUGH? LEAVE ME A COMMENT – I’D LOVE TO KNOW X
Excellent advice and I know it comes from the heart, you two are amazing ?
Thank you so much x