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How to Maintain Calm in the Midst of Remodeling

You’ve finally reached the point where you can no longer live with the inefficient kitchen or the unsightly bathroom or the worn carpet in your house. You’ve decided to remodel and you’re excited about what it will look like when you’re finished. It’s an exciting time and it’s also a challenging time. If you’ve ever been through a remodeling project before you know that it’s going to take time – time when things will be in a state of chaos. When there will be dust and dirt and ‘stuff’ everywhere. How can you stay calm and focused and positive during the remodeling process and, most importantly, how can you ensure the project is completed as quickly and efficiently (and perfectly) as possible?

There’s actually more to this energetically than you might think. I have worked with many clients who started a remodeling project only to find that several years on, the project has not been completed and it’s pulling relationships apart.

The first thing to keep in mind is that your house represents you and your life. When you’re remodeling some part of your home you are also creating a major energy shift in some area of your life. It’s important to be aware of this and to observe any challenges that come up anywhere in your life once you start the remodeling process because chances are there will be a link. So with that in mind, here are some key steps based on my remodeling experience and my work with clients, to help you through the process:

Have a clear vision – know what you want the outcome to be. If you don’t have a clear idea of exactly what you want your kitchen or bathroom or floors to look like everything can take much longer. If you know exactly what you want before you start the project, everything can go much more smoothly.

Keep everyone on the same page – make sure you and your spouse/partner are agreed on what’s going to happen and what it’s going to look like. When you are in the middle of a remodeling project is not the time to have a disagreement about what kind of counter tops you want or what color the walls should be. Remember, upheaval in your home can mean upheaval in your relationship and if you haven’t reached agreement before you start, you may never reach agreement and resentment can build.

Understand chaos – before something can change and you reach a desired outcome, you have to go through some discomfort. There will be chaos, but out of the chaos comes growth and opportunity. There are two types of chaos – active chaos and passive chaos. Active chaos is when you are in the middle of a project, when you are creating something. For example, when you are baking a cake or cooking a meal, the kitchen looks chaotic for a while during the creative process. But that chaos is active. You are creating something. You have a goal in mind. Now, let’s say that you finish your meal and you don’t clear up. You leave the pots and pans and ingredients out on the counter. Let’s say those things stay there for days or weeks. That has become passive chaos. Nothing is happening – and it’s not good.

So understand that there will be chaos during the process, but it is active chaos – which is necessary and good. Don’t let it become passive.

Contain the chaos – try to keep the chaos contained and organized as much as possible. So, if you are remodeling the bathroom, you might find some attractive containers to put all your toiletries in so that you have easy access to them. Everything is organized and you know where to find it. Don’t let these things start moving around the house so that they take over other areas. Keep them in one place.

Maintain a safe space – it’s important, even if you are remodeling the whole house at once, to have at least one space you can go to that is calm, peaceful and organized. When the chaos becomes too much this is a space you can retreat to, regroup and restore a sense of calm.

Set clear expectations – are you doing the remodeling yourself or is a company doing it for you? Either way, you want to sent clear goals and expectations. Know when each phase of the remodel should be complete and hold everyone to that. If you find things are slipping you’ll need to address it right away and deal with whatever the problem is. I have worked with many people who have had companies stalling in the middle of their project – not showing up when they should, not doing the work properly, etc., so that the projects linger on and on with no sign of completion. If you have a clear agreement up-front, if something doesn’t go according to plan you can address it right away.

Manage overwhelm – if you start to feel overwhelmed with the whole thing because it’s turning out to be bigger than you thought, make sure you give yourself time to spend in a quiet and calm space to calm the feelings of overwhelm. Address issues that come up right away so they don’t become overwhelming. You may find it helpful to leave the space for a short period of time to revitalize and renew. Perhaps you could book a weekend visit to a friend, or a day or two at a spa retreat. It’s important to treat yourself well during the process because it can quickly become overwhelming.

Focus on the outcome – maintain your focus on how beautiful it’s going to be when it’s done, and don’t let yourself become completely focused on the ‘active chaos’ around you. Manage the chaos as best you can, but know that it’s an important and inevitable part of the process. Maintain a sense of self-awareness at all times and know that you’re stirring up the energy in your home, which can stir up situations and relationships in your life – which is ultimately a good thing. Awareness is the key to handling it all successfully.

You often find that when you take on a remodeling project you get much more from the process than you ever thought you would. See it all as positive and it will be. Allow yourself to enjoy the process and do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself as you do. Happy remodeling!