10 Tips for Staying Sane During a Home Reno

Summer is almost over and the kids are heading back to school.  The weather will start to get cooler and maybe for you that means home renovations.  Brian McCourt from HGTV tells us it is possible to stay sane during a home reno and here is how.

Don’t Settle

The contractor-client relationship is a coveted bond of trust, reliance and companionship.  You need each other to make this work.  Start by having 3 different companies quote your project.  You need to see what’s out there before you ‘swipe right’ to choose your person.  Trust your instincts and don’t base your decision solely on price.  Imagine if you could get references from your dates before meeting them for dinner – well in this case, you can and you should.

Create a Sanctuary

If you are unable to move out during the renovation, use plastic to protect areas that are not being renovated (tip: opt for a plastic zipper tarp for sealed doorways).  Make sure to designate an untouched space or a fully finished room as your sanctuary, which you’ll need in order to stay sane after a long day of work.

Seal Vents

Who doesn’t love a good ole fashion demolition day?  I’ll tell you who doesn’t: the guy who’s contractor didn’t turn the furnace fan off before starting.  He hates demo day because he has dust all over his space.  When dust is flying through the air, close exposed vents and shut off the furnace.

Get Extra Protection

If you’ve ever been through a renovation, chances are there is one scratch on your new floor that you spot every time you walk past it, which could have been avoided.  Negotiate extra site protection with your contractor before things begin, as well as throughout the reno process as finishes are installed.  Accidents happen, but fewer do when you are protected and prepared.

Create a Makeshift Kitchen

Build a temporary kitchen using old cabinets in a different area of your home.  Even a basic counter set up with snacks, coffee and a toaster-oven will make a difference.

Seek a Stand-In Countertop

If you’ve opted for a sparkly new stone countertops, you’ll run into a deep period where nothing happens; the cabinets are in and the countertop company has taken templates of the space, but work is stalled until the countertops arrive, usually 10-14 days later.  Two weeks is a long time for sub-standard living, but if you have a good relationship with your contractor, he may install 1/2 inch melamine countertop and a makeshift sink so that you can use the space while you wait. 

Meal Plan

If your kitchen is out of commission during the reno process, prepare yourself with healthy take-out options to make dinner easy.  And plan more meals out with friends you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

Take a Vacation

Oh, and that family vacation you’ve been meaning to book?  Take it, enjoy and let your contractor battle the demons behind your walls.  This option isn’t for everyone, but if you have faith and trust in your contractor or designer, it can save your sanity.

Set Aside Funds

Renovations are always more work than you think, and most run over budget.  Make sure you have a contingency fund so you aren’t strung out when surprises arise, because they will.

Envision the End Goal

Remodels are stressful, there’s no doubt about it.  When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember, this too shall pass.  Reference your inspiration photos and visualize your first dinner party in your beautiful new space.

Source: HGTV.ca


Tips to Help Kids Adjust to a New School

We are down to less than 3 weeks before the kids go back to school.  At any age, a move can be stressful. But for school-age kids, a major move means changing schools, adjusting to new curriculum and finding new friends. Here are a few things you can do to help ease the transition and encourage kids during a school transfer.

Acknowledge their anxiety.

The first day of school is always knee-knocking and nerve-racking. The first day at a new school can be even scarier for kids. Let them know that their feelings are completely natural and understandable. Affirm their feelings, and then offer advice or personal anecdotes about times you have been nervous about a situation that turned-out O.K.

Take a trial run.

If the new school doesn’t host an official orientation for new students, try to request a tour for you and your child. Younger kids can be comforted by seeing their classroom and playground, and learning the location of the bathroom and the bus port. Older kids may like to walk their first day’s schedule: from the bus, to the locker, to their different classrooms.

Meet the neighbors

Meeting your neighbors and parents at your new school can be a great help for your kids. You can hear first-hand how families have navigated the school district, and even arrange play dates or meet-ups between your kids and other students. Start making connections as a classroom volunteer, or mingling at the bus stop to chat to other parents.

Pack a special lunch.

If your kids bring lunch, make it a special one filled with their favorite snacks and an encouraging note from you.

Source: remax.com