Thursday, June 5, 2014

Remodeling - with Kids!

The Headlines:

We are remodeling.

Again.

It is not easy.

Especially for kids. 

6 tips to get you (and them) through it!



The other day we were at a friend's house for the afternoon.  We got in the car and my 7 year old daughter said… "I really like their house - it's so clean!"  Huh?  I said… "ours isn't?"  Then I remembered:  we're remodeling… again.  To a 7 year old that just means chaos.  Kids like order.  Actually, most thrive in it.  My child needs it.  She pretty much was brought to tears earlier this year when we put new floors in half our house and I had to, basically, share her room for weeks!  That was a mess too.  Now it's happening again.

Yes, we will all be better off for it when we're done.  But right now it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  At least, if you're 7.

Which is why I'm writing this post.  Kids can live, happily, through remodeling in their home but you have to help them.  It is not easy since chaos is all around you but if you take deep breaths, remain calm and follows these guidelines, you all will live through it!  Here's what I've found...

6 Tips for Getting your Family through a Remodel:

Start a remodel "Season".
Begin by explaining to the kids that" this year…" or "this summer" or fill in the blank… your family is going to do a lot of "big work around the house" explain what you're planning to do and where.  Get as detailed as they want.  Give them as much as they can handle or care to hear about.  Also, try to get them excited about it!  "Your bathroom is going to look so cool after we do XYZ…" you get the drift.

Do 1 project at a time.  
We have multiple situations happening in our house right now… my husband's closet, my closet, our shower and bath, then some smaller projects like my daughter's desk and a couple more.  It may be better to limit it to one, if you can.  The shower and bath needed to be done together and is more than enough for one undertaking.  But because I want everything done - NOW - our closets are a complete mess along with our bathroom.  That combination is what's making my daughter crazy.  Along with the fact that we were painting her desk in her room which meant everything had to come off of it… so on and so forth.

Keep Life as Normal as Possible.
It is a struggle to do this because you're so overwhelmed but we have still invited people over, amidst the mess, I just explain the circumstances, "No, we don't always have a huge wall of plastic in the middle of my bedroom!"

Huge Wall of Plastic in My Bedroom

Be Organized.  Wherever Possible.
This is one I have real trouble with… it drives BP (my husband) crazy.  In general, when you come to my house it looks pretty together, maybe even organized but open a wrong closet (or the office which we have not really "taken on" yet) and BAM you are hit with major disorganization.  During remodeling, due to such unusual circumstances, it gets even worse!  So fight that head on!  Do your best to keep everything "together."  You and your kids will feel much more at ease if you do!

Take Breaks. 
So, we have done several, fairly large, projects this year.  But we have taken several weeks "break" in between each one.  Therefore,  we are able to return to normalcy in between.  That has helped the kids "refresh" themselves and then put them back into the "project mindset."

Declare an Official End.
When it's done, or getting close, tell them that.  Explain once this is finished in a couple days… we are STOPPING.  Tell them your situation, whatever it is: no more remodeling until next Summer!  They will appreciate being informed and will know they can finally let their hair down.  For us personally, we have promised our daughter we'll stop major stuff for the rest of the year.  Except for an outside project MUST.  And that should be easy for her to handle.  Right?


Now, in case you're wondering - you probably aren't but I'm going to show you anyways… we're totally re-doing our shower/bath… 2 separate areas.  It used to look like this:

Before Shower/Bath Area
Before Shower Inside


Before Shower Outside

Now, it's looking like this:

During Shower






During Bath
Sooner than later we're hoping it actually looks like a finished Shower and Bath.  This is week 3.  We're clearly going into week 4 on Monday since the wrong tile was ordered.  Maybe I need to write some new tips - for PARENTS!
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