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How to stay sane during a Christmas home renovation - Property Unravelled

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We all have grand plans to have the home renovation finished before Christmas!  But for our family a few years ago, unfortunately this just wan’t going to be the case.

Our project included renovating our kitchen, and turning our single garage into a bedroom and en-suite. My husband and I were both working and we had a 5 year old son at the time. In the end it all came together, however cooking from a microwave and washing up dishes in the bathtub was not at all convenient over the silly season.

How to stay sane during a Christmas home renovation

If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, I have put together our top tips to help get you through your home renovation over Christmas.

1.  Be festive with minimal space

If you are finding you are limited with space due to your home renovation, but would like to still bring some Christmas cheer, you may want to switch your traditional Christmas tree to a wall decal.  Check out the great range at Zanui.

Christmas Tree

2. Be patient with tradesman

Renovating your home is a stressful no matter if you are living in the home or renting whilst it is being done. It is messy, time consuming and tiring. Doing it on your own is one thing, but adding a family into the mix is hard work. Add Christmas into the mix and that is when stress levels can be very high.

When making decisions about the renovation it is important they were are made just to hurry along the project. Planning and sometimes just letting go of the mess can the easiest way to deal with it. A lot of trades stop work for a few weeks over Christmas and putting pressure on them to finish may result in shortcuts and untidy work.

3. DIY space

Whilst we were having our kitchen renovated we needed to create a space where we could cook for 2 weeks.   We made this work by:

  • Setting the fridge up in the lounge room.
  • Put the microwave on the dining table.
  • Keeping one of the old kitchen cupboards in the lounge room  for just essential crockery and cutlery
  • Having the remainder of the old kitchen that had been ripped out packed away and removed from our property – less clutter, equals less stress for me.
  • Having a dedicated plastic tub for dirty dishes, which we would take to the bathroom to wash up when necessary.
  • Having a freezer stash of meals.  By doing some batch cooking in the lead up, I managed to have a number of meals ready to go that only needed microwaving or minimal preparation.

Other options are moving into a caravan on the property if you have room or even just renting.  It may be a bit tight with money for a while but it will be all worth it in the end.

This was our old kitchen and we were so happy with the end result.  We also put a patio door out to our backyard which made such a difference to our living.  The island bench was such a great decision as we don’t have a large dining space.

DIY space DIY space

4.  Keep the dust out

Taping plastic sheets from the ceiling to the floor with painter’s tape is a great way to keep the dust out, and those nasty little particles you don’t want spreading in the rest of your home. 

You can section each room off with the plastic sheets.  You can even buy zipped plastic sheeting if you need to have access as well.   Make sure you tape down vents and ducts as well.   This is not going to stop the dust but it sure helps.  Also I used to clean up after the builder’s left and do a vacuum just to try to keep it as clean as possible.

IN-house Interior Designer

5. Utilising outdoor space

If you have kids then this is a must.  Creating a outdoor space can be a lifesaver when you are renovating.  Now that summer is here, cooking and eating outside is so relaxing and enjoyable.  Turn on the bbq after work and shut the doors to your home.  If you have an undercover area you can even set up a lounge area as well.   We set up our outdoor table and had quite a few bbq’s.

If you are having Christmas in the middle of a renovation then look at organising a picnic or a beach bbq for the day. Spending time away can help you forget about the mess. Instead of putting up a Christmas tree inside why not add decorations to a tree outside.

Christmas Lunch
Source: Not Quite Nigella

6.  Be tidy when renovating

Trying to keep tidy kept my sanity. I packed away things that were not needed and had a area for everything.  It was organised chaos but as long as everything had a place and was kept tidy it was less stressful.

This was our lounge room where we lived during our renovation.   It was not a huge space but we made it work.  The bedroom was our old single garage which we also included an en-suite.

Be tidy when renovating Be Tidy when RenovatingBe Tidy when Renovating

7. Safety during a renovation

Safety during renovation is paramount, particularly when you have children.  During our home renovation there were nails, dust and electrical items poking out. To help my son understand the importance of the places he was not to go we put signage around the home and told him what could happen if he touched something.

We put up a tent in the backyard for him to play in so we could keep him out of the dust. He was required to wear shoes inside the home in case of nails and we kept a closer eye on him than usual.

8. Prepare the family for renovating

In my experience my son loved it when we renovated. He got to play in a tent, we ate outside most nights and we did end up having a lot more take away meals.   We just made sure that he was still in a good routine and understood the safety aspect of where we were living.

We have now moved on from this renovation and built our first home. But I would definitely be happy to renovate again one day! Renovating regionally can have it’s challenges but check out Naomi Findlay‘s tips and hints for your next renovation.

If you want FREE Interior design advice come and join our House to Home Hub where you can chat to Rebecca our in-house interior designer every Wednesday for tips and hints on your plans, space planning, furniture and more.

Good luck to all the renovators out there!  I know there is no place like home at Christmas but just imagine next Christmas in your brand new renovated home!