how to stay sane during renovations

At this point, I feel pretty skilled at living with chaos in our home. We’ve lived through flooring installation, kitchen demo, and everything in between. Of course, I totally do this to myself, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sometimes get overwhelming. I also know that general upheaval or the idea of having to move out of the house can be a barrier to entry for some so I want to shed a little light on how I keep my sanity when we’re in the middle of home projects.

how to stay sane during renovations

1.       Keep one space as a sanctuary

Typically, I make this our bedroom because we spend a lot of time there and I think your physical space can really impact the quality of your sleep. BUT given that we started our master bedroom first, that went out the window. In this case, I made the living room our space. It wasn’t perfect, but it was comfortable enough to spend time in without looking around and thinking about all the half-finished projects + to-dos that tend to come with renovations.

2.       Make a tool pile

This is a little bit of a running joke with my family. During our lake renovation I made a tool pile and would get annoyed every time I couldn’t find a tool because it wasn’t returned to the pile. This serves two purposes. It keeps things easy to find but more importantly it prevents clutter from being strewn all over the room/area. Less clutter = less visual stress (and less people tripping over tools). It’s a silly/small change, but it makes a big difference.

3.       Do what you can with what you have

If something is not getting done or is really bothering you, figure out if there’s some way to make a quick fix in the meantime. My original plans for our bedroom curtains didn’t pan out and instead of rushing another decision, I just put up our old curtains rather than replacing them with random stuff I had haphazardly covered the windows with before. While it still doesn’t look done (the curtains clash pretty badly with the rest of the room), it is functional (as in I can actually open and close them) and is a significant step up from a red, white, and blue beach towel pair + printed sheet combo that my neighbors could see from the street.

4.       Prioritize What’s Important

Sometimes we do things that don’t always make logical sense. I was dying to have flooring in the closet done before we started anything else because having our shoes + miscellaneous other closet items strewn all over our hallway + guest bedroom was driving me bonkers. Once it was finished I felt 100% better and got the closet set up immediately. Sometimes it’s worth doing things that are seemingly less important or somewhat out of order just for peace of mind.

5.       Give yourself grace

I think if you’re a regular here you probably know that I like things done quickly. I have high expectations for myself and always feel like I can get something done in X amount of days and sometimes get frustrated when it doesn’t work out. I ALWAYS feel better when I just let go of those deadlines + expectations. I try to focus on what needs to happen next (whether that’s a step in the process or just a few days off) and stay excited for the final product.


What all of this boils down to is that you have to remember to live no matter what state your house (or life for that matter) is in. Make time for friends, take a night off to watch a movie, and get out of the house for a night out even when you’re dead in the middle of the project. Hustling to the finish line is going to leave you missing out on a lot. And if you make it a habit of only resting between projects, you’ll get burnt out pretty quickly. It’s okay that your hallway is only half floored. It’s okay that you still haven’t finished painting that one wall. It’s okay that you haven’t gotten to that thing you wanted to start a month ago. Everything will come together and you might as well enjoy it while it’s happening. And I say all of this to myself just as much as you! Happy renovating!