Surviving the renovation and clean-up season

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As spring arrives with warmer temperatures, home owners inevitably start looking around their homes and properties and consider what improvements are needed and what work needs to be done.

As spring arrives with warmer temperatures, home owners inevitably start looking around their homes and properties and consider what improvements are needed and what work needs to be done. The snow melts away and reveals the landscaping we need to do, the flower beds that need to be cleaned, the fence that needs painting, the lawn that needs to be raked, and the repairs that are needed on our home, deck,            or garage.
With the extreme cold no longer an excuse to delay the work, and the snow no longer masking the imperfections, home owners can feel overwhelmed as they try to get everything done, particular those who decide to do the work themselves. In fact,    nothing says home ownership like renovation!
The secret to sanity while    tackling renovation season is in maintaining motivation, having a clear game plan, and patience. Fitting in everything that has to   be done into your schedule, regardless how tight or busy it is, is         difficult but can be done.
Don’t be too fixated on getting everything done all at once and within a tight time frame. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Tackling too much at once and creating tight deadlines causes overload and frustration when you can’t live up to your expectations. Negative feelings won’t encourage you to keep going.
One step at a time! Only move on to another project once the previous project is completed. Doesn’t one finished project look better than five partially completed projects? And won’t it save the stress of trying to do five things   at once?
Having a clear game plan will keep you on track when you get the urge to move to another     project and, if organized in a       logical order, will eliminate   unnecessary work in the long run. For example, don’t stain your deck before you paint your house. It will be easier to keep paint      splatters off your house when painting your deck than the    opposite. Touch-ups take time!     
Why not start with one of the smaller projects? We often assign the most importance to the biggest projects, but oftentimes they are no more urgent or important than something smaller. Instead of staining the entire deck, paint      the fence first. A sense of pride comes from accomplishments, and       success fuels ambition. Checking something off a list feels good!
Taking pictures, before and after, also tends to fuel motivation because you can visualize how your work has paid off. Those three hours of painting will seem much more worthwhile when you see the difference it has made.
Finally, why not involve friends or family in the process? Raking the lawn might seem like an     endless chore for one person, but with a few extra pairs of hands, the job will go much quicker and you might even have fun doing it!
Allyson Beauregard, Editor