So, I've been MIA for awhile! I guess that is what life is all about. I have been transitioning out of my old life and settling into my new life! I retired from my practice (I'll blog on that more later!) and am now making my way as a "do-a-bunch-of-things" entrepreneur. Anyways, over the last almost 7 years now, hubby Steve and I have moved ourselves 4 times and each time renovated the space we have moved into. I have lived in a super small war time house (under 900sqft), a larger two story century home, and two 1960's/70's bungalows, and each time I have had the chance to renovate, design, and decorate within our budget. So here is the 10 things that I have learned from these flips that I have lived in (and our current home which is a longer term investment.. we think!).
1. Less Is More- Yes, having less stuff is better when moving a lot. AND conversely, moving a lot will help you to have less stuff! Each item that gets picked up and put down, packed up and wrapped up, or sorted and stored, takes time and energy. This may be why I have really been inspired with the minimalist movement, and have been working on my own capsule wardrobe!
2. Health Can Be A Challenge- I know, it's s an excuse. But it's a good one isn't it? :D This past summer we would literally invite people over for dinner, when they arrived we would remind them we don't have a kitchen, then walk on over to MJ's for some delicious fries. I actually got sick of fries (which I thought was impossible)(and I'm not sick of them now after a winter "off"). But not having a proper kitchen certainly makes it challenging, I didn't have a sink, or even a legit drain (should I explain?? ok ours drained to the road.. briefly..), I didn't have a counter (most times this comes up), and sometimes I didn't have power. Think about how much easier it is to order (gluten free!) pizza or thai, than to make something on the BBQ in the pouring rain.... I know, an excuse. But there it is.
3. You Learn Patience- Patience with your husband for sure (you know what they say!) (incase you don't, they say if you can survive a renovation you can survive anything). The saving point for us is that we both have chosen this so it's not like it's HIS fault or MY fault or even worth getting mad about generally, usually it is OUR fault and so we just go with it. Patience with your subcontractors, mmmhmm believe it or not they don't show up sometimes! Or take month to bring you an item you need, or stop working mid-way, or show up just to raise the price and leave, or don't take your calls or texts (and it says "read"), and so on and so on. But. I have learned we are all people, just doing our thing. And the better I treat them, the better they treat me generally. And patience with the whole process. Buying and selling takes time, moving takes time, packing and unpacking takes time, renovating takes a LONG time, it is all part of it.
4. The Essential Necessities- So if you're embarking on a live in home renovation here are some things I highly recommend
a) Plastic storage containers to pack things and label them and prevent them from getting dusty
b) Easy to eat healthy snacks (by now you must know I love USANA bars and shakes)
c) A BBQ and paper plates for most cooking
d) Beers in the fridge, so that friends will come over and help and at least you can give them a beer (ha!)
e) Some crappier furniture, towels, socks, so that your good stuff doesn't get wrecked!
5. Organization Is Hard!- Even with the labelled plastic bins, it's not easy to know where everything is. I just found some bathing suits from a couple years ago recently! On the plus side, when you find your lost items it's like they are new again!
6. Gratitude For Everyday Things- Honestly things like a shower, doors and walls to the bathroom, a kitchen sink(!!), lights/electricity, all of these things are at times not available during a move and renovation. You really learn to be thankful for the conveniences we have.
7. Most Seasons Suck For Renovations- Summer sucks because it's nice out and you want to relax, winter sucks because it's dark and cold and you want to watch netflix on a couch, Spring sucks because its always rainy which is tough for moving things into and out of the house, so fall is about the only time it's not so bad. Good luck with that.
8. Having A Dog Makes You Cleaner- How is that possible you ask? Because, at least for us, we didnt want our little Coconut to hurt herself on nails and other debris, or get her paws all covered in house demo dirt and then lick them, so we actually kept this most recent renovation much cleaner than usual thanks to our doggie. This fact may not be true once the reno is done :)
9. IT GETS EXPENSIVE- As soon as you start taking things a part, more things come up, and more opportunities to "just start over" come up. And then when shopping, those little upgrades are so easy to do, and oh yeah you need fancy taps and a waterfall countertop of course! ;)
10. Your New Home Does Not Make A New You- This one may be the most important point I wanted to share. Each house, each move, each adventure, I envision my new life as the new me in my new space. In THIS house I will be healthy, I will make juices every morning, bath with lavender oils every night, I will wake up joyful and drink coffee staring into the beautiful new room that I live in. Reality check- when your house is mid way, you feel worse than you did before it started so you really start to feel awful (because rememebr it takes a long time), and then when it is done, yes your home IS beautifu and that does bring some joy, but, you are still the same YOU. You don't change, your anxieties, your bad habits, your personality, doesn't change because of your house. You don't actually need a renovation or a move to BE the person you want to be. Having stuff only fills a small void. It is more important to learn to love yourself as you are, and all of the beautiful accents that come with it can be enjoyed fully.
Thanks so much for reading! What is your top tip for living through moving and renovating?
I love to share health information, wealth building tips, entrepreneurial ideas, and travel experiences! Talk about a range! But doing what I love has truly paid off and I hope to help inspire you to do the same!