Jun 5, 2017

A Recipe for Insanity

Has anyone here lived through a home renovation?

I did when I was a kid, and for me it was a wonderful, adventurous experience of climbing stuff adults yelled at you to get down from, of home-delivered Chinese meals eaten off plastic plates, of swapping buckets and saucepans out from beneath the leaking tarps... and of finally getting my own bedroom.

Good times.

Now my husband and I are embarking on that same adventure with our own kids, and I must admit, the romanticism of it seems to be ... missing. Not only are we doing a massive renovation (extending up), but we're going to be living in the house during the process. We'd call it the jumbo family slumber party, but that just sounds wrong.

Our architect tells us marriage counselling isn't part of the package.

The grand plan is to move our family of five into two rooms, and live in our own little heaven while chaos and destruction abound around us.

Now, I like to think I'm a 'logical' kind of person, and like to work out the whys and wherefores, and plan stuff. I like to plot my novels. I like to write out a dinner party menu. I like to make shopping lists, etc. ... so of course, I've written out our 'to-do list'. This includes de-cluttering,getting rid of the things we haven't seen/used/realised we still have for the past decade and packing everything left so that we can store it when the roof is peeled off.

Oh, and I'm a writer, so I work from home. :D

We've made a start with the packing, though...

I've found that the local bottle-o (liquor store) has boxes ideal for packing dense items like books - you can still carry them once you've packed to the brim.

And work has started. Unfortunately, not everyone in our family follows the 'avoid the work zone' instruction...

And it's amazing the new words you pick up from the crew when a cat prances across wet cement...

So I'm curious - has anyone else lived through an extensive renovation that's involved total upheaval of the home and family routine?

How did you cope? Do you have any tips or tricks for maintaining one's sanity in the whole process? I would LOVE to hear from you!


  1. Shannon, good luck with the renos! We extended our house just before the birth of our second child. I do mean 'just'. I remember talking to the foreman when I came home, very heavily pregnant, and warning I didn't want to bring a newborn back to this chaos. It worked! A big of a drastic way to get the job finished though, I think. :) Hope it all goes wonderfully.

    1. LOL - Don't think I'm ready to go to that extreme! Fortunately we've got some really fantastic builders, and it's not TOO intrusive - but we expect it to get worse, just by the nature of the project.

  2. Dear God, Shannon! Just...no! No way! I don't think I could stand it. But I'm wishing you smooth sailing with your reno adventures...and I don't doubt that the end result will be worth all of the chaos. :-) Looking forward to seeing the end results!

    1. LOL, thanks, Michelle. Already looking forward to the end of the process where you kick back and relax. Unfortunately, looking around at my nuclear fallout, that will take a while...

  3. Shannon, yesterday I was wiping down the bench tops in my beautiful new kitchen and remembering the hell last year when the renovation went on and on with delay after delay. I was so sick of cooking with only the microwave sitting on top of a tiny bar fridge, of trooping down the stairs to wash the dishes in the laundry tub, of having the contents of the kitchen laid out in boxes on the living room floor, of making my way around the boxes stacked down the hallway. The local Thai restaurant didn't have to be told our order as we ate there several nights a week. But ah, the joy of my new kitchen! Your renovation will absolutely be worth it!

    1. Oh, my stars. Well, that's giving me a some realistic expectations to set. Thanks, Kandy!

  4. Hi Shannon

    Yes I finally have internet back :)

    We had renovations done a long time ago and it was painful they weren't as big as yours but they did upend the household a lot I had 4 kids at school and was working nights but we got there and it turned out all good just keep thinking of then end result and keep the wine handy :)

    Have Fun