…And Not Completely Lose Your Cool. I will preface this post by saying you will absolutely lose your cool at some point during a renovation. In fact, I think the term “losing your cool” was invented by a gal who was renovating her home. I’m not totally sure, but it’s a valid theory.
So to help re-frame my current situation and gain a bit of perspective, I’ve listed a few rules for living in two places. This goes out to anyone who is remodeling, renovating or relocating.
How To Live In Two Places And Not Completely Lose Your Cool
1. Invest in two of everything you can afford. Seriously, double up to keep the trouble down. Batteries, toothbrushes, deodorant (extra deodorant, please!), phone chargers, flashlights, the like. Keep one set of must-haves in your current digs and one at the renovation site. Trust me on this. In our situation, we’ve even purchased two mobile dog cages to keep at the renovation house, so we’re not daily transporting pet crates.
2. Designate and compartmentalize. You’ve all heard that expression about mixing business and pleasure, so I don’t need to remind you of the importance of compartmentalization. Make sure you designate one space for work and another for play. (Or in our case, more work. Ha!) For example, we have yet to install Internet at our renovation house, so that we can focus all of our time there on manual labor, rather than “real work,” which for us is writing/editing/filming. Instead, we use our current digs to get creative and punch the time clock.
3. Communicate your “home base” with friends and family. When you live in two places, you can sometimes get double the visitors. Which is great for the soul, but not so much the clock. Encourage your friends and family to visit your “home base,” whether that be the renovation site or your existing house/apartment. A good rule of thumb for figuring out your “home base” — it’s the place where your mail is delivered.
4. Stay organized. This is my prime tip for everything life-oriented, because it truly makes all the difference. I like to keep a handy binder of all things renovation-related in the trunk of my car, so it can be referenced wherever I am. It’s saved us numerous times when our deliveries were delayed unexpectedly, a price was misquoted or a contract worker needed some additional information.
And my last tip?
5. Count your blessings. Living in two places can be stressful, but I’m so, so grateful that we’re not living on-site during this phase. The dust alone would send my allergies into overdrive. (Not to mention surviving without a kitchen!) And face it — sometimes it’s just nice to get away.
Speaking of getting away, I was in NYC and SF a few weeks ago, and Husband planned a special renovation surprise for my return! Want to hear all about it? Stay tuned next Wednesday for a sneak peek…