Oct 8

Chronicles of a New Homeowner (Continued)

Three months ago (first of all, wow, three months have passed?!), I shared the unfortunate missteps we took during the beginning of our home renovation projects, in particular the process of painting. It took two weeks of paint, sweat and tears to redo the ceiling, just the ceiling, one of many projects involved in our efforts to make the house our home. As I shared in that blog post, there was a lot we could have done better had I gone into PR mode.

Flash forward to October, and we’re nearing move-in day. There have been a number of other unanticipated issues, make that learning opportunities, along the way — one of which was the skillful installation of the wrong countertop in our kitchen by a contractor, but that’s beside the point. We’ve certainly gained new skills along this journey.

Now just days away from living in a house we hope to feel truly at home in, I’m again finding myself coming back to my PR brain. I think it’s fair to say how I’m feeling now is similar to the way I do when I come to the end of any major project or lengthy campaign. I feel excited, anxious and possibly the beginnings of exhaustion and relief, just to name a few.

How do I make sure we achieve the desired outcome of our laborious efforts? Well, I’m doing what I can to see through the successful completion of our home renovations just as I would any communications initiative.

Eye on the prize

Reminding ourselves what the objectives of the project are helps us stay motivated.

We’ve made social sacrifices to spend hours working on our home during any free time we’ve had to keep renovations moving. I’m looking forward to that moment when we finally sit down, take a deep breath and say: “Wow. We did this. This is our home.”

Yes, general maintenance will be ongoing, but at least we will know we did as much as we could early on to evolve the space to fit us, what we like and what we need it to be. It will be something we’re proud to share with our family and friends.

Diligence about the details

When projects begin to feel overwhelming and at their busiest, that’s when, in my eyes, it’s time to slow down.

It’s important to take the time to stop and think about last minute details. Managing small specifics can help set you up for big-picture success.

It’s easy to want to ditch little details, say for example ignoring a couple patchy spots on the stairway walls. Just because it may be easier that way, does not mean it’s worth feeling like you could have done better when you had the opportunity to fix things.

Accept and adapt to change

Not all things go exactly according to plan so it’s important to be flexible and adjust your plans to suit inevitable changing circumstances. This one is hard for me. I often have my heart set on things going a certain way. I’m a perfectionist and a planner, but life isn’t written in stone, and it certainly is not perfect.

So, delayed delivery means we won’t have our new dining table in time for the housewarming party. Is this cause for distress? No. The party will go on. Who needs a fancy table to hold snacks when we’ve got a couple collapsible plastic ones that will still do the job. Add a nice tablecloth to set on top, and voilà, problem solved.

Acknowledge all achievements

A major project can take a lot out of you emotionally, mentally and even physically.

A way to quell nervous feelings and complete the project with confidence is by recalling achievements you had along the way.

Ask yourself what positive feedback, new skills or new relationships have you gained?

During the process, did you learn that you and your teammates, or in this case significant other, have the same work ethic, desires and dreams?

How are you better having been through the challenges?

Now that months of hard work have gone by, can you still smile about it despite difficulties?

Relish the moment when you can say, “Wow. We did this!”

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