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Tips For Living Through A Reno

Lucyshyns Designs - interior designer Ontario, Canada shares her tips for living through a reno with a family.

If you know, you know: living through a reno can be one of the most trying and stressful times for a family. The Lucyshyn clan has been there one or two times before. And girl, that ish can be TOUGH!

And I kinda get it from both sides - my family and I are living through a remodeling, and with our Lucyshyns Contracting & Lucyshyns Designs businesses, we are always helping our clients through the process of building and remodeling homes.

So I’ve put together my top 10 tips for living through a reno so that you can make this time are stress-free as possible!

My 10 Tips For Living Through A Reno

1. Set a calendar with your contractors

Ok - this one is SO important! Be as communicative with your contractors as possible. Before your project, sit down with your contractors and set the start date and the tentative end date for your project. Your contractors should be able to give your a day-by-day breakdown of what’s getting done so that you can, ya know, plan your life! Side note: understand that things will go off-schedule sometimes. It’s the nature of the beast. So be as flexible as you can, and again - be communicative with each other!

If you need more information about planning and organizing for a home renovation, check out this article by The Spruce here!

2. Organization is KEY

If you know me, you know that I’m basically the bin-queen. I love home organization. It keeps my anxiety at bay and my house peaceful and collected. And when you’re living through a reno, organization has never been more critical. When you’re packing up a room and relocating, separate out the things you DON’T need during the renovation process. Keep out and relocate the things you DO need during your remodeling, and organize your temporary holding spaces. This is DEFINITELY help when you're running late and need to know where your three-year-old’s favorite dinosaur toy is STAT!

3. Pack away things that need to be protected

Whether is valuables, sentimental items, or delicate breakable things - carefully pack and store any items that should be protected during your reno. Trust me - you’ll thank me later!

Lucyshyns Designs - interior designer Ontario, Canada shares her tips for living through a reno with a family.  Stephanie Lucyshyn's young son plays in front of a pile of lumber.

4. Set up your “zones”

Out of all of my tips for living through a reno - this one is probably the most practical. As you’re going through your home remodel, certain areas of your house are going to be straight up unavailable to you. So designate “zones” in your home for some sanity-saving organization. This could be that two rooms are consolidated into one. It could be that a corner of one bedroom becomes “mom’s temporary office.” Or it could be that the dining room is now a partial pantry.

5. Don't renovate all your bathrooms at once

I think this one speaks for itself, but just in case it’s not clear:


That is all. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

6. Plan for the kitchen

If you are renovating your kitchen, get all of the extra appliances and organization things you need ahead of time. So if you need a hot plate to cook on, a microwave, extra shelves for storing dishware, pots & pans, or food items – whatever it is, make a plan, set your “zone”, and get all of your supplies BEFORE the kitchen reno starts!

Lucyshyns Designs - interior designer Ontario, Canada shares her tips for living through a reno with a family.  Stephanie Lucyshyn's children play in a gravel pile in front of their home renovation site.

7. Create safe spaces for your kids & pets

Don’t let the words “remodel” and “renovation” confuse you. When you are living through a reno, you are living in a construction zone! That means major danger. You never know when there’s going to be a loose screw rolling around or splinters on the floor or or or or… the list goes on and on. This is something that gives me a fair amount of anxiety as a mom. So create a space in your home where you KNOW your kids & pets will be safe! One great practice for this is having different paths into and through your home for the crew and your kids. If you have a backdoor, this is a great way to create one path for the babies and fur babies and another for your construction family.

8. Prioritize your sleep

Gonna be honest here… I don’t think you’re going to be doing much sleeping in during your home renovation. And this is a very intense time: things are all over the place, your home is filled with dust and debris, and yet the show must go on! So do yourself and your cortisol levels a favor and give yourself plenty of opportunities for a good night’s rest!

9. Drop cloths are your friend

You will learn veeeerrrryyyy quickly in a home renovation the amount of dust it creates in your home. I mean seriously, it’s almost unbelievable. One way to keep the dust under control is to put up drop cloths and tarps wherever you can. It won’t be 100% dust-proof, but it will bring the dust down to a MUCH more manageable level! You’ll still need your duster, vacuum, and mop close by, but it will help a lot!

And if you get a good contracting crew, they will tape up those drop cloths and tarps for you. I'm always AMAZED at how well my husband and his team at Lucyshyns Contracting are able to keep renovation spaces clean and collected. So, pick a contractor that goes above and beyond for you and your family!

Lucyshyns Designs - interior designer Ontario, Canada shares her tips for living through a reno with a family.  A picture of the latest Lucyshyns Contracting and Lucyshyns Designs home renovation project.

10. Take lots of pictures

This might feel like a weird inclusion on my tips for living through a reno, but this is a two-parter:

First of all, this is a very practical thing. Documenting your renovation will help with the future resell value of your home. It will also help with any future repairs because you will have information about how things are laid out, wired, etc. And keep a historical record of your reno can be very helpful (and sometimes necessary) for your contractors.

Second of all, even though it can be stressful, this is a very exciting time. The home of your dreams is coming to life right before your eyes. Trust me, it’s amazing to have those before, during, and after photos to look back on. You won’t regret it!

And there you have my tips for living through a reno!

Real chat: you’re going to have amazing times and you’re going to have hard times while living through a reno project. There will be the highest of highs and the lowest or lows. But remember - all of your hard work, your vision, the life you’ve been manifesting is all coming into reality. Big, beautiful things are happening for you, and what a freakin’ blessing that is!

And finally, my closing tip is this: be forgiving with yourself. This is a process of trial and error - you are amazing, your family is amazing, and your house is gonna be AMAZING. You’re a champ! So take a deep breath, and dust off that nightstand one more time.

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Lucyshyns Designs - interior designer Ontario, Canada shares her tips for living through a reno with a family.  Stephanie Lucyshns - ontario interior designer and founder of Lucyshyns Designs.

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