My contractor was at the door at 8:00am. It was demo day for a total kitchen remodel. One of many renovation projects I’ve lived through over the years. While living in a construction zone is always somewhat stressful, after a while, you get better at it. I’ve definitely learned a lot through experience.

Whether you’re going through your first or one of many, a minor or major, renovation project, here are some tips to make it a little easier.

1. Get Organized

Emptying my kitchen cabinets wasn’t the first step in the process. Actually, I had to start by organizing my garage and basement. I didn’t want to throw more boxes onto an already overflowing mess of boxes. The idea was to have everything easily accessible during and after renovations.

A kitchen remodel also requires planning for how meals will be dealt with during the renovations. Obviously you can’t cook as normal, but where will you store the snacks and things? Will you use a toaster oven? A microwave? A coffee maker? Where will you put these things? How will you clean up? Do you have enough paper products? And on, and on. Bathrooms and bedrooms require different preparations, but plan ahead to make things easier.

You also have to think about all of the finishing selections and other things you might be responsible for. You don’t want to have to have the plumber rescheduled because you forgot to pick out a faucet for the sink. Check with your contractor when he (or she) starts to make sure everything is ready to go. If you’re in need of plumbing assistance, contact Atlantic Blue Plumbing.

2. Pay Attention to Surrounding Areas

After you’ve prepared the area being renovated, focus your attention on the adjoining rooms. Despite the plastic seal that most contractors will put up to contain the dust, it always has a way of seeping through to other floors and furniture. Cover valuable items, put away things that don’t need to be out, and be prepared to be sweeping, dusting and vacuuming regularly.

It might also be wise to take down pictures from the adjacent walls and put away other breakable items. All of the demo and construction are sure to get things shaking.

3. Treat Your Contractor Well

I’m definitely not as good at this as some of my friends. I know some who bake cookies and buy lunch on a daily basis. I’ve offered the random beer here and there, but for the most part I let them fend for themselves when it comes to meals. But, I treat contractors kindly and respectfully. The reality is, these people have your renovations in their hands. Treat them poorly and who knows how many loose screws you’ll find after they finish. For roofing, siding and window renovations, we recommend S & K Roofing!

4. Expect the Unexpected

Yes, the renovations will take longer than expected and will cost more than you planned. Just tell yourself this from the beginning and you won’t be so disappointed in the long run. In fact, if they finish even close to on-time and on-budget you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

5. Reap the Benefits

And, by benefits, I mean the good things both during and after the renovations. Rather than stressing about how to prepare some semblance of a nutritional dinner, skip it and go out. You have the perfect excuse for not cooking. Take advantage of it and give yourself the break. Three meals a day? Sure. Why not? It’s not a permanent arrangement. And, once the kitchen is finished, you’ll be so excited to use everything that you’ll be cooking non-stop.

After everything is done, sit back and marvel at your accomplishment. You may not have done the physical work, but surviving renovations is half the battle. Invite friends over. Show off the remodel. Enjoy it. I guarantee you, it’s not the last time you’ll go through something like this.