Enjoying The Journey · Organization

What I Learned From Our First Major Home Repair

We spent the past three weeks with both of our bathrooms in almost complete disrepair. It made for some creative problem solving (and a few late-night shower runs to my inlaws). This wasn’t a remodel we’d planned to tackle – we discovered some long standing water damage and had to dry out the rooms and replace all the flooring.  Although we were fixing a problem that we hadn’t anticipated, I was able to plan a few days before the bathrooms were demo’ed. This was my first experience with major home repair, so I thought I’d share a few things that made the process a little less difficult.

#1 Contain displaced items in one area

For our bathroom remodel, I had to take everything out of both bathrooms: rugs, shower curtains, cleaning supplies, toiletries, trashcans…you get the idea. The things that we still needed to use every day were divided up into his and hers bins. Paul’s bin contained his toiletries and stayed on the dresser in our bedroom. I moved everything I needed into our guest room and set up a place to get ready in there. Everything else went to one corner of our 4th bedroom (Paul’s man cave/office).

I know that’s three areas – but each category (his, hers, non-essentials) had its own area. I know if I hadn’t done this from the start, those two tiny bathrooms would have taken over the whole house!

#2 Designate a “sanity space”

I decided that I would work really hard to keep the kitchen and living room as tidy and “normal” as possible. Since nothing from the bathroom was in the kitchen, it wasn’t much harder than usual. Even though the bathrooms were really gross and torn up, it was nice to be able to relax in the kitchen and living room in their usual state. It saved my sanity!

#3 Move back in to the renovated space as soon as possible

I know that might sound odd, but it’s easy to become accustomed to things being out of order. I’m the kind of person who will assemble everything I need for a project and then leave it in a pile in my office for months! I knew I had to deal with the displaced items as soon as our bathroom was functional again.

On Thursday night the contractor finished installing everything, leaving the “small” touch ups and finishing pieces to us. The bathrooms were no longer torn up and were now fully functional. The next day I came home from work and determined to clean up the mess from weeks of construction in those bathrooms and put everything else away. I had to throw away, scrub, put away, hang up, and re-organize things for several hours before my work was done. It was tiring, but I felt so much better getting that pile of non-essentials out of Paul’s man cave!

There’s a vlog coming soon to my YouTube channel that will give you a behind the scenes look at the whole process, and once we’ve completed the remodel I will share pictures and all the details here!

What’s the biggest home repair or renovation you’ve tackled? What did you do to make it easier?


10 thoughts on “What I Learned From Our First Major Home Repair

  1. It’s such an event to tear up and put back together. We used bins when the plumbers were here in September. There was an unexpected addition to the project at the last minute, so it was “throw everything in something and move it in 5 minutes” so the plumbers could get to a certain wall. Can’t wait to see how everything turned out for you. Kitchen flooring is on my to-do list sometime, but that might not happen until spring.

    When I was a kid, my dad and uncle sanded and varnished the wood floors. That was quite a thing, with furniture in odd places (like the front porch). Organizing belongings by room is such a help!

    I’m so glad you’re up and running again! Renovations make the brain feel so scattered.


    1. I was afraid we would have to do that 5 minute warning dash with my bedroom closet, but thankfully they didn’t have to work in there. I had a game plan in mind but didn’t really want to go there! 🙂


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