As you may or may not know from my constant social media updates, I have been living through a massive kitchen renovation since September. That means 3 months without water, counters, floors and more! Did I move out? NO. How did I cope? Here I share a few tips and tricks on how to live in a home that is under construction and no go crazy in the process (ok, maybe just a bit crazy – that’s acceptable).
To start, the inspiration collage is what kept me sane and helped to keep the end product in mind when the going got tough. I would look at that gorgeous inspiration and know that one day it would all be mine…no pain-no gain right?
Compare that beautiful inspiration image to this – this was my reality for THREE months! To stay sane, and functional, and still live there, I had to find ways to make things work for all of us.
I have two sweet dogs that live with me, so I desperately needed to keep the space clean and tidy – not only for my own health but for their health and safety as well. I can’t tell you how many Swiffer pads I went through each day! I was constantly whipping that magic tool around, day in and day out. I’d start with the Swiffer Sweeper to trap and lock in all the dirt (and let me tell you there was A LOT of dirt). Next I’d then use the Swiffer WetJet on the finished hardwood floors to clean up any remaining dirt and grime and make it a safe haven at the end of the night … until the dirt and dust appeared the next day and then I’d repeat.
I’m not sure if you can tell but I am a bit OBSESSED about cleanliness. It’s pretty hard for someone like me who lives in tidy home to live through a Reno. I turned to tools and products that would give me peace of mind, knowing they’d help keep my space as clean as it could be, for all of us. I tried Scrub Daddy for the first time during my Reno and it was life changing! This little sponge doesn’t scratch delicate surfaces and doesn’t require harsh chemicals, which I am totally against for my own health but also the health of my fur-friends. The power of this little scrubber is amazing.
On top of cleaning the floors, it’s so important to clean surfaces, windows, tops of furniture and anything the might be mingled with dust. Because I am so against toxins and chemicals, I was thrilled when I found out about Thieves; this is an all-natural, 100% pure, plant-based, essential oil cleaner from Young Living. Half a capful makes a full bottle of this cleaning goodness (one single Thieves bottle will make 26 full bottles of cleaner - at $27.50 for the Thieves, that is a steal!). In addition to being all plant and essential oils based, it kills 99.96% of airborne bacteria and germs, it’s safe around kids, and I don’t need to worry when my sweet pups come into contact with it. Where to find it? The Oil Girls Canada
Speaking of cleaning, people often overlook cleaning the inside of their appliances. After, or even during a Reno, if you still have appliances up and running it’s important to take care of them. Did you know that only 27% of Canadians have cleaned the inside of their dishwasher in the past 12 months? EWWW! Imagine that! There are specially formulated tablets that actually clean the inside of dishwashers called affresh. They clean the hard water and mineral deposits that accumulate in your dishwasher over time. During and after a Reno is possibly the most important time to tackle this task.
Living without a kitchen is hard…I don’t mean kinda hard, I mean REALLY hard. To stay sane I had to make sure I had access to appliances and alternate items so I was not breaking the bank every night eating out … but keep in mind all my appliances had been removed! My KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker was my saviour. All you have to do is throw in your ingredients, let them simmer and have a meal at the end of the day. It also automatically goes into keep warm mode for up to four hours so you know you’ll have a hot meal to look forward to.
This compact oven from KitchenAid is also great if you are going to have to go longer periods of time without a kitchen (and mine was pretty long). It takes up a very small footprint, you can plug it in just about anywhere to make a “make-shift” kitchen in another area of your home to make anything from roasted meats, fish and vegetables, to quiche, pizza, muffins and more.
Clean air is so importance to me because I have severe allergies. If you are living through a Reno, or you have kids or pets, clean air should be a top priority. The Philips Air Purifier is proven to reduce allergens, odors, volatile organic compound emissions and even certain bacteria – say that three times fast! The filter removes 99.97% of allergens and pollutants while the Active Carbon filter reduces gases and odors from the air.
This might seem like an odd recommendation but another key to surviving a reno is to decrease your stress (and trust me I had A LOT of it when there were hiccups in the delivery times, delays and changes that needed to be made, all which inevitably slowed down the process). Make sure you have a safe, clean retreat to get away to where you can rest and restore before conquering the next day that will have an entirely new set of challenges! Soft pillows, a comfortable mattress (my new Bills Bed mattress sure came in handy these past few months!). Try out my new fully washable, hypoallergenic, animal cruelty-free, Canadian made sleeping pillows and duvets – a good night’s sleep is just the blink of an eye away.
All in all, I think I am surviving just fine! My pups and I still live at home, eat at home, and enjoy the rest of the house – no easy feat in these conditions! But the tips I shared are sure to help you through the long weeks of a reno. Keep looking at your inspiration photos – it will all be worth it in the end.
*This blog post is sponsored in part by Swiffer.