Remodeling Projects: The Last Stage in View

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My egg-shaped pass-through made out of scrap metal! It’s my new reading nook. 


My egg / yellow / closet room is finished — and there’s no better feeling than a project completed! (Maybe if a remodeling project wrapped up while I was sunbathing and Idris Elba was massaging my feet…) In this thing called real life, however, finishing a project is pretty much the pinnacle of accomplishments.

I often hear parents say that every stage of a kid’s life, every age, is the best age. That’s pretty nifty. Parents love their kids so much that even the crappy teen years are good. I suspect they’re lying about this, but nevertheless, it’s a nice sentiment. I would never make such a crazy claim about a remodeling project. All stages are not created equal. Not even close. The planning is awesome — the looking at pics, choosing colors, assembling ideas. Then there’s the execution stage — which means construction. Hate that stage. HATE IT.

But then we get to the final stage: The move-in. Not finishing the paint or wrapping up the molding. It’s moving back in to your newly finished space. It’s picking up all your stuff and arranging it in a lovely space that’s all yours.

11048607 462319710598819 950497282969924017 nAdded bonus: The moving in stage is also a great opportunity for cleaning. I know, I know, what a geek. But I love cleaning. And if I get to throw in some purging with my cleaning, the only thing better would be if Mr. Elba helped me with that task, too. See, moving back into to a newly remodeled space is very similar to getting ready for a party. When you’re getting ready for a party, you clean up your space, usually. Maybe you get rid of a pile of magazines sitting on the living room floor and put away all the shoes by the front door. Maybe you look at your bathroom hand towels and decide they belong in the rag pile. You put out fresh, new towels. Well, moving into a new space is similar. You pick everything up and analyze it. You might ask: Does this belong? Do I need this? Why the hell have I kept this around for 20 years?

The answer to that last Q is often, I have no freakin’ clue. So you start those three magical piles: sell, donate, recycle. Pretty soon you are moved into your new-to-you space and you have less crap in your house. Euphoria ensues. Moving in is definitely the best stage. You have to hold the image of the move-in at the front of your mind every day during construction. It is the carrot. If you forget to keep the carrot in mind, you may not live through the project. You might just take off, chuck everything, and say, That’s it! I don’t need a house! All I need is a studio apartment (and this remote control) and I’ll be happy. You might ditch your day job, your house, your kids, and move to a beach in Mexico where nobody cares about tile or molding.

Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. Sometimes it sounds tempting. But if you keep that move-in carrot image in your mind, such drastic measures will not be necessary. You will survive the construction. You will have your house back. And it might even look as cool as the crazy space above.