We are in the middle of home renovation. Our ultimate plan is to re-do the walls, floors, bathrooms and kitchen to add up to $55K of value to our home (originally purchased for $65K with an ARV of $120K). We aren't super-savvy real estate people, but this house was an incredible deal that enhances our life dramatically (the Mad Scientist bikes to work, and we have a roommate who pays rent making the house cash flow positive). All the problems with the house are cosmetic rather than structural, so we have an incredible opportunity to build sweat equity over the next three years as we live in the house. Ka-Ching!
That said, our dream may be slightly out of proportion with reality. Despite our best efforts, every DIY project is taking several more weeks than originally intended. The dishwasher that we purchased in December- installed in March! Thanks, Honey!
We also have another slight problem which is that we are used to having our space organized for... living, but our current construction seems to demand a lot of storage space, and as a result our necessary things are just- well I don't even know. That's the problem.
We used to keep tools in two locations, a readily accessible tool box for frequent use tools (and whatever else the Mad Scientist wanted to keep in there), and a less accessible storage bin for tools that are expensive, but we only expect to use once every few years.
Now that we use these tools day in and day out, our organization system sucks. In an effort to keep things tidy (and safe for our toddler), I am constantly cleaning construction zones, but I can't remember where I put the necessary tools. Doh!
Yesterday, my husband (having come off an incredibly hard week in its own right) could not find the sanding sponge that he needed to sand down the ceiling that he repaired to install an overhead light (rather than a hideous roach infested ceiling fan) in our kitchen. I was most assuredly the person who used it last, but I searched high and low and could not find it.
We were both upset at the lost sponge, though for different reasons. The mad scientist was upset that he wouldn't be able to finish his project (a virtual slam dunk after a week of being rebuffed), and I was upset that we had so much clutter that we couldn't find a simple sponge. Unfortunately, we have a way of blaming our upset emotion an the other person, which is certainly no recipe for marital bliss, and our particular reactions are best described as productive passive aggression.
I tore through the kitchen washing dishes and finding no fewer than 41 items to donate to Goodwill, while bitterness raged in my soul. The Mad Scientist cleaned his construction zone, and organized the pig tails that we will be using for ongoing electrical work. After nearly an hour of barely speaking to one another, the Mad Scientist decided to lead the way to reconciliation. He apologized for his clutter, and I apologized for my disproportionate anger and blaming. Then we kissed and watched Futurama on Netflix rather than spend any more time on our productivity activities.
I've heard many couples say that if your marriage can survive a renovation, it can survive anything. Well, our goal isn't just to survive, but to grow in love. Stay updated for more sweet pictures of the renovation, and updates on how we are trying to intentionally grow in love in our renovations.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.