We moved in over a month ago and have mostly been wading thru boxes and trying to make order while continuing to work on the house. On the day we moved, while I was going back and forth with the movers my amazing husband was furiously working to get at least one working toilet. We actually told the movers to leave our beds until 1/2 way thru the day when he called to say the toilet was working. He also managed to get the kitchen sink hooked up. By the end of the weekend we had a working stove, shower and bathroom sink. Granted the shower wall were plastic, the counters plywood and although we had lights in most of the rooms they were just bulbs in sockets.
So here are my 6 rules for managing to live amongst the construction, in no particular order:
1. Oilcloth over plywood makes a pretty good counter top
2. If you have kids, getting their rooms in order first is a great idea. Once they feel settled the process is a teensy bit easier. My dad did that for me and I still thank him. I had bright yellow flower wallpaper up before we had trim and doors.
3. Having all of the drywall with at least a coat of primer def helps to lessen a bit of the "holy s***" why am I in this insanity feeling. That said having all of the drywall up is another great tip- not one that we followed.
4. Before you move in, even though you are just going to turn around and make a huge mess again - clean the whole place. Or better yet have someone else clean it. Despite the fact that you are going to re- filfthfy ( is that a word?) it it really does help.
5. Tension rods and curtains make great temporary doors, esp over closets to hide the chaos. In general I try to get the kitchen, bathroom and main living space in some sort of manageable shape. True we have temporary counters and shelves but the fact that it's clean and orderly makes living amongst the construction easier. Each weekend we create a new area ( sometimes several) of dirt and chaos but then we can get it back to a bit of sanity for the week.
6. Despite the utter chaos- throw a party or at least have friends over for dinner (potluck and probably bring your own silverware as you most likely won't be able to find it). Believe it or not your friends - or at least your close friends won't care about the state of the house and you will remember it fondly for years to come.
I still remember when I was 9 eating lunch with my dad and his helper amongst the construction while sitting on joint compound buckets in the bathroom. Yes that's sounds insane to normal people but trust me anyone who has lived in renovation will understand... I hope.
So happy weekend! I guess you know how my weekend will be spent.