Home renovation is a major undertaking, whether you just bought a fixer-upper and are ready to transform it into a beautiful dream house, or you have decided to update and renovate your current home.

In 1996, my husband and I bought our home with the full intention of renovating, selling, and upgrading to a newer, bigger house.  (We're still here...in our little Cape a few minutes from Lake Wallenpaupack...but the transformations have made us less anxious to move up, especially now that the kids are grown.)

Renovating your home can be a stressful, time-consuming process—and if you want to keep your peace of mind (and sanity!) during your renovation, you need to take conscious steps to manage the stress.

But what, exactly, are those steps?

A recent article from realtor.com outlined strategies homeowners can use to keep stress at bay throughout the home renovation process, including:

  • Track your progress. When you’re in the midst of a renovation, it can seem like your home has been (and will be) under construction forever, which can feel demoralizing. That’s why it’s so important to acknowledge and celebrate the progress being made. 

  • Take before and after pictures of each room! Write down all the different renovation-related tasks that need to be completed—and every time one of those tasks is finished, cross it off the list. Having a visual representation of the progress being made will remind you that, even when it doesn’t feel like it, you are getting closer to the end of your renovation—which can provide a much-needed mood boost mid-renovation.

    Bathroom Before
    Before - yes, quite the gross bathroom!

    After Bathroom
    After - now that's pretty! :)

  • Don’t fall into the “decision fatigue” trap. When you’re renovating your home, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made—and the bigger the renovation, the more decisions. But trying to make too many decisions at once can feel overwhelming—so, instead of trying to decide everything at once, spread your decisions out (for example, choosing paint colors one day, light fixtures the next day, etc.), which can help you avoid decision fatigue.

  • If you're thinking of selling, make smart choices. Not all renovations will give a good return for the money. When it's a hot seller's market, very little may need to be done in order to sell at a profit.  Obvious maintenance issues and repairs should be attended to (i.e., roofs, rotting wood, foundation issues).  

  • Finally, focus on one area at a time. If you’re renovating multiple rooms, you may be tempted to dive in and get everything done at once. But having every area of your house under construction is a recipe for stress! So instead, consider focusing on one area at a time. Then, when that area is complete, you can move on to another area—and not compromise too much of your living space at once.