My House is a Mess

Remodeling Karen Schulz Designs

It’s true. My house is a mess.  There are 14 rooms in my house and every single room is a mess.

I describe a messy room as one that has things out of order. Things are not in the places where they belong.

It’s just a few steps up from “messy” to “disaster” in my vocabulary; and truthfully, some of the rooms actually fit the “disaster” category.

When we moved here 4 years ago, I had big plans for this house.  In my imagination, I saw new floors, new paint on the walls, and in some rooms, new paint on the ceiling. (Sad to say, some of the rooms had ceilings that were painted blue).  I could envision the complete remodel of both the kitchen and all of the bathrooms.  New windows would need to be installed in some of the rooms, and the breakfast nook needed a complete overhaul too. Just to mention a few of my big ideas.

My husband and I love the footprint of this house, but the style was all wrong for us. So once we got settled in here, we started little projects. We’ve gone as far as we can go with the little projects and now need to tackle the big projects.  Like removing the tile on the kitchen counter-tops, getting the kitchen cabinets refinished, installing new flooring and new lighting fixtures throughout the house, re-engineering the breakfast nook so that the walls are square and the floor is even (one wall is crooked and the floor is uneven), and gutting and remodeling the master bathroom.

When you start jobs like this, it’s easier, in the long run, to consider it one big project and have it all done at once. Besides that, contractors don’t really want to come up to our area for small jobs. We’re too far off the beaten path. In fact, most contractors will charge a surcharge just to come here. So even if it wasn’t necessarily our preference to do this all at once, it is the best way.

So we’ve started, and that’s why my house is a mess. We’ve moved things that belong in one room into another room. When we need to find a certain something, we might have to resort to opening boxes or moving things around to find it. That usually just makes a bigger mess!

The upside of this all is that it’s rather exciting and has been fun to pick out new countertops and sinks, granite and flooring. (Who would think I would get excited about a sink? That surprised even me!) The contractor who is refinishing our cabinets invited me to his studio to watch him work so that I could provide immediate feedback on what I liked and didn’t like, and that was very fun!

This chaos will be going on for a few months, I know. I am looking for any suggestions or tips on how to navigate all of this with grace. I am sure some of you have gone through remodeling chaos. What advice can you give me? I did figure out how to wash dishes in the shower!



Remodeling Karen Schulz Designs

Cabinet Refinishing Karen Schulz

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Comments (38)

  1. Sue

    Personal tables or TV trays depending upon what you call them. You’re probably too far out for take-out but simple meals, frozen entrees, sandwiches, pizza are really good when you’re remodeling. And lots and lots of wine!!!!

    February 21, 2019 at 9:31 pm
    • Karen

      Great suggestions, Sue. Thank you! We did have frozen lasagna last night and said… oh, yeah, we need to have more of these on hand! Sounds like you’ve been through this before!

      February 22, 2019 at 7:11 am
  2. Oh Karen, we remodeled our home a few years ago, and I really don’t envy your task!! It was a hard time, but so worth it in the end. Sending prayers to you!! My advice would be to try and have at least ONE room that is “normal” so you can go to that room to escape the turmoil!!

    February 22, 2019 at 7:23 am
    • Karen

      I remember when you did your remodel, Deanna! You offer a great idea. The room that is the most normal right now is the upstairs guest bathroom. If we moved a mattress out of it, it would be “normal.” Not the ideal room to go for some normalcy, but it could work! 🙂

      February 22, 2019 at 7:34 am
  3. Shelly Lowery

    30 years ago we (I do mean we) remodeled our kitchen and dining room. We took out the wall between them long before it was fashionable. In the process a portion of the ceiling fell down and the blown in insulation landed on top of my then ten year old son. He had to be hospitalized for his asthma and could not come back until the remodeling was done. Thank God for a dear friend who took him to her house and spoiled him. We had someone who was recommended to us build our new cupboards. We paid him in advance (lesson learned,) we did ask when he expected to have them done. He said October which was to months away. But what we should have asked was Oct of what year. It was the following October before we saw those cupboards. They were beautiful but what an ordeal.

    My suggestion, expect the unexpected and take deep breaths often. And if need be, go somewhere for a day or two. And treat yourself in some way big or small. And remember how much you will enjoy the finished product.

    February 22, 2019 at 9:25 am
  4. Barbara I. Barker

    Ohhh, I’ve never gone through that, but I can imagine the chaos, mental and physical! My first reaction was “paper plates”!! I pray for your peace and clarity of thought and most of all patience and flexibility! Take lots of photos, I’d love to see your progress!!!

    February 22, 2019 at 10:30 am
  5. Esther Beale

    Hmmm…I can relate to the ‘mess’. My place is more like ‘disaster’. We’ll both get there. Hopefully we’ll be happy with the end results! Happy renovating, Karen!

    February 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm
  6. Lynn Hoyt

    I don’t suppose you are putting in a copper sink? I love those pounded copper sinks they have out now.

    February 22, 2019 at 4:16 pm
    • Karen

      We aren’t in the kitchen (that’s another story!), but we are in the master bathroom! Squeel! I love those too!

      February 22, 2019 at 6:10 pm
  7. I have OCD, I would be completely nuts and very irritable! I do not envy you at all! I do understand getting excited about a new sink! 🙂

    February 23, 2019 at 4:24 am
    • Karen

      The key is to just know that it’s a mess and will be a mess for a while and don’t even THINK about cleaning it. 🙂

      February 23, 2019 at 5:48 am
  8. I so loved your home, and I recall some of the last owners decorating faux pas. Anxious to see pictures of your new “cabin in the woods”

    February 23, 2019 at 4:45 am
    • Karen

      Hi, Virginia! YES, you definitely understand! I am so happy you are following along! (For those who don’t know, Virginia was the real estate agent who handled the purchase of this house for us!)

      February 23, 2019 at 5:47 am
  9. OH! When it’s done! –and OH! I know, even though we just did my craft room, the whole HOUSE was a mess and it seemed like an eternity! You’ll step back and go WHEW—real soon. Just rock along and enjoy the trip! (Yea, right!) !!

    February 23, 2019 at 6:36 am
  10. Traci

    Things learned from my kitchen remodel:
    1. Wine isn’t nice…it is necessary
    2. Paper plates were invented by God to get through the ordeal
    3. Neighbors who cook and share are gifts from God
    4. All bleeding stops…eventually. And so will the remodel
    5. Keep your sense of the ridiculous…it will save your sanity (what is left of it)
    6. Get away from the chaos from time to time. Think overnight in a hotel…
    7. And most important….lots of prayer

    February 23, 2019 at 7:12 am
  11. Oh, Karen, I feel your pain. We’ve done a couple of remodels and it wasn’t a lot of fun, especially since we did all the work ourselves! The end result will be great I’m sure and picking out all the new stuff is fun. I have a tub sink out in our warehouse which is where I did dishes but we used paper plates & cups to keep that down to a minimum. Use a slow cooker (with liners) or insta-pot for cooking & frozen meals. I can hardly wait for the after photos.

    February 23, 2019 at 8:00 am
  12. Nancy Anderson

    Karen, I hope your house gets well really soon. We had our popcorn ceilings removed and repainted last fall and it only took two weeks. I just relaxed and enjoyed having only two rooms to use. My husband, of course, sweated and stewed the whole time and generally became best friends with the contractor. Took way more time because of that. Do not make friends! It slows everything down. The job turned out great though. LOL

    February 23, 2019 at 4:09 pm
  13. Clareene

    Well, I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time! LOL LOL LOL …

    February 23, 2019 at 7:54 pm
  14. Jane

    When we started our remodel 4 years ago, I am realizing now that a lot I stuffed away, I haven’t missed. We got rid of a whole wall of cabinets overflowing with stuff, including photos and planned scrapbooking projects. I have slowly been sorting. Including to get organized on computer even, with learning and doing ACDSee. Now taking a 12 week online course about simplifying and Becoming Minimalist. Loving my changing mindset, from small steps, then before I realize it, I’ve made big progress and loving less Stuff to deal with. Recycle, donate or trash is one hint. And so much less stuff to care for! Especially during the wait while contractor worked away! Feels good!

    February 24, 2019 at 8:17 am
  15. Renee

    Oh, how exciting! But I don’t envy you being in that mess for so long. We have never done a major reno in any of our homes but soon we will be replacing all the carpets in our 2 storey house and I know what a mess that is going to be. So I’m taking notes on all the suggestions posted here lol! Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.

    February 25, 2019 at 11:07 am
  16. shadowwings4god

    Hi Karen! Don’t envy the mess, been there, done that! I live in a mobile home and had to have the master bath ‘remodeled’ after some water damage from leaky pipes. New flooring, partial walls replaced, new sinks and faucets. Not a complete remodel but the garden tub had to be removed and later reinstalled. Then later on the hot water heater had to be replaced and discovered a leak under that resulting in some repairs. Soon after that one was fixed a major leak under the house that shot up into the flooring under the second bath. Needless to say 3 leaks in 3 months time (mobile is over 27 years old) and needless to say my insurance company dropped us! So, might as well have been a major remodel going on! All good suggestions have been given and treat yourselves out to dinner a few times if you can! Will keep you in prayers for your sanity and strength to get through it all. Hugs, Vicki

    February 26, 2019 at 7:09 am
  17. You really tackled a lot at once, I truly sympathize with your situation

    March 2, 2019 at 4:55 am
  18. Barbara S

    Oh Karen, I feel your pain. A few years ago I had my kitchen remodeled. I acted as my own contractor so I was responsible for arranging the work schedule for the plumber, the electrician the flooring, lighting, cabinet installation, window replacement and so on and so on. Just the logistics of getting one worker in so that the next phase could progress was mind boggling. Did you ever try to explain to a plumber that he has to be there on Wednesday (which had already been set up – he’s trying to change it) so the cabinet guys, who also were already set up can do their work on Friday?????? I gave myself 4 months figuring things would be finished just before Thanksgiving. Actually it worked except for the countertops. Everything had to be in place before they could measure and then you wait for them to be cut. I had a beautiful kitchen complete except for countertops for Thanksgiving. We wound up buying plywood and covering it with tablecloths to make it look nice. Dinner went off without a hitch and my countertops were in before Christmas. My prayers got out to you.

    March 2, 2019 at 8:43 am
    • Karen

      Oh, Barbara, I TOTALLY understand. I am my own contractor for the kitchen remodel and yesterday called the plumber to schedule him… and then realized I haven’t received my faucet order yet. LOL! It’s CRAZY how many things go into this, and how the timing has to be so perfect. Good for you for getting through it and making Thanksgiving work!!! I won’t be acting as a contractor for the bathroom though. That is too much for me! 😉 Would love to see before and after pictures if you have them. You can post them on my FB page?

      March 2, 2019 at 11:32 am
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