As we celebrate “National Home Improvement Month,” this month it seems timely to discuss how to prepare for renovations while you work from home, as many people begin to gather information for their upcoming summer projects.
Remodeling can be a great disturbance in your home life, especially for those who work from home. I’d like to offer a realistic approach for how to prepare and organize things ahead of time, so you can continue to be productive in your work throughout.
Be Mindful of the Space
The first questions to ask yourself are: what part of the house is being remodeled (the bathroom, the kitchen, a new room addition)? And, can you find a workspace away from any walls that will be demolished? It is important to be realistic about your personal space and how it’s going to affect your workspace. Be modular in your thinking. If you’re making an addition to the house, make sure you section off your existing space and plan your addition as a separate structure that you can integrate later.
If you’re remodeling the kitchen, but you eat at home for lunch, make sure to have a makeshift kitchen set up to house the essentials: coffee machine, microwave, toaster, disposable eating utensils and plates, a small fridge, etc. If you’re remodeling the only bathroom in your home, it’s usually best to live out during construction, because it means you’ll have nowhere to take care of personal hygiene.
Map It Out
Make sure your workspace remains a construction-free zone. Speak with your contractor ahead of time to identify the best place to set up shop for the least possible amount of disturbances (noise, interruptions, foot traffic, etc).
Set start and stop time hours, and inform your contractor of them; keep in mind that it will impact the contractor’s schedule and how the project prolongs. Schedule conference calls outside of the hours you know tend to be noisiest. Find a quiet zone to escape to if you need to take a call during those times. The quietest time of day tends to be when contractors and other workers take their lunch and/or wrap up their day. Utilize these time windows!
Have a Second Plan
Make sure to have a Plan B in case your idea of working from home doesn’t go quite as planned. Sometimes, noise levels can be more disturbing than expected, or the clutter can be harder to handle. Which brings us to our next point…
Keep It Clean
… You cannot expect to have an immaculate home during renovations. There will be constant clutter as your belongings are moved around and wrapped away. Bear in mind that there will be dust around you very often, so you’ll need to clean and dust frequently. You may need a mask. If you or anyone in the family is asthmatic, you’ll need to move out. But, there are simple ways to manage the mess. Protect your workspace from dust with a plastic barrier. Seal off any ducts or vents. Vacuum daily.
Though you may have a trusted contractor, most people still feel safest if their valuables are locked and/or stored away during construction. Whenever possible, move any unnecessary items to a safe place. This will provide you with a bigger workspace, while also protecting those items from being lost or damaged. And always be mindful of your most valuable possessions. The last thing you want to worry about during your workday is whether or not your personal belongings are safe. If you’re questioning it, just put it away.
Planning your next home remodeling project can be stressful enough… don’t let your sanity slip while working from home during the renovation. Use these tips to ensure you plan ahead and be realistic of how much you can manage.
The post Working Through It: Tips for Working from Home While Remodeling appeared first on Home Business Magazine.