Home renovation and updating is undoubtedly an exciting time. We all throw ourselves into it, looking forward to a fresh new living environment that makes us smile every time we walk through the door.

We always seem to forget the bit in-between, don’t we?

We forget about the actual work that goes into creating this domestic paradise. The longer we go between home renovation tasks, the more our memory dims. We lose track of the chaos, of stumbling over various items, trying to assemble new furniture while losing the screws. We forget about the paint on our hands that no white spirit will shift, or the sudden blaring terror that we’ve chosen the wrong colour for the walls.

It doesn’t have to be this way – yet, somehow, it always ends up happening. If you’re determined that your next renovation project isn’t going to go in the same direction, then follow these essential plans.

1. Write Down What You’re Doing

We know, creating a schedule is annoying, especially when you just want to get on with it. But by pre-planning every movement, every piece of furniture and its location, you don’t have to later. It’s far easier to think about where things are going when you’re not frazzled from painting and shifting things around.

2. Assemble Items Before You Begin

Don’t dive in head first and assume you can assemble new purchases as you go.  Leave items in a holding pattern in the hall, then move them into position when you’re ready for them. Putting furniture together among renovation chaos will lead to lost pins, torn instructions, and wobbly results.

3. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

If you’re going to be painting, then take your time to make sure you prep correctly. It’s tempting to skip this step and assume you will clear up mistakes later; but chances are, you won’t. By the end of the day, you’ll just want a takeout and bed, not fine brush work clearing up slippages. Remember, remove masking tape while the paint is still wet for a cleaner finish and to prevent it becoming too stuck to walls.

4. Clear Up As You Go

Let’s say you’re updating the bedroom. You’ve got new furniture to install, a new rug to put in place and the walls need a coat of paint. Break these down into separate tasks. Yes, they’re all part of the same whole, but treat them as if they aren’t. Start, prep and finish them – including washing brushes or disposing of trash – one-by-one. That way you’re not going to be tripping over mess from something irrelevant, and you’ll be able to see your progress as you go along.

5. Embrace It

While all of the above are good ideas, they’re not going to cut down the mess entirely. There’s an inherent, expected upheaval from doing any home renovation, so be ready for it. Acknowledge it’s a phase you have to get through, try and lessen the damage with the ideas above, and look forward to your new room.