Steps to Remodeling a House & Surviving the Chaos

Remodeling a house is no easy feat. Projects of every size from a small bathroom upgrade to an entire home renovation can feel daunting and overwhelming.

When you’re in the throes of picking out cabinets, fixing broken tile, or reordering paint colors, it’s easy to feel like you won’t make it out of your remodel with your sanity intact. But fear not! Follow this home remodeling guide and reassure yourself that there is a light at the end of the destroyed kitchen, and you’ll be just fine.

Setting the Stage for Your Remodel

home remodeling guide

Take one remodeling project at a time.

The best way to tackle your renovation is to divide the project into chunks. The process of renovating a house is always lengthy. Before you start the fun stuff —hammering and ripping away — prioritize your list. For example, it may not be the best idea to replace your flooring right before remodeling the kitchen. You’ll want to develop a plan that outlines which projects could impact the other. Your biggest enemy is unnecessary work.

steps to remodeling a house

Pack like you’re moving out.

Are you the kind of person who enjoys protecting your belongings from accidents, spilled paint, drywall, scraping, and debris? So are we. That’s why we recommend as an important step in the home remodeling process to pack up and move your household items out of the remodeling danger zone.

Pack what you won’t need in boxes and store them in a storage unit, a portable storage container, or your garage. If you don’t have extra storage space on your property and you don’t want to deal with the hassle of hauling your stuff to a local storage facility, a portable storage container is great because you can leave it in your driveway for 24-7 storage access, or you can have your container moved to a local storage facility.  There’s an art to packing just right, but you’ll thank yourself later for putting in effort up front.

Create renovation zones.

Hello, college dorm room, long time no see! Throughout this process you’ll likely be living in only small sections of your house. The unused spaces will need to be creatively utilized. If your kitchen is being redone, create a mini-kitchen by moving your microwave, necessary appliances, and dishware to an empty area. If your living room is getting the update, your bedroom might become the TV lounge for the time being. Be sure to stay organized in your temporary space by labeling bins and drawers as well. If you need more space, you can get on-site storage.

Protect Your Pets

steps to remodeling a house with pet

It’s important to get a plan in place for your furry friends while you’re renovating the house. Try to keep dust at bay and dangerous areas sectioned off using baby gates, for starters.

If you’re using contractors, ask them to alert you when they use hazardous materials, so you can prepare your pets and food items to be out of the house as well.

Different animals have different needs.

Just like creating zones for your living spaces,you’ll do the same with your pets. For animals like fish, lizards, or even guinea pigs that spend most of their days in a cage, moving is relatively easy.If you have a spare bedroom or bathroom, keep them there with plenty of food and water while the renovations are under way.

Bigger animals can be a bit trickier. Dogs and cats like to roam, sleep, and snuggle in small spaces (understandably). Of course, that’s not ideal for renovations.

For excessively busy or loud remodeling days,enlist the help of your relatives, close friends, or even a daycare to watch them. Otherwise, try to keep your pet’s life as normal as possible to alleviate stress.

  • Take them for walks and feed them roughly the same times everyday
  • Give love and scratches throughout the day
  • Try putting on the TV or soothing music to distract your pet from the outside activity
  • Squishy pillows and new toys make great sorry-for-the-commotion gifts

Eating Through the Remodel

Once construction has begun, you and your family will find your life has been altered more than you imagined, especially if your kitchen area is part of the remodel.

Create a temporary kitchen during the renovations.

Remember when we said earlier you could make a mini-kitchen while remodeling your actual kitchen? Well, that can get complicated.

Your first step is to use (clear) plastic storage bins with tight-fitting lids for everything you’ll be keeping on hand. Even the dishes, silverware and cups you need along with a couple of pots and pans should be kept in an under-bed container to protect them from construction debris during the home remodeling process.

Here are some of the best under-bed storage options off of Amazon.

If you have the space, we recommend setting up your kitchen in the laundry room. You can also get creative with your temporary dinner table. Stack boxes side-by-side and place a piece of plywood, an ironing board, or the lid to a flat storage container on top.

Know When to Leave

For smaller, less invasive remodeling projects,staying at home is a great idea. But when big projects morph and veer offtrack, you might want to consider a hotel or Airbnb while that unexpected piping issue is fixed or dry rot cleared out.

  • Hotel Tonight is a great resource for booking inexpensive reservations last-minute.
  • Websites like, Airbnb,and Kayak are great resources for finding reliable accommodations.
  • Crash with someone else. If you’re lucky enough to have family or close friends nearby, reach out and make a trip of it! 

Don’t Stress Too Much

The one constant with any remodel is that something will go wrong. Timetables might slip. You may take on more than you can handle at first. You’ll likely go over budget. But if you take the right steps right from the beginning to protect your possessions and your sanity, then you’ll survive the remodel and come out all the better for it. Remember that when you’re finished, you, your family, and your friends will all enjoy the new, shiny fruits of your labor.

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