After around four years of living in our home something we definitely struggle with is motivation. You stop seeing things that need doing, you stop having a sense of urgency and you stop wanting to rip things apart and get stuck in. Basically you just get complacent.
It’s hard not to get down every now and then when you’re renovating a house – especially if you’re living in it. You live in a constant mess. There’s usually a thick layer of dust on everything you own. Damp patches appear in the rooms you think are already finished and even when you finally manage to complete a project that looks great, it just makes the things that aren’t finished look even worse than before.
But enough of the misery – there are amazing and rewarding things about renovating a house you live in, too. It’s exciting, you never quite know what’s going to happen next and you learn a lot.
When the initial enthusiasm has worn off and your motivation starts to dwindle, it can be difficult to stay focused.
These are our top 6 tips for staying motivated
Focus on the small successes. What have you achieved so far? Remember what your home used to look like when you moved in. Take a look at old photos and see how far you’ve already come. Try to ignore the mess and half-finished projects and focus on the ones you’re already completed.
Be realistic. It may not be the most fun thing to do, but sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and take stock. If you have realistic expectations, you won’t end up disappointed when things don’t quite work out or move as fast as you’d like. Don’t compare yourself to others and try to put the beautiful images you see on Pinterest and in magazines into perspective. Remember, you’re only seeing one snapshot of a room or home – you really don’t know what the rest of it behind the camera is like!
Look forward. Even if your house is a complete mess and, like ours, often resembles a building site more than a home, try to envisage what it’ll be like once you’ve finished. Look for inspiration, pick up a few magazines and catalogues and create a mood board. Look forward and try to imagine yourself in your new and completely finished space.
Plan. Working to a plan will keep you focused and give you an overview of the jobs you’ve still got to do – and more importantly – keep track of the jobs you’ve already completed. Use it as a reference and a guide. Finish those little jobs – we’re definitely guilty of calling projects finished when they could really do with another coat of paint, a final sand or some other finishing touch. Finishing jobs may not be as exciting as starting a new project, but give you a huge sense of accomplishment and really make a difference! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of standing back and looking at a completed project that you’ve done with your own two hands.
Focus on the good – not the bad. Admittedly this is easier said than done, but it’s vital to keep going. Why did you buy the property in the first place? What got you excited? Try to think back to why you bought your home in the first place. Do you have amazing period features? Do you have large rooms or a gorgeous garden? Whatever attracted you to the house in the first place is still there!
Take a break. Inevitably you’ll go through phases where as much as you try, you just can’t motivate yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s your home, do what you want! Sometimes getting away from it all can really help you gain perspective and refocus your energy on the things that matter.
What do you do to stay motivated? Do you have any tips to share?
PS. Don’t forget, there’s still time to vote for for us in the Amara’s Interior Blog Awards 2014! Thank you so much to everyone who’s already voted!