How To Prepare For Home Decorators - Important Tips And Ideas

Over the next couple of weeks our kitchen and bathroom are getting a complete makeover. All of the kitchen cabinets, flooring and electrics are being taken out and a new set is being put in. At the same time our bathroom is going to be fitted with a new bath, shower unit and sink. This sounds like fun, but with at least 30 men traipsing through my house this can cause a few problems.

The work will take at least a week and a half. Unfortunately its inconvenient to move in with my relatives as they are packed to the rafters. So the alternative is to stay in my own house. This of course is going to cause a few problems.

What with the decorators and designers, and all the banging drilling and pulling up tiles, my life is going to be a very noisy one. After making a list of things I should do, I realised that there is going to be much more to it than just packing up the kitchen ware, sorting out the bathroom cabinets and just about everything else.

Our perfect kitchen? Yes, but its how we get there that counts!
Our perfect kitchen? Yes, but its how we get there that counts!


Too start preparing for the decorators you must decide what you want to keep or throw away. We all accumulate junk over the months and years so this will be a perfect time for you to get rid of all your old pots and pans, letters in the drawers and so on.

The best idea is to write down all the things that you want to keep, make a list for the good stuff, and one for throw away items. This way should stop you getting muddled up. There is nothing worse than having to scream at the top of your voice, 'Where is my new food mixer?'

A few weeks before your decorators arrive, go out to the local store and ask if you can have some of their boxes. I do this for various tasks around the house. Its amazing how many of the store owners are glad to give them to you. Saves them having to recycle or just throw them away.

Clear a space to have enough room for the incoming items. Maybe in your front room, or even in a spare bedroom. And don't forget to move your pot plants. The paint smell, dust and noise will probably kill them. Either that or give them a nervous breakdown! Plants are sensitive you know!

Always be careful of electrical faults
Always be careful of electrical faults

Now For The Things You May Forget To Do.

After taking care of all the plants, cookery items, clocks and just about everything else, you now think its time to sit down and take a break. You think you are ready? Wrong. Actually there are some things that you really should do to keep your sanity when the decorators move in.

Electrical Faults.

Over the last few weeks I have heard some horror stories concerning the builders and decorators doing up the houses around us. Let me explain.

We live in Council housing and they have recently been taken over by a private company. The bonus is that we are getting our kitchen and bathrooms done for free! Sounds great eh?

Well it is. But there has to be a problem. In life its the only thing to expect. Problems. In this case I have heard stories of the decorators messing up the electrics, causing floods and losing water overnight.

I think the word cowboys come to mind, but don't mind me, I will give them the benefit of the doubt!

So what to do when the electrics are out.

Don't wait to see if you are going to lose your electrics due to an accidental fault. Make sure you have candles, torches and lighters. Keep them on the living room table. Just remember if something goes wrong, then its too late to say what do we do in the dark?

Stay In The House And Watch The Decorators

It's a good idea to make sure someone stays at home while all this is going on. I have noticed that the neighbors with all the problems seem to have one thing in common. They were absent on the days that the trouble started. It does seem as though when the decorators are under scrutiny they tend to behave much better, and are much more careful in their work. Common sense.

Just get a pen and write down this list. Then hopefully you will be covered through all eventualities. Hopefully. Unless the decorators go through the roof leaving a great big hole. No not a good thought!

  • Buy candles and torches. And don't forget the matches.
  • Collect as much water as you can and place in a safe clean room. Water buckets, kettles and pots and pans. Anything will do as long as you have enough water.
  • On the subject of water. If they cut you off, what do you do to wash? Hopefully if the water goes of you will still have electricity. Surely they can't be that incompetent? Um. Well, maybe. But if you have electricity just boil the kettle, and make sure you take a washing bowl into your spare room or bedroom. Just like in the old days, use a pitcher and bowl. Better than nothing.
  • Food. Make sure you take the microwave into the other room. Once those decorators and builders get busy you won't be able to place one foot in the kitchen or bathroom. With a microwave you can cook soup, boil water and even cook a steak! Yum!
  • On the subject of food. Buy loads of bread. You can at least eat a sandwich. Or use the toaster. Tins of soup, cups of tea or coffee, and bags of chips. It may not be Jamie Oliver style food, but at least it will nourish you.
  • Last but not least. And sorry about this, but it has to be said. Toilets! Another mess this week ensured that the toilets that were supposedly broken up, taken away and then given a new one took a couple of days with a few neighbors! A good idea is to buy a portable toilet and place it in your bedroom or spare room. Even a bucket! Yes I know, yuck! but its better than using the floor. Sorry, couldn't resist!

Water Shortage And A Baby!

My next door neighbor had a nightmare when they were fitting her new bath. One of the Decorators had a bit of a problem. He made a hole. A rather large one in fact. The water shot out and sprayed all over the bathroom wall, floor and ceiling. By this time it was five o clock. Home time. Off they went leaving her with no water and a one year old baby!

She had to go all night without water to wash, water for the baby, or even a cup of coffee. Luckily we are all friends around here so we chipped in with the cuppa's, gave the baby warm milk and let her use the shower. But what if she hadn't had anyone to help?

Fill up your buckets!

Buy a water can. You can get these from your local camping store. Or even online. If you can't afford one, or there are none around for you to buy them in time, just fill up kettles, bowls, buckets and just about everything else you can get your hands on. Then take them into the spare room, or under the stairs. Keep them covered and use in emergencies. Believe me, I have seen it all this week.

You Can Beat The Decorators!

So there you go. Don't be beaten by those cowboy decorators. Even workmen can do a good job sometimes, but just remember, if there are 20 of them then on average at least 5 of them will mess up at some stage! Law of physics!

How to survive the Decorators? Easy Peasy!

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Comments 36 comments

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Preparing for decorators makes me think of preparing for a Hurricane as we have to do here in S. Fl.

Does not sound like a fun experience at all. I hope it all comes together well for you!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi mary, thanks so much, yes there have been a few horror stories over here this last week! my turn is next monday, can't wait! lol! thanks

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

You offer some good tips for keeping one's sanity during a remodeling job. Hope yours goes well sans horror stories--oh, and that we will get to see pics. Maybe taking photos for your friends on HP will keep them on their best behavior!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Nell, we had our bathroom and new kitchen done at the same time and we were NOT organised...never again. The council are doing the same work near where I live as yours and the houses look fantastic. An old friend let me see hers last week and I have to say, I was very impressed. They were also given new double glazing and a Sky Box. They could also buy solar panels (subsidised) for their roof. It has rejuvenated the whole area which was looking a bit past its best to be honest.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

I never would have thought it takes so much preparation to have someone else do your remodeling, but you have thought of everything! I do love the way you've written this article with a generous dose of your lovely sense of humor! Voted up and shared!

europewalker profile image

europewalker 4 years ago

Very helpful hub Nell. It is best to be prepared for the unexpected. I hope your makeover goes smoothly and that you will be happy with the results.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

One time years ago my husband was remodeling our kitchen. We didn't do both kitchen and bathroom at the same time. The thing I recall most is washing the dishes in the bathtub for about 2 weeks. I was so happy when he finally finished the kitchen.

You've given some good tips here on how to prepare and live through a renovation. I hope that you'll be posting before and after pictures of the job.

profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

Very useful tips. It might come in handy for me.

Voted up and more! :-)

CASE1WORKER profile image


Oh dear- I am sure it will be ok= my daughters boyfriend was a painter and decorator on large contracts such as this, ( now in the post office) and he said the worst thing was when you sent a card to say you would be starting at 8am and there was no one home- so you lost your days pay plus the petrol for 200 mile around journey.

Good luck with the re modelling- hopefully it will be perfect.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Just reading this made me anxious! LOL! I hate dust, debris and chaos. Yet, when you are having remodeling done, its a fact of life. Great tips and instructions. Hope you survive, Nell!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Case, thanks so much, yes I am sure it will be okay, I am just scared we are going to go without water! lol! batten down the hatches! thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Thanks Steph, lol! yes I am dreading it! its taken at least 2 weeks for each person, and I am sure they will do a great job, I just want to be extra careful! thanks so much, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi ignugent, thanks for reading, and I am glad you found it useful, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Susan, yes hopefully I will get some photos, as long as they don't mind me tracking through their work space! lol! yes I expect I will be doing the same with the washing dishes! thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi europe, hope so, fingers crossed! lol! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Stephanie, lol! thanks so much, yes got to keep an eye on essentials such as the loo and bathroom!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Jools, wow! I thought it was only in my area that they were doing it, how lovely! doubt if we will get a Sky Box though, but you never know! lol! it does sound great when they make the area look so much better, thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

HI RTalloni, lol! will do, I will get snapping as soon as they arrive, to make sure they do it properly! glad you liked it, nell

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Nell Rose....Another fabulous hub! I'm so excited for you! A new kitchen and bath! I know it's going to take time and put you under some stress and inconvenience...but it will sooo worth it! Do we get to see the finished product??.....UP++

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Paula, yes hopefully I will be able to get some photos after the event! that's if I haven't gone mad with the noise first! haha! but it will be definitely worth it, a new free kitchen and bathroom, can't get better than that! thanks as always, nell

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

I had got my kitchen renovated and we set up a small kitchen with a microwave, small fridge, some cutlery and frozen foods which were easy to prepare :)

My kid enjoyed this change and during the day these handymen would keep asking for weird stuff thus, had to make trips to hardware stores.

It sure is a lot of work...phew.

Good luck, Nell.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Ruchira, thanks for reading, yes we are going to get the microwave into the front room along with the fridge, but the workmen will have the run of the rest of the house, must remember to buy ear plugs! lol! thanks again, nell

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I take it you only have one bathroom. I never used to leave my customers without water for ANY reason, or electric. Well, maybe no electric in the room that I was working in, but the rest of the house would have it. I can't imagine that you only have one circuit. You'll make it through, Nell, yes, you will.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi avian, yes just the one bathroom, lol! I am sure it will be fine, its just that I have heard from my neighbors that they have had problems these last couple of weeks with the workmen making mistakes, so its best to make sure I have my microwave, loads of water and lots of cups of tea! lol! thanks as always, nell

always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Oh Lordy, This brought back memories. I purchased my home two years ago and had new flooring installed, plus two new taller comodes, a new garage door opener, both bathrooms and kitchen tiled and I remained in my computer room going nuts from the noise. Your tips are useful but you didn't mention Vodka, It helps sooth the noise somewhat..Ha..Cheers..

girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Great tips, anything new, different or change makes me very much excited, thank you so much.

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'm surprised wouldn't tell you a lot of these things, such as fix electrical or get rid of superfluous furniture. Good advice though. Voting this Up and Useful.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

We always say...NEVER AGAIN, but then we Forget and it's on to another Decorating Experience!

Wonderful Tips Nell, very Educational as well as a Fun read. Also made for some very Interesting stories and Comments. LOL, Girlfriend.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi b. Malin, never again! lol! seriously though I am waiting with dread the noise! I have my stereo fixed up in the bedroom so I will turn it up full blast! a nice bit of Scorpions full blast will dull the noise! lol! thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi alocsin, we have heard from the other neighbors and they said just move everything! lol! thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi girishpuri, thanks for reading, and I totally agree with you, can't wait!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Hi Ruby, lol! forgot about the Vodka! yeah! what a great idea! haha! thanks as always, nell

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Sounds like a lot of preparation is needed in getting a home ready for decorators. Some of your points are similar to preparing for a Florida hurricane. I enjoyed reading your list, the microwave is a must for making quick meals, and the bucket is worth the mention! Voted up.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

lol! thanks teaches, yes it does sound like we should evacuate! I am all set up, so I just need my music and I will be well away! thanks for reading, nell

midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

WIll keep this as a reference, Nell, because I am planning a renovation soon. Thanks for sharing!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

Thanks midget, hope you find it helpful, nell

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