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How To Prepare For Home Decorators - Important Tips And Ideas

Updated on March 21, 2017
Our perfect kitchen? Yes, but its how we get there that counts!
Our perfect kitchen? Yes, but its how we get there that counts!

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.


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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