And just like that the biggest, most complex, and multi-faceted combination of projects in my life to date sprang up a couple of months ago. It snowballed big time!
It all happened just as my school friend from Bulgaria was visiting us with her husband and son for a week.
I had intentionally eased off the workload while my friends were visiting so I could spend more time showing them around London.
But since they left, I’ve been going through the below list:
- A three bedroom house re-decoration – not a small feat by any stretch of the imagination
- Decluttering – what better time, even if a time-pressured one, to do so
- Putting the property up for sale – a first-time experience for me
- Searching for a new family home outside of London – hello, train trips to the countryside!
- Relocating – need I say more?!
- Possibly having to redecorate our new home – dealing with even more tradespeople
Surely, these are each ‘full-time’ jobs in their own right!? And that was all on top of trying to run my coaching practice and having a life.
It’s been a rollercoaster rather than a smooth sailing experience. Here’s how things evolved in the space of six weeks.
My husband and I started exploring areas we could move to and eventually narrowed it down to one. We took a day trip out to Rayleigh, during which we visited 11 properties. Talking about making the most of our time! 🙂
We saw a house we liked and more importantly, we liked the town as a place where we could live. The latter served as a huge motivation to kickstart the first three items on the list.
The redecoration is done. Yes, it did take longer than the guys estimated. The decorators will have to come back and sort out some niggling things that have shown up since they left. I’m already dreading the mess.
Honestly, having a clean peaceful home is seriously underestimated for how much impact it has on your life and work.
The decluttering & tidying up has been a humongous win. (And we declutter pretty much every year, but not on this level. Neither of us is a fan of shopping, so we don’t constantly buy stuff to fill up our house, but we still had a lot to get rid of.)
I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved. We said goodbye to a countless number of belongings, including:
- A suitcase of books at the library.
- Bags of clothes, shoes and gadgets dropped off at charities’ collection points.
- A few select items found new homes with friends of ours.
- A couple of boxes of books & DVDs got sold.
- Binned many other things.
- Shredded tons of papers.
With every item we let go off, we felt lighter and lighter. This process started before the redecoration and lasted until after it was all completed. In fact, there is still more shredding and reviewing of papers to do, but 99% is done.
Reorganising the house in a more logical and optimised way has given us more breathing space.
In fact, on Monday, our cleaner came to our house for the first time since August and thought it looked like a new and more spacious place. (My exercise equipment is hidden away and all the family photos and the canvasses from my travels are packed away – following the estate agent’s advice.)
The house is up for sale and we’ve even had our first viewing 🙂 Again, there is still a fair bit to be doing on an ongoing basis.
We have no idea how long this journey is going to last and how it will end up. It’s all about taking one step at a time and keeping at it.
The Learnings & Insights
As I was reflecting on what’s happened over the past couple of months, these seven observations stood out for me:
1. See the vision clearly, get a taste of what it can be like and then use that as a motivation to take action on what you need to do to get things going and done. This was a biggy for those initial hurdles.
2. Projects (almost) always take longer than you/other people think.
3. Done is better than perfect. There always will be imperfections. Pick the ones that are worth pursuing. Decide what’s good enough.
4. Complete it for now so you can move on, you can usually make improvements and adjustments later as you go.
5. Have some fun and enjoyable moments even when you feel like you’re way too snowed under.
6. Make time for exercise and looking after your wellbeing – this will keep you sane in those intense moments.
7. Living and working in a tidy, clean, peaceful environment is so underrated.
Over to you…
Have you been through any huge changes like this? What were your key insights and learnings?
I’d love to know, please leave a comment below.
And of course, if you’re feeling the overwhelm and want some help to see the wood from the trees with your big projects, get in touch to see how we can work through this together.