Renovations can get really messy and keeping the dust and debris from being tracked all over your home can be a challenge. Here are our best tips for keeping your home clean during a renovation!
All home renovations are at least a little disruptive, but a lot of them can really cause your whole home to become a giant mess. We’ve had a few DIY renovations that definitely fall into that category, but this latest one has definitely been the messiest, dirtiest renovation so far. You often need to be extra aware of your cleaning tactics to keep your home clean during a renovation and this has definitely been the case for us with this latest mud room project we’ve been working on.
At one point, when we had completely torn the old porch off of the house, we had a literal “mud room” right outside of our main door. As in, a room made of mud. We had put down about 4.5 tons of clay dirt in that area to grade it properly before we began building over it and when it rained, we definitely had a huge mess on our hands. We had a few days where the mud and dirt was tracked inside the house and even though we all took our shoes off at the door, we would find mud all the way on the other side of the house! These things happen when you have kids and pets and lots of life going on in your home!
We decided real-quick that we weren’t going to want to live with that so we stepped our game up right then and there. So here are some of our favourite tips for keeping your home clean during a renovation if you’re going through the same thing!
Insist on Ending Every Day on a Clean Note
Chris really leads the charge for keeping our home clean during a renovation because he’s the one doing most of the DIYing during the messiest parts of our renovation projects. I asked him what his best tip for keeping things from getting too messy in the rest of the house was and he said “Marry a bearded craftsman who takes really good care of his work area.” Ha. He’s right though. Whether it’s you who is completing the work, or whether you’ve hired it out, having the discipline to leave your work area clean at the end of every day really makes such a difference.
Chris makes a pretty big mess throughout the day while he’s working, but he always puts everything away and runs a vacuum over the area before calling it a night. For times where there might be mud or water, he brings out the shop vac, but for the rest of the time, a high-suction vacuum like this Dyson Ball Animal 2 we’ve been using over the last little while really does the trick and removes all of that dust and dirt so it can’t spread to the rest of the house.
Block the Area Off
You won’t be able to contain dust and debris 100% no matter what you do, but if it’s at all possible, consider hanging plastic over doorways that separate the area you’re working in from the rest of the house. It may look a little extreme, but it will really make a difference. Dust will still spread, because dust is tricky like that, but it will probably only be mostly within a few feet from your plastic-covered doorway and you’ll be able to vacuum that right up.
Dust Every Day
Dust is a pesky thing. It often builds up slowly and you don’t notice it’s there until you really notice it’s there. When things get to that point, it can be a pretty big job, which can seem fairly overwhelming and frustrating when you’re also busy with a renovation project. You may not know why at first, but your whole home can feel kind of icky during a renovation and that’s usually because of the dust that somehow seems to make it into all the far reaches of your home. If you keep up with your dusting, even just for a minute or two each day, things will definitely feel more normal and under control in your home.
Create Paths of Cleanliness
I was really surprised by what a difference this makes when Chris first employed this tactic for keeping us from having dirt tracked all over our house. This works really well in exterior areas of course. If you have a muddy area, laying down boards over the dirt keeps you from bringing that mud into the house. If it rains, you’re only walking across a wet board and tracking water into your home rather than icky, sticky mud.
This tactic actually also works surprisingly well indoors if you’re laying down new flooring, or doing drywall, or something like that where you have a dusty floor or exposed subfloor. By laying down boards to walk on, you give yourself a much smaller area that needs to stay clean or clean-ish and you really don’t track much dust throughout the house as you’re passing through.
Vacuum Like it’s Going Out of Style
I hate to sound like a broken record here, because I feel like I mention this as an important step in so many cleaning situations, but vacuuming really is key. When it comes to keeping your home clean during a renovation, access to a great vacuum is the real game-changer. This Dyson Ball Animal 2 that we’ve been using has been so great because of its amazing suction. It really does pick up even the finest bits of dust on the first pass, which is a huge help, obviously.
We like to keep our vacuum out and right next to our work area at all times during the renovation project. We make sure to use it multiple times a day to keep on top of things. Dyson vacuums are always really reliable and powerful, but I also really enjoy the unique attachments that they always seem to come up with. Although it’s actually pretty simple, I’m really excited about this combination tool attachment because it’s really exactly what I need to help keep things clean during this renovation. Actually, when I first saw it I thought, “Where have you been all my life?” 🙂
It just makes so much sense how it switches from a crevice tool to a dusting brush with just the push of a button. These are two attachments that we use a lot, so I love not having to change the attachment over and over again to use them both!
This vacuum also has a few other neat attachments that are particularly exciting for pet owners, so I’ll show you those in an upcoming post as well. 🙂
If you’re thinking about investing in a big home renovation project, consider investing in a great high-suction vacuum like a Dyson first! Your future self will thank you when you’re able to keep your home clean during your renovation. And then, you know, after the renovation is done and you need to get on with real life and cleaning up after kids, cats, dogs, and all of the mess that comes off of them too. 🙂
If you’re about to renovate, this is not the time to make yourself frustrated with that 20-year-old vacuum on its last legs! Being able to avoid even just a little bit of the stress and disruption that often comes with a home renovation will allow you to enjoy the process of creating a more beautiful home for your family rather than dreading it. Keeping your home clean the way that you’re used to is definitely the first step in the process of reducing your renovation stress!
What tips do you have for keeping your home clean during a renovation? Let me know! The renovations around here are pretty much non-stop, so I can always use a few extra tricks!
I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Dyson and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions and suggestions on this blog are my 100% my own as always!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.