How to survive home renovations

Home renovations can really wear you down. It’s not just the noise and dust and intrusion of having builders in the space of your home. It affects you energetically too.

Home renovations

What many people don’t realize is that we rest part of our consciousness on the physical structure of the home we live in. The process of having it dismantled and changed can be very disorientating and destabilizing. Even if you do the work yourself, it can be remarkably unsettling.

Your relationship to your home

The reason for this is that you are energetically connected to your home and the longer you have lived there, the more connected you are likely to be. So you may think you are simply renovating or remodeling your kitchen, but the disruption it causes in your life goes far deeper than the inconvenience of not having access to a stove.

When a part of your home is being deconstructed and rebuilt, a corresponding part of you is being altered too. This can be a good thing in the long run, but if the work drags on, it can feel like your life is in limbo until it is finished, waiting for the parts of yourself and your life to come back together. It can also make you feel very scattered, vulnerable and exposed while the work is in progress.

During the 20 years I lived in Bali, I was delighted to discover that Balinese builders are very aware of this, and take steps to alleviate it. The Balinese have devised highly effective consecration rituals to consciously presence the buildings they occupy and bring the materials they are made of “back to life”, as they put it. So before doing major repairs or renovations, a specific ritual is done to remove the presencing in that area of the building to a temporary shrine, and another type of ritual is done when the building work is complete to restore it. They liken this to the way a human is given anesthesia before surgery to numb them to the pain. I have personally experienced on a number of occasions that the practice has the effect of isolating that part of the building and minimizing the disturbance.

This level of spiritual technology is not readily available in the West, so what can you do to minimize the turmoil if you decide to renovate your home?


Have all the work done before you move in
When buying a new home, if it’s possible to do so, the best approach is to have all the work done before you move in. You will have no energetic connection to the property at that stage and can continue to live a normal life well away from the building work.

Create a separate space where you can live
For major renovations works, the next best option is to hire a caravan, park it in the garden, and live in that instead of in the house. If that isn’t feasible, then find a room in the property where you can create a personal sanctuary. Keep the doors closed as much as possible to keep dust levels down and create as much of a home environment in that space as you can.

Fully complete each project before beginning the next
Another good tip is that if you have a number of projects to do, fully complete one and have a short break before beginning the next. This will give you welcome periods of sanity that will allow you to rest and re-gather before the next onslaught. However, if you are doing the renovations when you first move into a home, a speedier approach is best, while the motivation and momentum are still fresh. Aim to complete them during the first year, so that you can fully land there. I’ve met people who still have half-finished rooms a decade or two after moving in, and not surprisingly, their life feels similarly disjointed.

Choose builders you like as people
If you hire professionals to do your home renovations, it will help enormously to choose people you personally like and feel comfortable having in your space. They will be putting their energies into the walls of your home with every nail they hammer in and every wall they paint, after all. It’s worth taking the time to find the right people to work with.

Space clear your home
There’s one more piece of advice I can offer that is a western adaptation of the Balinese way of handling this situation. Before the building work begins, space clear the areas of your home that you will continue to live in, followed by a space clearing of the area that will be undergoing renovations (preferably on the same day). This will have the effect of energetically separating your living space from the building area and smoothing the way for the renovations process and. Then after the building work has been finished, do another space clearing ceremony for your entire home to integrate the renovated areas and reset the entire space at a higher level. When doing the ceremony for this purpose, the key aspects to focus on are the offerings and harmony ball frequencing, as described in my book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2014, updated 2021

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is the world's leading authority on space clearing and a leading expert in clutter clearing. Her first book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, has sold over one million copies in 16 languages, and her second book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, has sold over two million copies in 26 languages.

2 Responses to How to survive home renovations

  1. Karen, how about people who buy a place, live in it and renovate it over a course of say 2-5 years, before selling for profit?

    That seems to be the case for many here in property-obsessed Australia, and I personally know some individuals who do that every two years. How can they actually withstand that sense of no-anchoring? Or do they?

    1. Some people are able to weather this more easily than others, but it can really wear you down. A friend of mine used to buy a property, do it up, and then live in it while he was doing up the next property. He became a millionaire this way, but his personal life suffered tremendously. It was only when he used his wealth to buy himself a permanent home to live in that he was able to create fulfilling relationships.

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