share post

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

by | Apr 11, 2016 | Authentic Living, Decorating Inspiration, My Seattle House, My Side Yard

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on the progress of our side yard! And that’s because … there have been setbacks and standstills that just aren’t fun to talk about or pretty to look at. Goodness, WHY does everything seem to take so long in real life? I’m telling ya, in my dreams this side yard would be already finished and adorable. But in real life? It isn’t.

Do you ever feel like your house projects are causing more chaos than you expected? Perhaps my situation and resulting daily affirmations will make you feel better (or at least they might make you laugh at my coping mechanisms).

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

Our side yard isn’t finished. Or cute. Not yet. It’s “in progress” but at a very awkward state. And it feels like it’s been more in standstill or even, gasp, going backwards at times, than in progress mode.

It is one thing to have all the visions in your head (or in the blog post) of what it could be, but getting them to happen is another. We have a budget and it isn’t huge or endless. Contractors don’t always work on your timetable. The weather slows things down. Misunderstandings happen that cause setbacks and you have to wait for them to be corrected.

Remember when I wrote the post about being flexible in remodeling? It is true. You’ve got to have some flexibility and be willing to compromise in many ways in order to get things done. Yet, I’ll admit this project is trying my patience. The flip side to being patient and flexible is you also have to be the boss of your own project and speak up if it isn’t right or moving along like you expected. We’ve had to do that, too, in every project that we’ve ever done.

No offense to any contractors or our own, it is just a fact.

This project was to create function and fix safety issues. If you missed the original posts about this project, this area before was unsafe and basically unusable (scroll back through these posts if you need to catch up and want to see what our vision actually was, ha).

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

It wasn’t about making it pretty, although we do hope it will be quite pleasant when it is all done and even pretty when our finishing touches are put in place (please, for the LOVE it better be, but right now, it doesn’t feel that way).

All we really wanted was a basic flat concrete area (to keep this area clean for our dogs and to cut down on yard work because we have a big yard), steps to the backyard for safety and fences to keep our back yard safe and private. Easy enough?

We thought that would be a pretty quick job and then we could move on!

Silly me. 

I know I’ll be glad we did this in the end, but right now … not so much.

We’ve lived here for seven months and the reality is we STILL have to have chairs and boxes and stuff piled up on the side of our house to keep our dogs in because all the fencing is gone from that side of our property. It is unsettling. The contractors put up temporary orange fencing, but still, our dogs have escaped countless times. We have to set timers to check them every 10 minutes when they are outside because Lily is an escape artist and can find a way out. And Jack will happily join her on an adventure, if she shows him how to get out.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

So, that’s the reality of remodeling or even just creating a home. It’s sometimes messy. Messy messy messy.

I wish for Pinterest sake I could just give you instant AFTERS for everyone’s enjoyment (and mine, ha). THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! But, I still have glimmers of hope that we will round the corner and suddenly everything will look rosier. I know the contractors will pull it together and when they do their part, I’ll be glad we tackled this project first because we can enjoy it this summer.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep my faith in this side yard’s potential. That’s what you’ve got to do. Keep pressin’ on toward the goal of what it will be, even when it is in this undone, messy, awkward, stalled, not-pretty-stage that seems to be going on forever.

If you are discouraged or feeling like your house will always be a wreck and never come together like in your dreams, don’t lose sight of the goal in the “adventure” of getting there. Remember the potential of your home and your projects and keep pressing on.

I recommend having your own personal daily affirmations for your unfinished projects to help you keep the faith and your sanity.

Here are my daily sanity affirmations for my side yard, adapt as needed for your situation. :)

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

1. Cute chairs for morning coffee will make the long wait and stress worthwhile. 

I picked up two adorable chairs for our morning coffee in the side yard. I bought a set of these two French bistro chairs on sale at World Market, 15% off until April 17th! They reminded me of these Serena and Lily chairs that I love.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

Carson 12″ Wall Sconce

2. Charming lighting will eventually come out of the boxes that are piled up taking up the entirety of your office and will actually be ATTACHED to the house.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

3. Using what you have will help save the budget and soon enough you’ll actually be SITTING on your chairs and no longer using them as fences.

We already have these great sectional pieces from World Market, and depending how much space we have I think we’ll put a few in the courtyard! Scroll down to see the chairs on the back porch of our last house.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

4. The umbrellas that are now covered in mold because they were accidentally left outside all winter in the pile of junk that you used as temporary fencing will eventually be clean and take their rightful place on the patio to shield you from the elements.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}
Domino – Heather Taylor

5. The door you have to keep bolted shut so no one will exit the house and promptly fall off the porch will eventually be able to be opened SAFELY. In fact, you will even be able to open just the top part of the door if you want to just feel the breeze, for instance, because IT WILL BE A DUTCH DOOR.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

6. Visions of string lights will no longer be just dancing in your head, they will dancing over head in your newly completed side yard.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

7. Soon you’ll be enjoying that sunset while sitting ON the patio, instead of just staring at it longingly through the windows.

Daily Affirmations for House Project Chaos {Side Yard Update}

8. Dogs and people will soon once again be relaxing together quietly outside on the porch instead of jumping through holes in fake fencing and running around the neighborhood trying frantically to rally everyone back to safety.

9. You will not always have to live in fear of the sound of your porch roof potentially falling down in a windstorm because you will have actual posts that are bolted to the porch to prevent mishaps like that from happening.

10. Your new neighbors will no longer think you are crazy because at some point they won’t be able to actually see into your backyard to confirm it.

So, what are your chaotic home project affirmations? Share them in the comments so we can all have a little comic relief when we need it :). Please, tell me I’m not the only one. Ha.


  1. Jo,Jo

    Oh, Melissa, I do feel your pain! We just moved into our newly built home and dealing with contractors can be frustrating…we are still waiting for the electrician to finish up installing some light fixtures. You just want things DONE and done correctly, in a timely manner, just as you commissioned. You’ve listed some great, positive daily affirmations, there kiddo. Staying positive certainly helps and I know your new side yard will have been worth the wait and chaos. ? I keep reminding myself daily how very blessed we are to,have been able to build this home in the area that we have and that she’s paid for…she’s all ours! ??

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you :). I’m sure it will be worth it in the end but right now….hard to say. Ha! You are definitely blessed and I hope you enjoy every detail and thought and dream that went into your home! So exciting!

  2. Katie

    Super cute! Especially the last one! Don’t we all feel like that! Lol!

  3. Andrea M. Schnapp

    Take a deep breath. This is al worth it!

  4. Susan

    Wonderful post! And it really hit home. We are ready tomorrow for day #9 of a shower renovation and door widening that was supposed to take 4 days. All is progressing and looking great, just a contractor who is down an employee and stretched too thin. We MAY get to use the shower by Wednesday a.m. but the widened door is still in my dreams. It all involves the master bath, so everything in my bedroom is currently covered with a film of drywall dust. However, after seeing your photos, I don’t feel like I have much room to complain. Hang in there and thanks for the pick-me-up. Hope things turn around for you soon. :)

  5. Heidi

    Oh dear-but LOL. Laugh, so you don’t cry, right? It will be wonderful (eventually).

  6. Madame Tut

    Anyone with tips on getting rid of mold spots on umbrella canopies?

  7. Donna @ Modern on Monticello

    Currently mine is “In five years this house will be beautiful!” because I have projects mentally planned out for the next five years. Hang in there – it will get better – or at least that is another one I keep telling myself too. Can’t wait to see the final reveal and give it the kudos I’m sure it will deserve.

  8. Laurie Howell

    We are in the middle of a move and downsizing. Our new cottage home that needs work will be adorable one day has been full of boxes for over a month and a couch plus two stools. It is total chaos. My husband and our four dogs are there. The dogs are stressed because my daughter and I are at the other house 100 miles away till she finishes school and the house closes. The furniture that we need to put things away is with us. Our fence is 70% done. I am sure I must be making you feel better. Reading your post helped me. I try to laugh and we will just leave it at that. Oh did I say my daughter is graduating and just decided on her choice of college hence the downsizing and moving close to my husbands job!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I so relate to what you must be feeling! We moved when my daughter was halfway done with her senior year in high school and I had to leave her back with our house (and grandparents and family) when we moved so her little brother could start a new school. That was not fun at all to have two houses and two lives for nine months! Glad that season is over :). Life changes bring chaos, that is for sure! Hang in there!

  9. Joanne B.

    I can see how having to wait for contractors and the weather to cooperate can be quite frustrating! I would suggest you do whatever YOU can control to eliminate some of the nuisances- like # 1 (as a dog person) to me would be- the dogs escaping! Can you better secure them? Can you get a temporary dog run portioned off somewhere in the yard with secure, more permanent than that flimsy orange stuff fending? Checking on the every 10 minutes is a waste of your time when they can escape 2 seconds after you just checked on them! And then there is their safety I worry about too. Once they are out and heaven forbid injured or lost you have bigger problems you don’t need. Look into dog tethers that would allow them to run around the yard but be secured with a harness to prevent injury. Once they are secure then work on organizing and removing what must be unsightly to you (and the neighbors I dare say) the chairs and stuff you had piled up to keep the dogs in. Thats what garages and basements are for and this will go along way to not having the neighbors wondering who ARE these people? Spruce up what you can! Looking like a project is in the works is acceptable as long as it is kept neat as possible in-between. The new cement area, while maybe not finished, looks very nice! Put those new chairs out there and have that cup of morning coffee (weather permitting!) Pretty up what YOU can and ask your contractors to keep it neat in between. Some might look at it as organizing the chairs on the Titanic, but I find it goes a long way to allowing me to feel like I AM in control, even though it might not be totally! Hang in there! Spring is coming and with that, hope!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      You just have to do the best you can with the circumstances at hand, right? At least for our neighbors’ sake we don’t have a toilet and old sofas sitting in our front yard. It could be worse!

  10. Wendy

    Oh how I relate to this! I have many, many affirmations, but I’ll give you my top three…
    1. I will not always have caution tape up around my front steps making my house look like a crime scene. The contractor will fix the crumbling concrete that’s supposed to hold the heavy stone steps in place so that no one will be killed when they walk up the steps to my door to visit me.
    2. They will find and fix the hole in my roof caused by ice dams. And, I will repaint the interior walls damaged by the leaky roof again…for the last time…because the third time’s a charm, right?
    3. We will have the concrete surrounding the pool fixed and it will no longer break off in chunks and fall into the pool. And, it won’t happen again because twice in 2 years is really enough, right? It will be safe and beautiful and ready to enjoy by summer.

    I love my house, I love my house, I love my house!

  11. Eve

    Thanks for the encouragement by letting us share in your discouragement! This post was timely–my husband and I are gutting a house right now. But we see the light at the end of the tunnel ahead, and these months of waiting will be a distant memory. Isn’t it funny how certain stages of life seem as if they will never end, and then you look back on them and wonder what made you ever think that?! I always appreciate your sincerity and vulnerability on your blog. Thanks so much for sharing how sometimes remodeling can be costly (and not just to your bank account). Your future decorations look so fun & I can’t wait to see them all come together.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you! I think back on so many seasons of life or projects that seemed like they would never end and yet, they do! It helps to just enjoy the season or project you are in, even when you have to endure the bit of chaos that seems to come along with it. I try to keep it real for my own sanity :). I’m glad that I started out with authenticity as a priority for this blog, otherwise I would have been in for an exhausting journey trying to hide the reality of the challenges in creating a home and presenting a perfect illusion for the past nine years hahahah. :)

  12. Debbie

    We could all have a waiting and wanting party…I am making progress, our home got power washed and mulch was laid…first time ever we haven’t done it ourselves, what a timesaver! But definitely at a cost. Got put off for 3 weeks on the install of trees and when I found it could be another 3 weeks and suggested I just cancel the order what do you know a contractor showed up to see where I wanted them. To be done today but cancelled because of weather, I am hopeful for tomorrow. But the list remains long and we of course scheduled a big event to add to the pressure! Having a Derby Party May 7 so much to do before! Thank you for your update, can’t wait to see the furniture and New Umbrellas.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Woo hoo! So fun to have a deadline you can work towards, and so stressful. But you’ll make it! One way or another, you’ll get there!

  13. Gail W.

    Well, if misery loves company (right?) then I’ll tell you what I would tell people when they asked how I was keeping going after a contractor did structural damage to our house (!!!!) and we had to fire him and bring in another company to tear 90% of what the first guy did out and have it all re-done ( and this was SEVEN YEARS AGO AND WE’RE STLL NOT FINISHED, although at least we’re back living in the house after it was not even under climate control for TWO YEARS, one of which was while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan) What I would tell people is that it’s just like if you get sucked out to sea by a rip current; you have two choices – either swim parallel to shore to get out of the rip current and then turn and swim for land. Or your other option is to quit and drown. It’s a pretty binary kind of situation – you either survive it, or you don’t – but that doesn’t make it any easier or more fun. I just grit my teeth and persevere. I think if I could have drunk more alcohol that might have helped ! ;)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh my gosh, that is terrible, Gail! I can’t even imagine how you must feel! My challenges are just silly inconveniences but yours just seem totally unacceptable and UNFAIR! :( Hang in there, I’m glad you are making progress but so sorry the journey to put your home together again has been so bumpy.

  14. Jennifer R

    This post came at just the right time. I’m Becoming unraveled because EVERYTHING in our new (1969) place needs fixing (SO much more than we knew about when we bought it) and we’re inching along at a snail’s pace and it’s taking its toll. I’m heartened to know that I’m not alone and somebody else out there understands the real stress that reno chaos causes. I am going to try to write some affirmations like you did to keep my eye on the prize. Good luck with your project :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh yeah, you need those affirmations. I understand the snail’s pace too well. :)

  15. Tracie

    #10 Ha! We lived in our last house 12 years and spent 10 years remodeling it. Each time we began a new phase, we moved so much stuff out, our neighbor’s kept asking us if we were moving. I know they thought we were crazy at times. God bless them for their patience.

  16. Joanne Taggart

    Oh Melissa, you have your hands full. I really enjoyed your post. It becomes much more real when you give a breakdown of what actually goes on behind the scenes of a remodel. Gosh, all you wanted was some concrete poured and make the place livable and attractive. You would think it would be simple. Thank you so much for sharing the reality. Me, I just constantly tell myself to be patient. When I can’t get to the big things(like replacing a kitchen floor that’s literally pulling apart in places) then I choose something small and manageable to feel like I’m still capable of getting something done in this lifetime. I so much appreciate being able to visit a blog like yours. You show us what it’s really like behind the scenes, and what can be accomplished in the end. Thank you!

  17. susan maclean

    Melisa – all will be well and all manner of things will be well. (Eventually!). I know you will make it, and the story of the side yard will make a book all of its own with the dogs on the cover!!
    Our own frustration is so small compared to yours but just so you know you are not on your own……..
    When we bought this house 14 years ago, the car parking area was lovely chunky gravel. Looked good, water drained away, etc etc. But over the years between we discovered that no foundation was laid for the gravel and no membrane was laid to stop weeds coming through. As the last two winters have been really wet,and the area has now become a large area of mud in the winter and dirt in the summer; we decided to have a “proper” driveway laid. As you probably know yourself (haha) this involves getting people to come and look, give you a quote, (which usually makes you gasp). All this together with building regulations in the UK which mean you require water permeable stuff to avoid flooding problems (did I say we are at the top of a hill?). At last we have found the contractor we want, and have chosen materials. Now comes the wait whilst he fits us in – oh and the withdrawal of quite a lot of funds so that we can pay him! I follow you avidly, and am so looking forward to seeing your yard in all its glory which will not be too long now. Best wishes.

  18. Lauren

    Oh Melisa, I had to laugh so much at this. We just moved to a new home and job across the country. I still have so much unpacking to do and am starting to work on some projects, like finding furniture for our home. Craigslist, antique stores, and Annie Sloan Chalk paint are my friends. We are also starting to do some work on our home, like removing wallpaper so we can paint. We are doing everything ourselves which saves a ton of money but also take a long time. Anyway, I have such beautiful ideas but have to realize it is going to take a while for things- especially wallpaper removal and painting. :) Plus, I have to keep in mind the overall picture of my idea of what I want our home to look like and realizing it will be beautiful.

  19. Dani @ Danielle and Co.

    I totally understand!!!! I keep reminding myself I shouldn’t have to apologize for our kitchen whenever we have guests over; that it’s okay that we haven’t remodeled it yet, and it is perfectly fine not to have a Pinterest-worthy kitchen. We can cook in it, it’s clean and functional, and my friends and family really aren’t visiting in order to examine our kitchen cabinets! It’s hard though, when you have that vision of what it could be right there in your head.

  20. Kari

    Believe me, I’ve been through 5 minor and 1 major house renovation projects in my home and I feel your pain. But as I sit here in my dream kitchen, and look at my fireplace that I designed myself (after they put one in that I hadn’t dicussed with them and they had to jack hammer that one out), and my backyard that after 16 years of living in the same house is finally coming in as I had planned, you’ll look back very soon and wonder what life was like when you didn’t have drywall dust all over your clothes. I love seeing your progress and cruising through the wealth of idea’s and inspiration. You’re a great planner – it will be gorgeous very soon.

  21. Cheryl

    what I would do — keep those DARLING chairs from World Market out where I could see them all the time and sit in them. I would sip tea in them, watch the sunset in them and by the time you put them on your new patio, they will be so loved that they’ll want you to sit on them… all day long. so much for getting anything else done . . . .where’s Melissa? oh, she’s out there on those new chairs, waiting for the sunset.

  22. Catherine

    I feel your pain. We are remodeling and I’m need needing to pray for patience constantly.

  23. Patti

    I totally relate to what you are going through. I have been involved in having 3 homes built and I have lost track of the remodeling that I have lived through with different houses. As of this moment, I am in the process of updating a 30+ year old home. My mantra is that this too shall pass but it will take time. Beathe in…..breath out…..

  24. Kathleen

    I understand! We just finished our long-awaited, long-dreamed of first floor renovation. It took exactly TWICE AS LONG as the contract said it would. Meanwhile, I used our dining room as a “camping kitchen” and carted our dishes to the basement and washed them in the laundry sink. The contractors accidentally broke our electric fence and Ruby the Golden Doodle escaped; we eventually had to claim her AT THE POUND! But even though we spent the whole winter waiting, our home is now (mostly) lovely- it feels alternately like 1.) someone else’s house or 2.) a magazine. It WILL get better!

  25. Melinda Young

    Love that you are keeping your vision through the painful process and your sense of humor too! Isn’t that what it takes sometimes, faith and humor! When we had our orange temporary fence for 4 months, I started joking with what I would be doing to decorate it and how I could work caution “orange” into the landscape decor. :) Hang in there!

  26. Valentina

    Hello! I am livin’ in the old ooold house where my father was born and where his grandmother and grandgrandgrandmother lived, so it’s veeeery old and soooo cute, like the doors… you have to bow to get through the door and there are secret doors and small windows next to biiiig windows and it has a secret garden!!! It has been closed for ten years and now I have decided to bring it back to life. It took months and you want to know what I found among all else? The meadow was not at all meadow at 100%! No, under a great part there are PINK ooold stone paths!!! So together with some friends we actually DIG and shovel up and away mud and earth and ground and discovered a whole path of stone running round the garden!!! And so I said to myself: “Now that it is becoming so good and beautiful, I want to redo the wall facade, and… here comes the pain. It is taking soooooo soooo long I would love to move by now. Sigh.. It will take a lot of time, for the working guys to start, for the rain to cease etc etc.. But I think about my lovely house, the lovely garden, the flowers, the cute garden lights that will be and… at times it seems easy! At times I wish I could live like an animal in a cave with no house worries… Good luck with all YOUR garden projects, and to all the other writers here in the comments. We are a cute club: the Frustrated yet Hopeful Garden Designers!!! Bye girls!!!

  27. Marilyn Khadduri

    Hi Melissa,
    I just returned home last evening, to Virginia, after a lovely week in Seattle. It was my first visit there,
    and I thoroughly enjoyed the first four days of sunshine and beautiful weather. I was so impressed with
    all the greenery and flowers everywhere! I stayed in an apartment in Ballard, and the patio there was full
    of flowers, and the most beautiful, fragrant roses! I knit, so one of the highlights of my trip was a
    visit to Churchmouse Yarn and Teas on Bainbridge Island. My next favorite thing was my visit to Woodinville Lavender Farm. Can’t wait to see your finished patio; I’m sure it will be gorgeous!

browse categories:

browse archives:

let’s stay connected!

Follow for daily
Home Inspiration:

get my free decorating guide

home decor inspiration, free downloads,
and more, straight to your inbox