Sink Handle Podcast Ep 31

Episode # 31 - Be OK With the Mess

We are in the middle of bathroom renovation that has been a long time coming.  When hiring someone to take care of it didn’t work out, we buckled in for a terrible stretch with a huge mess.  But instead, I am embracing the mess and enjoying the process. Deciding it will be messy but that’s just part of the process, has made it more of an adventure than something awful.  And has reminded me that I can enjoy the messy in my business as well, learn new things and be on my way.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 31. Today I am coming to you from a very, very messy house. We are in the middle of a bathroom renovation. To set the scene we live in a small bungalow old school 30 Beach bungalow with one bathroom. And you know apocalypse, this is December 2020. We're not going anywhere. There are a lot of people in this house. And they all like to use the bathroom. So it's been a little bit of a crazy idea to do all this. We originally thought that we were going to hire someone, we thought we needed someone to come in be able to flip this over quickly fix everything and get out. I thought it was the only way we're gonna get it done with only having one bathroom. And you know, not leaving. In theory, we could go on vacation for a week and have someone do all this and then come home and it would just be done. The problem is that you know, we can't go anywhere. Everything's so close to virtual school, all of that mess. And it's only gotten worse, of course, now that it's cold out. And yeah, so we have to be in the house. And I also didn't want anyone else coming in if I didn't have to. We did talk to a couple of different contractors that I guess our bathroom isn't really that big. So we weren't that big of a deal. We didn't even get calls back from some of them. One actually came here looked at our bathrooms said he would call us the next day and then just never called. And instead of waiting around for people that were obviously not on the wall, we decided that we would just do it ourselves. We're people who understand the mechanics of things, we have lots of tools for Christmas. 

For years and years, I used to get tools. The year I got an air compressor, I was so thrilled. I have saws and tools and things like that. So I knew we could do it. But not having a bathroom for a long stretch of time, while you're learning how to tile is a lot. And everything's gonna be everywhere. And it's gonna be real messy. And that was very scary. And we pushed it off for a while. We were going to do this last fall, and then it didn't work out there were things going on, and then we're gonna do it in the spring. And then big-time lockdowns. And we just kind of said, Okay, well, we don't know what's happening in the world, let's just put this on hold for a little bit. And it would have been great if we'd done this in the summer because we could have like showered outside. But it kind of we just kind of kept pushing it off. And I'm guessing it's because it's scary. Ripping your entire bathroom out is scary. And having a kid at the same time and dealing with that mess and the cost and she rocked us everywhere. We just kind of kept putting it off. I was also worried about how it would affect my family members like would it drive my husband completely not really crazy, that there was just stuff on every surface, would I get divorced. so, 

We've been putting this off, and we've just decided to jump right into the mess. We are embracing the mess. I have a large box of several boxes of floor tile in my living room that are serving now as a counter for all the tools. There was a tub in my living room for a while there is just things kind of stacked everywhere. I don't even have a dining room table anymore. That is all of like, our toothbrushes and everything else that was in the bathroom. They're now on the dining room table. And we are now brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink. It's a mess. But I have to say, I thought this was gonna be awful. And I'm really enjoying it. Like once we decided that we were going to do it ourselves. And it was going to take a while. We just decided okay, we're gonna embrace this. We're not fighting. Is it hard to make dinner on a square of a countertop because there's a whole bunch of tools that are being used on the other end of the countertop? Yeah, so the easiest, but there's that goal that we get this new bathroom that you know doesn't leak or look awful. And it's so exciting that I'm okay with the mess. I'm okay with it. It's more of an adventure than a hardship which is kind of surprised me. And I'm telling you all of this because I have felt so many parallels with going through all of this. And also going through the things that I want to change in my business. 

I'm to a point in my business where I am tapped out on hours. I have called clients and a team. And I still do too many things myself because I always just do that. And it's a terrible habit. Even little silly things that shouldn't be on my plate or on my plate lately, all of my own doing any kind of changes are scary, and they're probably gonna be messy, and they're not going to be perfect. And I've been pushing them off, just like I've been pushing out this bathroom renovation. So having this project not be a disaster has been great, in a lot of ways, but also great because it's giving me so much confidence to really embrace that mess. Like, it's just gonna be a mess. It's okay, we'll live. So this bathroom was so badly done in so many ways that we had to get the whole thing. The only thing that was staying in the room was the original trim that goes around the door. That's from the 30s. Everything else was getting ripped out. Which meant no shower, no tub, no nothing. In the tiny little house, with three people in a dog. we brainstormed how do we make this happen? How do we do it now, if a contractor came in, they would just demo everything one day, but then that would leave us for a longer stretch with no shower. And if you're working, you're gonna get dirty, you need a shower. So what we did was we figured out how to do it. For us. We started ripping out walls that we didn't need. And we laughed and we took out the sink in the bathroom so that we just had a toilet and a shower. And we left the shower tile walls every all the other walls were gone, except the shower tile walls, so that we could still shower. And then eventually we had to rip those down. And then we had a plastic sheet up just like around the walls just to be able to shower that day. And then we were doing everything in little bits. So we could rip all the walls out and fixed all the electric without having to rip everything out at once. And we've modified this entire crazy process for the way we need to live our life, we have taken that toilet out and put it back in every day. Because at the end of the day, we need to be able to have a back together. That's how we worked it out for us. And embracing the fact that I'm probably going to have sheetrock dust in my house for a long time, or I'm going to live on plywood floors for a while once we had to rip out everything else. Okay? If I know up front that that's going to happen, and I'm embracing it, it's not a problem. And it's an adventure, there's kind of a camping element to it really. 

And I've come to the point where I just brush my teeth in the kitchen sink. Which is funny that I kind of retrained myself on this, my mom wasn't at her house for a weekend. So we went there to get out of the way of the plumber, some kid dog out of the way. And I went to my mom's house and here I am about to brush my teeth in the sink in the kitchen at her house. Even though she has a perfectly good bathroom sink. Those are the kinds of things that like I've just really trained myself to say like this, okay, we're good. And I'm gonna have to retrain myself to use the bathroom sink again. But it wasn't a big deal. I'm not pissed off every time I walk in there now. Because this is an adventure, and we are on our way. And if I was worried about the mess that I was in, if I was constantly trying to clean everything, and organize everything, and have my house look perfect, while trying to go through this, it would be so stressful. Just like trying to show everything that's perfect with my business. 

When I'm struggling to figure out what I'm going to do, or the next thing I'm going to put out or getting my head around a different thing, a different product I want to do, just embracing the messy and be like, Oh, this is so exciting. It's an adventure, figuring that kind of thing out figuring out how to do it. I don't know how to tile. I didn't know how to do any of this. But you know what, we just have been researching the hell out of everything. I mean, we're people that understand the mechanics of things, we have the tools, there is no point in the history of the world, that there has been so much knowledge readily available and free to everyone. You can Google almost anything at this point. That's how we learned a lot of things. So just like when I had to Google how to build my website, now I'm googling how to put tile on the wall. And the great thing is that once you know this stuff, once you learn the thing, it's in your head. So when I built my website, I had to figure out a lot of stuff. And it's not really my gig. It's not my is not the thing I love doing. But I didn't have the money to go spend to have someone completely build out my website. So I gotta learn. I learned how to do it. I wrote down instructions and notes from how I did it. So I'd know how to do it the next time And now if I have to go update something, I can just go in and do it myself. I don't have to pay someone if I had bought that website designers package, and they put together a beautiful website. And then I had to change anything, I have to go hire them again. And then I'm beholden to that one person. It's like, being beholden to someone who fix your car, it drives me crazy that I don't know how to fix my car. And you think I would have learned after all these years, but I don't, I don't know how to fix a lot of things on my car. And now I'm beholden to a mechanic and apart and all that kind of stuff. And I have to wait around for that. But now when you're in the middle of all this, and you go and learn the thing, the next time I want to do any kind of renovation, like, I gotta say, I never would have thought I would have the confidence to go do a lot of it. But now that we have been learning this stuff, now I'm like, well, maybe the kitchens Next, the kitchen I want to do just as long. And we have all these skills, and it's so exciting. And we can live through this, maybe we should have the kitchen in the summer, so we could eat on the grill much more would be a smarter way to go. But these skills that I'm developing in the middle of this mess, are what I can use to propel me forward in the future.

And it's the same thing in business, you're going to learn stuff. I mean, most of us, we're doing this all by ourselves. I mean, I have a team now. But even my own business building stuff, I'm usually doing it by myself, usually long conversations over wine with my husband, and then implementing somehow myself. My team is focused mostly on client work. So I get the figuring it out, and then wanting to be perfect. And this being scared of the mess. So much so that you're, you never start. But figuring out the mess is the gold. It's where you learn it, you can propel yourself forward. And you can get through it. And surprisingly, you can get through it without wanting to get divorced or shoot yourself. It's okay to be messy. It's okay, the mess is okay. And I'm gonna get through it. It's forever. It's just temporary. And then I'm going to get through it. And then I'm going to go on to the next thing that's going to be messy. And I'm going to learn to do that. And I'm going to get through it. And once you start training yourself, you can really enjoy the mess, which I surprisingly am like I thought this was gonna be a lot harder. But it's not. It's dirty. But it's not hard. Not like I thought it would be. It's not stressful, maybe it's hard, but it's not stressful. But we can do it. And then you get a little more confident and you're like, No, I want to do the kitchen, which is not happening anytime soon. Because that may be a step too far right now. But I know that we're developing the skills to build on this. Just like I'm developing the skills every day that I'm learning in my business, just like you are you are out there learning how to do things that you can apply to your business. And it's gonna be messy, and you're gonna do it and it's gonna be great. Good luck, guys. I'll talk to you next week. Thanks for joining me this week on the sink handle podcast. I can't wait to do all of this again next week. Make sure to visit us at for the show notes on anything we talked about today. If you love or you mostly like the show, please subscribe and rate us on iTunes so we can help more people avoid the Sink Handle.