Thought Leader Series: Three Psychological Reasons to Plan Outdoor Home Renovations
Graham Jones is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Buckingham and an Associate Lecturer at The Open University in the UK. Jones, B.Sc., B.A., Adv.Dip.Ed., MBPsS, M.Ed. M.Sc., is a qualified psychologist, the author of 32 books, and an award-winning writer and speaker, contributing regularly to a wide range of publications and speaking at conferences and events around the world.
Sometimes, you look at the outside of your house and you notice those jobs that need doing, but you just cannot find the “get up and go” to start on them. Your “get up and go” has “got up and gone”. Then you walk into your yard you notice another little job that needs doing. Whether it is your gutters that need clearing or your roof that needs cleaning, there’s a good chance you’ll say “I’ll do that later.”
However, there are some good psychological reasons why you should not put off these jobs. Sorting out home renovations can have a positive psychological effect. Research shows that when we take action and sort something out it changes hormone levels in our body. For instance, simply tidying up a room can influence your choice of what to eat, or how generous to be. There is a clear link between taking action on something and an impact upon our brain. So, the more you put off clearing that gutter, the more likely it is you will feel negative. The positive feelings of getting the job done are just waiting in the wings until you make your move.
Starting the project lifts your mood
The simple act of starting the project, sorting it out and making it happen is enough to boost your mood. The more you put off the job, the more negative you become. Yet the moment you start, your mood alters, and you become much more positive quickly – often wondering why you made such a fuss in the first place. Starting the job has an impact upon your anxiety levels. Indeed, doctors recommend being active and taking part in things as a good way of reducing anxiety.
Working with each other boosts the family
Working together on a joint project like this can help families feel much closer to each other. Involve the whole family, even getting children to help plan things, pass you tools, or take part in the project in some way. Making it a family event can bring everyone closer together and make everyone feel wanted and involved.
However, if “Dad” organizes the project alone, the rest of the family feels no real connection to it, they can even distance themselves from such home improvements. They may even be negative, calling it “Dad’s idea” as though it was some kind of solo project. Involving them helps avoid such issues and boosts family relationships.
Seeing the changes gives you a sense of achievement
As soon as the job is complete you will be able to look back at it with a sense of pride and a feeling of success. The sense of accomplishment is what psychologists believe lies at the root of self-esteem. So when you complete those exterior home improvements, you feel good about those alterations. Renovating your home can make you feel more positive about the place where you live, and it can also make you feel more positive about yourself.
So, whatever jobs need doing with your home getting them started will lift your mood, improve family relationships and give you a real sense of achievement. It therefore seems daft to put those jobs off any longer..!