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Advice For The Home Team Toolbox
Dear Dr. Debi,
I am working pretty hard at work and on the house. But no one seems to
notice. The kids are off playing or fighting and my partner only does
big projects every few weeks. It just seems I am carrying the load all
the time and they come and go. I am developing an attitude and don’t
know how to shake it. Any ideas?
Dear Daily Do-er,
It sounds like a busy home with many directions in play at once.
Sometimes the chaotic layers for all of the people can be noisy,
disjointed, and confusing. We might seek harmony and coordination, but
somehow the rest of the world does not play into our agenda. Frustration
can breed the kind of bitterness you are finding. But we can step back
and look at the whole picture. Yes, see your part but also notice the
purposes of the other routines that flow in this home too. It will fit
together differently when we see their share in the progress of the
First, we need to understand that
people have different styles of effort in working toward a goal. Some
folks are plodders who put their shoulder to the wheel every day and ...
See the Book
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author and let her know your story !
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Dr Debi submitted an entry into the Oprah Network's Star finder
contest. Please be sure to visit the site to
view the video and make a comment - How do you
find your renovating projects? What have you learned about home
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Debi's sandcastle research on how children develop their 'inner
See London Daily Telegraph newspaper -
The British take on Dr Debi's renovation help!
See article on Dr Debi's advice on page 30 in Jan/Feb issue
See Dr Debi's advice on page 20 in October issue
Dr Debi is interviewed and cited in the new Doubleday book
House Lust by Daniel McGinn
Read the review in Wall Street Journal
Or, hear McGinn talk about Dr Debi's
Renovation Psychology on NPR's
Garage clean up?
Advice for the Home Team Toolbox
Dear Dr. Debi,
That garage of ours is loaded and we can’t imagine how to get a
car in there. Kid’s stuff and our own junk go floor to ceiling.
We get overwhelmed trying to deal with it. But another winter
scraping ice is not so fun either. Any ideas?
Signed, Too Much Junk
Dear Slimming Stuff,
Somehow we all have a place where things just get dumped. It
seems expedient at the time when kids and dinner needed
attention, but later we discover the accumulation. And facing a
chaotic space is daunting indeed. Let’s see what we can do.
One of the first things missing in the massive piles is –
attention. These spots absorb things we do not want to think
about. Too much stuff in the car, or the house, kids rooms, even
the cellar… ends up tossed in the garage. These things are cast
away from thought, abandoned to that destiny, blotted from our
minds. The first thing to change then is to look at the stuff
and consider what it is.
You can start by yourself with some coffee in hand, wander about
in there and cast your eyes upon the mayhem. Let your organizing
brain tally the categories. Let your cleaning urges note the
messes. Let your charitable heart consider the things that could
be useful to others. Let your parental manner note the
belongings of the family members. You might have construction
materials in there too, so your project list may be enlivened as
well. It is okay to take notes. Or let the results of those
perspectives float in your mind as you come back into the house
and consider the accumulation.
Sit a tiny bit to absorb the observations and let your brain
start to organize all that it just took in. You don’t have to
solve the whole thing, but your attention will begin to
structure your approach.
Next, you can inform your partner of your trek into the unknowns
of the garage and report your adventure’s results. It is
important through all of these steps, even from the start to
keep judgmental blaming out of the picture. It will stumble you
up and get you nowhere with no cooperation nor forward movement.
But if you suspend critical comments and thoughts, you move
ahead and welcome help.
So, with your partner in the loop, you can begin to cook up some
plans to work on the garage. As these options develop, you can
meet with your whole Home Team and discuss the expedition so far
and the plans taking shape to remedy the space issues. Likely
the younger members of the team will not value this discussion
very much. But this is a learning opportunity, a chance for them
to comprehend the responsibility they have for their impact on
the world around them. Things do not disappear when they cast
them off, but are still awaiting their attention and decisions
about their fate.
The bicycles outgrown and the broken toys are still theirs and
have not disappeared just by placing them in the garage. The
kids may be defensive saying that they were told to leave them
there. True, but that was when working on another end of the
house. Now it is time to finish the process and deal with the
down-under of their world. You can reassure them that they are
not in trouble, but will be assisted to pay attention to the end
side of their possessions.
You can get into the recycling and disposal themes that are so
popular with kids with their environmental activism. The garage
is the personal level of disposal economics. They can be
encouraged to take pride in handling this link in the
environmental chain. And it might be a good show and tell topic
You can devise several garage forays. The first is to help
everyone pay attention to the space and the things in it. It can
be fruitful to make a first run in that asks anyone to point to
stuff they know can go somewhere. Make notes or move the stuff
on the spot. Come back to the home base and praise the Home Team
for a good start. It feels good to make even a tiny bit of
progress, and the desire to conquer will propel you to move
forward even more.
With some refreshments, talk together about what they see as
reachable next steps. Kids actually are great at this, since
they like to see results and can notice little things that are
their size to do. If you can indulge their initiatives at this
stage of the process, you will be rewarded. Try to place their
work in a safe zone to the side, and their effort and focus will
invigorate the adults to tackle some of the larger tasks.
Maybe you move construction materials to an organized rack above
the ceiling joists. Maybe you organize the car stuff or the
A trip to the dump can be a reward ride for the hard working
team. Bring along some hand cleaner and you can stop for ice
cream on the way back. Happy Home Team!
Send Dr Debi your
question - for help for you and others, too!
Dr Debi's Renovation Psychology book takes
Honorable Mention at London Book Festival
Be sure to read the book
that changes the way you renovate your home
Great reading and sweet fun.
A great gift and an inspiring read.
How about some resources for coping
with Winter Light?
Visit www.cet.org for research info,
a self-administered diagnostic tool, and links for recommended products
I searched and located a lamp for under $100 - not to guarantee it,
but just passing the
link along to you
What is RenovationPsychology?
This area of expertise has been developed to help you and your family
gain strength and harmony during the tasks of
and to accomplish your projects using your
Dr Debi is a
Clinical Psychologist with a lifetime of home renovating in her toolbelt -
Let her help you find great joy and improved teamwork in your projects!
Research Project - Dig
Endless Summer R
Sandcastle Research ~
Find your inner renovator!
See the results in detail at the
sandcastle project's pages here...
See what Dr Debi learned about how we develop our Inner Renovator!
It's fascinating! Sandwork and Sand Play
Please email and tell your stories, send
pictures of your children's sandcastles and sand play. We
will put some of them up on this website to share.
Enjoy the beach and enjoy the kids!
Happy Home Team,
Enjoy your home and your Home Team fully with Dr Debi's unique and
Find out more~
And - here are more links for related books to help
you with your renovation attitudes and process:
Honorable Mention at
New York Book Festival
by Dr Debi Warner, an Honorable Mention in the “How-To” book
Renovation Psychology® Putting the Home Team to Work
The New York Book
Festival is an important annual event for the city, which is the
publishing capital of the world. It is a large and fun event for the
public to enjoy the latest and best book releases, held in lovely
Central Park on Saturday, June 23rd with book displays, appearances,
and readings by many authors, actors, and representatives from the
media. Dr Debi Warner, psychologist, radio host, actress, and author
of Renovation Psychology®, appeared throughout the day with her
book, and provide visitors with stories and advice concerning
Home Team issues in their renovation projects.
Advice for the Home Team Toolbox
Dear Dr. Debi,
You said to sit and talk money together, but all we do is fight. How can
we talk money safely?
Signed, Screaming Checkbook
Anxious Over Money,
Fighting is not always as it seems. It may be possible that each of you
might be anxious and are acting noisy about it. Maybe you need to learn
a new tool. Just like using a miter saw to learn complex cuts, facing
money certainly is an important part of your successful project – so it
bears some practice to get it right.
So, let’s figure out what the cuts are, and angle ourselves to get ready
to approach it square on. First, we need to get agreement on the
intention to face the money. We don’t jump in and do it yet, just begin
with a statement by both Home Team grown-ups that you will do what you
can to safely face it somehow together. This does not mean it is simple,
it’s just a place you both wish to head.
So – what is your own issue about the money? Do you have some beliefs
about how your partner spends or saves that grieve you? Do you feel bad
about your paycheck?
Read more columns...click
~ on the Radio!
from Washington DC METRO
area & Northern New England
know that home renovation can often be stressful and challenge
everyone's patience. Yet we have found that if we approach
it from a fresh point of view, we can actually learn from these
experiences and improve our teamwork and harmony in the home.
Projects will go more smoothly and save money, with less strife,
and positive results!
|What a great book for
any home project!
Fun ~ Practical ~ Helpful!
Get renovating projects done!
Get your kids in on the action!
and cool stuff for you from the field of psychology to help you out!
that will save you from many exasperated moments!
Enjoy the fun
encouragement of this practical book.
Every Home Team at any stage of life finds helpful perspectives and strategies to handle
current and future projects or to recover from any lingering issues from
For the price of a can of paint - buy the book and build a great Home
Find out more~
|Do you have a favorite book that helps
you do your renovation?
Send us an email
Talk with Dr Debi or email.
Enjoy Learning more
about Renovation Psychology® all around our website: