I’m writing this for all the guys out there that struggle to deal with stress when either moving house or renovating.

For some reason women to me seem much calmer when it comes to organizing a big house move or installing a new kitchen, why this is I don’t fully understand. But what I do know is I never feel good when I am stressed and the wife sure doesn’t love me any more for it.

This guide has been written with personal (very personal) experiences I’ve gone through and how I have been able to channel stress in to productivity.


I found that most of the things that wind me up and cause me to feel stressed up and losing my temper is when clutter is involved. You know what I mean, like the man drawer in the kitchen. That drawer is a bloody nightmare in my opinion. As Michael McIntyre once famously said ‘dead AA batteries, keys you have no idea what they are for, and phone bills from 2002, why?’

Watch Michael McIntre talk about his man drawer, we can all relate!

 I’m sure I’m not the only one who is guilty for this and to be honest although you might not venture in for a rummage that often when you do it is usually because you are in a rush to find something like a receipt, a key (which won’t ever be in there) or some loose change for parking. Then when you can’t find the thing you were looking for you get stressed.

So top tip #1 clear our the man drawers/cupboards/boxes


(Tuperware and tidy boxes can help organize your clutter)

If it’s not been used in over a year and it’s not sentimental then is it really that important you have to keep it?

Rome wasn’t built in a day – so be realistic on how quickly things can be done

I know you’ve heard that a million times before but think about it makes a lot of sense. Say you’ve just moved in to an old 1930’s property like I have. It hasn’t been touched in 70 years. Original carpets, old Formica kitchen, asbestos in the bathroom, windows dropping out. But it’s your dream home, you love it, you want to spend the rest of your days there. With dreams comes expense usually and building a home is possible the stand out point to this rule.

Set realistic times and schedule the work with a plan of action.

I made the mistake of moving straight in to a house that wasn’t ready to be lived in and then ripped everything out including the floors, plaster, kitchen, bathroom the whole works. After we installed the kitchen thanks to EKCO we still had all these rooms with junk in them.

So my next piece of advice to you is box up, pack up and get rid of anything you don’t need right now. I don’t necessarily mean throw away just get your rooms clear so you can see what work is needed and aren’t moving junk from room to room. Believe me the amount of arguments I’ve had down to this one thing is unbelievable.

So this is my new bathroom


This was the bathroom we lived with for 6 months


Like I said before the first room we tackled was the kitchen as it was a death trap and was unusable in every sense. So we had no choice but to refit a new kitchen first. When then started to replaster the house as we’d simply run out of money to update the ‘derelict’ bathroom. But we made a mistake we should have left the plastering till a later date and started on the bathroom sooner. For 6 months now we’ve had a bathtub and a toilet, which you flush with a bucket. It’s like going on holiday to Thailand expect there’s no good weather and no Chang beer.

Having a young child too made it even more difficult as we’ve had to lay moving blankets on the floor so she doesn’t get splinters. God I sound like a cruel father making my child suffer such poor living conditions but I’m not I promise.

Top tip #3 bathrooms + kitchens are the key to a functional home so sort these first

I was lucky I had a great tam of builders and experts around me who helped a lot and my wife who has no bounds to her patience.

Highly recommend EKCO if you need a kitchen or bathroom

Unit 4, Abbeyhill Industrial Estate Abbey Lane Edinburgh, Midlothian EH8 8HL‎

0131 603 5078