What Comes First?

Dean and I were standing in our garage area this morning looking at lines marked on the floor with tape.

We are at the beginning of the conversations that start with the letter R and rhyme with WalletDetonation.

Yep. We are talking Renovation.

Well, renovation is probably a bit of an overstatement.

Really, we are just having a chat about how to begin to make better use of our garage space.

Back when we bought our house, we were pretty strapped for cash, and we bought for size, not beauty. We already had 3 children in our family, and we both harboured dreams of another. So we always knew that space was going to be a priority for us.

And part of the ugly space that we bought, is a double garage that runs from the front of the house to the back of the house, giving us a HUGE amount of space for our family to spread beyond the house itself.

We have put that space to good use over the years, but have never really finished it or defined it. It still looks and feels like a super jumbo garage. Not really like part of the house.

Recently, with help of Gumtree we have offloaded our biggest and heaviest items that were no longer being used. A big home gym, an elliptical trainer (bought in a moment of reactionary death fear after the loss of my uncle) and our pool table. Now, it’s sprawling space is used for Xbox gaming, a storage area with a sometimes uncontrolled tool ooze, an unused writing space, and a laundry.

My writing space looks and sounds like a great idea. When Dean set it up for me I had visions of sitting at my writing desk to share words like this, but instead I am sitting here on my bed. Because there is some crazy Xbox game underway with it’s very cool, but not conducive to creative thoughts, soundtrack!


For many reasons, it’s time for our garage space to grow up and get some walls.

Which sounds pretty easy. Measure up the garage space, plan out the rooms and get building.

Which brings me back to Dean and I looking at tape on the floor.


So, Dean had drawn up a bit of a plan, then had taped that on the garage floor so I could see what this first version could look like.

At first, it all seemed to be so straightforward. I was preparing to say “let’s get it started” when we noticed that one of the walls would go straight up the middle of our kitchen window. Easy fixed, Dean said. We’ll just take out the window, and make it a solid wall.

I said I really wanted to keep the window.

So, we talked about moving the wall half a metre over, so the window could stay. But then, that meant that the taped store room would be too narrow to hold anything more than a single item on narrow shelves.

OK, so then we tried moving the wall back in the other direction, and then we wouldn’t be able to open the boot of the car in the garage.

At that point I wanted to tear my hair out!!

What Comes First??!!

Isn’t life like that??

One decision is always connected to another, and another and another.

Move one piece, and it pushes something else into a space that doesn’t quite work.

There is a solution. You are sure of it. You can feel it. You know you have more than enough, but somehow it doesn’t seem to work.

How do you know where to start? Which one is the fixed piece? The one that you make the others work around?

After about an hour of move this, move that, how wide does this need to be, Dean and I escaped out for a quiet cup of coffee in the gorgeous crisp air up the mountain near where we live.

Somewhere in there, in that trip out for a coffee, the beginning became clear.

Start with what matters most. What are the things that we would kick ourselves if we didn’t get them.

And with that, it started to come together with a little more ease. We want a functional garage for our cars and an extra media / games room to give us 2 living areas. Everything else can be tweaked and manoeuvred around those things.

Are you clear on your priority pieces?

Wish us luck!

K xxx


About Kathryn Hodges

Hi! I'm Kathryn. I have many hats in this life. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother (of 4!), a friend, a keen try-er of yoga, a lawyer, a business owner, an avid reader and a lover of this electronic world and it's connections. As the Principal of a wonderful law firm on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia, I focus on seeing my clients as people going through change and I am committed to practising mindfully that I am dealing with people and their families. Precious stuff, hey! I hope you enjoy learning more about the things that impact on me, my life and my practice. Please leave me a comment, as I'm sure you have something you can show or teach me. We're all in this learning thing, called life, together xx Oh, and my professional obligations mean I have to remind you that my opinions are my own.
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One Response to What Comes First?

  1. That’s a question that could guide us in all our life decisions, isn’t it? What matters most? I led a renovation project at work last year (and I know zero about renovation) and I want to be nowhere near a blueprint from a long time! Good luck on your reno project.

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