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ChaosLast week, after several years of dreaming and planning and saving, we began a simple remodel in our hundred-year-old house.

Nothing too fancy — an updated kitchen (gotta love Ikea) and new bamboo floors throughout the first floor — but a big enough job that our house has become a construction zone. Right now, Rich, my floor guy, is banging away with his hammer and scraping up layers of linoleum in my kitchen to the tune of Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” The smell of burnt wood is in the air and dust is, well, on everything.

Me? I’m hiding out in my office, my dog Baxter sprawled beneath my desk, listening to Badly Drawn Boy and trying to create a little order in the chaos that is my home.

For someone who thrives on organization, order, and everything in its neat, rightful place, being okay with what is at the moment is what I’m working on. Here’s how I’m doing it:

Letting go of the expectation that my house needs to be clean and orderly (a biggie for me…this morning I actually apologized to the plumbers for the state of my house).

Creating little havens of calmness — my office, ┬ámy bedroom, my front porch — where I can retreat and tune out the noise.

Being realistic about what I’ll be able to accomplish this week and being okay with slowing down.

Taking 2 minutes to look at pictures I love (like the one above I took at Miraval) and breathing in my “Mellow” aromatherapy rocket snifter.

Treating myself to some self-care indulgence (this is the perfect week to cash in that Groupon massage I bought a few months ago).

Noticing that my work rhythm and flow is off and being okay with that. (It is what it is.)

Appreciating the talented contractors who are here, doing their thing, making my vision come to life.

Ahhh. Just reading over that list makes me feel more calm. And when I’m more calm I can think about more important things, like how much I’m going to love cooking in my new kitchen come July.

So, what’s your secret? How do you deal with chaos when it shows up in your life?