After much consideration, you have decided to embark on a home renovation, or even some smaller home projects. You have done your homework, interviewed contractors, and now it’s show time! Follow these organizing tips and strategies and the process won’t be nearly as stressful as you lay awake worrying it might be.
Step 1: Golden opportunity for you guessed it, the big purge!
Even if you are adding space to your home, you don’t need, nor should you want, to fill it with items that are no longer needed or enjoyed.
- Gather a supply of trash bags, laundry baskets or bins for relocating items to other rooms in the house, boxes or bags for donation items, Sharpies and packing tape.
- Designate and clear out areas where donation items can be stored and boxes can be stacked.
- Be realistic! If your ideal is to sell some items for money, hand off items to friends or family members, save possessions for a rainy day, think again. If the reality is that the items will just sit there and not actually make it to an EBay post, simply donate and move on.
- Break it down. “Purge house” is way too big and overwhelming. Even “purge kitchen” is daunting. So, break it down even further. Try “purge Tupperware cabinet”, “go through office supplies”, “purge stuffed animals”. That way you can accomplish each room one category at a time, crossing off as you go. Overwhelm leads to procrastination so chunking into bite sized pieces is key.
- Concentrate on accomplishing one room at a time. See it through to fruition before moving on to the next room.
- For sentimental items, purchase one bin per family member and allow each person to fill as they wish. For big items, take pictures. Memories can live in your heart and in photos – not in the item itself.
- Engage the entire family. Turn on the music, make it a game, try to have fun and end with a treat.
Step 2: Take inventory
Chances are you are renovating your home to allow it to function better for your family. Yet, everyone uses and lives in their homes differently. Need more storage? Your contractor has heard that a million times. The more specific you can be, the better he/she can design the space.
- As you go through the purging process, keep a pad and paper near by to jot down categories of items, quantities, sizes, etc.
- Take pictures of your existing items and space.
- Ask yourself important questions, such as…How many coats do you need available? What sports does your family play? Love to entertain and need space for large quantities or lots of serving platters?
Step 3: Organize your magazine cut outs, articles, lists, samples and pictures of your dream house.
The renovation process involves a whole lot of papers, pictures, plans, and more. It can be A LOT to keep up with. Here are some ideas to help keep it well organized and easy to reference.
- A 3-ring binder with sheet protectors and tabs: Categories can be broken down by room (exterior, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, mudroom, etc) or by product (cabinets, faucets, lighting, etc.) Page protectors are great for holding samples or cut outs. Word of caution – if you use sheet protectors, be sure to buy “extra wide tabs” so that the sheet protectors don’t block your tabs.
- An expandable accordion file: Each section can be broken down similar to the suggestions listed in the binder recommendation. This option is also good for being able to contain product samples or brochures.
- An inexpensive trash can is ideal for storing large house plans.
A renovation can be stressful and exciting all at once. Hopefully these organizing tips, along with good planning and communication, your dream home is within reach.