When you’re embarking on a renovation project, it’s a good idea to clear as much space as possible before the chaos ensues. Think about what you want and need in your new room, and thoroughly declutter the area. Follow these tips for clearing, organizing and storing to ensure your building work creates as little upheaval as possible.
Be systematic. Start sifting through your cupboards and bookshelves. If you need to pack up a room or two, now is a great time to assess what’s lurking in the back of your cabinets.
Pack frequently used items into transparent storage boxes. Label them clearly and move them to another room. They’ll be out of the way of dust and builders, but still easily accessible.
Items used less often can be packed in cardboard boxes and stored out of the way. Pack them carefully and label each box with the general contents. It’s a great idea to take photos of the box and label in its new location, so you can easily find things during the renovation or when you’re unpacking after the work is complete.
Consider your needs. If you’re planning an interior remodel to change the way you use your space, think about why you want to change the layout. Do you need a safe play area for young children, or maybe a small office space to facilitate working from home?
Provide your designer or architect with as much information as possible about how you want to use your space, so he or she can make it really work for you. A good professional will listen and provide a solution tailored to your requirements. In this dining area, for example, the designer has incorporated neat wine storage beneath the bench seating.
Look at the space objectively. Once you have an idea of how you want your renovated space to look, you can plan your decluttering strategy. Take a few photos of your room and look at them with a friend or relative whose opinion you trust. Talk about what you need to take out to achieve your desired look. This will help motivate you as you declutter, getting rid of everything that doesn’t contribute toward your goal.
Also, think about whether you want to take on the mammoth task of decluttering yourself, or whether it’s worth calling in a professional organizer to help you declutter at the outset.
Use storage that moves. Plastic storage boxes on wheels will come in very handy, as you’ll probably be moving things around to give your builders access around the house.
If you’re planning a bedroom refurbishment, you’ll need to be selective about which clothes and toiletries you pack away and which you want to keep on hand for the duration of the improvements. A portable covered clothes rail and some lightweight drawers on wheels can store a capsule wardrobe and keep your clothes dust-free.
Think about daily routines. Most home remodeling projects involve some disruption, so plan ahead for changes to your daily routine. If you’re having your kitchen renovated, you could think about setting up a mini cook station elsewhere in the house. This could be something as simple as a table and microwave.
Alternatively, you could arrange to stay somewhere else for a while. Pets might also need a place to go; ask a friend to help out or research reputable pet sitters in your area.
Store valuables securely. While it’s important that you trust your builders, there will be periods during the renovation when your home will be left unlocked. It might possibly be without windows, doors and even walls at some point. In addition, a stream of tradespeople will be coming and going. So take precautions and keep valuables in a safe in your home, or in a deposit box off-site.
Make some room. Almost any renovation project will require you to be living in fewer rooms than usual, and these areas will probably need to be multifunctional. If you’re not going to keep all your room furniture when the work is finished, it’s a good idea to pass pieces on or sell them before the work starts. Decluttering prior to the renovation means you’ll have fewer items to move, pack, store and unpack once the work is finished.
If you’re planning to use a garage or loft for storage during the project, check in advance that large items will fit through doors and openings. Also, make sure you’ve cleared out sufficient space for the furniture to fit. Alternatively, you could rent a secure storage locker while the renovation is taking place.
Don’t forget the outside. If your project involves some external work, do that outside decluttering you’ve been putting off. Clear away all those items you’ve left outside to deal with in the future, as the future has now arrived! Rent a dumpster or a van and get rid of your accumulated junk. If it’s not junk, add to your project budget by selling your unwanted possessions.
Gather everyday essentials. With all the disruption of a home improvement project, it’s crucial that you don’t lose essentials such as your keys, phone, chargers, project paperwork and tape measure. Consider setting up a special workstation to keep these necessities on hand.