For the last two weeks my husband and I have been in home improvement mode. Our home was over due for some much-needed updates. Home renovations can be very stressful and chaotic but it is possible to stay organized during the process. As we’ve worked through ours I put together a list of 7 tips that have helped us stay organized during home renovations.
1. Create a plan around your timeline
Make a plan based on your timeline and coordinate so you are not moving things unnecessarily. Our home improvement project involves painting ceilings, walls, doors and trim. It also includes replacing bathroom floors and carpet in most of our second floor. We moved to another room of the house temporarily and coordinated with the painters so they worked on one bathroom at the beginning and the second one at the end. This way we had a shower available at all times.
The new carpet will arrive in two weeks or so. Instead of moving our clothes and furniture back and forth we kept it in its temporary location. The plan is to wait for the carpet to be installed in the master bedroom and then move everything into the master bedroom so the rest of the carpet can be installed. Doing so minimizes our time spent on moving furniture over and over.
2. Create a home renovations binder
A while back I grabbed an old binder and started adding color cards, floor samples and other information about any changes we’ve done to the house. I am so glad I put it together because it has become my go-to piece for reference during this project. Every time I get questions I can quickly find the answer in my handy-dandy binder.
If you don’t have one do yourself a favor and create one. I can assure you it’s worth it. Renovation projects are stressful enough without adding all the additional information to remember. Now you don’t have to stress because you can have all the information gathered in one place and easily accessible.
3. Keep items from one space or room together
We designated other spaces in our home to temporarily hold all the stuff we had to move out of the bedrooms, bathrooms and closets. We did our best to keep things that belong in one space together. This makes it easier to put back in place.
If you have small children consider packing your belongings into boxes. You’ll minimize the clutter in the physical space and it will also help keep curious children safe. Make sure to add a list of the contents on the outside of the box so you can easily find things you might need to access during the renovations.
It’s only the two of us in our home so we are getting by just fine without packing anything. The only thing we were not counting on was a delay that coincided with our daughter coming home for winter vacation. We were using her bedroom as temporary storage so we had to move things around a bit but we managed just fine.
4. Label your hardware
We removed our closet system, shelves, decorations and fixtures throughout the second floor. I certainly cannot remember what goes to what so I gathered small bins and other small containers and used them to corral hardware. Labeling each came in handy when we were ready to put things back together. I made the mistake of not communicating this idea to my husband which brings me to the next tip.
5. Communicate a lot
My husband threw a bunch of hardware into a plastic bag and a couple of days later had to dump it on the floor and sort through the contents trying to figure out what was what. Had I told him or showed him my labeled system he would’ve done the same and saved time. We got a laugh out of it but it is important to communicate during projects to make sure everyone is on board.
We had a bit of a snafu with the stairs because of miscommunication with the painters and some assumptions I made. The result was a lot of extra work I wasn’t counting on. Make sure to communicate. I wish I had done a better job at communicating with the painters so my stairs would’ve been done by now.
6. Stick to your routines but be flexible
Review your routines and set yourself up so that everything you need to get ready in the morning and go to bed at night is easily accessible. The day we started prepping for the project I pulled out two caddies and filled them with everything we use on a daily and nightly basis (i.e. toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, deodorant, etc.).
I like reading and writing before going to bed and listening to music in the morning so I put all I need for these activities in a basket that I could carry with me to where ever I was sleeping at night. Sticking to my morning and night routine has kept me sane during this project. I’ve had to make some minor adjustments but for the most part I’ve been able to keep the sense of normalcy in my day-to-day.
This project has been a test in finding balance, giving grace and accepting that done is better than perfect. Some things have gone wrong and require me to put in extra work that I was not really planning on doing. Regardless, I am choosing to focus on the good that has come from this entire experience. I am grateful and excited to see this dream come true.
I would love to hear how you stay sane during home renovations. Please let me know in the comments below. If you are in the Central MA area and are planning home renovations let’s talk about how I can help you before, during and after.