How An Organizer Survived A Home Renovation

BEFORE CLOSET

During the summer of 2016 I embarked on a major home renovation. As an organized person I tried to be extremely prepared before we began our project. I had renovated a previous home so I knew what I would be up against or so I thought. When you are renovating a home you can never be totally prepared but you can survive.

I kept a detailed account of all of the things I experienced so I could share with others before they start their own renovation.

Keep a Notebook 

This is so important to keep you organized through the entire renovation. Make lists, jot down information and if you have to refer back to something it will make it easier to read your notes. It may sound old school but sometimes its best to keep it simple.

Clear the Clutter Before You Begin

I know this is obvious coming from me but I help people downsize and move as part of my job and I always stress to clear the clutter on the front end. When you are ready to put everything back into your new clean space you will be glad you did. Get rid of the things you don’t love, use or need and start fresh with a simple less cluttered space.

Keep a Renovation File

Keep a file on your computer to keep track of all your emails and keep labeled files for all of your receipts. Make a warranty notebook for all of your manuals and warranties. If you move the new owners will thank you!

Start a Pinterest Board

I could not have done this renovation without Pinterest. I made a board for each room I remodeled and it made it so much easier to communicate with my designer. It’s easier for someone to understand what you want when they see it rather than guessing and it turning out completely wrong.

Make a Budget

This is a tough one because we had a budget and still went over. No matter how hard you try sometimes it’s out of your hands.  Communicate the budget with your contractor so they understand there isn’t an endless money tree in the backyard.

Find a Reputable Contractor

I know you have heard this before but this is by far the most important part of a renovation. If you don’t get along with your contractor the project will last longer and their will be constant conflict. Interview more than one and when you meet them act like you are the CEO of a company and you are interviewing them for a job. Talk to their previous clients and ask to see their work including the small details such has trim work. Do your homework and ask questions!!!

Renovations Are Not Like Building a Home

Renovations are not like building a home especially when you are remodeling an older home. There is always those unexpected things that come up that no one could anticipate and that is why it is so important to have a contractor that is really knowledgable in renovations not just new construction. I cannot stress enough how important this is.

 Temporary Storage 

If I had a dollar for every time the contractor or a sub said don’t worry you won’t even know we were here I’d be a millionaire! You will know they were there by the amount of dust that accumulates through out your home even if you are remodeling just one area. Put what you can in a temporary storage unit or get a POD. You will thank me for this later. Its hard to stay on top of the dust so if you can afford to use a cleaning service this would be the time to put it in your budget.

Take Pictures of Everything

I took pictures prior to the renovation, during the renovation and after it was completed. Documenting everything helped me communicate with everyone involved during my renovation. If something didn’t look right, if something was unexpectly found or if I had a question I could just send the picture. Take advantage of technology where you can when renovating. It’s important to see the progress you are making.

MOVE OUT

If I learned anything from this renovation it was to trust my instincts. I wanted to move out because I knew what this was going to entail but I was talked out of it. It was mainly one side of my home and I was told it could be blocked off. I knew better and didn’t listen so I’m telling you MOVE OUT if you can make it happen. No one can describe to you the amount of dust, noise and disruption that occurs while you live in a renovation. It’s not healthy for mind, body or spirit. It’s draining and at times you ask yourself why did I do this I should have moved! I will say it again if you can move out while the work is being done DO IT you will never regret it!!!!

This post would have come to you sooner but not only did we deal with a renovation that was delayed we had two major hurricanes decide to visit in two years. One during our renovation and the other right when we finished. Living at the beach definately has its benefits so I have learned to live with the good and the bad.

Stay tuned next week for the after photos of my new closet and more of my renovation in the up coming weeks!

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6 Tips to Clear the Bathroom Clutter

Cabinet Sized Elfa Mesh Drawers // White Bins // Lazy Susan // Drawer Inserts

The bathroom is the first place you go to when you get up in the morning so it’s so important to keep it free of clutter. Todays client needed some help purging and organizing her bathroom. She expressed how stressful and frustrating it was to look at her drawers and cabinets everyday. She wanted a simple streamlined system to make her mornings more managable.

These six tips can get your bathroom free of clutter, organized and give you a few extra minutes for that second cup of coffee.

1.  PURGE

This is always the most important step when you start any organizing project. Get rid of anything that does not belong in the bathroom and anything you don’t need or use. That includes miniature sized items from your travels. Keep one bag ready for travel and donate the rest to a homeless shelter.

2. KEEP LIKE THINGS TOGETHER

I say this often but most people buy multiples of items because they are not all kept in the same place. Keeping like things together saves you time and money.

3. USE THE VERTICAL SPACE UNDER THE SINK

There are many storage options for under you sink.  You can triple your storage in a bathroom by using the verticle space.

4. MEASURE THE SPACE

After you purge measure the space so you purchase only the organizing products that you need. Buying too many of the wrong items tends to become more clutter if they are never returned.

5. INVEST IN DRAWER INSERTS

If you want to prevent drawer clutter make sure there is a place for everything and the easiest way to do that is with drawer inserts. They come in different sizes so you can customize to fit your needs.

6.  STAY AWAY FROM THE BIG BOX STORES

Unless you have a large family or you have extra storage space to store twelve tubes of toothpaste stay away from the big box stores. If you buy in bulk and don’t have any place to store it, it becomes clutter.

If you start your day looking at a cluttered mess you set yourself up for a stressful and frustrating start of your day. Take the time to make the changes, it will be life changing!

If you want to learn more bathroom organizing tips watch my latest segment on
River City Live 

Images by Neatly Designed

 

 

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Just My Opinion…Shoe Stacker

When something in the organizing world is new everyone wants to know my thoughts. I decided when I try something I would review it and let you know my opinion and experience with the product. Remember its just my opinion.

Todays review is on the shoe stacker. Although I found the concept interesting I actual wanted to see the how sturdy they were and in what way I would find these functional for my clients.

First of all I have to say if you really purge the shoes you don’t love, wear or need you may not even need these but that is the clutter clearing expert in me coming out.

My client already owned these when she hired me to organize her closet so I thought it was the perfect time to ask her opinion. She said they weren’t very sturdy and the shoes fell off quite a bit.

There were so many they just screamed clutter. Since she wasn’t happy with them, we agreed not to use them.

I found them to be very wobbly and when we pulled one shoe off the stacker the one next to it fell off.

In my opinion these would work best in a tight space such as a dorm room or in a room that lacked sufficient closet space. I thought they were a bit pricey and would have to love these to buy more than one.

By the way after purging her shoes we actually didn’t need these anymore so there is something to be said for clearing the clutter then buying items to organize.

Keep checking back for reviews!

 

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