How to stay sane during your home renovation project

A major renovation is all about opportunity; for investment, for a fresh new look and feel for your home and especially to reorganize your space. The question is how do you stay sane and survive your remodel so that you'll be decluttered and stress free during and at the end of your project.

Whether renovations are done by a contractor or by a home owner, the contents of the house are likely to be in the way or are at risk of being damaged by the renovation operations. Dust and paint can damage furniture and electronics. Shuffling furniture and vulnerable items from room to room isn't a great solution so instead here's some ideas on steps you can take to manage everything.

    1. Time to Declutter

      Renovating is the ideal time to declutter. The first step is to sort through the items in the room being redone. Separate your items into the: necessities, to be stored and the disposables and please remember you don't have to throw everything away either repurpose it, sell it or donate it.

      • Necessities are items you will use regularly during the reno
      • Disposable items can be thrown away, gifted, sold or donated
      • To be stored’ items are those items to be kept but aren’t needed during the reno
    2. Develop Organizing Systems

      With the new room design in mind, create new organizing systems that work with it. Consider using these items:

      • Shelving
      • Furniture with storage
      • Filing system (if appropriate for room)
      • Hooks and hardware
      • Storage units/wall units
      • Built-ins
      • Storage baskets or containers
    3. Get the Right Storage Materials

      Choose the right items during the remodel and organizing process to make your life easier.

      Consider these questions:

      • Will you be opening storage containers and using items during your renovation?
      • Will the storage boxes be moved during the process?
      • Do the items in storage need climate control?

      We recommend:

      • Clear/translucent storage boxes (to see items inside without opening)
      • Comfortable handles (for easier transportation)
      • Sturdy material (plastic vs. cardboard) to prevent damage
    4. Label Everything

      Do yourself a favour and label everything. Label boxes, containers and wrapped furniture (you'll be glad you did since it will be easy to put your items in their proper spots once your renovation is done):

      • To be placed in original and/or new location
      • If they’ll be thrown out, gifted, sold or donated
      • Fragile or environment conditions
      • Where they’ll be temporarily stored
      • Inventory of what is in the boxes or containers
    5. Find Temporary Storage

      Find a temporary space to store the room’s items that you will not need until the renos are finished. Keep the different objects’ needs in mind. Delicate, absorbent items probably shouldn’t be kept in a leaky prone basement. If it is an extensive renovation and you don’t have room anywhere else in your home or business to store your furniture, one of the things that you might consider is storing your furniture in a self storage unit. Items which are sensitive to temperature changes can be stored in a heat controlled environment. If you decide to use a storage unit during your renovation it's a good idea to plan it out in advance since you'll need to figure what size unit you need plus you'll want to find a storage facility that offers affordable storage, heat controlled if your storing items such as furniture or pianos like we mentioned and that's secure and dry so nothing gets damaged while it's in storage.   We offer all of this and personalized service at Budget Storage Calgary. Our family run business is focused on ensuring you get the best services and rates for storage units in Calgary.

      Also things you need to look at when choosing a self-storage centre is to ask what the terms of the rental agreement are. Many self storage facilities work on a first-of-the month system, whereby you will be billed on the 1st of each month and will not qualify for a rent refund if you move out in the middle of a month and usually you'll be required to give a one month notice when you vacate.

      If your Storing Furniture here's a few Suggestions:

      Give The Storage Unit A Once-Over Before Storing Anything
      It is always a good idea to inspect your storage unit before putting anything into it, but even more so if you are using it for temporary furniture storage. You want your furniture to be in top shape when you take it out, so it is a good idea to give the unit a clean, and check for leaks and pests before you place any furniture in it. 
      Lay Down Some Plastic
      It is a good idea to line the floor of your storage unit with plastic before putting any furniture in it. Plastic on the floor protects both the furniture and the floor (which you will be liable for if you damage it) and more importantly, makes it easier to slide furniture around when organizing the unit. 
      Disassemble What You Can
      If you are able to disassemble any of your items before putting them into furniture storage, you should. Self storage units typically charge by both the amenities that you opt for, and the space. Break down what you can and, where possible, put the pieces back into the boxes they came in, if they are still around. This will maximize your use of space, and minimize the amount of space that you need. 
      Protect Your Furniture
      This is probably one of the most important steps, especially if you are not going to be breaking your furniture down. If it is going in as is, wrap the furniture in padding, or storage blankets. You are also going to want to make sure that other items in your storage unit are protected. If your furniture has any sharp edges that could potentially do damage to artwork or electronics, tape or pad them off to minimize the risk of collateral damage. 
      Furniture storage is something that you probably don’t want to worry about if you are already in the middle of a big renovation. But, if you keep the above tips in mind, you can keep your furniture temporarily stored while you overhaul a room, and know that when you take things out after the reno has been completed, everything will look as great as it did when it went in.

      6. Should You Stay or Should You Go?

      Sometimes, you just can’t stay in a home being renovated. Our wallets would prefer we could, but when central rooms (like kitchens or main baths or both) are demolished, it might make more sense to move out. Other issues, like asbestos removal, interruption in power, noise levels will make it very difficult to function in the space.

      Make sure to figure out if you’ll be leaving the home, the whole time or for a short duration, well before the work starts. If staying elsewhere is to happen at all, budget and organize accordingly.

      Create ‘away bags’ well in advance of moving out so you’re not left scrambling. At the same time, consider including the cost of a hotel stay in your renovation budget Ideally, hit up your friends or family for temporary housing!

    6. Plan Alternatives

      Planning out alternatives is the key to surviving your renovation. As mentioned before, if you need to leave the house for a bit, plan an alternative living situation.

      If your kitchen or bathroom are being gutted, you will need alternatives for cooking and bathing. Buying small cooking equipment, or setting up on the backyard grill are great options. Having a second bathroom is ideal, but you can also consider:

        • Take advantage of your gym membership and use their shower facilities
        • Stay with family or friends
        • Take a vacation if you are comfortable being away from the home during the renovation
    7. Have a Contingency Fund

      We’ve all seen those HGTV shows and there’s always surprises along the way. That's not always the case. But even a good contractor doesn't have x-ray vision and can't see what's behind a wall and can sometimes find things like outdated wiring or asbestos. So there is always a chance you’ll need to tap into your contingency budget or extend the time it will take to complete the reno.

      Prepare yourself beforehand by acknowledging both a minimum and maximum timeframe for the reno. Additionally, set aside some money for unexpected costs. It will keep you from stressing later.

    8. Work With the Experts

      Plan, plan, plan – that’s the best motto! The best way to create an airtight plan is to consult the experts. A smooth renovation requires the materials, items, and contractors to be scheduled and ordered efficiently. We're happy to recommend Tara Construction Inc for your Calgary home renovation project.  Budget Storage has worked with Tara Construction in the past and we can promise you there an honest company that will ensure they get the job done right.

      Before the remodel starts, work with your general contractor and/or designer to figure out a timeline of when to have items ordered and delivered. Similarly, use them to outline when different stages will take place, from demo to plumbing to finishing.

    9. Be Considerate

      Remember that it’s not just you that a renovation impacts. If you know that the reno will result in disruption for neighbours, notify them in advance. If there will be extra cars on the street, construction going on outside, or loud power tools, neighbours will appreciate a heads up.

      This will also save you complaints down the road.

    10. Shopping!

      Don’t let the stress-preventing planning bog you down – keep looking to the fun stuff! You can do a bit of shopping for décor items throughout the renovation.

      This is why the purging step is so important – out with the old, in with the new. Don’t forget to keep storage and organizing in mind when shopping for décor items.

Surviving your renovation doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. It’s all about planning and staying on top of the plan. Follow this plan and you’ll be breezing your way to a gorgeous home.

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