Home Renovation: Organizing Your Initial Steps

Organizing a home renovation does not have to be a mind bending experience. You just need a plan, a calendar, flexibility, and some help from friends, family, and/or professionals. The largest renovation job I’ve had to orchestrate was getting my basement sealed to prevent future flooding (the finished and unfinished halves of the basement had been destroyed during the flood of 2010). My renovation included:

  • Moving and storing all items currently living in the basement including the washer and dryer
  • Demolishing the finished space damaged during the flood plus coordinating appropriate junk removal
  • Waiting for the sealing guys to come in and do their work, and
  • Moving everything back into the basement after the seal was dry. 

It was a complex project but like all projects, you must start at the beginning and take small actions to reach the finish goal. By only focusing on the next step in a project and not the entire project at once, you too can renovate your home with less anxiety and stress.

Here is a sample home renovation organizing plan:

  1. Figure out what needs renovating. Get a specific idea in your head of what you want to get done.
  2. Brainstorm what it will take to have the renovation begin such as who do you need to hire (carpenter, electrician, painter, plumber, etc.)
  3. Start talking with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers about your renovation project because they may have already gone through the experience and can provide  recommendations for service providers as well as good questions to ask while you obtain estimates. Make sure to take notes on any insights or potential pitfalls with this type of renovation.  
  4. If no one has a good recommendation for a service provider, check out local places such as the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to find reputable service providers. 
  5. Try to get at least three estimates.  When the service provider is touring your home, remember to ask questions about typical project length, when they are available, what they expect you to prep versus what they will do, who needs to obtain the permits, are there other service providers that need to be contacted, etc. 
  6. Figure out who fits in your budget and schedule. Then make sure you check their references.  
  7. Once you have hired a contractor and agreed upon a timeframe for your project to begin, you’ll have a timeline to set up for the rest of your home renovation organizing plan.

See my next blog post where I’ll cover how to orchestrate multiple providers to get a job completed and what happens when there is a delay. 


About Gabriela Burgman

Gabriela's mission is to empower her clients with the tools and motivation they need to get and stay organized. Prior to becoming a Professional Organizer, Gabriela worked in a photograph archive as well as several university archives, assisting offices, administrators, and retiring academics to sort through their files for preservation or disposal. She became a professional organizer in 2007 working as an independent consultant before joining Living Peace. When Gabriela is not learning new ways to organize photos or paper both physically and electronically, she is spending time on what matters most to her: visiting with family and friends, reading a good mystery book, or cooking a tasty meal.

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