You’re still in charge

There’s the dream of renovation. There’s planning, and design. There’s the hiring of a professional renovator. There are contracts and decisions right down to the smallest detail.

And then what?

And then your renovation project is just about upon you. Your house is going to be taken over by workers, dust, tools, new appliances, paint, and who knows what else.

What will you do with all your stuff?

If you’re not actually moving out during the renovation, pretend you are, that’s all. Pack away anything that will be touched by dust and disarray. And then ‒ and you’ll be so glad you did this ‒ pack some boxes as you might if you were going camping for a while, and this is the only stuff you would take.

Like anything, there’s an art to the way you should pack, especially if you’ll need to access some everyday items over the next several weeks. Here are some suggestions.

  • Make a master plan of everything you will pack. Then make a separate list of what you will need on a daily basis. Keep that list simple, but try not to leave out anything you will really miss (and bear in mind how long your renovation will take).
  • Get good boxes, ideally of a similar size so they’re easy and tidy to stack. Cardboard is good, but plastic storage bins with lids are the best (and most waterproof).
  • Invest in some good adhesive shipping labels ‒ the big rectangular ones. Get lots of them.
  • Buy permanent-ink markers (black), the fat ones.
  • Buy a wide shipping-tape dispenser and lots of clear shipping tape.
  • For the things you will need every day, make enough labels for the box or boxes they go in. Use one label for each side and for the top. That way you’ll see what’s in the box no matter which way it gets tipped or moved or stacked. Pack those daily items on the morning or the day before the renovation begins. (Don’t forget to refer to your list.) Attach the labels with clear shipping tape.
  • Everything else can, and probably should, be packed well beforehand. As you go, make a detailed list for each box and exactly what goes in it. Mark the list “#1” or #2” or any other name or system you like. Mark each label with the corresponding name of the list. Label all sides and the top; use lots of clear tape to affix the labels (even if they’re self-adhesive).
  • Put the main boxes out of the way, lids on firmly. Stack them if you can. Keep your corresponding lists handy. And then forget about them. Consider them gone until the renovation is finished, the house is sparkling, and you’re ready to move things back into place.
  • Meanwhile, your “daily” boxes will allow you to practically live out of them ‒ to prepare simple meals, perhaps, or to have all your regular toiletries at the ready.

Your renovators will undoubtedly have plenty of ideas and strategies depending on the scope of the renovation and the room or rooms that will be disrupted.

The real trick is to be ready, to plan, to make lists, to know where things are, even if they’re out of sight. When your world is shaken up (while on its way towards new function and beauty), It’s one way to stay in control.

 

 

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