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Curb the Chaos During Home Renovations

by Max Dichter

September 23rd, 2019

Home renovations

A major remodel of your home can be chaotic without a plan. Your life probably has many moving parts already, such as soccer practice, piano lessons, and pet care. Therefore, before you start the renovation, it is a good idea to have some alternative plans to curb some of the chaos.

Take Inventory

Your home is going to be brimming with contractors and delivery people during the renovation. Without a full list of your belongings if something comes missing, how will you know what else is missing?

What’s more, you will want to identify each significant item with essential information. Plus, marking your valuables with a specific mark will make it easier to identify as yours. If law enforcement recovers multiple items from a shady pawnshop, having the serial number, make, and model is enough for some objects. However, some things might not have those, so etching the first letter of your last name and last four digits of your SSN on the item will help prove it is yours.

Filing a copy of your inventory with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will assist with your claim.

While conducting the inventory is an excellent opportunity to identify what you will keep handy, what you no longer need, and what you want to put in storage.

A month or so before the start of face-lift is a good time to start a “use it or lose it” approach with household items. Clear out the fridge and freezer and use up all those shampoos and lotions. Whatever won’t fit into a shower caddy for a trip to the gym or a borrowed shower, should be used up or discarded.

Plan Storage

Do you have a guestroom that will not be involved in the remodel? How much will you do in the basement? If both of these options are off the table, you might consider renting a storage unit during the renovation. You might even decide to keep it after the rehab is complete.

Another solution might be to have a garage or yard sale to make a little money while getting rid of the furnishings and appliances you plan to replace. What doesn’t sell during the yard sale could be donated, possibly to lessen your tax liability.

Don’t pack the extra sheets and blankets; you can use those to keep the dirt and dust off furniture you will continue to use during the upgrade.

Upgrade Security

Before your home makeover might be a choice opportunity to switch from a keyed entry to a password protected lock. Not only will you no longer have to worry about a lockout due to a lost key, but the contractors can get the password so that you’ll avoid hiding a key under the mat.

Most people do not realize home intruders use the front door during one-third of all break-ins. It would be reasonable to assume the number would go up significantly during a home remodel. Burglars casing your home might notice someone lifting the mat to recover the key and come back after workers finish for the day.

You might also buy an in-home safe and install a video doorbell to record comings and goings of delivery personnel because most days your home will have dozens of workers and delivery people in and out.

Keep rooms not involved in the renovation closed and locked. Not only will that keep your possessions safe but will cut down dust and debris.

Map-Out Make-Do Appliances

This process is particularly useful when your kitchen is part of or the focus of the refurbish. If you don’t plan to have a mini-fridge and hot plate handy during the fix, you might wind up using your backyard barbecue area as your kitchen.

For some, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you don’t keep serving sets available, you might have to buy more paper plates and plastic flatware.

Plan to use the bathroom sink as a backup while the kitchen is getting an upgrade. Keep a dishrack in there under the sink to make it more convenient.

Likewise, if the barbecue is part of the renovation, you might want to hold off on that until the kitchen is done. Otherwise, keep a portable butane stove and lantern handy in case the power gets shut off.

Plan that Bathroom Remodel

When you have two or three bathrooms in the house, this is not a big deal. But when you only have the one bath or shower, you might have to get a gym membership to shower.

Do not allow the contractor to renovate all the bathrooms at the same time unless you will not stay in the house or have an alternative plan. Work with your contractor to iron out a schedule. A good plan will also allow workers to utilize a bathroom rather than bringing in a porta-potty.

Planning Is a Plus

Although you likely can’t identify and plan for every issue that might come up during a major renovation, using these tips will reduce the chaos and confusion.


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