Before your renovation can begin, the space has to be cleared. Starting with a blank slate allows your contractor to get into your home and immediately start on the demolition phase of the project without delay. It’s certainly not the most exciting phase of a project, but it’s definitely an important one. And when done well, it can make your renovation less stressful and your move-in at the project’s end much easier. Here are few tips for decluttering and cleaning out your space before a renovation:

Plan. Just like any project, make sure you begin your “move out” process by having the right tools to do the job.

  • Keep a supply of trash bags on hand for trash (obviously). You can also use bags or cardboard boxes for anything you want to donate.
  • Clear plastic bins are a great tool to have, especially for everyday items you’ll need to keep on hand.
  • Cardboard boxes are ideal for items going into storage during the renovation. Large boxes are great for small appliances and light weight items like linens. Dish packs are ideal for fragile pieces.
  • If you are tackling a bathroom or bedroom remodel, you may want to have a rolling garment rack and a tower with clear plastic drawers for clothing and toiletries.
  • Also for everyday items, consider bins on wheels. That will make them easy to move around if you need to.
  • Don’t forget to label your boxes!

Identify your everyday items. Identify the items you’ll need to use on a daily basis. Store them in an easily accessible area. For a kitchen renovation think about utensils, plates, cups and small appliances (like the coffeemaker!). In bedrooms and bathrooms, think about the clothes and toiletry items you will need.

Declutter. This is a perfect time to get rid of anything that won’t fit in your new space. Consider selling or donating any furniture that you won’t be reusing. Sort through paperwork. Throw away what you don’t need.

Pack up the items you want to keep. Remembering to keep your everyday use items aside, pack up everything else that will be going back into the room at the end of the renovation. Be sure to label your boxes so you know what’s in them (that will make unpacking much easier).

Figure out where you’ll be storing your items. Do you have another room in the house where you can keep your things? Will you be storing them in the garage? Do you need to rent a storage unit?

Protect Your Valuables. Find a safe place to store your valuables. Your contractor should be trustworthy, but during the renovation there can be any number of workers come in and out of the house. Don’t take a chance with your valuables. Lock them up in a safe or safe deposit box.

Taking the time to get organized and declutter before your renovation project begins will ensure you have easy access to the things you need during the renovation, and will make moving back into your new space easier and quicker!