From Clutter to Custom

Soothing pastel bathroom

Bathroom with places to put away the necessities without being cluttered.

The opportunity to declutter is a great additional benefit of renovating your home. Shopping for tile, faucets or flooring and selecting grout colors can be a lot of fun but, as demolition day gets closer, homeowners have an opportunity for something even better than fun… purging!

Completely clearing out your living areas can seem overwhelming but the chance to go through your belongings and get rid of things you don’t need can have an empowering effect. You just decided to re-imagine your home, so why not re-imagine your life into the clean and efficient condition you’ve always wished it could be?

Organized pantry

Organized and appealing pantry

Here are some things to think about and the steps to take in clearing out your home before a remodel.

First, seriously consider if there is somewhere else you can live while your home is being renovated. There are many reasons for this suggestion. Generally, the reason people want to stay in their home during a remodel is to save money but it is worth a financial sacrifice to have a place to go that is not a construction zone. This suggestion is for your mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Second, decide how and where your belongings will be stored during construction. Banker’s boxes or plastic bins with lids are good options for packing the things that you are keeping and they neatly stack for storage during the project. There may be some room in your home (away from the renovation) where you can store the boxes or you might consider renting modular storage spaces that can be delivered to your property. Some people rent a storage unit for this purpose or have their belongings packed and stored off-site.

Third, clearing out every shelf and drawer takes time so, please, plan for it. Adjust your schedule as necessary so you don’t end up in sitting in a pile of chaos at 3AM the day work on your house is scheduled to begin.

Fourth, assemble what you need before you start. Besides the boxes or bins, you will need garbage bags, labels, markers and three large bins (or a laundry-sorting cart with three sections).

Declutter!Fifth, pick a room to start in (you might want to bring a water bottle because you’re going to be in there for a while). Staying in the room (not running in an out and getting distracted) will help immensely. Bring the three large bins, a few of your banker’s boxes and some garbage bags with you into the room and follow these steps:

1) Select a bin for “PUT AWAY” a bin for “GIVE AWAY” and a bin for “THROW AWAY.” You may want to line the “throw away” and “give away” bins with garbage bags.

2) Start in one corner of the room and quickly sort items into one of the three bins. Go with your gut and don’t spend a lot of time on individual things. (Try not to hug items, sing about them or cry because that just takes longer and makes sorting them agonizing and emotional.) You can judge if things are going well by whether the “throw away” and “give away” bins fill up quickly. When needed, reline those bins with a new bag and keep going.

closet without clutter

Dejunked and custom designed closet.

3) Try to stay right there in the room to finish as much sorting as possible before you need to empty the “put away” bin.

4) When you need to empty your bins, start with the “put away” bin and anything that belongs in the room where you are cleaning can go into the banker’s boxes. Label each box with the room’s name to make unpacking easy. Anything that is left in the “put away” bin should be quickly taken to the room where it belongs. Toss the “throw away” bags into the trash and put the “give away” bags in your car (so you can take them to Goodwill).

5) When your bins are empty, come back into the room you were working on and start the process over. Keep going until the entire room is sorted.

6) The last thing to do in the room is to put the labeled banker’s boxes into your storage area. Taking each of them from that room at the same time means that they’ll all be together when you unpack (making it easier and more efficient).

Now, you’re ready to start on another room. It feels great to empty them out one-by-one.

Going through everything you own can be stressful but it can also make you feel great. Here are some tips to keep you thinking positively and to help you not get overwhelmed during the process:


Picture your future home.

1) Picture the future. Daydream about how beautiful your home will be after you clear out the mess and construction is complete. Imagine yourself enjoying the clean, organized rooms you are creating.

2) Think of all the good you are doing by donating unused items to people in need. You are making a difference and (if you request a receipt when you drop off your items) getting a tax deduction too.

3) Remember everything you own is a responsibility. Think of your possession’s as rocks that are a weight you carry around with you. This will motivate you to get rid of the dead weight so you can really enjoy the things that you actually use and need.

Science has shown that clutter doesn’t just affect us physically; it affects our emotions, intellect, ability to rest and more. Chances are, you’ll sleep better, be more creative, feel happier and have more motivation if you find the courage to let things go.

declutter closet custom

Custom closet with organization.

The opportunity to declutter and enjoy the benefits of orderly living is a great reason to consider updating your home. If you’re ready to re-invent your environment call Perry Newman Design today at 801.971.0868. He’ll take your cluttered mess from conception, through construction to completion so you can have the custom designed “a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place” place that you have always dreamed of.

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