Home Renovations 101: What to Expect and How to Prepare

By: Annabelle Harris

Renovating your home can be exciting: after all, you might be adding a room, designing your dream kitchen, updating an old bathroom, or finishing a basement. There are many types of remodeling projects for homes, and each one could improve the look and feel of your living space, increase your property’s value, and make your home a more enjoyable place to live.

That being said, home renovations can also be very lengthy, costly, stressful, and anxiety-inducing. A kitchen upgrade, for instance, costs around $35,000 and takes one to two weeks to complete — while a full kitchen renovation could cost $65,000 and take up to 12 weeks until completion.

Other projects — like converting an attic into a living space — could cost as much as $75,000 and take up to 10 weeks to complete in some cases. Of course, the length and cost of your project will depend on factors such as your wants and needs, location, materials used, and project size. To learn more about home renovations and how to prepare for your project, check out this guide from Philly Home Organizer.


Estimate Your Project Costs
As you prepare to renovate your home, you’ll first need to estimate your project costs and determine how you’ll pay for your home improvements. Be sure to take the following home renovation expenses into account when creating your budget:

Project permits
Your project timeline
Labor
Market conditions
Materials involved
Furnishings, fixtures, and accessories
Accommodations (if you’ll be moving out of your home during the renovation)
Cleanup costs

Your contractors will likely use project estimating software to calculate your material and labor costs before providing you with a quote, as these apps can be used to estimate costs for construction, HVAC, plumbing, landscaping, and electrical work. This type of software makes it easy for your contractor to estimate material and labor costs in your area, accept payments online, and create and send estimates to potential clients. Click for more info on how your contractor might estimate your renovation project costs.


Find Reliable Contractors
Before spending a huge chunk of time and money on your home renovation, you’ll also want to do your due diligence searching for the right contractors to complete your project. Experts recommend interviewing and obtaining estimates from at least three contractors before making a decision. It’s also a good idea to request references and verify the contractor’s licenses and insurance policies before paying a deposit and signing a contract.


Consider a Home Warranty Plan
Depending on the type of renovations you’re completing, it might also make sense financially to purchase a home warranty plan — especially if you’re replacing your appliances; upgrading your HVAC, plumbing, and/or electrical systems; or installing something like a sump pump, spa, or septic system. While specific coverage for home warranties vary, plans can be renewed on an annual basis — and it’s possible to shop around for warranties that fit your budget and coverage needs.

Furnish & Organize Your Newly Renovated Home
After completing your home renovation, you’ll finally be ready to furnish your newly renovated room(s) and get things back in order. If you’ve added a home office, for instance, be sure to purchase a comfortable desk and chair for working from home and place them in an area that gets lots of natural light. If you don’t have access to natural light, however, you can install ceiling track lights, floor lamps, or recessed lighting.

Other furnishings for your newly renovated home might include:

Major furniture pieces
Decor
Artwork
Accessories
Lighting
Cabinets and shelving units

The post-renovation period is also an excellent time to organize and declutter your belongings. Philly Home Organizer can help you to get things organized, better manage your living space, and solve any household storage issues you may have. You can even get help with donating or repurposing your belongings.


Renovations Are Stressful, Yet Survivable
Surviving a home renovation may seem impossible, but this guide will help you to better prepare for the process. Take your time interviewing contractors, reviewing contractor estimates and bids, and comparing home warranties — and have some fun shopping for furnishings and decor for your newly renovated office, kitchen, living room, or bedroom. You’ll have a brand new room (or home) to enjoy when the entire renovation is finally through.

Philly Home Organizer is a professional organizer serving the Greater Philadelphia and Southern Jersey area. Check out our services and rates or contact me at 215-487-1520 or by emailing phillyhomeorganizer@verizon.net.

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Home Organizing: Live Within Your Space

Somewhere along the way, we have all heard the sage advice to, “Live within your means.”  Take that one step further and learn to live within your space.

Houses can become too small when family dynamics change or an improved financial situation warrants the luxury of bigger and better. In fact, there can be many good reasons to move or put an addition on an existing  home.

However, there is one very good reason to stay right where you are. Many think that their home is too modest because they feel too cramped inside of it. The reality is that they have too much stuff and do not know how to manage it. Rather than deal with the underlying problem, they blame the house.

The solution lies within you. Until the clutter issue is addressed, no space will ever be large enough. The clutter will just prosper, spread and complicate matters going forward.

Before making a life-changing and rather expensive decision, clean out all of the things that make each day more challenging. The right choice will be clearer and the solution may be sitting right in your own backyard.

For more information on home organizing, visit phillyhomeorganizer.com.

Photo by David Gonzales from Pexels

 

 

Home Organizing: The Fear of Tossing Paper

It is never too late to stand up and face down your demons. Many get paralyzed by the unknown and obsessed by the fear of throwing something away in case they may need it some day. Too often, the easy answer leads to inaction.

The solution to effectively managing paperwork requires a little thought, probability and balance. With these in mind, a practical filing system can be created to maintain it all.

All paper is not created equal. Be generous with the word junk since most of it is after all. Some fall in a temporary category and should be accommodated as such. A small percentage are legitimately very important and need top priority.

However, all of it is worthless if it cannot be found when needed. Balance is crucial. The amount of paper kept should be limited to the amount that one person can reasonably handle.

When in doubt, consider the last time that you ever referred back to any particular item if at all and the odds of ever having to do so in the future. The answer may be surprising.

This can be especially true for financial issues. Separate information needed for tax purposes and at the end of the year, file it all together with the tax return. The rest can most likely be considered discretionary. For example, discard interim investments statement and keep the year end only if so inclined. This alone would cut down on at least 75% of that paperwork.

Invest the time, use some common sense and think it through logically in order to define a simple method to deal with paper. While there will always be shades of gray, the fear will lessen with a definitive game plan.  In fact, fear should not lie in tossing but in not finding. The future never comes in the size and shape that we expect, so better to try and beat the odds rather than drown in a sea of paper. It will all balance out in the end.

For more information on home organizing, visit www.phillyhomeorganizing,com.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Emotional Clutter: Letting go of the Sentimental Journey

When a person believes that everything in their home is important and absolutely necessary, it usually suggests a problem. In reality, nothing is important except the fear of letting go.

Real treasures lose their value when they get buried and forgotten. Neglect and the ravages of time eventually put the final nail in the coffin. If something is not worth caring for and honoring in some way, then it makes little sense to keep it. In the end, remorse comes too late and all that remains is clutter.

The underlying purpose of holding on to sentimental things is for the memories. Too much stuff translates into too few memories. It will drown you while trying to wade through it all on a daily basis.

Choose to cherish the most important ones. It does not mean that the rest will be forgotten. Dwelling on the past can be fine in moderation but when it interferes with living in the present, change needs to happen. A healthy balance reaps its own rewards.

Jump off the runaway train. A little perspective could lead to more time and energy for today. An occasional trip down memory lane can certainly be worthwhile but so can a less stressful journey ahead as well.

 

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The Economics of Home Organizing

The most fundamental principle of economic theory is supply versus demand. Apply the same concept in terms of your home.

Clutter issues arise when supply outweighs demand by a substantial margin. We shop until we drop with no real game plan. This causes a lot of waste in time, money and space… not to mention an overwhelming mess.

Bargains are never bargains until they are utilized. Throwing away cash and receiving no benefit makes little economic sense. It does not matter if it is clothes that are never worn or a can of soup that sits on a shelf well past its expiration date. The outcome is the same.

Take the concept a step further and consider the law of diminishing returns. Every time that a similar item is purchased, it reduces the overall value of all of those things. For example, if you only owned one shirt, then it would be golden with infinite value. A second shirt would be pretty priceless too but it would lessen the value of both. If the cycle continues unchecked, they eventually become a liability in the form of clutter.

Occasional splurges are healthy and fun but should lean more towards the exception rather than the rule. It can be a bit like walking on a tightrope. Balance is everything.

Pause and think before spending. Purchase what you need and use what you have in order to keep the flow of a household running smoothly.

A reasonable balance between supply and demand is one of the keys to a sound economy and a more manageable home as well. Realistic demand on a daily basis will lead to a healthier supply of peace and sense of well-being down the road.

 

Photo by Marcelo Moreira from Pexels

Home Organizing: Attention Shoppers

Let’s face it. Shopping is one of America’s favorite pastimes and for many, an Olympic sport. We thrive on the high when we score a perfect ten or jump on the bargain of a lifetime.

It matters little if it is needed or not and maybe more importantly, if there happens to be room for it once it crosses the threshold of your home. The treasures soon become an issue when they are crammed into the dark recesses of a closet and soon forgotten. This happens over and over again until we know longer know what we own.

Unfortunately, the thrill of the hunt is temporary and before long, we crave for more. One solution would be to better arm ourselves. Know what is in you closets, cabinets and whatever before you venture out to the mall or onto the world wide web.

Organize your belongings and there will be a much better understanding of what you have and what you really need. By putting things in categories and assigning like things to their own space, it becomes much easier to remember as well as visualize the remaining space. It literally pays to put a check on your spending habits before you get to the checkout counter.

Shopping is fun and can be perfectly harmless when done it moderation. But when it snowballs into out-of-control spending, it may be time to find a new hobby. Take a breath, jump the hurdle and win the race. If successful, you will have truly scored the perfect ten.

 

 

The Clutter-Free Diet Challenge

Organizing and maintaining a home is comparable to going on a diet. If successful, a lot of excess weight will be lifted off of your shoulders and just maybe, a little bit off of you hips as well.

Clutter rears its ugly head on a daily basis in the form of guilt and shame. It not only drains us of our energy and focus, but in general, we feel bad about ourselves.

By taking back control of your house and your life, a new day will dawn with a whole new you. A brighter attitude can yield to more time for productive and enjoyable activities and less time for more questionable ones wrought out of guilt.

When we feel better about ourselves, good things happen. Increased energy, improved self-esteem and a healthier outlook open up new possibilities. With one tiny step, the ball starts rolling and positive effects take root.

Take the challenge. Shed the clutter and lose the weight. In the end, the gains that you realize will put you on top of your game… and the world.

 

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Follow the Path to an Organized Home

If you are like most people, the first and biggest stumbling block to overcome is where to start when organizing a home. The options seem endless.

Storage areas of any kind usually make the most sense to begin the project. Choosing big or small spaces depends on you and what you want to accomplish first. This eventually allows for an easier course down the line.

Everything in your house requires a designated home. Things get haphazardly thrown around when they do not have a place to call their own. It takes too much time, energy and brainpower to manage on a daily basis without it.

Focus on one problematic area at a time. For instance, the dining room table is often a popular dumping ground for all ages and for all things. Toss what you can and begin to work on the rest. The remaining items will lead you to the next step. If coats lying around, for example, take you to the hall closet then clear it out entirely before trying to put anything more in it. This will make way for other belongings as you go through the process.

Once completed, return you focus to the table and begin again. Before too long, progress will be noticeable and the effects will snowball as more and more space becomes available. The key is getting rid of the clutter before compounding the issue with more clutter. After all, lack of space started the ball rolling and caused the trouble in the first place.

Tiny steps can make a big impact. By following the path,  you may just find yourself on the road to recovery with a little more peace of mind as your reward.

Home Organizing: The Bathroom Dilemma

The bathroom holds the honor of being one of the most important and busiest rooms in the house… and yet it tends to be the smallest. It is all the more reason to streamline and make it as efficient as possible.

Search and high and low for places that can be utilized for additional storage. It helps to think vertically and start the creative juices flowing. Shelves and cabinets in strategic places not only have practical uses but they can add character to a room as well. The same can be said about decorative touches such as bins, jars and baskets.

Our love of lotions and potions is virtually limitless. However, they can accumulate over the years to the point of insanity. Sort through and weed out the ones that have not been used in ages, and be honest, will most likely never be used in the future. Going forward, by knowing what you have and keeping a rein on the allure of overindulging, the results will be satisfying and long-lasting.

Work within the space and aim to designate just the essentials to the actual bathroom. Items such as extra towels and supplies might work better in a nearby area which is still convenient but less intrusive. Finding the balance is the key to success.

With a little ingenuity, any bathroom can work more efficiently. By making the effort, you will be showered again and again with rewarding benefits on a daily basis… and the bathroom dilemma can finally be put to rest.

 

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Home Organizing: Adding a Touch of Green to your Lifestyle

We have all heard the call. We must pitch in and save the planet. Recycling, reusing and conserving all serve us well when trying to tackle this formidable challenge. But are they enough?

Maybe it is time to think a little outside the box. We are all guilty in some way of overconsumption in our daily lives. By bringing more order into our homes and lifestyles, inroads could be made by starting at the root of the problem.

Good things happen with more organization. The world spins a little slower out of control and wiser decisions are more easily made.

For instance, you know what you have and where it is the majority of the time. Less time, money and energy are wasted when any given item is lost or forgotten. It eliminates the need to run out and buy again.

Sorting through closets leads to a lower compulsion to overspend on clothes, shoes and accessories. Impulse purchases that soon find their way to the back of a closet can be reduced to a dull roar. Living and thriving within your space becomes habit rather than the exception.

Streamlined kitchens work much more efficiently and reduce waste. Overstuffed pantries and freezers are notorious for harboring expired and outdated food items. Bargains are never bargains until they are actually consumed.

There are countless ways to contribute to the cause of a healthier environment by just getting more organized. In the end, they all lead to a few less footprints in the sand and a little bit more green in your pocket as well.

 

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