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While there may not be a secret to making your home renovation stress free, there are certainly ways to make it go more smoothly. One of these methods is planning your “pre-model,” essentially, your cleaning session before the renovation. 

Just like how you wouldn’t want to hire a cleaner and leave piles of junk all around your home, your contractor won’t really be able to complete the project if you don’t straighten up first. 

So, let’s talk about the best way to prepare for your home renovation project - including cleaning, talking to your contractor, and more.

1. Take “Before” Pictures

You’re about to fully transform your home, so it’s time to get a picture of how it looks before it changes forever! Not only do we love to post these photos on the RenoFi Instagram (@renofinow), but you never know what or when you might need photos of your house pre-reno. They are definitely good to have before you start demo. 

2. Use Up All Your Stuff

 If you’re completing a major home renovation, chances are you’ll be putting some things in storage or moving out of your home for a bit while your contractor gets to work on your space. 

It’s painful to have to throw away an entire pantry or fridge of food, or a whole closet of extra toiletries. Sure, you’ll probably have to pack some of it up - but it will be easier on you if you can pare down beforehand and consume or use up stuff in advance!

3. Figure Out If You Need Outside Storage

Lots of folks end up shoving furniture into garages, basements, guest rooms, or areas of the home that aren’t being renovated during the project. However, there’s a good chance that you may need to move some things to a storage area if they can’t fit anywhere in your house. 

Think about where these items are going to go - mom and dad’s? A storage unit? And how they’re going to get there, and when you’ll need to pack everything up in advance to get them there in time. 

4. Decide What’s Going Where

Before packing everything and anything away during your renovation, it’s important to consider what things you’ll need on a daily basis and where you’ll keep them. For example, you can make a shower caddy for each member of your family to house bathroom items, or keep some coffee or kitchen stuff in an accessible place so you can get to it easily. 

Put frequently used items in transparent bins, and other decor in deeper storage.

5. Talk To Your Contractor

Things are gonna get messy, and it’s better to be too cautious than not cautious enough. Your contractor can let you know their plan of attack if they are renovating multiple rooms, and which areas they’ll be working on first. You can also ask them about their cleanup schedule - do they plan to sweep up every night? It’s important to get on the same page about who’s cleaning what and when and what site preparation will take place.

6. Make A Path

If your contractor needs to walk through other rooms to get to work, tape down plastic or cardboard for them to walk on so they don’t track any mud or dust throughout the day.

7. Let The Neighbors Know

Your neighbors might not be too happy that there’s going to be a big dumpster in your driveway and whirring machines running 24-7 during your renovation. Make sure to talk to them in advance and let them know what your renovation will entail and how long it will be going on - they may want to make their own alternate plans for work or play during the project. 

8. Think About Security

How will your contractor and their team get into your home everyday? Do you have a home security system? Will you make copies of keys? Think about purchasing a lockbox for your key while the contractor is in your home if you’re concerned about security or keys floating around. Consider locking or sealing off any areas of your home that you don’t want guests entering.

9. Decide Whether To Stay Or Go

While it can be tempting to cut costs and stay at your home during a renovation, this idea could end up being much more time consuming or even expensive than staying somewhere else. If you stay, you may not have access to your kitchen or bathroom during long durations of the renovation, and you’ll have to worry about keeping the area clean and safe. 

If you leave, your contractor has a lot more flexibility with the project site as they don’t have to worry about getting in your way. Also, you can cook and bathe in peace. Before making this decision, talk to your contractor and see how your presence might affect cost or their workflow.

10. Get Mentally Prepared

Last but not least, give yourself time to prepare mentally for your home renovation. Home renovations are stressful, time consuming and disrupting. Having strangers in your home can be draining, and living in a constant state of chaos is not easy on even the most messy people. Prepare to let some things go and try to keep the end result in mind during the process. 

Overall, the best way to prep for a renovation is to start early and write out a plan! All of these steps take time, so look at your personal calendar and formally block out time to research, pack and clean so that the weeks ahead don’t get away from you. 

Good luck!

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