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  • Writer's pictureUshma Agrawal

Renovations and Organization

Updated: Jan 23

The Coronavirus lockdown meant that most people around the world had to spend A LOT of time in their own homes. With this time in the home, in close quarters with the rest of the family, frustrations were bound to build up, not only with people, but sometimes with the spaces in the home - how they function and how they should be used. I know a number of families who embarked upon home renovation projects during lockdown and some who took that time to plan for future home renovations. After all that time at home, space, function, and productivity have become hot topics, particularly for families whose homes turned into offices and schools.

In fact, we started a home renovation project in early February 2020. We had purchased almost all the necessary components for our bathroom renovations, which meant our garage was full of toilets, sinks, bathtubs, shower doors, tiles etc. When the virus escalated, we paused the work out of caution. However, the house was a mess, demolition had begun so there was a lot of dust and we were moving from room to room to sleep and shower. Once things became more stable with the virus, we resumed the work and kept parts of the house off-limits while the construction crew did their work.

Planning Phase and Budget Needs for Organization

One thing that was very important for me when planning the renovation was ensuring that we were mindful of the budget and had funds to handle organizing. It's nice to have a new bathroom, but making sure it functions the way you need it to requires thought, planning, and money. Many people will spend all of their money on getting the renovation done, with nothing left over for getting those spaces organized and functioning as desired afterwards. It often feels like an added, unnecessary expense to spend more money on things that go under the cabinets or into the drawers, or to "accessorize", having spent thousands already. However, that's where the day-to-day frustrations build up over time. Things like having a robe hook in the right spot, installing a magnifying mirror for makeup application or for shaving, getting easy access to cleaning supplies etc. All of these "extra" things play a part in the function of the space, but often are left to the wayside as the cost of the renovation did not account for them.

Consider Organization as an Essential Part of the Planning Process

My advice to people undertaking home renovations is to consider organization as an essential part of the planning and budgeting process. Make sure that when your renovation is completed, you have the intention and funds to kit the space out so that it works for you from a functional and productivity perspective. Having those conversations early on in the process ensures that everyone is on the same page and that funds are allocated accordingly. As a project manager I have been in situations where the foundation of what was being built was given full attention (and budget), however, the less exciting and mundane elements were pushed back on as they were thought to be unessential to the bigger purpose. However, those mundane areas are often where the rubber meets the road and where your full appreciation, use, and enjoyment of the project comes to fruition.

Plan your Renovation with the Day-to-Day Use and Function of the Space in Mind

If you are planning any renovations, give some real thought to what the day-to-day will feel like in that space. Have a plan for ensuring it will be optimally functional. Maybe it's just me and my love for pondering on space and function, but getting to the nitty gritty of where things should be ideally located is a recipe for success. Of course, as with anything you care about, there is maintenance needed for upkeep. However, if the system has a good foundation, upkeep should be minimal. Function is predominantly the reason why most renovations take place anyway. Therefore, think it all the way through and plan for the (sometimes) mundane use of the space upfront. That's where you will feel the full appreciation of the renovation and organization as a whole.

Now, go enjoy planning that space and call me if you need any help organizing it!

PS - Consider renovations a good time to declutter. Since you often need to clean out areas for the work to happen, use that time to declutter. It will give you a better sense of how much storage and organization you will need once the renovation is complete and then you can dive right in to setting it up.

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