Making Way for Renovations – Packing Tips for Home Construction
When home renovations are scheduled for your apartment or house, proper packing and labeling of your possessions can save you countless hours of frustration when renovations are complete. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to unpack only to realize you can’t tell distinguish the kitchen essentials from a box of old souvenirs you were planning to stash in the attic.
Organization is the key to not only successful packing, but also a smooth renovation and peaceful coexistence with your construction crew, especially if you plan to stay in your home during renovations. Unless you have soundproof walls between you and the renovations, you’ll be hearing some noise while the contractors are working. You’ll also be subject to dust and debris around the work area. You may want to pack up more than the actual room being renovated. If you are renovating the dining room and the adjoining living room contains antiques and fragile knick-knacks, pack them up, too! Damage from dust, vibration, and burly workmen passing through are risks you don’t want to take.
Necessary supplies include boxes of various sizes, plenty of bubble wrap, newspaper, packing tape, masking tape, a marker for labeling, and a notebook for making lists.
Fragile items should be packed first. This includes anything glass or crystal, your china or stoneware, etc. Invest in bubble wrap to cushion each piece and place items carefully in boxes so they aren’t touching each other and don’t rest against the outside edges or corners of the box. They should be cushioned all around.
Items that aren’t necessarily fragile but are easily scratched or dented can be wrapped in a few layers of newspaper to save you some money on the bubble wrap. Candles and wood pieces are examples. Small framed pictures can also be wrapped in newspaper, but put some masking tape in an “X” over the glass to help prevent shattering. Also, always pack framed glass items such as wall-hanging pictures or decorative mirrors upright, not flat.
When packing boxes, keep the weight of each box at 40 pounds or less for easy lifting. For fragile items, smaller, lighter boxes are best as they can be handled with extra care. Books are heavy, so pack them into small boxes as well. Save the larger boxes for kitchen utensils, office supplies, stuffed animals, etc. – anything that doesn’t weigh much.
Keep things organized
Don’t forget to label your boxes. As you pack, make a list in your notebook of everything in each box. Write on the outside in large letters what room the box will go in after the renovation, not where it came from. Either copy the list from your notebook on the box or tape it to the box. Some prefer keeping a copy of the master list if they will be putting the boxes in storage.
Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate
Fold or disassemble whatever you can. Take legs off tables, remove arms from desk chairs, and fold anything you can fold so it lays flat. Doing so makes moving and temporary storage much easier. If you have file boxes or storage containers, pack small items inside. Gather small, loose items like pencils, spatulas, and remote controls in quart or gallon-sized zip lock bags and tuck them into boxes.
Be realistic (and respectful)
This is also a good time to weed out what you don’t really need. As you sort through your belongings, be honest about what you need to keep. If you don’t love it or haven’t used it in the past two years, consider selling it, giving it away, or tossing it. When renovations are complete, you’ll have less to move back in.
Remember to respect your neighbors, too, particularly if you live in an apartment building or condominium. Groaning your way through the packing process, dropping things repeatedly, or shuffling furniture and other heavy items around at odd hours of the night will upset them. Don’t start packing at 10:00pm the night before renovations are scheduled, either – it always takes longer than you think.
If you have a lot to store or your renovations are substantial, consider placing your belongings in a temporary storage facility. Many offer pay-as-you-go deals, so you only pay for as long as you need the space. If renovations will take a good amount of time and disrupt your living space, temporary storage makes sense.
Once renovations are completed and you begin to unpack, you’ll appreciate the time and effort you spent organizing everything. Unpacking will be a cinch, and if you packed properly, you should have less than what you started with which means less clutter in your home – and more time to enjoy your new space.