Organized planning can make turning your home upside down easier on your psyche

Getting ready to undertake a home improvement project? Many homeowners get overwhelmed at the magnitude of a large DIY project or a contracted job, even simply not knowing where to start it and how to get organized. Erin Condren, organization expert and creator of the LifePlanners organizers, offers these professional tips and the tool of her “Level Up Your Life” activity sheet, a customizable actionable checklist Condren created with Liberty Mutual Insurance to help people get organized before, during, and after their home improvement projects.


“I’m all for taking pen to paper when it comes to preparing for any project, so this is a great tool for people to utilize especially if they’re unsure where to start,” said Condren.The first section provides mini checklists to help get organized before embarking on a project, perfect for de-cluttering a room and getting ready for a tag sale with items you plan to sell. When it comes to hiring help and setting a budget, under “Planning for the Big Picture” you can find an easy-to-follow guide that shows what you should be writing down when creating a budget plan and what to make note of when researching contractors.

In addition to the activity sheet, below are tips to follow when taking on a home renovation.

Organization from the Ground Up

I’m currently in the middle of a home renovation,” said Condren, “And I can’t urge people enough to clean out their clutter before starting their renovations.”

According to a recent survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance, lack of organization causes worry for nearly one-fifth of Americans on a regular basis. You do not want to begin a home improvement project with this feeling of worry. Clean out clutter room by room and set solid completion dates for each room to be organized. Setting dates helps hold you accountable and makes sure no room is overlooked.

If the room you’re renovating was used as storage space, sort through your items and decide which can be sold during a tag sale. There might be a reason this stuff has been in storage. De-cluttering this space will help you realize which items you can keep, toss, sell, or donate. You do not want unnecessary belongings taking up living or storage space in your new, remodeled space.

How to Hire Help

Another home survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance found that over one-third (38%) of Americans feel that they need assistance or advice on managing a home improvement project. Some home improvement projects, such as those that involve plumbing or electrical, are best to leave to a professional.

When hiring help, it’s important to research multiple contractors to ensure the most bang for your buck. Create a list that includes the contractors’ names, phone numbers, pros vs. cons for each, project type, and budget quote. This helps organize your thoughts as you’re meeting with each contractor and allows you to reference your conversations later in one fell swoop to make your final hiring decisions.

Budget Appropriately

No matter the home project – big or small – leaving a 15-20% cushion in your budget is necessary. The cushion allows you to be prepared for the unexpected without hurting your wallet in the long run.

Use an organizer, such as the LifePlanner, to write down the project type and project to-dos. Document what you plan to accomplish during the renovation project and the exact improvements that will be happening along the way.

Writing down the step-by-step process will help you visualize how big or small of a project you’re planning. Mapping out the project details in this manner will also make creating the budget an easier process since you can go line by line for each item.

For more budget tips, Liberty Mutual has a new go-to resource MasterThis where you can view more home improvement budget tips in the “Tackle Home Repairs” MasterKit.

“Techorate” to Add Value

Many of us have recently hopped on the smart home bandwagon and installed items like smart home security systems, smart lighting and thermostats, and smart locks in the home. If budget allows, consider purchasing smart home devices, such as locks, security cameras, leak sensors, or smoke/fire alarms. You might be surprised to find that installing these devices can save you money on your home insurance.


Tags : DIY planningErin Condrenhome improvement planning checklistLiberty Mutual Insurance
K. Pearson Brown

The author K. Pearson Brown

Writer, blogger, PR pro — traveler, tech geek, health and wellness believer, parent. Wrote my first book at age 5, still living my dramatic autobiography.