Finalizing the purchase of a fixer-upper home is just the beginning of the long road ahead. Now that the house is yours, it is up to you to put in the time and effort to make it a home — including making any necessary remodels and repairs.

This exciting, yet stressful process requires preparation. Not only does preparing your home for a remodel help you see the bigger picture, but it can also help keep everything organized along the way. Even the most experienced home renovators find themselves getting overwhelmed from time to time.

Luckily, helpful tips, such as the ones listed below, can help you prepare before you begin your remodel. Following these tips can help ensure that you’re more prepared for what’s to come.

1. Clean and Declutter Ahead of Time

How you approach cleaning your home before remodeling is similar to a seasonal deep-cleaning. The main difference is that, rather than deep cleaning every room, your main focus will be on the rooms/areas that are being remodeled. The difference between a “deep" clean and a standard clean is that you spend more time cleaning out the nooks and crannies of each room, instead of just the visible areas.

This is important because it helps declutter the area, making room for remodeling tools and ridding the area of anything else. This includes:

  • Attaching dust covers to furniture that can’t be removed;

  • Clearing hallways and other pathways of debris (cords, toys, rugs, decor, etc.);

  • Rolling up rugs;

  • Washing the walls (especially if you plan on painting).

Be sure to shut any doors to rooms that aren’t being remodeled. This can help prevent dust and other debris from getting in. You can also use this opportunity to sort through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t need, especially when decluttering your bedroom.

2. Decide Where You’ll Be Staying During the Renovation

Some projects — like kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom remodels — are larger, requiring more time to complete. If your home is compensating enough to allow you to go on about your day with few to no disruptions, then chances are you’re fine staying in your home during the remodel. If not, then it may be in your and your family’s best interest to arrange alternative accommodations ahead of time.

Doing so helps to ensure you stay out of the way, which ultimately moves the process along more smoothly. Keep in mind the necessities you will be missing out on if you temporarily relocate. This includes showering, cooking, and doing laundry. This is why you should find arrangements that allow you to do all of the above. When packing for your temporary stay you will want to bring:

  • Multiple changes of clothes;

  • Chargers for your electronics;

  • Hygiene supplies;

  • Anything needed for school and/or work;

  • Shoes;

  • Entertainment (books, movies, board games, etc.);

  • Medications;

  • Portable crib (for babies and infants).

Keeping a list on your phone is a great way to keep track of everything you brought with you. That way you’ll remember what to pack up when it’s time to go back home.

3. Have a Plan for Your Children and Animals

Even if you do choose to stay home during remodeling, you will still need to be sure to stay out of the way as much as possible — this includes your kids and pets. Try creating a quiet and safe space for them to go to during work hours. That way they don’t get scared or intimidated by any possible loud noises. It also helps to get them out of the way, reducing the possibility of getting injured.

Make sure to inform the contractors of the areas that are a dedicated quiet space so they can be sure to avoid them. You may even consider putting a hand-written sign on the door so they don’t forget.

4. Organize Your Contracts, Receipts, and Other Paperwork

Organizing doesn’t stop as soon as the remodeling begins. It is just as important to remain organized throughout the entirety of the project as well. This can be done by keeping track of paperwork associated with the remodel. This can also include organizing:

  • Blueprints;

  • Contracts;

  • Project timeline;

  • Receipts.

Aside from organizing paperwork, you will also want to be sure to organize any supplies along the way too. Organizing your paperwork throughout the project will also come in handy if anything didn’t go according to plan and insurance got involved.

5. Prepare for Noise

Whether you choose to stay home or temporarily relocate — it’s common courtesy to inform your neighbors of your plans and the possibility of the increase in noise. If you choose to stay home, you can prepare for the oncoming noise by:

  • Wearing earplugs;

  • Tuning out the noise with music;

  • Investing in noise-canceling headphones;

  • Sounding-proofing your room.

Some of these suggestions, like noise-canceling technology, can even be used in the future (i.e. for school or work). That way you can get the most out of your purchase of this type of technology.

6. Remember to Communicate

Communication is key in any relationship, including on personal and professional levels. This is no different when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship with your contractors. Keeping in contact with the contractors is a protective measure that ensures everything is going according to plan.

However, there is a fine line between keeping in contact with your contractors and bugging them. This is why you should speak to them ahead of time to get an estimated finish date for each project. The size of the project determines how often you should communicate with the contractors.

For example, painting all of the walls may only take one week. Whereas painting everything from walls, cabinets, and the exterior will take longer. For projects that take no longer than a week, it is safe to say you should check in at least two times during that period: once a week for projects that take a month, and monthly for projects that can take up to a year.

It is also important to note that if a job is taking longer than expected, then you should communicate your concerns with the contractor right away. This is where having a copy of your contract will come in handy. If you fail to communicate your concerns, then you could be faced with bigger issues down the road. Whereas having great communication from the getgo can help keep you, and the contractors, on track.

7. Take Count of Your Belongings

Whether it’s for insurance or personal reasons — taking count of your belongings before you begin can save you from troubles in the long run. An audit can include everything from writing down what items you had before the remodel began and taking pictures of where things were. That way you can set everything back up the way it was before the project began.

Also, in the rare occurrence that it may happen, an audit can help ensure that no one makes off with your personal belongings. If you notice something is missing, search around the home before making accusations of theft. You can avoid this entirely by researching the contracting company ahead of time and hiring a well-trusted contractor.