Sustainability – Declutter Before Green Design

Getting organized can often be a long, ongoing process. It’s easy to put off until tomorrow, especially when it’s not part of your daily routine. A housing transition is an optimal time to finally declutter and get organized because it gives you the opportunity to start anew.

The organizing process also helps to clarify the difference between your ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ before you jump into designing a new green home. Many of our clients are surprised after starting the process because they realize getting organized involves reconnecting with yourself — it helps you make internal changes that become reflected in your environment and lifestyle. This clarity is incredibly important to have before designing your home, since the eco-friendly reno process is not just about making your home more energy efficient — it is a holistic process that includes everything from using environmentally sustainable materials to designing spaces that support your new lifestyle.

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5 Reasons to Get Organized Before a Renovation

1.Gain Clarity Before You Start

Sitting down and getting clear about your needs and wants is key before taking any steps, both in design and decluttering. Aiming to have a greener home with a lower carbon footprint means looking both at the space you want to live in and your lifestyle. The organizing process involves going through all of your belongings and reassessing your needs. It’s the ultimate way to understand how you currently use your space, and how you want your space to work for you. You also are acutely aware of how much you own and can make more informed design decisions.

For example, homeowners often create new kitchens with an abundance of unnecessary storage spaces and cupboards that just end up getting filled with items they don’t use. Extra food in the back of the cupboard expires and many pots and pans go forever unused.

Most people end up filling empty spaces, when in reality we only use 20 percent of what they have 80 percent of the time.

2. The Timing is Right

It’s hard to get organized when you’re living in a cluttered space. There’s not enough room to properly sort through things and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. It often can feel like a hassle to uproot all of your things. In contrast, when packing before your reno, you’re already going through everything and it’s much more motivating to let go of things that don’t match your new vision.

When you’re packing and decluttering, challenge yourself to identify:

  • what you never use (and will never use!)

  • what can be donated

  • what’s actually worth bringing with you into your new home

3. It Saves You Money

Taking the time to declutter and downsize before designing can make a huge difference on your pocketbook and help you gain insight on your original plans to do a large reno and/or extension. When you work with professional organizers you will soon realize how much you actually use and need. You may need less storage, space and room than you originally thought. Instead of paying for a larger reno this give you the opportunity to reassess and invest in greener solutions like solar energy, sustainably sourced materials, sustainable landscaping, and the list goes on.

The other benefit to setting time aside before a project to declutter is that you will minimize the amount of belongings you have: this means less to pay to move and less to pay to store. These costs can really add up when you consider how unit size affects monthly storage fees!

4. Clarity During The Unpacking Process

The other benefit to decluttering before design is the unpacking process becomes a breeze when you’ve organized pre-renovation. You have already gone through all of your belongings and have only brought things into the space that you want there. All of your items are also packed and organized by category, so it’s easier to set up zoned spaces, i.e. a home library, where all of your books are in one place.

This pre-organization also ensures that your home will not get cluttered again because everything has a home from the start and every space has a focus. When you can clearly see where everything is, it’s much easier to create healthy habits, like putting things away and being mindful of what you are using.

5. Easier For You to Live A Greener Lifestyle Post Reno

Change is a wonderful opportunity and motivator to help shift habits and behaviours. Becoming more organized and minimal requires more than setting up a space and systems to maintain it. It requires a change in your mindset, daily habits and routines. Ongoing support from professional organizers helps to solidify healthy habits and optimize new systems that help you stay organized and lower your carbon footprint.

So what does this organizing process look like?

1. Goals and Planning

When making any change it is integral to identify and reconnect your goals. This is often hard to do with a busy lifestyle in a space full of clutter, but having clear objectives helps throughout the process as an anchor and a reference point when you don’t want to let go of items or lose momentum. We then make a plan and decide what what needs to be organized and in what order. This timeline increases accountability to ensure projects are completed, and helps break the larger goal into smaller more manageable projects.  

2. Sorting and Discarding

Starting with one category at a time (i.e. clothing) we sort the belongings to get a sense of how much you have and what you’re using. Based on the goals we created in step 1, we work with you to identify what you want to keep (either with you or in storage) and what you can let go of.

3. Unpacking, Organizing and Habit Changing

Once your new home is ready to move into, you are starting with a clean slate. We remind you of your goals and work with you to create intuitive systems and organized spaces that suit your lifestyle.

Clutter creating habits also need to be addressed through our step by step coaching process. In this process we share strategies to maintain your new green space and continue to focus on lowering your carbon footprint through lifestyle changes.

All of our clients say that after going through the process they feel lighter, more focused, and have more time. They even notice a change in the ability to control their spending and consumption habits. Most of all, they find it easier to live a more minimalist lifestyle.

Whether you choose to hire a professional organizing company or go through the organizing process alone, it is very beneficial to making inner and outer changes in your life. A renovation is the perfect opportunity to create the organized life and green home you’ve always wanted.

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