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Remodel or reorganize? Which should you do first?

Joan Fieldstone

April 7, 2015

By: Joan Fieldstone, Home Improv Advocate

In: General RemodelingInterior Home Improvement

People who read blogs and content on websites promoting home improvement and decor aspire to or at least dream of creating a functional and attractive home environment. Some of them have beautiful homes already, yet the pursuit of the perfectly appointed home never ends. Feathering the nest for many of us becomes a lifelong effort; satisfaction is fleeting. There is always a more exquisite kitchen design, luxurious bathroom, and elegant storage solution tempting us. Home improvement becomes a continual work in progress.

But it's not just the decor-savvy with pristine houses that long for the perfect home. Believe it or not, plenty of homeowners with good taste, the budget to indulge their home improvement fantasies, and the best of intentions are so inundated with household and personal possessions that their plans have been relegated to "someday -- if i ever dig out from under this mess."

Home organization: the first step before remodeling

A friend of mine who is a professional home organizer helps clients who more often than not don't just want to get the clutter under control but also want to remodel and upgrade their homes. Logic might lead you to believe that remodeling to make extra space or more efficient use of space would solve their problems. But they are just too embarrassed to even call in a contractor. If you are reading this blog and that resonates with you, know that you are not alone in this dilemma -- you have more company than you would ever imagine possible.

Most of us have so much stuff and so little spare time that we don't even know when or how to even begin organizing it all. If you have a household with two adults and one or more children, it can be that much more overwhelming. You stare at the random piles of things and become immobilized. The piles grow, and so does your anxiety. You stop inviting people over. You can't find the top of any surface of furniture. You stop thinking about remodeling because your home has become less a place to live and more a place to store things and catch a few hours of sleep -- assuming you don't have insomnia from the stress of living in an obstacle course where everyday things you need are constantly getting lost.

Until you tame the mess, the plans you once had for a functional and aesthetically pleasing home disappear, and sometimes so do other aspirations you may have had. Nearly every book written about decluttering emphasizes how paring down and tidying up causes a positive shift in perspective and attitude that can have a profound effect on all other aspects of your life.

So, if you really want to make any home improvements, the best place to start is by eliminating what you don't need, want, use, or even like anymore before you start rearranging your space. Ask yourself how you want to live, get rid of whatever does not serve that end, and then design the home you want to live in.

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