Spur of the moment home improvements tend to be a little chaotic, with emergency trips to the DIY store when you realise you’re running out of paint or don’t have the right tool for the job.
When you know you’ve got some projects on the horizon, a bit of forward planning makes sure you can get cracking and keep going till the job’s done.
Sort Your Tools Out
Even the simplest home improvement jobs need tools, and there’s nothing more frustrating than needing a flathead screwdriver when all you can find is the crosshead variety.
Before you even start any job, sorting out and organising your tools pays dividends in time and temper. Whether you have an extensive collection of power tools, or just a few paintbrushes and sanding blocks, find somewhere to keep everything together so you can find them.
You could clear out a space in the garage or shed, and put up a few shelves for boxes and tubs. For collections of expensive power tools, consider a self storage unit or locker so you’re not falling over equipment at home when it’s not being used.
An added benefit is that you know expensive items are locked away securely, and kept in a damp-free environment to protect from rust.
The space offered by self storage rooms is also ideal when you’re storing larger items like pasting tables, ladders or work benches. You can install freestanding shelving or cabinets in your storage space to help keep items tidy and organised.
Storage for Smaller Accessories and Fixings
Devising storage for small items might seem like overkill when it’s just a few nails or screws, but losing these vital bits of kit can really hold up a project. Clever storage for fixings doesn’t have to be expensive:
- Collect a few small jam jars and screw the lids to the undersides of shelves. You can fill the jar itself with screws or other fixings, then attach the jar to the lid for easy sight and access.
- Make customised tool holders by drilling holes through narrow wooden planks. Fix the planks to the wall like a shelf, and drop screwdrivers and other small hand tools into the holes for storage when you’re not using them.
- Install large hooks to the wall of your shed or garage to hold power cables or flexible piping or hoses.
- Hang up a pegboard with hooks of various sizes so you can keep tools off the floor. If you’re hanging up saws, you can protect the blade with a section of garden hose slit open along its length. Rigid PVC tubes or pipes will do the same job.
- Use a tie or belt rack (that you’d normally put in the wardrobe) to hang up wrenches or spanners.
- Saw metal pie or cake tins in half. Fix tape over the cut edge as it’s likely to be sharp, then fix the half-moons to the wall and use them to store circular saws, sanding discs or rolls of tape.
Clearing Your Space
Having organised all the tools for your home improvement job, it’s time to move onto the job itself. It’ll go much faster and easier if you can clear out the space you’re working in.
Pack up ornaments, books, and other accessories and decorations. Armed with a collection of boxes or tubs, it doesn’t take long to pack things away, and once done you know everything will stay clean and safe.
It’s especially important if your project involves sanding of any sort.
Remove as much furniture as you can. If you can quickly carry things into another room, this is an easy solution. For longer jobs, a self storage unit rented for the duration can save a lot of headache and confusion. You can rent units from as little as a week, and most towns have them in easy-to-reach locations.
If you really can’t remove furniture, tackle the home improvement in sections, moving all the furniture into the side of the room you’re not working on. Cover everything with plastic dust sheets. These are readily available in DIY stores and prevent paint splatters as well as protecting from sanding dust.
Planning home improvement projects is exciting, but putting plans into practice can become frustrating. When you organise the tools you’ll need and make early decisions about how to clear the space, it’s much easier to get from planning to end result.