How to Make Cleanup a Breeze When Repairing or Upgrading Your Home

Sean Deminski, Realtor®
Sean Deminski, Realtor®
Published on August 13, 2018

Repairing or renovating your home is essential if you want to improve its appeal and condition. You may have plans to enjoy a newly-renovated space yourself, or you may be trying to improve your home in various ways with the intent to sell it sometime soon. Regardless of the reason why you are planning a major repair or renovation project, you need to plan ahead to enjoy a smoother and easier process.

One of the most essential aspects of planning that’s often overlooked relates to dealing with waste from the project. Many homeowners fail to anticipate the significant amount of waste that can be generated from demolition, installation of new materials, and other renovation projects. When your work area is cluttered with waste, it can be difficult or even impossible to work efficiently and achieve quality results. These important tips can help you to simplify the clean-up process during your renovation or repair project.

Clean as You Go

Image via NBC News 

Some homeowners will toss waste from a renovation project into a pile in the garage, in the backyard, or in another out-of-the-way location until all of the work has been completed—but this is not ideal. Your pile of trash may become so large that it decreases the amount of space you have available to work with. Beyond that, placing waste outside may create a huge mess when the materials get waterlogged, or the pile of waste may attract pests.

When you clean as you go, you will keep your work area tidy. You will also avoid the huge and strenuous chore of trying to remove a huge junk pile after the project has been completed. A smart idea is to clean on a daily basis. Find a reasonable trash collection method, such as by leasing a large bin to store the waste neatly until the work is done. If you have a lot of things, consider putting things into storage, either in your own home or into a storage unit. If choosing to store more items in your home, be smart about the amount of space it takes up. You want to choose the correct type of storage container and place it somewhere that isn’t dirty (so no sheds) or that isn’t too exposed to the elements, especially sensitive items like clothing or jewelry.

Consider Recycling or Repurposing Materials

Image via Remodeling Magazine

You may be able to better manage the waste generated from your project by recycling or repurposing some of the materials. For example, you may be able to take a door that is removed in one room and use it in another. Alternatively, you may be able to creatively use an old light fixture as a table lamp—simply by refinishing it and adding the lighting elements.

Even if you do not have a purpose in your home for some materials, others may benefit from having them. Research organizations that accept donations of used building materials in your area. Another idea is to post the availability of free materials on a social media or free classified listings site. Simply advertise the material as free to the first person to pick it up.

Use a Large Waste Container

Image via Fast Skip Bins Brisbane

Even when you recycle, repurpose or donate some items, there will inevitably be a considerable amount of waste that must be scrapped. For example, huge drywall chunks from a wall that is torn down may have no useful purpose and should be tossed in the trash. Rather than try to load your waste into trash bags at the end of the day, rent a large waste bin.

Remember that many of your items may have sharp points. They may be too heavy or too large to reasonably toss in a trash bag. Furthermore, the type or amount of waste that is generated may not be acceptable for curbside pickup. You will need to find another way to conveniently deal with your trash. When you select a bin, ensure you have a large enough bin for all your disposal needs.

Make Special Plans for Hazardous Materials


Image via SMC Health

Some of the items that you may need to remove from your home or that may be used as part of the renovation process may be hazardous. For example, paint containers should not be tossed in a landfill and should be disposed of properly. Lightbulbs, older items that contain lead or asbestos, and other similar items may all require special handling. Explore options for the safe removal of these items ahead of time so that you are prepared.

If you are planning to complete a home renovation or repair project soon, then you need to think through all aspects of the project. While it is easy to overlook waste removal when planning this type of project, you can see that it can play a major role in your effort. Now that you understand the impact waste removal has on a renovation project and the steps you can take to manage waste, you can move forward with your home upgrades with confidence.

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