Packing A Punch: Prepping for a Remodel

You have a construction start date from your AMEK team for your remodel. Now what?

While knowing you are finally moving forward on a long-awaited remodeling project is exciting, there’s also a daunting task that needs to be done: packing up.

Figuring out where everything is going to go while we take over part or all of your home is intimidating.  It often comes down to the much-prescribed method of organizing: sort, decide, deal with it. 


Furniture & Appliances

There’s the big stuff like the appliances and furniture. It’s a question of whether to keep and reuse in another place in your home or get rid of it because you are going with a fresh decor in the new space.  In kitchen remodels, the kitchen table often gets replaced by island seating. Thankfully, appliances and furniture in good condition can often be donated to a non-profit organization. 

A Minnetonka couple advises to consider where your favorite pieces of furniture are going to go in the floor plan during the planning stages rather than waiting and hoping they will fit the remodeled space. If you are going to keep items like your grandparents’ dining room table, make sure the design team knows it’s an essential part of the final plan.

Hidden Surplus

Then, there’s the often surprising discovery of what’s in all those cabinets.  Warning: it’s likely going to take longer than you think to sort and pack up your bathrooms, bedroom closets, workshop, and kitchen cabinets.   

So start early to chunk it out.  Keep what you honestly believe you will need going forward. Using the guideline that if you haven’t used something for several years, it’s likely time to part ways unless there’s family history attached to it. Sell or donate useful items that would be welcomed in someone else’s home. There’s helpful online platforms, local organizations, and even your curb to happily help match your things with a new owner.

Thoughtful Retention

When you move back in, you’ll have another chance to screen out additional items if you choose to.  But it’s a golden opportunity beforehand to clear unused clutter to give you a fresh start when your project is done.

“”We ended up storing a lot of stuff and then as we unpacked it; we ended up getting rid of it,” one homeowner admitted. “We could have saved many boxes by just donating stuff from the get-go.”

 Identify & Tag 

As you are boxing up items to keep, be sure to label boxes with two levels of information: what remodeled room or cabinet it will go in and a description/listing of key items inside. Trust us, you will be happy you wrote “Kitchen: cereal bowls, coffee cups & glasses” on a box to find first – rather than opening up the unmarked box that has the roaster or cookbooks in it when the family needs to get up and go to work or school the morning after moving back in.

If your kitchen is part of your remodeling project, It’s also important to survey your kitchen to determine what you will need short-term if you are going to be living in the home and using another location as a mock kitchen. Mark with painters’ tape or something similar, so you (or others helping you) don’t pack those items up.

Pods, Neighbors, Garages, Storage Units 

Now, where to put all your belongings and furniture you want to keep. If you are going to reuse items like your grandparents’ dining room table, where does it go temporarily? We’ve had clients use their garages and basements, rent pods, or move to a mini storage unit. Some use a combination or have neighbors, very best friends or family members store some of the boxes and furniture on a short-term basis.

First Things First

A helpful suggestion given by some AMEK clients is to put the things needed first – beds, kitchen basics, bathroom towels and shower supplies – in the same pod or corner of the garage. 

“It’s harder to move back in than you think,” our Minnetonka homeowners said. “Organization is key – especially when moving back into the remodeled space. We have deliberately taken our time moving in, so items are put in their final location.”

Next Blog: Keeping Your Sanity Through A Kitchen Remodel

In next month’s blog, we’ll talk about the hardest remodel to live through – the kitchen. Follow us to read about mock kitchens, meal suggestions, and other survival tips.

We have provided some information about resources for storage and donating below. Time to get packing…



Acorn Mini Storage

Various Locations


Public Storage

Various locations



On-site Pods

PODS Moving & Storage

Various locations



Various locations




Bridging – Furniture & Household Goods

Bloomington & Roseville


ReStore – Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Furniture, Appliances, Wall Art, Household Goods

Minneapolis & New Brighton


Salvation Army

Various locations

Furniture, Appliances, Household Goods, Clothing



Time to Organize




Do an online search for specific items for free and low-cost options