How To Prep for a Home Renovation: Guest Post by Horderly.com

Today we are featuring “Horderly”!

Horderly is a professional home organization company serving the East and West Coasts – and will travel anywhere to implement our trademarked systems.

This February, Horderly will be changing the lives of clients in Alabama and Tennessee. If you want to work with a Horderly professional organizer, simply answer a few questions about your project here and we’ll be in touch.

Specializing in decluttering, organizing and unpacking, Horderly will create and help you maintain a steady, functional home and lifestyle.

In honor of our collaboration with The Wills Company, Horderly wanted to give readers our tips and tricks to prep for a home renovation, to make sure you are organized before the dust flies!

Preparing for a home renovation can be stressful, we get it! The bigger the job, the more you need to prep. Prepping now will make putting the puzzle pieces together at the end of install that much easier!

Take Before Pictures

Home renovations are a big deal!

Before everything gets ripped apart, make sure you take a before photos to commemorate the way your space once was. Your older self will thank you when you want to show your kids or grandchildren what your home used to look like!

Declutter

Decluttering before a renovation is crucial, and will make life so much easier when you’re moving items in your new space.

At Horderly, we love to edit. You’ll hear us say this a lot! Editing means deciding which items to keep, toss or donate.

Go through each room that is being renovated and take all items out of where they’re currently living. Touch on each and every item to decide whether you still love it and are using it, or whether it can find a better home at Goodwill.

Don’t forget about any items that have slowly crept their way into another space in your home when ideally they should live in this space as well! For example, should some items that have made their way into the hall closet actually be living in the family room? Are there items in your basement that are overflowing from the kitchen? Make sure you’re keeping the whole house in mind while editing an individual room.

The most important part of editing your space before renovations is so that you know exactly what you have and how much you have of it.

Editing your belongings can really put your realistic goals into perspective!

Donate, Then Take Inventory

Donating lesser-used items will make you feel lighter and your space less cluttered! After you’ve edited your space, make a list of everything you’ve decided to keep – and a list of items you need to purchase or replace once your renovation is almost over.

Look at all of your “keep” items and decide which can be stored away and which need to remain accessible. This will help you determine how much storage space you need to plan on creating in your renovated area!

The goal is to create not only a beautiful new space, but also a functional space that can be easily maintained for your family’s lifestyle.

For example, do you need to reconsider that modern entryway table you’ve been eyeing – with no storage for a custom built-in? Should you give up on the idea that you can do all floating shelves in your kitchen?

Consider which design options or built-ins to add to your renovation plans that will provide a beautiful but functional space for your “keep” items.

Sort, Box Up & Label

Now that you’ve decluttered and taken inventory of all items that need to live in the space being renovated, sort items by type and then box up.

For example, if your kitchen is being renovated, box like-items together and label each box accordingly. This is super important so that nothing gets lost and unpacking can be quick and efficient once your contractors have finished your project.

Don’t Worry

At Horderly, we always like to remind our clients that it gets worse before it gets better! Organizing (especially during renovations) is a journey that our organizers are experts on guiding you through.

Try your best not to stress while your home is being pulled apart during renovations. Trust your contractor and know that by the end of the project you will have a beautiful, new space that your family can enjoy.

When in Doubt, Call the Experts

Whether you need help getting organized pre-renovation, need help putting items back into place post-renovation, or whether you want to spruce up your current space without a demo – Horderly professional organizers can help you declutter every inch of your home.

Feel like you need a bigger space or need to move? Think again! Horderly organizers are experts at making the most of each and every inch of your current home. Creating maximized, functional spaces you love is Horderly’s priority and we’d love to help your home feel like home again.

Horderly will be in Alabama and Tennessee this February and are booking up fast! If you live in the area and want to learn more or book a session, reach out to hello@horderly.com for a free phone consultation to have a professional organizer transform your space.

For more information on all things Horderly and more tips on how to get organized, follow us on Instagram and read along with the #HorderlyHabits series on our blog.

Habitat ReStore: One of Our Favorite Things!

Santa has his workshop at the North Pole, and we have ours down the street from our office. The Wills Company workshop is where we construct custom carpentry projects, such as garden gates and bookshelves, before installing them on site. It’s where we store materials for everyday household repairs and improvements, such as insulation, caulk and paint. And it’s where we take surplus supplies and architectural salvage left over from renovating. 

Finding treasures in our storeroom!

With such an eclectic collection on hand, our workshop can look like a lost chorus from The Sound of Music. Sing it with us, in your best Julie Andrews voice:

“Round metal columns and piles of roof shingles,

Storm doors and windows and a doorbell that jingles,

Belle Meade Green shutters and copper flashing…

These are a few of our favorite things.”

While all these odds and ends won’t find a use in our workshop, many are still too serviceable to throw away. So, after a recent Wills Company workshop tidy-up and reorganization, our handymen loaded a truck with perfectly good building supplies and donated them to Habitat for Humanity ReStore at the intersection of Harding Place and Nolensville Road.

With three stores in the Greater Nashville area, including Dickson and Wilson County locations, ReStore is a valuable resource for anyone shopping for home-building supplies or trying to keep building materials out of the landfill. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville sells the reclaimed items and directs proceeds to programs that empower affordable homeownership. 

Donating to ReStore is easy: Drive around to the back of the building, where the team will help you unload. ReStore will also pick up heavy items. Call 615-942-1290 to schedule a pickup, and visit habitatnashville.org for a list of items that can be donated. (Helpful hint: Full cans of water-based paint only.)

Meanwhile, if you know anyone holiday dreaming of metal porch columns, a roof gable vent, or a brand-new almond-colored storm door, take your gift list to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore at 414 Harding Place, where you just might find a few of our favorite (recently donated) things.

Happy Holidays from The Wills Company!

6 Energy Efficient Tips for Your Nashville Home

By Henry Walsh

Dream Green

Ah, the simple and natural life in beautiful Tennessee – you can’t imagine being anywhere else! Nashville is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the nation. That’s why it’s essential to use ecologically sustainable options when remodeling your home. You’ll increase your property’s value as you help to improve our environment. The City of Nashville’s Division of Sustainability defines sustainability as elements that reduce carbon, waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy.

When designing and building upgrades to your Nashville home, you can add some design flair and “go green” in many different ways.

Start by reducing the amount of heat and electricity you use. The cost of energy-saving projects vary, but in the long run, the benefits of lower utility bills are worth it. It also pays off when the time comes to put the house up for sale. Doing your fair share to protect the environment is a big plus, too. These six remodeling and “fix-it” projects will get the job done.

1. Insulation

Weather-stripping, caulk, and sealant prevent heat from escaping during the winter and keep cool air inside during the summer. Controlling air flow with rigid foam insulation, especially in the attic, will make your home more energy efficient. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) on floors, ceilings, and walls cut down on wasted power and reduce outside noise. Leafy trees and awnings placed outside west and east-facing windows create natural shading.

2. Natural and Artificial Light

Let the sunshine in! Solar tubes and skylights bring in nature’s bright light. You can install clerestory windows in high-up wall sections where the sunshine streams through. Wood or vinyl framed multiple-pane windows reduce energy costs by keeping drafts at bay. Ask an architect about the feasibility of adding natural light windows for cooling and ventilation. Designing a solar energy system should start with an energy audit to see how much juice your house is using each season.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent ones, and they last 10 times as long. LED lights (light-emitting diodes) are brighter, do not burn out but instead dim over time, and are not hot to the touch. LEDs shine in a specific direction which allows them to use energy more efficiently than incandescent bulbs.

3. Eco-friendly Appliances

Replacing older units with energy-efficient appliances is a great way to upgrade your Nashville home. Look for Energy Star appliances such as dishwashers, washers and dryers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s yellow Energy Star label will help you choose the right appliances for your home.

4. Water Usage

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets, and low-flush toilets to reduce water usage. Low-flush toilets use about 1.3 gallons of water each flush, instead of the standard 1.6 gallons in regular toilets. The EPA estimates a savings of $90 per year. Showerheads have also gotten an upgrade by cutting down on the amount of water released. Look for the EPA’s WaterSenselabel when purchasing new showerheads for your bathroom. While you’re at it, ease up on those long, hot showers and fix the annoying dripping and leaky faucets!

You can save even more money by looking outside. Install a concrete patio to absorb heat and cut back on the size of the lawn. Plant drought-tolerant plants and check your sprinkler system for leaks.

5. Natural and Recycled Materials

Remodel your Nashville home with real wood, cork, bamboo, ceramic and stone tiles made from natural and recycled materials. Forest Service Council (FSC) wood is available for flooring and framing. It’s certified to be harvested in a sustainable manner. Recycled materials are also available from retailers who specialize in repurposed sinks, cabinet hardware, and flooring. Want to remodel the fireplace? Consider applying recycled tile or glass blocks around the hearth.

You can also use recycled wood in your yard and garden. Build a birdhouse with sustainable materials. Use recycled wood or bamboo to make a compost box. Use the compost box to recycle food scraps and nourish your garden!

6. Alexa, Turn Off the Lights!

Whichever method you prefer, adding smart technology will help you remember to do simple things. For example, a programmable thermostat will cut down on energy costs and keep the home temperature level. You can turn off lights, turn the heat down or the air conditioner off with the tap of an app.

Whether you’re getting it ready to sell or just want to remodel your Nashville home for a long stay, being energy-conscious will pay for itself. More importantly, it will help you to leave less of a carbon footprint on planet Earth.

Henry Walsh is a gardening writer and eco-conscious living advocate. He recently began his homesteading journey after many years of incorporating the principles into his urban lifestyle.

When Carpenter Bees Strike, Give The Wills Company a Buzz

A skilled carpenter can build a house to last a century. At The Wills Company, our gratitude for the beauty and safety of the homes we live in goes to the carpenters who build them. We have the highest respect and admiration for carpenters…

But for carpenter bees? Not so much!

Carpenter bees are a carpenter’s nemesis, rampaging through fine millwork with nary a care for the skill of the millworking human.

Just look at this piece of cedar we recently removed from a second-story balcony handrail.

So compromised was the wood by invasive bees that it split in half lengthwise to reveal a maze of insect trails. These tunnels are not the destructive work of a sweet, industrious honeybee. This wood-chewing mayhem is the deed of Xylocopa.

You may have met her, buzzing with her lacquer-black friends around, say, your back porch or the steps to your deck. Or worse, on your jungle gym, where her holes are just the perfect circumference for a curious toddler’s index finger. Xylocopa is a sneaky bee, boring perfect perforations as precisely as a drill bit. Once inside the wood, she zigs and zags back and forth, excavating all the strength from the millwork. For a carpenter who expends time and energy building a structure, such boring disregard for craft really…stings.

Not to mention the fact that all that damage can be dangerous. Just think what could have happened if the second-story balcony handrail pictured here had failed… Or if your swingset becomes home to a host of carpenter bees… Or if your bee-ridden stair treads give way under the weight of an unsuspecting climber.

The first step in dealing with carpenter bee damage is to get rid of the perpetrators. You can call a pest control professional, or you can try hanging a quaint carpenter bee trap, designed with a single hole to lure these opportunistic insects into a chamber with no escape. 

Honestly, we can’t guarantee the effectiveness of these homespun devices, because our homemade traps have captured only a few of the flying fiends over the years. We don’t claim to be experts at attracting carpenter bees…

But we do know how to attract talented carpenters! In fact, we have a team of six brilliant problem-solving craftsman, who can tackle carpenter bee damage or any other woodwork repairs.

So if you’re facing insects, rot, or any other damage to woodwork, give us a call at 615-352-1228, and a talented Wills Company carpenter will make a beeline to your house.

Spring Into Summer

Bathing suits from Brownlee.co

It’s Porch, Patio and Pool season, and we are ready to party! Can’t wait to mix cocktails, test recipes and gather friends we’ve missed during dreary winter. Now all we have to do is get the Porch, Pool and Patio ready to party, too! The Wills Company can help you shake off the literal cobwebs at your house and prep outdoor spaces for poolside dining or a festive spring fling. Call our Handyman service (615-352-1228) to knock out a punch list of home improvements and spring cleaning, including:

  1. Clean exterior surfaces such as pool decks, screen porches, patios and pathways
  2. Tune up air-conditioning systems before the summer heat wave
  3. Repair torn or missing screens on porches and windows
  4. Replace broken or outdated ceiling fans 
  5. Clean windows and glass in exterior lamps and lanterns
  6. Repair brick and stonework on patios and pathways
  7. Clean gutters after the spring pollen bloom
  8. Touch up exterior paint on house, pool house and garage
  9. Repair garden fencing and furniture
  10. Change hard-to-reach lightbulbs in the eaves

With a Wills Company handyman taking care of the to-do list, you can get down to party planning, which is infinitely more fun. We have a few ideas for that too — all of them involving local products, services and boutiques.

Colorful totes from Epergne
  • Update your beach towels with a collection of candy-colored Turkish T’s, available at Ash Blue
  • Show off a pair of timeless Brownlee Bathing Company swim trunks, available at Brownlee.co 
  • Set a festive table, with tablecloths, napkins, vases and other accessories from Epergne
  • Load poolside platters with cookies from Christie Cookies, Dozen, D’Andrews Bakery, or Hey Sugar
  • Grab a few growlers from local Yazoo, Fat Bottom, or Jackalope Brewery
  • Fill a cooler with popsicles from Las Paletas
  • Add sparkle to your cocktails with handblown highballs from Reed Smythe & Company
  • Spritz yourself with Thistle Farmsnatural geranium oil bug spray, the essential scent of spring and summer in Nashville!
The Classic Turkish-T available at AshBlue (child NOT included)
Get your sugar some sugar!

Spring is here and summer’s close behind. Call The Wills Company Handyman at 615-352-1228 to get your Pool, Porch, and Patio ready for the season.

These Home Improvements Are A Safe Bet

If there’s anything we appreciate more than houses that are beautiful and well-built, it’s houses that are safe. Whether we’re installing shower grab bars and stair rails or making walkways free from slippery moss, the most important work we do on a daily basis is making sure our clients’ families—toddlers to seniors—are safe in their homes.

If you’ve got a list of nuisances around the house—a wobbly stone, a jiggly handrail, a sticky lock—don’t just learn to live with them. Call The Wills Company to make things right. Here are some of the unglamorous but essential jobs we perform on a regular basis:  

Grab Bars: Installing ADA-compliant bars around bathtubs, showers and toilets can help avoid dangerous slips and falls.


Interior Stair Rails: Whether you need to secure an existing bannister or install a handrail where there isn’t one, our carpenters can get a handle on the situation.


Outdoor Railings: Prevent guests from stumbling on walkways by installing sturdy iron railings, designed either to blend into the scenery or to stand out like works of art.


Brick & Stone Repair: If you’ve stubbed a toe or caught a heel on a front walk or back patio, our masons can get brick and stonework back to its level best.


Door Locks & Hardware: When locksets get stubborn, don’t just stop locking doors. Have locks lubricated and adjusted to function properly. Regular maintenance is the key to secure locks.


Window Repair or Replacement: Windows painted shut prevent emergency egress. We can help open them, or we can help explore options for replacement.


Replace Hard-to-Reach Lights Bulbs: Poor lighting can be a real hazard, and so can climbing ladders! Let The Wills Company replace your hard-to-reach lamps to shine their light on your safe and beautiful home.



How can The Wills Company help keep your beautiful home safe? Call us at 615-352-1228. We look forward to hearing from you.

Credit to the photographer, Kerry Skarbakka for the “falling photos”. You can see more of his work on www.artstormer.com or his website www.skarbakka.com