We’ve all got that one room in our house which just gets filled with all the junk from everywhere else in the house that doesn’t have a place!
For us it’s our spare room. We’re usually pretty good at keeping it neat enough so that if we get visitors it can be quickly cleared and useable but recently we decorated a room and pretty much everything from that room was dumped on the bed in the spare room!
The room that we were decorating was my Nanna’s room which hadn’t been decorated since approximately 1975 – so as you can imagine there was a lot of stuff in there that had to be moved in order to move the furniture and reach the walls. We did this over a few weeks so we just put everything into the little room and left it there so we could move things around as often as we needed.
But this made the little room a bit … well …. messy? cluttered? see for yourself!
So it was going to be a big project to get this room liveable again!
My nanna was unable to do it due to the energy and heavy lifting and both me and my partner work full time so it seemed almost impossible that it would ever get done!
But we were all getting sick of being unable to get into this room for anything (especially since I keep clothes in a set of draws in there!) so one evening I decided to make a start. Little did I know that I would be done and dusted in a little over 2 hours!
Yes! Two hours to go from something that looks like a scene from a hoarders TV show to an actual guest room!
*Disclaimer I actually got the room to this in two hours! It did take me more than that to take the relevant bags to the relevant places in the following week or so!*
So how did I do it?
Prepare yourself. I always like to have some music on and some refreshments ready if I’m going to be looking at some serious decluttering – anything that distracts you from your room will make it a slower process!
Get everything in one big pile. As you can see this was already half achieved for us so it didn’t take very long for me to do!
If things are in individual bags take them out – it will make them easier to sort I promise (unless you’ve been meticulous in bagging in the past – in which case please carry on and ignore this step)
Begin, I know sounds hard. The easiest thing to do is start small – start in one corner or with one particular item. I began the bottom of the bed and started making some piles etc.
My piles went as follows
TO MOVE: These were the things that could easily slot back into the room which they had come from. For example there were shoes and clothes which would take two minutes to line up and hang up. I did these pretty much as I went because the room isn’t very big and I had to make space for all the other piles!
TO SORT: We had a load of sentimental items in various carrier bags and boxes, photos , cards etc. I knew this was neither the prettiest or the most efficient way to store them so I had to come up with a better solution – but in the meantime into a pile they went.
TO STORE: There were things in that room that we definitely should keep but didn’t need to be where they were. We had ladders and drills that would be more at home in the shed so off they went into the storage pile.
TO TIP: We had loads of broken items and items that would no longer be useful at all – old energy inefficient bulbs which didn’t fit any of our current lightbulb fittings so we piled them away to go to the tip where they would be recycled and disposed of safely.
And that was the piles.
It sounds very simple but literally i just worked my way from one end of the bed to the other sorting items accordingly. And when I was done? I bagged them all up as I had piled them and put post it notes on them so that they could easily go off to the appropriate place.
Oh and the photos and sentimental items? I found an old suitcase which had records in and took the records out to display them on the new shelving we had put up and put all the photos and cards inside one easy to find suitcase which then happily fit on top of Nanna’s wardrobe. Sorted.
Take your stuff to where it needs to be! If you have things to go to the tip take them there when you have the time and the same for the charity shop. As I said my partner and I work full time so we had to wait until weekends when they were open and we were available. I did this exercise at 8pm one winters evening so it wasn’t practical to take everything up to the shed as it was dark and cold so we waited to do that as well.
Try and keep it that way, We have put photos on the walls and washed the bedding and tried to make the room more like a guest room which wasn’t too hard as the room had not long been decorated and we have had guests who needed to stay in it as well. If you’re struggling to keep your spare room nice maybe give it a lick of paint to make it feel fresh and new again and stop you and your family piling the room up with junk that doesn’t have a home elsewhere in the house!
And that’s how I turned my junk room back into a guest room in just two hours!
Have you got a junk room? What are your plans for tackling it? Let me know in the comments!