Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Motivation: Organizing The Bedroom

Here it is, the first week in April.  That means it must be time for Monday Motivation.  If you're new to this blog, we're tackling one area of our homes each month.  By the end of the year, the whole house will have been purged, organized, and cleaned.  It's an organized way to evaluate our homes and stay on top of things.  Won't you join us? 

If you've missed the first couple of months, don't worry.  Just jump in right now and start with your bedroom during the month of April. 

For those of you who have been with me for awhile, you know what to do.  Here's a compilation of Monday Motivations from last April:

Monday Motivation: Organizing The Bedroom

So far this year we've organized the entrance, kitchen, and bathrooms. Now we're ready to work on the bedroom.

It's the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we see when before we close our eyes to sleep. What we should be looking at is something like this. . .

But, in reality, this is what it usually looks like. . .

Most of the time, when I'm called in to help stage a home, I encounter an overstuffed master bedroom. What I mean by overstuffed is too much furniture, too many clothes, and too many items that don't belong in a bedroom.

A lot of people, including myself, tend to put stuff in the bedroom that doesn't belong because we don't know what else to do with it. It becomes a staging area for projects, laundry, exercise equipment, and "stuff".

So how do we get from ransacked to restful? I thought you'd never ask! Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What do I want this room to feel like? Restful retreat, romantic getaway (TMI), or an inspired haven?

2. What pieces of furniture could be gotten rid of? Bookshelves, dressers, chairs, exercise equipment?

3. What items end up in your bedroom that don't belong there? Toys, paperwork, laundry?

4. Are there any repairs that need to be made? Loose handles, broken curtain rods, stuck door?

5. What activities will take place in the bedroom? Reading, bill paying, television watching?

Color has a lot of responsibility in setting the tone of the bedroom. Do you want calm and relaxing? Pick solid colors in soothing blues, greens, and creams.

Desiring a romantic feel? Choose a monochromatic style in either light or dark tones. Light colors are more spa-like and darker tones are more lounge-like.

When deciding to weed through furniture: less is better. The above photo shows a furniture showroom. It is a look that you don't want to copy for your home.

I'm dealing with this situation right now in my own bedroom. Hubs and I bought our furniture when we lived in a larger house. We love our furniture and spent over 2 years picking out the pieces. My solution, when I have more energy, is to recess a dresser into an unused space next to our chimney. With a bit of trim work, the piece will fit nicely.

The master bedroom tends to collect "stuff". We're never quite sure how the "stuff" ends up there, but after awhile, we don't even see it anymore. I've seen a lot of bedrooms that looked more like storage units than bedrooms.

Got stuff? Here's a quick method to declutter:
1. Get 3 boxes and a black garbage bag.
2. Starting near the door, pick up items and make an immediate decision about the item. Items that stay in the room go into box #1. Items that belong somewhere else in the house go in box #2. Items to be donated go into box #3. Garbage goes into the garbage bag.
3. Continue around the room (even under the bed).
4. Only what is in box #1 can stay in the room.

A lot of my clients regret not making repairs to their rooms sooner. I think most of us overestimate how long repairs will take and we just don't want to take the time. I always carry my bag of quick fixes and a small tool box when I work and that way we can take care of small repairs when we find them.

Have you decided what activities will take place in your bedroom? Paying bills? Then you'll probably want a small desk or file cabinet in the room. In my previous home, I used a 2 drawer file cabinet as a bedside table. I topped it with a round piece of wood, covered with a table cloth, and no one was the wiser.

If you want to read in bed, you'll need proper lighting and a place to keep your reading material. A bedside table that has drawers or shelves would be needed.

So, take a gander around your bedroom with fresh eyes. Have you been overlooking some things? Next week we'll be looking at storage solutions and ideas.

Monday Motivation: Bedroom Storage Solutions

You only had a holiday from Monday Motivation last week because I was having a kidney transplant!

Now, let's get back to work!

When we last got together, we were evaluating the bedroom to see what worked and didn't. Hopefully you've decluttered, moved out unnecessary furniture, and made any necessary repairs to the room.

Now, we need to make sure you're using the storage you have efficiently. I find that a lot of my clients purchase extra storage containers, including furniture, when they don't really need it. The problem is that they really have TOO MUCH STUFF. I know, it's hard to hear. But, I need to hear it, too.

If you have not gone through your closets and drawers already, now is the time to do it. I've already posted about how to do this, so just check out. . .

A lot of master bedrooms hold a typical furniture set that was purchased all at the same time at a large furniture showroom. I know that's what we did years ago.

If you have one of these sets, and find that it's not functioning for you, you have my permission to break up the set. Really, you do. I have a master bedroom dresser, minus the mirror, as a sideboard in my dining area. The drawer space is more practical than a china cabinet for holding large amounts dishes, linens, and accessories.

Below is a picture of my "dresser" used as a dessert buffet at Thanksgiving.

You can also use a dresser in the family room as a console table, storing games, music, and such out of sight. If you have a very large foyer, you can use one as a storage unit for gloves, hats, backpacks - anything, really.

But I can hear you saying, "what do I put my clothes in now that I've moved my dresser to the dining room?"

I knew you'd be wondering. If you have limited square footage in your bedroom, it's always best to go vertical. Tall wardrobes can hold a lot of clothing and not take up much floor space. I also like to look at drawer size as well. Some beautiful dressers are not functional at all because they have a lot of tiny drawers that only hold 4 pairs of socks or 2 undershirts. Large drawers that slide out easily make putting away laundry and getting dressed 10 times easier.

If you want to use a wardrobe that doesn't have drawers in the top section, you can use storage bins or baskets as "drawers" for your clothing and accessories.

If you are very limited on floor space, there are containers you can purchase to slide under your bed for added storage. If your bed sits a little too low to store something under it, you can lift it up with very inexpensive risers. I find them all the time at the thrift store and use them when I stage homes to give the bed more "presence" in the room. You simply put a riser under each leg of the bed and let the bed skirt cover the riser. Sometimes I have to use a longer bed skirt (or a double one) to cover it completely.

Another place to add extra storage in a bedroom is to make sure your bedside tables have storage capacity. Drawers, shelves, and drawers are all nice features and keep bedside clutter to a minimum. I use a little caddy next to my side of the bed because I don't have room for a piece of furniture next to my bed. I made mine out of fabric, but here is a nice one I found.

I'd love to hear about what other storage solutions you might have come up with to organize your bedroom. Please share about them in the comment section so we can all learn from each other.

Monday Motivation: Favorite Organizing Solutions For The Bedroom

Yes, this Monday Motivation is being posted on a Tuesday. Better late than never, I say.

We're just about finished with organizing the bedroom. All of the big areas have been covered in previous weeks and now all that is left is figuring out what to do with those little accessories we have in our bedrooms. I've discovered that if I don't have a place for my accessories to "live" they just pile up on any horizontal surface in the bedroom.

Here are some creative ideas that I've saved in my idea file. I don't personally use all of them, but they are good solutions to check out if you have a particular need for storage.

First, is jewelry storage solutions. Here is a wall-hung necklace holder. It looks like a wall hung mirror but you can open it and store your necklaces, tangle free. Two of them, side by side, could replace a large mirror over your dresser.

Next, is an almost free solution. Little bowls or dishes set inside a dresser drawer hold all manner of jewelry. You could also use this idea for make-up, finger nail polish, and perfumes.

Scarves are all the rage right now, and this unique hanger is a great tangle free solution for storing them. Hung in the closet, it doesn't take up much room at all.

This is one of my most used storage solutions. I have a lot of these in different closets around the house. They can store sweaters, shoes, purses, folded jeans, pajamas, anything really. I also use them in my craft room to hold fabric, sorted by color. I love, love, love this item.

Lastly, a really inexpensive option to store earrings in is a divided storage box that is sold in craft stores and even in the fishing section of department stores. You can line the bottom with felt if you're worried about your jewelry getting scratched.
I'd love to hear what solutions you use for your accessories. Please tell us about them in the comments section.

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I plan on re-doing our masterbedroom this summer and am looking forward to some storage ideas.


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