Thursday, October 19, 2017

Holiday Preparations

December 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Reclaiming Your Guest Room, Part 1


The holidays have arrived, but if your guests haven’t yet, that means you still have time to clean out that poorly-named “guest” room. Do your current guests include piles of unread books, magazines and mail that you intend to read…the beginnings of several projects that sit waiting in boxes and bags…unhung artwork that you can’t decide where to hang? Oh, here’s a good one…boxes and boxes of photographs that need to be put into albums or, better yet, scanned into your computer? How about dusty exercise equipment masquerading as a clothesline?

We’ve all envisioned the perfect guest room. As it often turns out, for some, that room has to serve many purposes. While some of you have successfully achieved that goal of the lovely, well-appointed guest room, others have not yet arrived. Busy lives, burgeoning careers, family priorities, aching finances…just about anything will take precedence over cleaning out and sprucing up that room. But now the holidays are bringing guests, and it’s time to make some quick changes!

Storing things away neatly so you have a place to put a bed or so you can use your bed is a challenge. Here are some options:

Plastic tubs. The quick & dirty (well, clean) fix: scoop things into them in some logical fashion, label them, put them in the closet or in the garage. Altlhough a rapid way of hiding things away, this method still requires that you return to the tubs to sort through your “stuff.”  And you’ve now used up space elsewhere…but again, it’s quick.

Instead, visit your local discount store, home improvement store or places like IKEA or Container Store to purchase organizing units that you can assemble yourself, if you have time. If you don’t, The Fix-It Professionals can assist with this project. Here are some ideas:

Shelving and wall units. To hold books, magazines, CD’s, DVDs, boxes,albums, these units can be set up in the room to maximize the space you have. You will find both standard vertical units and

Closet units. Besides chocolate, there are few things as wonderful as having a closet unit installed! Minimizing the hanging space and maximizing the storage space will help you remove the clutter from the room and organize it miraculously onto and into your new shelves and drawers! Not that hoarding should be encouraged, but you will be able to store SO much more in that closet once it is restructured. Life is short–change ALL of your closets!

Entertainment/media centers. If you have a TV in your guest room, add a unit that can double as a bookshelf and an entertainment/media center. It will serve the same storage purpose of the bookshelf, but with the TV added, it will now look like a piece of furniture, giving the room a more “finished” look.  Then you can jazz it up with some of your collectibles, framed photos and home décor. An armoire-style unit will allow you to hide the TV from view.

Decorative storage bench. If you only need a little bit of storage, add a decorative, cushioned bench to the room that will hold a few things under the seat. These are great storage spaces for extra blankets and pillows, and can be a lovely addition to the room.

Window seat. If you have the right window for it, consider building in a window seat with storage under the seat cushions.  You can make or purchase cushions in many colors and patterns to add accent to the room.

Desk units. Many guest rooms must also double as an office.  There are oodles of desk units to fit most any space. There are even desks that fold out or pull out from a vertical cabinet, so you can close it up when not in use, or when you need to hide your mess! It’s perfect for small spaces, and some look like beautiful pieces of wood furniture.

Clean-up Suggestions:

Before storing comes decluttering, which is never fun. In fact, cluttering wasn’t fun in the first place, yet it just happened, didn’t it? But decluttering won’t just happen, it requires effort. Because it is so daunting a task, assign yourself a specific period of time to spend in that cluttered room, even if it is only 15-30 minutes a day. Set a timer so you can stay on task. If you can set aside 15-30 minutes each day for a week, you may actually make a dent in all of that “stuff.”

Regarding the huge pile of magazines, catalogs, newsletters, ads, junk mail–if you haven’t read them in six months, you may never do so.  Make a list in Word or Excel of those items, articles, things you want to research or read more about “someday,” and get rid of the hard copies. Take them straight to your recycle bin. Donate magazines to schools and charities. And don’t forget to remove and shred your address from these items before you dispose of them.

Good luck with the clean up! Next issue, we’ll cover bed options and lighting/electrical fixes for your guest room.

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