I was organizing a client's bedroom sitting area. This area was closed off by two beautiful glass French doors and was the size of a smaller 12 x 12 size bedroom. The sitting room could be seen when they woke up in the morning. My client, let's call her, Lisa(not her real name), would wake up in the morning to this beautiful glass French doors and seeing the mess that was just behind it. The mess that her husband seems to not care about but was making her crazy. Here is the before bedroom organizing pictures:
When I arrived we started right away, weeding through the iconic IKEA bags that they were using to store clean clothes, dirty clothes, toys, kids clothes, papers from the car to be reviewed, gifts to give to people, etc... as you can see in the pictures above. These bags would also be stored in front of the cabinet she was using for winter sweaters so she would have to climb over them to get to her sweaters. It was quite frustrating for Lisa. But, we were determined to clean this up and so we got started.
How we took charge of the situation?
First, we set up a bag for donation to Goodwill, a bag for giving away to a friend, a bag for trash and a bag for recycle if there was any. We also made a pile for items that needed to be shredded. We labeled the bags with post-its to help remind us which bag was for what purpose.
Then, we started from the left corner near the French doors and worked around. While going through the bags, Lisa didn't realize how much stuff was in each bag and was so embarrassed by the mess. I reassured her that it is OK and that we would get through it. These bags were even surprising to me at how much they hold. Each bag took about 10 to 15 minutes to go through depending on the content. But Lisa was a trooper and she moved through them like a champ.
We found pocketbooks under the 5 IKEA bags that we needed to go through and other bins that were also in the room. Some items we found were a stack (about 2 inches high) of gift cards and certificates. They were unused or partly used cards that she had no idea she had. We also found items she was missing, like her wholesale store card. She was so excited! Finding money one didn't know one had always made one happy!
***AD*** Boutique Rugs: Looking for rugs? Check out their wide variety of beautifully designed rugs.
After two hours, we were able to make it through all the 5 IKEA bags and about 75% of the room. We filled 5 trash bags, 6 donation bags, and 2 give-away bags. Great job! Here are the after pictures of the two-hour job. Great, right?
It's amazing what you can do in two hours! We went through all these drawers as well and all the stuff on the floor. Lisa still has some work to do but, it is a lot better. We have another session next month to continue the process of purging and going through things.
The lesson I hope you take away from this post is don't give up! You will have your catch-all room back! AND, don't use IKEA bags for storing stuff! It is a black hole that will hide items and waste your precious time when looking through them.
Let's discuss: Do you have a catch-all room? What room is it? If you don't have a catch-all room, do you have items that you need to go through? Where do you store them? When are you planning on going through them? Did you learn anything else from this story? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Please note these are affiliate links through Amazon and at no additional cost to you, I will earn affiliate fees if you decide to make a purchase.
Isn't it remarkable to see how the energy shifts in a positive direction for the person and their space when this type of transformation happens? I'm impressed with how much you accomplished together in just two hours. Go, Sabrina!
I used to have a catch-all room, and the first couple of times I cleaned it up, it just accumulated more stuff. However, I'm happy to report that it's now tidy all the time! There are a few stray items, but they're in boxes and not in the way, so they don't bother me - they have to "live" somewhere, right?
Beautiful result! Those IKEA bags are great for some purposes, e.g. packing towels for a beach road trip. Unfortunately, they are "concealers," meaning you can't see what is inside, so it is easy to lose control of the contents. I hope she is smiling every time she wakes up, looks through her doors, and sees that beautiful, clutter free space!
I like your post. Although I like your recommendations, I think I am a lost cause. Your “before” pictures are actually more like my “after” I clean my bedroom.
Keep trying. You will get there.
Rose M Griffith
Like Marquita says, I am not a stuff person either. I have moved entirely too many times in my life to be an accumulator of things. However, I know more than one person who does exactly what that top picture shows. It literally hurts my head to be in their homes! I'm surely not compulsive about organizing. With many different interests, I can have a mini project here and a mini project there. But they are organized--even to someone else's eye. I wonder how long Lisa's space will stay that way? 🙂
I will be there in a month and will check it out. =)
Wow, I have to tell you Sabrina that before is really pretty scary! Disclaimer - I am not a 'stuff' person so I don't have junk drawers or closets and even though the after photo looks SO much better that's just way too much stuff for my taste. Great job though!
I know Marquita, It pretty bad. You can tell why my client was overwhelmed just by looking at the mess. The sad part is I have seen much worse over my 20 years organizing clients. But, all of my clients were so relieved and happy after the mess was cleaned up and decisions were made for all the items.
That was one truly frightening looking bedroom. Did you also reprogram the husband?
No, that would be amazing if women could do that. =)
It's SO satisfying to have a clear out, but oh so hard to do sometimes. This is very inspiring. Thank you!
Very true. But as soon as you do it, it is done and you can reap the rewards. =)
Wow - what a job. I'll bet she gave you a great big hug when you were finished. I don't have a catchall room although I do have a huge catchall closet that I just dump stuff into. Twice a year, Spring and Fall, I go through it and decide what I want to keep and what has to go so it never really gets out of hand, just gives me time to see if I want it or not.
My closet tends to be cluttered. I'm not good about getting rid of things I don't wear. I need you to come and help me. Just kidding. You do a great job.
I don't have a catchall room, but I know how easy it can be for things to just pile up. Great job in cleaning and organizing.
Complete transformation! Congratulations! Looking at all that would have made me nuts:) I don't have a catch-all room and probably never will. I keep things picked up and orderly...that's just me:)
You have worked wonders with these rooms!
The original photographs look chaotic. I would probably have moved out!!
I do not have a catch-all room. We have a shed and loft storage to store items.
Every room in my home is arranged for it's purpose. I do not allow clutter and everything has it's place.