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!
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.
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