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  • Writer's picturejondab

Organizing and Using Your Spare Bedroom or Bonus Room

In February I always reorganize and clean my spare bedroom. I chose this time because I have just finished reorganizing and decluttering my office and I use my spare bedroom as off-site storage for my business (in the closet and one dresser drawer). But I also keep it as a guest bedroom for those few random guests.

I have just dumped on the bed the items from my office that now need to be put away in a pretty full space. This takes time revisiting my reasons for keeping items and reworking my space. I also do a deep clean so this will take the entire month.

If you are lucky enough to have a spare room or bonus room, how do you use it? Many times, I have seen this room used as a dumping ground for miscellaneous items people can’t make decisions about. What a waste!

Here are some ways I have helped clients, or I personally have used and organized this bonus room:

· Dressing room or a large closet

One client had clothes and shoes everywhere in her spare bedroom. She was tired of the visual clutter. She still wanted to have the room available for the occasional guest but also make it into a dressing room for her. The first thing we did was install built in closets on one long wall of the room. She kept the smaller closet that was already there. She had a lovely armoire and a low bureau. She added a low chest at the foot of the bed and a comfortable chair with a stool. She also had a large mirror.

Now there was space for everything. It was also inviting and comfortable.

· Dedicated playroom

When my boys were young, we often moved. One house had two bedrooms that could have been their bedrooms. We decided, with their agreement, to make the smaller of the two rooms into a shared bedroom and the second room was made into a dedicated playroom.

Both boys liked the idea of keeping the play area separate and found it easier to keep in order.

· Art studio or craft room

Several clients have chosen this option. Some combine it with a guest room and some take the whole space for the studio or craft room. Usually, the closet is reworked for maximum storage.

· Retreat or “nest”

One person wanted her own room where she could retreat and read or meditate. She had a “Nest” sign on her door. It was an upstairs room that looked out over a lovely tree and garden. She set up an alter and had a comfortable reading chair. The room already had a nice bookcase that she stocked with books, notebooks for journaling, and things of beauty that were meaningful to her.

· Exercise room

One person completely emptied the bonus room and used it for an exercise room. Before she had her exercise bike and yoga items scattered about in her living room and dining area. She was tired of tripping over these items and tired of the cluttered look. She took it all to this room, hung a mirror, put in a music system, and hung some of her photographs on the wall.

· Organized storage of excess items from a downsizing move

Recently I worked with a woman who had to quickly downsize into an assisted living space. She had way too much stuff and a lot of it was sitting in bags in her living room/dining room area as well as stacked in the second small bedroom. We divided that extra room into zones and stashed everything that did not currently have a home into that room. Extra books were in one corner, extra clothes were stacked on the bed, office supplies were down the center of the room, bags of bags were along one wall, extra décor items were near the closet. The vision is twofold. She will shop from this room anytime she needs something. Slowly, at her pace, she will sort through the excess and decide what she really needs to keep and find a home for and what she can now let go. Meanwhile, the main living area is relatively clear.

When you look at your spare room, the first step is to get a clear vision of how you want to use this area. What is its purpose or purposes?

Once you are clear on your vision, take stock of how the room is being used now. Brainstorm what has to happen in order to make this space match your vison.

Take your brainstorm list of what needs to be done and put it in a logical order.

Schedule time on your calendar to do each task.

Your reward is having a space that serves you and that you enjoy and will use.

If you want guidance or just accountability in completing a project, organizing a space in your home, or managing your time join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.

Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.

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Feb 01, 2023

I love all the examples you provided for different ways to use a spare room. They give your readers lots to think about.

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