Whether or not you want to admit it, that spare room in your home IS your unofficial dumping ground. I’m talking about the guest room that only receives guests a few times a year and the home office that holds a lot of paper but doesn’t do much work. I had a friend once tell me that she referred to spare rooms as prayer rooms --- simply praying for someone to clean them up.
Don’t be embarrassed. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had our “prayer rooms” and dumping spaces because LIFE HAPPENS.
So how do we alter reality? How do we transform our spare spaces into meaningful places?
- Open the door. We often keep that door closed to avoid the onslaught of mental and physical clutter, so take a deep breath and prepare for a bit of overwhelm. Then take another breath.
- Pick up the first object nearest you. What is it? Are there other items in the house that are similar? Where are those other items stored? Take this item and place it with others like it --- don’t worry about trying to organize where you’re putting it, we’re not working on that yet. We’re simply trying to get into the spare room.
- Pick up the second object nearest you. Repeat step 2. Continue to repeat this great sort until the room is completely empty. Your house might get a bit messy as you stack, but that’s okay. If you want to conquer clutter, then you MUST give every item a home in your house. The chaos is temporary. It’s like ripping off a bandaid. You’ll get over it and the space will heal.
- Discard trash and corral donations. As you sort through the spare space, you’ll likely come upon a lot of items you no longer need to keep. Let them go. These are the EASIEST choices, so don’t delay in making them. Be decisive. If those items still have some life left in them, donate them. Place donations in a box or bag, and once the container is full immediately load it into your car. (If your car fills up before the spare room is cleared, that’s FABULOUS! You’re doing it right!)
- Now that the space is empty, determine the function of the space. Although it may technically still be a spare room, don’t let it be a dumping ground. If you know you need the room for storage, then invest in storage shelves and clear bins. If you want it to be guest room, starting looking for a bed and a nightstand. If you want it to be a play room, then bring in ALL the toys and their corresponding containers. Every space in your home should have a purpose. Purposeless souls roam aimlessly, much like purposeless rooms. Don’t let your space get lost in the shuffle.
- Follow through. Stick to your decisions. When things end up dumped into that space, return them to their proper homes ASAP. Clutter doesn't have to win. Alter your spare room reality today.
So which spare space will you attack first? The cabinets? The den? The guest room that has never been able to be a guest room? Share your stories below and don’t forget to join our #5ADayEdit challenge on Instagram.