How to organize the worst room in your home

“This is chaos!”

I’m not gonna lie to – I am domestically challenged and not particularly ashamed of that. But hearing “This is chaos!” from my three-year-old niece (!) was harsh.

Now, generally speaking, my apartment is pretty neat. It’s quite empty, truth be told, which is helpful. Also, I knew I wasn’t the best house-keeper ever, so I did everything I could during our home renovation to adapt the space to my poor skills.

But mostly, my apartment is neat thanks to my room of chaos, as Mila described it. Or the room of shame, as I like to refer to it.

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At the moment, this room contains:

– An old bed which won’t be used ever again
– A closet where we keep two old desk lamps (one of which caught Petra’s eye, so I’ll gladly give it to her), couple dozens of paper bags, and an empty cardboard box
Another weird closet, filled with equally random things, such as the typewriter and two champagne glasses (I wish I was making this up)
Vacuum cleaner, drying rack, iron desk and similar items
Five chairs we had used before we bought new ones – picture them simply placed in the middle of the room
– An old coat rack with sweaters and jackets which have been hung there for months and not used once
– A pilates ball, even though everyone who knows me, knows how ridiculous it is for me to own a pilates ball
– A disturbing amount of clothes

We are not the type of people who can’t seem to throw things out. Actually, I enjoy throwing out everything I don’t love or use. The truth is, this room has no particular purpose for now, so it gets filled with stuff we’re too lazy to find a specific place for.

And to find a specific place for everything in that room – outside of that room – might result in cluttering the rest of the apartment. See the problem?

So, how to organize the worst room in your home?

1. Detect number one reason why the room is a mess

You see, I hate the old bed, and closets, and chairs and coat rack. In my opinion, the room would be better without it.

In reality, if it weren’t for those units, there would basically be a pile of stuff in that room.

The problem doesn’t come from “ugly” furniture, but everything else. Which means, the solution won’t come from focusing on that furniture.

That might seem like common sense, but up until now, every time I would add yet another object in that room, I would think “Gosh, I really have to get rid of this bed/closet/chair…”

And even if I did, nothing would have changed.

2. Make significant changes

This is something Petra and I learned from my sister. She is kind of on a quest to convince people to stop doing meaningless little changes in their home believing they would add up to total transformation. Because they won’t.

The thing is, everything from that room could probably fit in those two closets. And the room wouldn’t be described as chaos anymore. But let’s be real – if I start to use (and need) those two awful closets – they will never leave my apartment. Plus, I don’t have nor want the luxury of the multipurpose, but actually useless room.

So, here’s what I plan to do:

clothes_b&w

Step 1: Remove all the clothes.

Since we never put back in our closets items we wore – such as sweaters we wear over shirts or cardigans, I need some kind of an open, small closet.

Ikea, of course, has all the smart solutions for the home organization. I fell in love with Hemnes open closet a few months ago, and now it’s finally on my priority list.

Step 2: Remove cleaning tools.

But where?

3. Find underutilized space in the apartment

hallway closet

hallway closet-openedAt the beginning, I wanted to design a storage space for cleaning tools in the hallway (you might remember Nina’s awesome closet from this post). But Petra suggested I put one old wardrobe instead, and now I love it way too much to give it up for practical reasons. I know, I’m terrible.

But it’s always possible to find underutilized space, even if it’s just one shelf or place for a shelf.

For me, it’s my pantry.

pantry-storage

I’m lucky to have a wonderful pantry which I simply know I won’t use the way it’s intended. No matter how I try, I don’t think I’ll ever be the type of person who meals plans and buys in bulk. To quote my Italian friend “Meal planning sucks the joy out of life.”

So I recently decided to convert my pantry into a storage room. As much as I’m looking forward to it, I realized – to organize the worst room in my home, I have to reorganize the entire apartment.

Challenge accepted!

_ _

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4 thoughts on “How to organize the worst room in your home

  1. Thanks for these Ideas,
    Home can’t look good if rooms are unorganized and the things are placed not the proper place.
    If our home is not organized properly it shows a negative value to our personality.

    Your great tips help me too well to recover the worst room in my home.

    Like

  2. I totally disagree with your Italian friend: meal planning is the best thing ever! It frees up time, effort and money every single day, from not having to come up with a dinner idea, and go shopping. It gives you the opportunity to plan meals you look forward to and use up whatever you buy of groceries, to prevent waste. But it has to be a flexible meal plan, though, that leaves room for spontaneous dinners.
    (Plus, for me: I simply love to organize.)
    A tip for your pantry/storage space: Ikeas Algot-system. Super flexible, practical but still possible to make it look slightly stylish.
    Another tip: keep a box/draver/shelf for stuff you plan to get rid of. That way, you always know where to put clothes or other things you no longer need or use, instead of it just staying indefinetely in the same place as always, or just ending up as clutter.

    Like

    1. Hi Rita, sure, we always try to emphasize that different things work for different people, and the idea is to design and organize one’s space according one’s lifestyle. Algot is amazing system, no one knows how to organize space better than Ikea 🙂

      Like

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