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Organizing makeovers April 16, 2005 1:51 AM

There is a new wave of organizing - complete room makeovers.  This has been made popular by tv shows and more and more people are wanting to clean up and get a fresh, new look to their rooms.

My friend keeps painting walls to change the look of her rooms.  I keep moving furniture, which is more redesign than a makeover.  A few simple touches is all it takes to make a room new again.

Makeovers are sure a good way to clear the clutter ... and, even though I'm not to fond of some of the organizing shows on tv, the new direction in organizing is cool.

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Tell me more... April 16, 2005 12:48 PM

I have no clue about how to go about this, so please talk a little about what you mean... or maybe give links?

I truly dislike living in my house the way it is now, and after the tax ordeal I'm trying to make a new commitment to getting it together.

Income is limited, and we lost everything in a house fire several years ago and haven't replaced most of the substantial stuff. Subsequently, the small junky stuff that accumulates through day-to-day living, some of which is necessary, doesn't seem to have a home. Things get set down and then just stay there forever, it seems.  I have never bothered to "fix up" any of the rooms. But it's time to get on with healing from the loss and make this home.

This house seems to have been built by people who didn't understand space planning at all, although I have to say there is a superabundance of electrical outlets. Ha!
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I fcould really USE a bedroom makover ... April 16, 2005 1:45 PM

I moved 14 months ago from a moderately large house in the desert SW of the USA... totally different concepts from the Old South of Atlanta... Nothing fits and I have no leftover $$ to buy new thhings... I managed to make my living room ok even though it now has two couches as the sleeper sofa that was supposed to go into the library/guest room could not go around a corner...

Everything in my bedroom is leftovers ... a huge SW style whitewashed oak chest of drawers; a very inexpensive - read CHEAP- light fauxwood cabinet to hold my tv; a handpainted hutch; and a dark stained wooden chest under the windows that my cats love to sleep on and watch the outdoor critters.  My new queen matress box springs is sitting on a metal frame - no headboard etc as I sold my Cal King bed in AZ after the divorce. ... ugh... I cannot get inspired to fix it because my lack of funds upsets me everytime I try ... need an inspiration or Extreme Makover LOL

I do not think they are interested in divorced, disabled cat rescuers - they have too many awesome people to choose from

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PS... did I mention NO CLOSET SPACE... April 16, 2005 1:47 PM

this house has minimal closet space and the only place for linens is in the guest bathrooom - just enough for a few towels and living room throws... ugh...  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Consider Redesign April 18, 2005 11:35 AM

When money is an issue and you can't afford buying new things, than "redesign" would be something doable for anyone.  What this means is to simply rearrange the room (move an items location from one place to another, maybe to/from another room), maybe change its color, possibly even refinishing, reupholstering, or painting old furniture.

You'll want to remove everything from the room -- I mean EVERYTHING!  Start with a blank slate.  If you have to move the stuff outside, so be it -- just get it out of the room you're working on.

You can then draw up a floor plan of how you could place the furniture.  If you have too much furniture that crowds the area, get rid of some.  Then, only move in the pieces that you really like.  If it's a sofa you don't like, cover it with a slipcover and add some new pillows to accent it.

When you sort the things you've removed from the room, this is a good time to streamline and get rid of things that don't enhance the look and feel or functionality of the room.

You'll find many samples of rooms that have had a makeover and a redesign at  Just getting rid of clutter alone can redesign a room!  You'll see one living room where nothing was purchased or painted -- just clutter removal -- and it looks entirely different!

Get boxes to throw the stuff in from the room and take it to a place to sort.  Yea, just like in the tv shows!



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 April 25, 2005 5:30 PM

The before picture looks familiar. It looks like #2 when we have a scheduled get-together. I have known people who box up their stuff to clean up the livingroom and then empty the box afterwards and be cluttered up again!

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 April 25, 2005 7:05 PM

I have known people who box up their stuff when company's coming... and then never unbox it again! Won't say who those people are...

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 April 26, 2005 12:40 AM

Actually, Kristin, that's an excellent (and easy!) way to work out what you really need to have around you, and what's just clutter! You can always go through it later, one box at a time, and file away anything you have to keep. The rest can go to a charity shop, or get recycled. (If there's anything decent in there, you can always try your local Freecycle group.) Even if it just stays in a box out of sight, it's a lot better than having to look at it. I'm definitely with you on this one ...  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Organized clutter April 26, 2005 9:59 AM

That's true ... I did an organizing makeover on the Pat Croce Moving In show that involved a woman who's apt was so cluttered there wasn't any clear floor space left to walk on.  We only had 5 hrs to do the makeover on this room, so my team and I had category boxes and tossed everything into the boxes.  When a box was full, we labeled it and moved it outside the room.  After all the sorting was finished, the boxes were moved to a storage room for the woman to go through at her leisure.  These boxes were closed and nicely stacked. 

(did I mention that there were 55 large boxes filled with "stuff" from this ONE room!?)

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Perhaps next time April 26, 2005 2:27 PM

I'll try that sorting, boxing, labeling thing... But the usual event induces such panic that EVERYTHING gets thrown in... Bills, shoes, magazines... the stray cat...

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Cyndi ... April 26, 2005 3:11 PM

Have you considered a nice trip to the area North of Atlanta, Georgia ... I would love to have one of the redesign/makeover shows atttack this house ...

Depressing but such good "stuff" to work with - quilt collection... 5 LARGE sterilite platic storage bins of beanie babies/buddies ... got to figure out how to get a few $$ for thhem ... and did I mention a room full of crafting items/material for sewing/ the contents of a library room (from my 4000sq ft house that I just got moved into when hubby told me he was moving to CA to get Married:>>>>> duhhhh...) AND a "few Tiffany lamps and reproductions ... not to mention my art collection...

Yard sales are out; ebay is my only hope!!

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Fresh start makeovers April 27, 2005 10:46 AM

While collectibles and other items that hold value (or held value) remain in your life as "stuff," it still helps to periodicaly re-examine what we want to see / have in our environment or storage areas.

The idea of selling our stuff -- although it has a plus point -- just adds another task to what we have to do to get rid of our items.  So, a lot of people just hang on to things because they want to sell it, as opposed to donate it, or toss it.

My 2cent advice is, if you really intend to sell your valued items, than take action on it -- take pictures of the items, list them on ebay or craigslist, and prepare to ship 'em off.  That's a lot of work (as opposed to donating and getting a tax writeoff), but by all means, go for it if you have the time and energy and patience and follow-through and ....

Oh, did I depress you?  Well, I am sorry for that, if I did -- but just thought you should evaluate the importance of what you do before you do it, that's all.

I guess what I'm really trying to point out here is that, if you really intend to get rid of stuff, get rid of it ... don't think about it, don't plan on it, don't strategize it, don't drag it out ... just give yourself the environment you envision you want to be in and start!

Ok, I'll kick myself out now.  Love you guys and only want to help ..

 (and then let's have a candle vigil to our junk)

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 April 27, 2005 11:10 AM

Inexpensive redecorating ideas:

If you live in a city with a thrift store, go early and often.  Now I admit that they have a lot of junk, BUT, if you go often enough, you get a feel for what type of things they have, and you can find some pretty cool things.  90% of the time, when people come to our apartment and admire something of mine, it will be from Goodwill.  My family now calls me the queen of scrounge.  You can look at things that have a few small problems, and if you know what to do about them, you are good.  Remember not to get in over you head on this, though.  You don't want to add clutter to your home, and more to your to do list.

One note, if you have a friend who goes, go with them the first few times.  I learned pretty early to trust my eye when it comes to home decor, furniture and kitchen stuff, but the clothing aspect took me a while, and I finally learned from my good friend, who is the queen of thrift shopping.

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 April 27, 2005 9:56 PM

When it comes to redisign I like to think paint. It can be low cost (I always check out the mis-mixed paint section in every home improvment store - usually only $5 a gallon but sometimes it takes time to find shades you like - or mix two shades together). You can do the walls, you can do the furniture so it matches (or some of it is the same shade with spoung or dry brush in a darker or lighter color to tie all the pieces together). I seem to feel better about being able to clear the clutter with a bright new color on the walls or coffee table to chear me up.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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