Simplicity In Action: The Guest Room Makeover

Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.

Time for a confession. For all that I write about productivity and simplicity and organization, there are many times when I completely blow it. I write this blog as much for me as I do for you, and I would be only showing you half of the picture if I didn’t admit when I screw up. So this article is about a big fail, and what I did to get it back on track.

Our guest bedroom, which is rarely used for guests, has morphed into the place where I store all of my craft supplies and do sewing. I’ve been avoiding going in there recently, though, because it was so disorganized and cluttered that I was overwhelmed as soon as I walked in the door. It was time for a makeover.

I wanted to share this with you so that you can see the actual progress that I made in making this space both usable and welcoming, while still allowing it to be converted back into a guest room at a moment’s notice.


Here are the pictures of the before. As you can see, stuff was everywhere. We had half-finished craft projects all over the place, supplies spilling out, out-of-season clothes piled up, and various bits strewn across the floor. The closet was filled with craft projects that will get done, all piled together in bags and pouches.


The first thing was to get the extra bedding out of the way. Since the room is rarely used, I opted for under-the-bed boxes. Two boxes were enough to store both the bedding for our inflatable bed and the bedding we use during our summer camp.

Next up I needed a way to better store projects. After looking at the various options at the local department store, I thought that a cube system would work best. I could put projects in the cubes and have everything in one place looking neat without the possibility of an avalanche.

My sewing scissors were also a headache. With various shears for various tasks, they are all very sharp, so they can’t be laying around; at the same time they are needed so they had to be handy.

The mending pile was also out of control. I needed a limited space to store mending so that when it gets full, I have no choice but to do it. :)


As you can see, we added the cubbies to the room, and it replaced the baskets holding bits of yarn. It makes the room look a lot neater.

With the bedding and craft projects out of the closet, I now have room to store the ironing board. I moved the dresser over as well, into the space taken up by bedding before, and now guests actually have room to hang clothes.

My sewing scissors are now stored in a basket right next to my table. They are screwed into the wall, so there is little danger of them falling, but near to where I need them without being dangerous.

It took a bit of time to get this room straightened out, but I find that I am not avoiding the room any longer. I can’t say as much for the quilt (which has been in progress for 4 years), but I have less of an excuse not to work on it. :)

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  1. MM says

    Beautiful! It is so true that clutter sucks so much energy out of you! Just being able to walk into a nicely organized room allows your creativity to flow. Maybe that quilt will get worked on now… Just saying :)

    • LJ Earnest says

      I WILL finish that quilt. It’s become a matter of endurance now. But never, ever again….