It’s happened three times. We’ve had moved and had a baby at the same time, and a year later I looked around at our house and realize what a mess it was. Every. Single. Room.
I wanted to clear them out, throw away half the stuff in them, and give them a good makeover. The problem was, we didn’t have money in our budget for a makeover. My solution? Do it without spending any. During the past three months, I’ve been slowly working through each room in our house to clear it out and clean it up. This week I finished the whole house, just in time to get outside with the kids and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Not that I’m an expert on anything, but I thought it would be fun to share what exactly I do to makeover a room. Maybe someone out there has a room that needs some updating. 🙂
1. Survey the damage
I usually walk into a room days before I touch it and just marvel at how messy it’s gotten. Then I think about how nice and clean it’ll be when I’m done. Then I wait for a good day to move forward with my plans. This is the “get fired up” stage which I totally need to tackle any project with three little ones constantly trying to undo all my hard work. Here’s the girls’ room before I started…
2. Clear it out
The morning I start my room makeover, I first clear everything out of the room. This is usually extremely entertaining to the kids, who then crawl all over the stuff that’s in a new place and is therefore much more fun to play with than it ever was before. They were thrilled when I dumped all the contents of Lydia and Abby’s room into the hallway. (I leave any big or bulky items and pieces of furniture in the room and work around them.)
This is also the time to make a trash pile, a giveaway pile, and a “this doesn’t belong in this room” pile. Items not worth owning (broken toys, ripped up pieces of paper, etc.) get dumped in the trash. Salvageable items I no longer want (books we don’t read, clothing we don’t wear etc.) get put in the giveaway pile, and things that don’t belong (ponytail holders, spare change etc.) get stashed together to be returned to their rightful locations later.
4. Clean up
Depending on how long everything is taking, this is the prime time to dust, sweep the floor, mop, or wash marks off the walls. Usually I don’t spend a lot of time on this because the kids are already getting restless and Paul is already late for his nap. But it is nice to look around at the big, empty room because at this point it’s cleaner than it’ll ever be again.
Now I move around any beds, tables, desks, chairs, dressers, or bulky toys to their newly selected location. Sometimes I move a lot. Sometimes I don’t move anything. The more I move, the more made-over the room feels.
6. Put it back together
Next I put all the stuff back in the room. This is the hardest part if you have little Munchkins crawling around because they’ll want to come in the room and play with all the newly-put-away stuff. I happened to have a new toy shelf for the girls when I did their room, so that helped a lot with toy storage. I’m a sorter, so I love sorting through everything and grouping things together in their new storage spots.
7. Admire your hard work
After you’re done admiring, get the kids outside so the room stays looking new for more than a few minutes! When I did the girls’ room, they were so excited to play with their new toys (which were not new at all, just sorted and put in nice, shiny, new bins) that I just let them play for a while. Don’t forget to take your pile of “things that didn’t belong” on your way out and put those items away too.
And now you have a fresh, clean, made-over room without having spent a single dime. 🙂