Has your guest bedroom become a junk room? Unless you put a concentrated effort into preventing it, it is very easy to accumulate a lot of items over the years that create excessive clutter. The bedrooms of the house are easy targets for things to pile up in. Gatherings and parties usually happen downstairs in the living room and kitchen, not upstairs. So naturally, these rooms are kept neat and clean while the random stuff is thrown in an unused bedroom when company arrives.

There's a bed in there somewhere!

There’s a bed in there somewhere!

Sure, placing a few items here and there in the spare bedroom won’t do any harm. If the room is unused the majority of the time, why not keep some things in it that you don’t have a place anywhere else? The problem comes when all that stuff keeps accumulating and the room ends up looking more like a self storage unit than a place to sleep. Or when someone arrives to actually stay overnight and you just end up shuffling the stuff into another room. If you need to reclaim your spare room as a functional bedroom, here are some tips:

Sort Through the Clutter

Plan to take a few hours and really focus on sorting through the stuff in that room. Put on an upbeat, fast paced playlist for motivation to get the job done. Decide what can remain in the room, what can be kept elsewhere in the house, and what can be moved to self storage. It may also be a good time to donate, sell, or recycle unwanted items.

If you are having a difficult time figuring out which items to let go of, follow these guidelines:

  • Anything you use or plan to use on a fairly regular basis should be kept in the house
  • Anything you use only a few times a year or during a certain season (clothing, for example) should be kept in self storage
  • Anything you haven’t used in over a year should be given away.
  • Sentimental items (photos, books, wedding dress) should be kept in the house if you have the room, and put in self storage if you do not

Limit the Amount of Stuff

Ideally, the room will resemble a typical bedroom and feature only a bed, nightstand, dresser, chair ect., with limited clutter. However, your guests will probably understand this is not a hotel and a few boxes or random items kept in the corner is completely acceptable. The important part is to remember to stop at just a few items. Too much clutter can make it a stressful place to sleep!

Use Furniture as Strategic Storage

IMG_0087A good way to make sure your guests experience very little visible clutter is to strategically store things in the room. For example, always take advantage of the space under the bed. Use long and flat rolling storage containers designed specifically to fit in that space. It’s also a great place to store wrapping paper for birthdays or leftover from Christmas. You can even purchase bed risers at any home goods store if you need more room. Just make sure you have a bed skirt long enough to hide your secret storage space!

Some other furniture storage ideas:

  • Find a headboard that includes a bookcase to keep your old books or photo albums
  • Use a chest that can double as a seat
  • If you have a closet and a dresser in the room, choose one for storage and leave the other empty for guests to utilize

Use a Room Divider

Still need more storage space in that room after using furniture strategically? Consider a tall room divider for a bedroom that is fairly large. Designate half the room as a clean and neat place for guests and the other half for storage. This is the best of both worlds: You have a functional place for guests to stay in without compromising your spare room storage. Make a promise to always keep the clutter behind the divider.

Follow this advice and you can turn your junk room back into a guest bedroom in no time! Have any other tips for tidying up a spare room or ideas for strategic storage? Share it with us in the comments.