Home Forums Living Spaces Bedrooms Trying for the impossible?

This topic contains 20 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Ashura 8 years ago.

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  • #159398


    Hello everyone!

    As this is my first ‘real’ post in the forums I’ll introduce myself a little. I’m on my 20s, living with my father, and from a family of clutterers-going-to-hoarders.
    I’ve had it all- the hand me downs, the ‘heirlooms’, the ‘keep it just in case’, and ‘what if one day’- name an excuse, I’ve likely gone through it and heard it before.
    A mix of situations make it so that I can’t currently move out of the house to have my own, and so I have to make do with where I live.

    The problem? It has clicked in *my* brain that if I want to lead a happier, healthier and cleaner life (and be able to invite friends over!) I have to get rid of stuff. But it hasn’t clicked in my father’s brain.
    My father has taken a “I want this cleaned out” stance, but refuses to actually move a finger, despite all the help I’ve offered, no suggestion on how to begin is good enough for him, so things have stalled.
    I have, however, uncluttered a LOT of my stuff (three wardrobes of hand-me-downs, keep-in-case-you-need-one-day clothes have been gone through until all my clothes and shoes fit in only one. DVDs, books [we’re both huge on reading], etc from my personal collection, including all VHS tapes, toys, plushes, have either been sold, given away, or gone to charity, etc).

    Right now my main problem is the following:
    I’m switching rooms, while trying to ‘move in’ fully into my own room. That is, so that I can’t be blamed for the mess I haven’t made as I am now, just because one thing is out of place, and so that I can find everything when I need it without having to sort through piles of stuff my dad has put on top of mine. I want to make of this my sanctuary, so then I can have a place to run to and relax when I try to tackle the rest of the house.

    But since I’m trying to move in 20+ years of my life into a single room, it’s been difficult.
    I’m given roughly a 9x9ft room, if my conversion doesn’t fail me (about 3x3mts); in it have to fit: My bedroom, my home office, and it also has to be a nice place for guests… because it’s right by the entrance door.
    Yes, my bedroom is the entrance to the house (though, that room still needs to be cleared out by my dad, who is being just a tad uncooperative).

    I figured I can solve hiding the bed by making it into a sofa when it’s not in use- I can’t purchase new furniture so I have to make do with what I have. Making it a sort of futon/pull out bed solves the issue of the bed.
    But I need ideas on how to properly “disguise” everything else.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to successfully incorporate a mini home-office into a bedroom, or something like that? I’ve looked at some student dorm solutions as it’s more or less what I need, but nothing seems to inspire me, so I really need helps with thoughts of how to decorate and set up the place.
    Or is my project impossible?

  • #189911


    Trying for the impossible?

    My first thought would be to loft the bed and have a sofa/love-seat underneath of it for seating (Love the idea of a futon/sleeper sofa but I for one would be too lazy to put it back together again every night). Untraditional home-offices, depending on what you need it for, can fit on a small table or secretary. If you’re working from home that might not be the best solution, but if you mean taking care of bills and working on the computer only it still can. Folding chairs if you have them.

    You can consolidate furniture by having a corner of your desk be your nightstand. You mentioned wardrobes instead of a closet – a nice coat of white paint will make it seem more open and fresh.

    I don’t think it’s impossible, but every piece of furniture should be multi-functional. Keep working on it!

  • #189915


    Trying for the impossible?

    It’s not impossible, and it sounds like you’re starting out with a good attitude and already making progress. It will do wonders to have your own safe space to retreat from the mess in the rest of the house. Do you have a plan to move to your own place in the future when your situation changes? It might help you to plan if you have a timeline.

    One statement that made me pause was that you’re moving 20 years of your life into your room. The stuff is not your life. It’s just stuff. Focus on your current and future life, not your past. That might help you to make the decision to get rid of stuff that is not useful or inspiring. It took me a few moves to develop that attitude and get rid of junk that was just excess baggage. Of course, I understand accumulating nice things like quality cookware, tools, and other household items that might be expensive to replace in the future. I had that problem when I moved back in with my parents for a while after college. If you have a lot of those things from your previous life, do you have an option to store some of them? If not, it might be worth it to your health and sanity to sell them or give them to friends, and only keep a few favorites.

    As for disguising furniture, what about creating some light-colored fabric panels to cover your wardrobe, bookshelf, or dorm room stacking cubes to conceal the contents? An open-faced bookcase or stack of cubes full of small objects can look cluttered in a small space, but a nice panel over the front might keep things looking tidy. Open-faced organizers with pull-out baskets can keep small items contained and maintain a clean, uniform look. If you have a laptop and don’t need it on all day, maybe you can store the laptop and accessories in a drawer (or on the pull-out keyboard tray) when not in use, and then the desk will be open and available for other uses (nightstand, writing desk, craft area, dining table). Craft stores sell attractive patterned shoeboxes that are nice enough to keep visible, but you can cover your own boxes with wrapping paper or contact paper.

    Is there anything specific about your new set-up that you anticipate being a problem? Current problems that you want to change in your new space? For example, my last printer was quite large and oddly-shaped so that it was difficult to move around. My new printer is a nice brick shape with trays that all fold flat, so I can take it off the desk and put it away when I’m not using it. I have a tiny desk with a cheap padded folding chair that fits underneath it. It takes up less space than a traditional office chair, and I find it more comfortable. It’s also easy to carry into the dining room when we have extra guests. The desk has a sliding keyboard tray, which holds my cables and writing utensils so the desktop stays clear.

  • #189920


    Trying for the impossible?

    hi ashura, welcome! i think, for a room with multiple functions, ikea seems to be a good solution. their products are not too expensive and often made for complicated rooms. concerning the mini-office, “ludvig” http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40146171 or another laptop workstation could be an idea.

  • #189921


    Trying for the impossible?

    Thank you for the ideas!
    Lofting the bed is actually a great idea (and we do have high ceilings there!), although not one that can me implemented right away. I can see what you mean about putting the bed back as a sofa every morning and then back again, it was one of the foreseeable annoyances of it, but one I can put up with until I find a better way to deal with this. Lofting the bed will definitely go into my notepad of maybe’s though.

    My home office is used for a bit of everything- I work from home, but I also deal with some bills and also would like to use it for writing (so need clear space also)… it really is going to be a mini multi-purpose desk.
    Folding chairs is a great idea, though I have none. Or something that can be pushed under the desk completely t hide it away.

    I was actually considering having the corner of my desk being the nightstand, though it’s something I will have to see fully once the furniture is in.

    Repainting the wardrobe is also a great idea. It actually has panels on the doors that I thought about fixing (since it’s an old wardrobe), so I will probably repaint those somehow.

    Thank you also for the tips and all the great questions!
    I don’t really have a plan to move out- I would love nothing more than to do it, but sadly it’s not something that is likely to happen in the near future as my current situation stands.

    It’s true that stuff is not my life, perhaps it was the wrong choice of words. πŸ˜‰ More accurately, it’s just crap gathered over 20 years of life, haha. Also I seem to have a thing for gathering little notes and papers that I end up losing anyway.
    I do plan on getting rid of more things, but what I have left right now is still things I’m a bit attached to, so it was harder to get rid of on my first and second large purges. Third time’s a charm, though! πŸ˜‰

    I do have an option to store some of my things away, but I would rather not unless they’re stored out of sight in my own room. I’m trying to keep my “presence” minimal in the house, both not to be a bother and not to be bothered.

    I love the idea of the fabric panels for the bookshelf! (and maybe even the wardrobe, I was just going to paint it… ) The few panels that contain not-books will likely benefit lots with them.

    The laptop idea is cool, sadly I have a desktop PC (that I would very much like to change for something smaller someday) and a netbook, so the desktop will have t stay ‘visible’.
    Ideally, I wanted to make a ‘standing’ desk and get a high chair for the times I got terribly tired just standing, buuut I can’t do that right now as I need to use the money to repaint and clean out the room properly.

    As for the question of anticipating stuff being a problem; I know my desktop pc will be an annoyance to deal with in such a tight space. There’s also a dresser I do not like (nor need) and the current desktop that I will probably be stuck with, both of which are rather nonfunctional to my taste and needs, but that I can’t change right now.
    My printer (and scanner) are quite an annoyance too, but until I get the money to replace it with an all-in-one they will have to find a home on the not-very-functional desk (or thereabout). I do use both on a regular basis so I can’t just get rid of them.

    Currently, the dekstop I’m stuck with I made a makeshift shelf on for my screen, and store the keyboard under it when not in use, so the desktop is sort of halfway cleared for other needs.
    Aaaand since my wardrobe will be quite tall when I move in there and I will need a ladder or step stool to get to the top, I was thinking getting one of those step stools that also function as chairs.
    It’s either that or a foldable one with a foldable chair too.

  • #189922


    Trying for the impossible?

    @Mimi, thank you also! Sadly Ikea is not a solution for me– because it’s not available in my country (you’d think, but nope. XD) I like that work station though, might be able to in time produce something like that…

  • #190017

  • #190052


    Trying for the impossible?

    i think the key is to declutter even more ruthlessly, before you start planning furniture.
    the less stuff you have, the easier it is to store it.

    if i was you, in a room that size, i would
    1. loft the bed and keep my clothes and books below it OR make that the office area.
    unless you are running a huge multi-national you really only need a file drawer, some blank paper, a couple of pens, a stapler, a waste paper bin….a desk with three drawers is probably ample.
    2. save up for a laptop and a small printer/scanner…computers do not last forever and when your desktop goes, as it inevitably will, you may as well have money and a plan in place.
    3. abandon the idea of making it a guest reception area.
    an office/bedroom is quite enough to ask of a 3m x 3m space. particularly as you are keen to not have your stuff all over the house.

  • #190053


    Trying for the impossible?

    Don’t forget to utilize the space on the back of doors.

  • #190065


    Trying for the impossible?

    I agree with saving up for a laptop as a long-term uncluttering step. I’m a computer science grad student who just moved into a tiny apartment and coincidentally, my desktop just died. However, I have an old laptop that is ‘good enough’. Involuntary minimalism, here I come! As a bonus, I’m getting rid of a large, heavy, noisy power sink, a big UPS and a clunky set of headphones.

    I also second bandicoot’s notion to declutter before rearranging the room. I spent literally months decluttering before moving and setting up a new apartment, and if we still owned even 1/4 of what was donated/sold, we would have had a very tough time arranging what was left in a new space.

  • #190073


    Trying for the impossible?

    Maybe a bookshelf around your desk or hung on the wall over your desk with baskets to disguise all the office and personal things. In such a small space, think up. Shelves over doors, etc.

    I love the raised bed with space underneath.

  • #190075


    Trying for the impossible?

    @lottielot; thank you! Some of those images were really quite inspiring. I wish I could do something as cool as some of those.

    @bandicoot; Thank you for the tips! More uncluttering is definitely on the list to do, and while I’m tackling it mostly in a “a thing every so many days” right now, I think when I actually move in there I will definitely do some more getting rid of things.

    It’s good advice to save up for a laptop. I think I definitely will do that. (I’m still trying to get an ereader to be able to declutter some more books, so it shall go on the pile of “to buy”).

    The third point, however, is rather unavoidable as of now. My room would literally be right next to the entrance of our house, and there is no other room to make into a guest area (that my family is ready to give up, anyway). Mostly, so long as I get to have a seat or two for a guest and keep it tidy, I think it will do. πŸ˜›

    @Another Deb: Thanks for that! I do always forget about it, but I’ll see about what I can store there!

    @Parsifal; Definitely I will need to save up for a more minimalist desktop setup. πŸ˜‰ There will definitely be more decluttering- all that didn’t go on the first rounds but that I haven’t felt the need to use at all until now (and that I kept because I still had some attachment to it) will definitely be going. I’m gonna re-home, re-cycle and re-sell some electronics as well, depending on their individual conditions.

  • #190076


    Trying for the impossible?

    @Sky; That’s a good idea! Dependable on where I’ll put the desk (under the window or not), but a great idea regardless. XD Which brings me to think I could possibly work around the window too, anyhow. πŸ˜‰

  • #190081


    Trying for the impossible?

    I’m reading along and cheering you on, there have been so many good suggestions already.

  • #190087


    Trying for the impossible?

    Thank you ninakk! Now it’s mostly a matter of waiting for my father to decide to move it, I’ve already tried encouraging him and saying I’d help out, but he’s being lazy about it.
    Until I have some space free there I won’t be able to actually measure things out comfortably to plan out what to do, but all the ideas people are sharing here have been really helpful!

  • #190116


    Trying for the impossible?

    +1 on storage ottomans for seating. Much less annoying than seldom-used chairs, when space is at a premium.

    Re: e-reader: Ashura, is Kindle available where you live? If so you can download the reader to your computer for free, no need to wait on buying a device to declutter books. πŸ™‚

  • #190125


    Trying for the impossible?

    @mskris; thanks! πŸ™‚ The ottomans idea is good, I will have to check out prices (or learn to build one lol). The file that is padded sounds great, perhaps I could re purpose some furniture for that too.

    @chacha1; Kindle is available, but because I have back problems I can’t spend long periods of time reading on the computer, and working on one is already stressing enough for my back. I can take my netbook to the bed with me, but it usually ends up being a hassle too, which is why I was willing to try an ereader. πŸ™‚
    It’s not a bad idea for people that can handle it though!

  • #190127


    Trying for the impossible?

    Ashura, I love reading and watching films too, but I would advise you to buy no more books or dvds. You can borrow books from a library if you prefer to read a tangible book rather than an kindle. Some countries have streaming of TV and movies, or you can buy or rent from iTunes and keep them on an external hard drive. Go digital with everything you can. I think a small scanner is a great investment to digitise paper records, photos etc.

    If your bed is a divan style, you could make or buy a cover made of furnishing fabric and have a bolster or cushions to make it comfortable to sit on. An ottoman (incorporating storage) would create the sense of a lounge area. It could double as a desk chair. If the bed has a bed head, remove it so your bed looks more like a couch. Maybe even lower the legs so it is more couch height.

    Most importantly, chuck stuff out!! Be ruthless!! Anything that no longer functions, that is worn, that is not part of the new you, CHUCK IT OUT!! Use a scanner to digitise photos or sentimental stuff. Take photos of things that you once loved that you no longer need.

    Good luck. Maybe you dad will be inspired when he sees your oasis of calm in the chaos.

  • #190152


    Trying for the impossible?

    I’m not sure where you live, but for the furniture, try second hand stores/council cleanups. If you know what might work, you could replace items that aren’t working the best for you now…

  • #190173


    Trying for the impossible?

    @Jackthetiger; thank you for all the tips. I have begun borrowing books from the local library when they have something I wanted to read! But for the most they don’t usually have half of what I’m interested in, so it limits things a little bit. Still, it’s a good source and I’ve been getting in on that practice again.
    Streaming TV and movies is a bit trickier- we have no affordable system here for it nor my internet allows it (it’s a bit of a crummy internet system). However, it’s also a great tip that I am looking into- don’t want to miss out on any possibility to minimize items and costs. πŸ˜‰

    My bed isn’t divan style, just regular headboard, foot-board bed, and I’m debating right now if I would try to get wood to loft it high, or loft it low by propping the mattress on top of already made furniture that is the same size… assuming it’s doable.
    Either way, the idea of cushions and such is good if I leave it low, I could probably sew a cover for it.
    I like your tips for making the bed look more like a couch, I will keep them in mind!

    Thank you again! I am really hoping that he will get inspired when he sees my room! πŸ™‚

    @snosie; Second hand stores are a great idea. πŸ™‚ I have to look around for more of them, the one I know prices things like they actually think they’re selling real antiques as opposed to second hand furniture that needs quite a bit of repair. XD It’s a great idea though! (I actually saw a king-size loft bed frame last time, but it was already reserved for someone when I got there or I would have snatched it T_T)

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