Decluttering of Rosanna's Baby Room

Rosanna, a brand new mom,  asked me to help her convert the spare bedroom/office into a room for her beautiful new baby boy.   Because of the limited space in the condo, the room had to also provide for storage, and a place for the existing desk where Rosanna could sort mail, and store important documents.   With a net cost of just under $130, we were able to accomplish just that.

Decorating Style: Simple! and easy to keep up. Rosanna did not want the room revamped, just organized in a way that would make the room functional and easy to maintain.   

We went from here...

to here...

1. We purchased 2 medium cardboard boxes and large garbage bags. The boxes were labeled with big, visible letters that could be seen from another room with the words "TO SELL" on one box, and "TO DONATE" on the second box. The lettering has to be large, and the boxes and garbage bag have to be placed somewhere "in the way" of where we usually need to get to.  Why? Because they beckon us to put things in them each time that we see them. If they are out of the way, we forget about them and filling them just becomes another chore to be worked on later.

2. We purchased  15"-wide laminate white shelving, wall and shelf brackets, drywall anchors, and clear plastic storage totes. I prefer clear totes because they do not have to be opened for anyone to see what is in them.  And, many now come with a variety of attractive, bright- colored lids..

3. We labeled three of the totes as "SMALL-HERS," "SMALL HIS", and "SMALL-BABY."  Many of us women keep clothing which we just know we will be wearing  in a couple of months when we have finally lost the extra weight. I know  women, including myself, who have had these clothes waiting on the sidelines,  taking up valuable closet space, for over 10 years. So, clothes which you cannot  fit into today, and could not have worn within the last month because they were  too tight, go in the "SMALL-HERS" tote. And, an imaginary contract is signed which stipulates that if in six months, the lid has not been popped on the "SMALL-HERS" tote, it goes directly to donation  or for sale, tote and all. "SMALL-HIS" is the male equivalent to the small-hers. No more needs to be said there. Think of it this way, in order for life to bring you more of what you want, you must make room for it...create a vacuum to draw it in. You will be surprised how true this is in all aspects of our lives.

 "SMALL-BABY" is storage for your next child, or a friend or family member's  future child. If this doesn't seem likely, then one or two pieces should go in the time capsule if you are making one, and the rest in the "To Sell" or "To  Donate" boxes.


2 medium boxes @ 1.17/e (Home Depot) = $2.34
3 large laminate shelves (8' L * 15" W) @ 17.54/e  (Home Depot) = $52.62
Mounting tape (Home Depot) = $2.94
3  wall tracks (6 ft) @ 5.79/e (Home Depot) = $17.37
9 shelf brackets @ 3.97/e (Home Depot) = $35.73
1 box of up-to-40lbs drywall anchors (Home Depot) = $5.47
6 clear 7-gallon totes w/colored lids @ 5.97/e  (Home Depot) = $35.82
2 yards of fabric (JoAnne's Fabrics with 40% off coupon) @ 6.99/yd = $8.39
1 "green" insulation board (Lowe's) = 9.95
1 4 oz Glue All (Lowe's) = 1.65

Step 1: We divided the room into 5 sections, making one section our goal at each visit.  Projects are much easier to move thru when we break them down into smaller pieces.  We then drew a quick sketch of how the room might be organized, given the current furniture and our goal for additional storage.
Step 2: We worked clock-wise, beginning with the first closet (section 1). We took everything out of the closet and laid it out in piles. We cleaned the walls and base boards, before installing 3 shelves for additional bin storage. The bins are much easier to maneuver if they are on shelves instead of stacked on top of each other.

We then went through each item, placing it into its respective home: To Sell, To Donate, Small-Hers, Small-His, Small Baby, or garbage bag. Additional bins were used for different items that came up, i.e., winter clothes, swimming clothes and gear, ski clothes and gear, etc., each with its own label.  If it was difficult to part with a piece, but it really didn't seem to belong, we simply put it on a pile that we would get to later, knowing that once progress started to happen and became visible, Rosanna would actually look forward to parting with things.

Step 3: In the second closet (section 2), we made a small desk area. Baby's clothes do not need to be hung, and the desk fit perfectly.  We purchased "green" insulation board, cut it down to size, added a film of adhesive shelving paper (left over roll) to make the board resistant to thumb tacks, upholstered the board with material of Rosanna's choosing and craft glue and hung it up as a back drop to her desk space. Here she can hang reminders and any images that bring a smile to her heart. 

Step 4: We then continued clock-wise through the remaining sections until the clutter had been cleared, crib and dresser were in place, and baby clothes were nicely organized in the dresser by size.  We hung the ironing board behind the door.  And, we used the existing book case to display the baby's animal friends and books. 

There you have it!  With a materials cost of $172.28 plus tax, Rosanna's room was decluttered and ready for its new owner. Plus, 90% of her "TO SELL" box was sold at the flea market, with Rosanna's 50% share at a whopping $45, bringing her cost down to just around $127.28 plus tax.  The unsold items were added to the donation box and picked up by the V.A.'s Purple Heart program.



03/13/2013 8:59pm

Fabiola - thank you for the amazing gift. I felt so overwhelmed by all the baby's things and our stuff that all I did was close the door and ignore it. I couldn't have conquered such a huge project without you. It is such a peaceful space for our whole family. We got to keep our office and have a baby's room at the same time. Thank you!

09/01/2017 12:43am

Looking at the photos you posted above, I believe that you did a great job in making the messy room into a brand new baby room! Rosanna is getting ready to be a full-time mom, and it makes me happy! One by one, she's doing the things needed to be a mom. We all know that it's difficult being a mother that's why she needs a lot of preparations. I'm happy to see that she's growing and starting to love these responsibilities. By the way, the tips you posted above will be helpful to moms out there who still do not have the idea on how they can come up with a simple baby room!


I like to read this post again. Baby room decluttering is a important and difficult task.

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