Making the Most of a Multi-Purpose Room

Friday, January 29, 2010

First, I need to announce the winner of the Lisa Leonard Giveaway. According to the winner is….(drumroll)…entry 195, KLPmedia (who it turns out is a real person…I was worried for a moment):


Now back to talking about organizing (please keep reading)….

I love the fact that I have a guest room, but I hate the idea of an entire room in our house being useless to us 99% of the time (for some reason people aren’t racing to the airport to visit us in Oklahoma…go figure…are you reading this Mom? Aunt Shelley? Jake Gylennhaal?…What? He’s cute).

As I’ve shown you before, our useless room found its own calling as a dumping ground for all the extra stuff we weren’t sure what to do with. I managed to clear most of that out, but was then faced with the question of defining what I actually want this room to be.

About a year ago I played with the idea of finding an inexpensive futon or sofa sleeper and using the room as a “game room” for my son and his friends. His friends all had them, and I thought it would be fun for my son to have one too. Then I realized that idea would also require a new tv, new gaming equipment, etc, etc and I decided his friends could have their game rooms – no need to try to keep up with the Jones’s there.

So I gave up on my plan and let junk accumulate in the room until my recent clean sweep. But I finally decided I needed to figure out what I really needed/wanted from this room. Here were some things I came up with:


  1. A Comfy Place for Guests: I don’t want them to feel like they’ve been throw into an uncomfortable mish mash of a room (Jake would hate that)
  2. Storage (files, cd’s, books, misc)
  3. A Place to Sew and Store Fabric




  • A Bed (duh) and Clean, Comfortable Bedding. There’s nothing worse than sleeping on old, stained hand me down sheets from 1982. A $20 sheet set from Walmart is better than that…just sayin’.
  • A Lamp by the Bed: It’s nice to allow your guests the comfort of reading before they go to bed without having to get up and turn the lights off…and risk breaking their neck.
  • A Nightstand: Someplace to set a book and a glass of water on.
  • An Alarm Clock: Yes, most people have cell phones with alarm clocks now, but it’s nice to be able to see what time it is without fumbling for your phone.
  • A Mirror: Do you want to walk out into a house full of people in the morning without checking yourself in the mirror first? Yeah, me neither :-).
  • Clothes Storage: Yes, I keep off season clothes in the guest closet too, but make sure there’s enough room (and extra hangers) for guests to hang their own clothes. I also have a dresser in the room that has 2 drawers empty just for guest’s clothes (I use the other drawers for my own stuff).


BHG ss_101119120

  • Attractively Organized Bookcases: Some people wrap their books in white paper or craft paper and then write the titles on the spines. That’s a lovely alternative, but I prefer to just organize my books by subject/size and mix in a few decorative objects and baskets.
  • Functional and Concealed File Boxes or File Cabinet: I talked about this Tuesday, but try placing the file cabinet or file boxes in the closet (if there’s room). If not, maybe a file cabinet could double as a nightstand. Throw some nice fabric over it, put a lamp and alarm clock on top and no one will be the wiser.
  • Under the Bed Boxes: A great option for all the miscellaneous stuff you need to store.


(or Craft Supplies, Office Equipment, etc)

  • A Desk or Table to Place a Sewing Machine on: I use my mom’s childhood desk, which also doubles as a nightstand.
  • Fabric Storage: You could use a couple drawers of a dresser, or use hanging shelf organizers in the closet (like I did). Office supplies like paper, toner, etc. could also be stored in a dresser drawer.
  • Misc Sewing Accessories: Try using plastic bins that can be stored and easily reached in the closet or an over the (closet) door organizer.  This could also work for craft supplies or office supplies.


Remember to join in on the big organization party on Monday. I’ll show you the full multi-purpose guest room reveal then, and I can’t wait to see your organization projects/tips. Oh! And I’ll do a post next Wednesday showing some of the highlights from the party. Yippee…a party!

Images: 1), 2) Country Living, 3)

5 Suburbanites Said:

mimi charmante said...

great and inspiring post~ I need to begin being more practical about things as I think it solves a lot of issues in the long run...
I don't know why I haven't noticed your banner before but it is fabulous!
have a great weekend my friend,

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

I love your ideas, but I'm afraid if I made my guest room this nice, people might actually stay for more than one night and that would just be totally unacceptable! :) Especially considering 90% of the time, the only guests I have overnight is my parents or his, and that would be TOTALLY unacceptable! :)

Anonymous said...


I just found your blog through Better After. we are in the process of buying a house (aka the money pit) and I have already decided that a third bedroom is going to be a guestroom/office. So I am eager to see your ideas and the tools you use to put this room together.

Grace said...

Yikes, you're having a show-how-much-you-have-organized party on Feb 1? I'd better get busy.

Brian said...

Sweet ideas! Thanks for posting. When I was looking for new kitchen cabinets I went with these guys. Great prices and selection.


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