31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 28 (Multi-purpose rooms) | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 28 (Multi-purpose rooms)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 28 (Multi-purpose rooms)

Welcome to Day Twenty Eight of the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series!  Wow...only a few days left.  I'm so glad you've joined me.  Throughout this series I've been sharing organizing tips that will help you on your journey from overwhelmed to organized.  I'm including lots of pictures and links for ideas that I've found around the web that relate to the topic each day. You'll find a complete list of all the posts in the 31 Days of Organizing Tips tab above, or at the end of this post.

Today's tips are about organizing rooms that have more than one purpose.  Those rooms that do double (or triple!) duty.  The ones with a "slash" in their name :)  Here are some examples:

  • Office / Craft Room
  • Guest Room / Playroom
  • Bedroom / Office
  • Family Room / Exercise Room

If you have a large house, you may not have combined rooms.  That's great!  Think of someone else who may need help with their shared-purpose rooms and forward this to them.  Then enjoy a coffee in one of your single purpose rooms :)

For many of us though, our space or living arrangements require that we have double-duty rooms. These rooms can be overwhelming because they have twice as much "stuff" packed into them.  They can be tricky to keep organized.

Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Set up zones for each purpose
  • Establish a vision for each zone
  • Keep all items associated with each purpose in the correct zone.
  • Have separate storage options for each zone.
  • Find creative furniture options that will also function as storage or that can be hidden or made smaller when needed.
  • Once you've established your zones, stick to them!

Check out these pictures for inspiration!

1.  One of my favourite organizers, Peter Walsh, has a guest room / TV room / office.  His couch is a pullout couch for guests.  His office is a closet with the doors taken off and Venetian blinds hung in front so it can be hidden when guests are over.  And his ottoman holds DVDs.  It's a very organized room!  Not that I would expect anything less from him :)

Source:  http://www.oprah.com/home/Peter-Walsh-Organizing-Secrets-Spring-Cleaning-Tips/2

2.  If you have a dining room that you don't use regularly, it may function as an office some of the time.  A buffet/hutch is useful for storing office supplies when you have guests over for dinner (utensil drawers make great office supply drawers).  In this picture, the window seat hides hanging file folders too.  {Click the link to see more pictures and a tutorial on how you can do this in your home.}

Source:  http://www.marthastewart.com/268492/clever-office-unexpected-space

3.  If you're using part of your bedroom for an office, you can use the space under the bed to store files without causing a lot of visual clutter or needing extra furniture.

Source:  http://homedesign.marthastewart.com/2011/08/an-organized-home-office.html

4.  This room is a craft room / office.  One end of the room has a craft worktable and storage for all the craft supplies.  The other end of the room has a desk and shelves for office supplies.

Source:  http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ca/2012/10/a-surprise-craft-room-before-after-story.html
Source:  http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ca/2012/10/a-surprise-craft-room-before-after-story.html

5.  How cool is this sewing area in a closet?!  When you're finished your project, the sewing machine just slides back in and you can close the doors and hide everything.

Source:  http://www.marthastewart.com/269981/sewing-room-in-a-closet

6.  Not everyone has a separate room for an office but a lot of people have used their closets to create an office.  Just do a search on Google or Pinterest and you'll have lots of examples to choose from.  Here are 2 of my favourites.

Source:  http://www.thebloominghydrangea.com/2011/02/cloffice-reveal.html

This one has a tutorial with it (click the link below the picture).

Source:  http://www.countryliving.com/homes/makeovers/transform-closet-into-office-0310?click=img_sr#slide-1

7.  Here's a kitchen / office that makes great use of a small space.  Everything needed for paying bills, sending greeting cards, and writing notes is organized and accessible.

Source:  http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ca/2012/03/reader-space-hard-working-cabinet.html

8.  Basements frequently have several purposes.  Working out beside your laundry room?  Curtain off the laundry area and use the remaining space for your exercise equipment.

Source:  http://www.bhg.com/rooms/rooms/basement/basement-solutions-for-real-life/#page=6

Please remember to pin from the original source for all of these lovely pictures!

For Day Twenty Eight, take a fresh look at a double-duty room in your house.  Choose one of these tips or photos to make your room function better for you.

{Note:  If you're getting overwhelmed with all the ideas in this series, please understand that is NOT my intention! :)  This series is designed for me to write every day for a month, not for you to completely organize your house in a month.  That thought overwhelms me!  So, feel free to skim and pin/bookmark these tips now and then come back later when you're ready to tackle a particular organizing project.  I'll add a button or tab to the blog at the end of the series that will make it easy for you to find all the posts.  Hope that takes some pressure off!}

Tomorrow we'll look at tips for purging and organizing sentimental things so they don't become overwhelming.  I can't believe there are only a few more days left in this series!  I look forward to sharing the remaining posts with you and hearing your tips too!

How do you organize your multi-purpose rooms?  What's the best organizing tip you've implemented?

Have a great day and happy organizing!

Here are all the posts in the series:

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