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Boy Room Overhaul Part 1

Many people say that more fun can be had decorating girls’ rooms than boys, but I think that’s because they haven’t seen these pictures! I have exciting room makeovers coming to you in 2 parts! In the next two weeks I will be sharing photos with you from two separate boys’ rooms in the same home.

My client contacted me in an effort to redo all 3 of her children’s rooms. This family had moved in and begun remodeling their home, naturally placing the kids’ rooms as last on the priority list. The bedrooms had gotten out of control.

We began the process of giving her boys’ rooms a complete overhaul. To begin with, we talked space planning and storage, and my client shared her vision for each room. This included a built-in desk and possibly loft bed. We brainstormed layouts and came up with a few options. I quickly put her in touch with Scott Thigpen of Solid Foundations Builders to discuss her ideas and get quotes.

Who understands that before you can decorate, you have to organize?! So our first step to carry out the plan was going through every square inch of the boys’ rooms. These rooms belonged to 10 year old boys. Need I say more? Even still, I enjoyed it. It’s strange but true. I love this stuff. That’s why I do it!

I’m going to refer to these two rooms as the “Blue Room” and the “Green Room” (according to wall paint color). This post, I’m sharing the Blue Room with you. Are you ready to see the first transformation?!

My client hired Solid Foundations Builders to build a loft bed, built-in desk, and closet storage, and I am blown away by the result!

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

Just look at the detail and functionality of this bed! Tons of space underneath, with cube shelves for storage.

boy room overhaul part 1

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

The design of the desk is one that my client had seen somewhere and fell in love with. She asked Scott if he could make it happen, and as you can see he did!

boy room overhaul part 1

boy room overhaul part 1

 

There are two closets in the room. One was left with a single clothing rack and shelf, while the other received built-in cube storage (also built and installed by Solid Foundations Builders) that is versatile and can serve different purposes for any age child.

boy room overhaul part 1

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

Needless to say, my client and her son were very pleased with the results! Here’s what she has to say about the project:

I am so grateful for contacting Melissa at Simple Spaces. Honestly, before calling I had been thinking about it for a long time. I felt that if I called and asked for help, it would be admitting failure as a mom to keep my kids’ rooms neat and organized. We were doing so much remodeling on our old home when we first moved in that the kids’ rooms were last on the priority list (we needed working bathrooms and kitchen!). Their rooms had gotten out of control and I could tell it was bothering them as much as it was bothering me. It had gotten to the point that whenever I walked into their rooms and opened the closet door I felt stressed and overwhelmed. So, I gave in and called Melissa! At first I felt like a diva but I am so glad that I did! She was incredibly helpful and non-judgmental. She wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and help with the non-glamorous work of going through 10 year old boys’ rooms :) She helped me decide on curtains, floor plans, and what to keep and give away. I felt like she was a partner who really cared and not just someone providing a service. That is true customer service! I am so happy with the end result and so grateful! So are my kids! They love their new spaces and we love hanging out in their rooms together. If you are thinking about asking for help, do not feel ashamed. Call Melissa! You won’t regret it. ~ Gina

Be watching out for the “Green Room” transformation that I will share next week. Out of all 3 rooms, that one took the most amount of time for me to work through. Can’t wait to share it with you!

Also, check out her daughter’s room  in my last post for an amazing transformation, girl style!

Happy Organizing and Decorating,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Girl Room Makeover

Children’s rooms are probably at the top of the list for most households when it comes to being disorganized. It’s no surprise considering children are professional mess makers, and creating chaos is how they learn! However, it is possible to minimize the clutter and set children up for success in keeping their rooms clean.

Recently a mother of 3 children reached out to me for help. Though this family had been moved into their new home for a few years, they hadn’t organized or decorated their children’s rooms. This client was ready to do a complete overhaul in all three rooms – from organizing to design.

I will share the boys’ rooms in a later post, but am excited to share the reveal for the girl room here!

Below is a picture of where we started:

girl room makeover

 

First came the design plan. This included working with what the client had, as well as adding in a few new things. Next, we dove into the most difficult part: purging, sorting, and reorganizing. We went through every inch of the room, furniture, and both closets. After that, the room was ready to be rearranged and dressed up!

Ready to see how it turned out?!

girl room makeover

girl room makeover

 

The position of the bed before was closing off the room. We decided to move it over near the window, and open up the floor space in the center. We left just enough space between the bed and the wall for the night table.

girl room makeover

Above you can see the curtains my client selected. Simple, yet fun! And room darkening as well. She kept the existing bedding, and these curtains pull out the lighter pink in it.

The room has a gorgeous custom-built bench (with storage) that needed a cushion to soften it, and allow the girl a place to sit and read or play. I found a seamstress – Lori O’Connor – who gave us a great price for a custom made cushion. You can see the results below!

girl room makeover

girl room makeover

 

Books are an issue in every child’s room. I recommended wall shelves, which would eliminate the need for another piece of furniture, and thus maximize space. When I showed her the handy work of my husband on the custom-built wall shelves in my son’s room, she was sold! They turned out to be perfect!

girl room makeover

 

girl room makeover

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this project, and enjoyed getting to know this family even more. Read below what my client has to say about her experience:

I am so grateful for contacting Melissa at Simple Spaces. Honestly, before calling I had been thinking about it for a long time. I felt that if I called and asked for help, it would be admitting failure as a mom to keep my kids’ rooms neat and organized. We were doing so much remodeling on our old home when we first moved in that the kids’ rooms were last on the priority list (we needed working bathrooms and kitchen!). Their rooms had gotten out of control and I could tell it was bothering them as much as it was bothering me. It had gotten to the point that whenever I walked into their rooms and opened the closet door I felt stressed and overwhelmed. So, I gave in and called Melissa! At first I felt like a diva but I am so glad that I did! She was incredibly helpful and non-judgmental. She wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and help with the non-glamorous work of going through 10 year old boys’ rooms :) She helped me decide on curtains, floor plans, and what to keep and give away. I felt like she was a partner who really cared and not just someone providing a service. That is true customer service! I am so happy with the end result and so grateful! So are my kids! They love their new spaces and we love hanging out in their rooms together. If you are thinking about asking for help, do not feel ashamed. Call Melissa! You won’t regret it. ~ Gina

 

Happy Organizing,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Organizing Tips for Moms

I can honestly say that my home stays organized most of the time. My children are all now in school full time, but they are with me after school. I manage their school/sports schedules and communications, volunteer for school functions and field trips, assist with and check over homework, along with all the other stuff that comes with being a mom. I support my husband in his career and endeavors. I manage my business and work with clients (organizing and home staging). And I’m training for an Ironman triathlon. Did I mention I have 3 BOYS?! I wear a lot of hats. A lot of big hats.

I recently had the privilege to speak to a local Mothers of Preschoolers group where I started my talk with sharing this about myself.  I quickly heard the gasps in the room and “But how do you have time…”, to which I responded, “Oh, but it’s not perfect.” Its far from perfect. And that’s okay with me. Organized does not mean perfect. Organized DOES mean time saved. Organized does mean I can do all of these things and still have quality time with my family.

organizing tips for moms

 

Below are a few tips I’ve specifically written for you mothers with young children, and sparse time.

1. Make your spaces serve YOU. Not the other way around. Too many of us spend copious amounts of time trying to make things work with a faulty system. It does take work to change the set up of a space, but in the long run time will be saved, and a lot of it! Evaluate the function of each room. Ask the question: “What do I want this space to do for me and my family?” Take note of the furniture and storage availability. Are the right pieces in place? Remember that items are best stored within the space that they will be used. This helps you avoid the syndrome of “not putting things back where they belong.” If you change diapers on the living room floor, you need storage for diaper change items (and not necessarily a changing table) in that space.

organizing tips for moms

 

2. Less really is more. I know its cliche, but it is the absolute truth! The less we have, the more we appreciate what we have. And the less we have, the less we have to manage. I want to address the most common thought processes that prevent people from letting go.

Someone gave this to me as a gift so I can’t get rid of it. First of all, your heart is right in wanting to honor those who give you gifts. So be proud of that. However, I see too many people who are stressed out living under all this “stuff” that has been given to them that they don’t use, let alone like. That’s a lot of pressure. Remember that you were the one who was granted the gift. I won’t go too deep into this, but a true gift has no expectations attached. Verbalize your appreciation to the giver, and treasure them in your heart. Give yourself permission to not keep what you do not use.

If I get rid of these toys, my kids will miss them. The majority of our children have too many toys. Period. And if yours are like mine, they barely play with toys anyway. We think that the more toys are kids have, the better play experience they will have. The opposite is actually true. The less options children have, the more focused, creative, and in control of their environment they will feel. If you think you feel shut down in the midst of chaos and too much stuff, imagine how a child feels!

I don’t want to get rid of it because I might need it “one day.” We live in a society that is infiltrated with stuff. Do not spend years or even months carving out valuable space in your home for items that you may or may not ever use. If you need it “one day,” then you can go get it off of Facebook, Craigslist, or at one of the many stores in your area.

organizing tips for moms

 

3. Think outside the box with storage. Choose furniture that doubles as storage. No one wants storage cabinets to cover their living spaces. Choose tables, bookshelves, benches, and ottomans that can conceal and store items in the space. Repurpose things you would otherwise toss like egg cartons and pasta jars for sorting and storing small things. Pinterest is full of great ideas and storage hacks that are free or inexpensive.

organizing tips for moms

 

4. Personalize your closet. Your clothes should make you feel good. As should your closet. Organize your closet according to what makes sense in your brain. Divide the seasons and color code. Or intermix the seasons and color code. Divide according to purpose (causal vs. professional). There’s no wrong way to do it. The right way to do it is the one that makes the most sense to you.

organizing tips for moms

 

5. Clean in your own style. And no I’m not talking about your choice of clothing while you’re cleaning, although you definitely don’t want to see mine! All of us have different styles when it comes to cleaning. None of them are wrong. I have found my style changes according to my season of life. With 3 boys around, my biggest focus is keeping my house organized and clutter free. I also clean regularly, though I don’t enjoy it as much. Right now I typically choose 1-2 days per week to do the cleaning tasks such as vacuuming/mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, etc. I can get that done within a few hours while my children are away at school. At one point as a stay-at-home mom, I had a spontaneous schedule. Schedule, as in I made myself clean a space every day. Spontaneous, as in I didn’t decide what I was going to clean until the morning of, and chose according to what needed it the most. I also took advantage of bath time to clean the sinks and toilets while my little ones played in the bath. Last summer, my boys were old enough that they could actually “help” clean without me going behind them, and I paid them. We got everything clean top to bottom in a few hours. I will do that again this summer!

Organizing tips for moms

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips for getting and staying organized in this crazy, amazing season of mothering little ones. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: You do not have to be perfect to be organized. These are two entirely different things. Being organized means taking charge of your home and your stuff instead of letting it control you. And if I can do this as a far-from-perfect mom with a crazy schedule, then you can too!

Love to the Mamas,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Home Staging by Simple Spaces

I’m pleased to announce that I am now offering vacant home staging from my business as a service for agents, builders, and individual sellers! I am working on updating my website and will have more info to come, but I want to share with you pictures from my first job.

I had started a blog to share the listing, but the property went under contract 3 days after it hit the MLS, so I didn’t have time to finish my post!

home staging

 

Nilesh Jethwa of Next Home Cape Fear contacted me about this home, because it had been on the market for a few months with no movement. He, along with the sellers, decided to try relisting it with fresh paint and staging. As you can see, it worked! I’m so thankful to be a part of this success along with Nilesh and Crystal Glass Photography who took the MLS photos.

Below I’m sharing some Before/After shots that I took to show you the difference staging makes. Some are with prior paint colors and some I took after the walls were painted. You can see the drastic enhancement staging makes- even with fresh paint in a vacant room!

home staging

Living Room – with new paint in “before”

 

 

home staging

Dining Room – with new paint in “before”

 

 

home staging

Master Bedroom – with original paint

 

 

home staging

Hall Bathroom – with fresh paint in the “before”

 

 

home staging

Entryway. I was unable to get a “before” shot due to lighting. This table with a few touches really made it feel inviting.

 

 

home staging

Close-up of the bed

 

home staging

Dresser with mirror

 

If you or someone you know is in need of home staging, please remember me. I will make sure your home stands out to potential buyers!

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live

 

Organizing Your Family

Life moves fast

All of us find ourselves constantly on the run, especially during the week. Coordinating family schedules and maintaining good communication can be tricky, but it’s essential. Having a “message center” in your home can help reduce stress for the entire family.

Message Center

A message center is simply the center of written communication for a household. I have seen individuals living alone also utilize a space like this more as a “command center”, which is essentially a physical place to organize your brain.

Items to keep in your message center might include

Calendar

Bills, mail

Reminders for yourself and each other

Basic supplies such as a pair of scissors, roll of tape, pen, sharpie, stamps, etc.

Stationary and envelopes

Invitations for parties displayed on a bulletin board (don’t forget to put them in your calendar as well!)

Keep this in mind:

Don’t set up yours exactly like one you see on Pinterest or at your friends house. You must customize it to fit the needs of your family. Otherwise, it will only add stress instead of benefiting  you.

You may see that you can combine this space with another. In my own home, this space exists in conjunction with my office/workspace. And then we put outgoing items (things that need to be returned to a store or borrowed items to return to people) in our mudroom.

I recently worked with a client on creating this space within her living room bookcase.

Message Center

 

There are many spaces in which a message center can be incorporated to help you with personal or family organization.

Be thorough. Be creative. And make it fit YOUR needs.

Keep it Simple,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.