An organizing situation I’ve been asked to help with, more than once in the past few years is how to make living spaces share-able. When several generations of families are living in the same home, sharing spaces gets a little tricky. It’s very difficult for the younger generation to “take over” their parent’s homes and make them their own, not to mention bringing all of their stuff with them back to an already full house. Sometimes sharing a living room doesn’t provide enough privacy to read a book or do your paperwork. Not everyone has enough room for a private office.
My client’s mother passed away over 10 years ago and she and her family moved back to the family home to help care for her aging father. Her bedroom became “The room that everything gets thrown into and the door pulled closed when anyone is coming to visit” with a big “DO NOT ENTER” sign on the door. Yes, that room! She asked us to make this room into a usable space once again. The job of changing mom’s room into a functional “family” space was very challenging for her; not only physically, but also emotionally.
Organizing for Generations
Luckily the room has built in shelving and the family has a wonderful collection of books. First we dismantled the water bed and removed the unwanted and unused items (clutter) that had accumulated in this space over the years. We sorted the items with her to decide on what was being tossed, donated or kept. We then boxed up the keepsakes and were able to fit them into the closet. After clearing the space, we cleaned up the dust bunnies & stink bugs.
Finally, we were able to browse around the home and chose some furniture pieces that were in other rooms. We chose a rocking chair, a small end table, a lamp, a small desk for homework and an arm chair. We found some pictures throughout the home to hang on the walls to brighten up the space and make it family friendly.
We were able to use the family stereo and record collection in this space so anyone can listen to the records whenever the mood strikes.
We created a multi-purpose room (library/music/sewing) for the family to enjoy. They now have a place to sit quietly and read one of the many books in the family book collection.
My client’s entire family is very happy with the results of the room re-purposing. Everyone who comes to visit now gets a tour of this once “do not enter” room of their home. We got it done just in time for the holidays and I’m told that everyone who visited enjoyed the space very much!