Photo by Focal Point Styling

If your spare bedroom is not used regularly, it can often become a catch-all for clutter. Then comes the holiday season (and the guests), and panic ensues. You open the door, feel instantly overwhelmed, and close it again. How can you possibly de-clutter that room before the holidays and your guests are upon you?

Here are three simple steps that will turn your guest room from a disaster (like Laurie shared on her blog) into a calm and welcoming space for your guests.

Unused guest rooms can quickly become the "catch-all" room.

Photo by Laurie's Little Bits of Creativity

1. Gather: Place 4 boxes, bins or bags in the room (or just outside if there’s not space to have them inside to start).  Label each box as follows: Trash, Recycle, Donate, Belongs Elsewhere, Stays in Room.

Photo by PR Web

Starting at the doorway, make your way around the room and pick up each item on the floor and drop it into one of these four boxes. If a box gets full, switch it out for a new one.

When the floor is clear, work on the items piled on top of the bed and then other horizontal surfaces in the room. Only pick up an item once and it must go into one of the four boxes.

2. Dispose: Now that the room is cleared of all excess clutter, go to your boxes and deal with the contents in each of them. Trash and recycling should go out immediately. Put the donations in your car to drop off at a local charity the next time you run errands.

Next, deal with the items in the box that’s labeled, “Stays in Room”. Do they need to go in closets or drawers or under-the-bed storage? Designate a place for them and put each item away neatly.

Finally, you’re left with the box(es) of items that belong elsewhere in the house. Write a label for each storage/living area of your home (i.e. garage, basement, bedrooms, etc.).

Now, put these new labels on your empty boxes and go through each item in your “Belongs Elsewhere” box. Place the items in the box that corresponds with each room. You may not have time to put each item away in its proper place before the holidays — that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for — but you can put each box of items in a closet or corner of the room where they belong.

3. Clean: Now that the bed is uncovered, be sure to give the room a good clean,  put fresh bedding on the bed and add a few special holiday decorative touches to make your guests feel special.

Voilà, a de-cluttered, guest-ready bedroom. This formula will work on other cluttered areas of your home, too, so why not give it a try? And be sure to share your before and after pictures with us, we’d love to see your rooms transformed!

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