Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Brother of Mine Now has an Organized Bedroom! (For a day, at least)

So I have this teen-age brother....and he has a dog....and they share a small bedroom adjacent to mine. Not sounding like a very good blog post yet, is it? Teen boy + dog = organized??? I don't think so.

But how about teenboygoesawayforaweek + motherandsisterattackhisroom = organized?? Sounding much better, is it not?? :)

Well, that is what happened. And here is how it all went down. You may want to read this post with a clothespin on your nose, just warning you!

My mom went in first (we were worried about her coming out alive) and went through some of the stuff that was in there. She took out the clothes from when my brother was 12 and my sisters socks and other things that didn't belong. So these "before" pictures are really not truly before...they are after she had already done some major purging. It was too scary to take actual before pictures.

Lets look at the arrangement of the room a little closer.

Here we have his a dark corner of the room. In fact, the whole room was dark, but we'll get to that in a minute. His shoes are over there, and he has random pictures of cars stuck to the wall...which is low, low, low because of the slanted ceiling.

The other side of this low wall has a lot of other cluttered stuff. And that shelf? When I went in, I found that it was barely hanging on to the screws in the any day that thing was going to come crashing down and scare the tar out of all of us. Notice too, that his CD player is kept on the floor.

Even though he was the only one in this room, the top bunk of his bed was set up because we didn't have a place to store it when we first moved here. This blocked the single-bulb light fixture and most of the the whole room was dreary, dark and GROSS!

Once mom pared things down in there, she let me go in and do all the organizing. Let me say, I think I missed my calling. I had a blast organizing that room and dreaming up better places for everything! Organizing like that is definitely getting to be a favorite hobby, which I'm hoping I can do more often! It is just sooo fulfilling to feel a space come together, and know that it will be much more functional.

I was a little concerned about what the brother would think when he got home. Maybe he is like I am and doesn't like stuff drastically changed around, especially by someone else? What if he really doesn't care a hoot about how it looks and likes the dark, dreary atmosphere? And most of all, how long will it be before it goes back to being just as dirty and nasty as before?

But I took the chance, and here is what it came out as:

Look at can see LIGHT! Who would have thought?

Here is a few of the things I did to better organize the space:

In the above picture, you can clearly see that the first thing to go was the top bunk. He has one of those beds that easily converts into either two twin beds or bunk it was a simple matter of taking down the top part. I just put both mattresses and both plywood boards on his one frame, and stored the other frame underneath the bed. The little pegs that help hold the top bunk on went in a ziplock bag and got put underneath the mattress where they can't get lost. (And I'm typing that sentence in here so I remember where I put them, haha!)

I also moved the bed to the other side of the room, under the slanted wall. That is where my bed is, and I have no problem with it...It is not so close that I bang my head or anything, so I thought he would be ok, too.

Next up: the peeling wallpaper.

I peeled it all off, and left it a weird, primered wallboard surface. I literally came off in whole strips, it was barely stuck to the wall at all anymore. Not ideal, but better than the peeling dog-hair-catching wallpaper! Now we have a blank slate to work on, if and when we he decides to paint it.

Here you can also see that I made him a desk nook by the window, instead of shoved in a corner. He will have more light that way, and a more pleasant view! I also hung his calendar, magnetic board, and whiteboard above the desk so it is all in one handy place.

At the end of the bed, things are looking like this for now. He really needs something better for his shoes, that is an organ bench-turned bookshelf, and the tools are just kind of there. It works, and for now it is neat, but I'd love to get some other kind of shelf or chest for that area.

I made this shelf more secure and then only put light things on it to keep it from pulling out of the wall again. A couple of the hooks were coming out as well, which I secured with wood glue. My brother is a fan of John Deere, could you tell?

And last but not favorite part of the entire room....


Duh, every room needs one, right? And since I'd moved the bed, I had a nice big wall to work with. :) I framed all of the random car pictures he had going on, and arranged them with some John Deere pictures he already had. Carrie painted the "J" for me to hang here, which I thought was a nice addition.

I was afraid the whole gallery wall vibe would feel too "feminine," but once I got all those cars and machinery up there, it didn't seem that way at all. The frames are all wonky right now and in need of paint. I'm thinking, if the wall is going to stay white for a while, maybe black frames would be cool? We'll see what happens.

As for how I assembled the gallery wall...I put all the pictures in frames and then assembled it on the floor until I liked the layout. Then I just held up the pictures one at a time and used a pencil to mark where they needed to go. From there I guesstimated where to put the screw and just went to work drilling. It is a hugely by-chance method, but I have a pretty good eye for things being straight (and the wall is so crooked, who is going to notice anyway?) and if I hung up each picture as I went, it came out just fine. I only had to re-drill one hole, so I'd say that's not bad!

As for what my brother thought...when he got home he went upstairs and said, "I don't even want to go in my room." Apparently, dad had told him that mom had been cleaning in there, and he was not looking forward to seeing what she had done. But when he opened the door and saw that the top bunk was gone, he said, "Oh, yes I do. Hallelujah." :) That was a great response, took away my what-if-he-thinks-its-horrible fears! :)

So there you have it, a big transformation of a small room that cost $0. Of course, there is a lot that could be done in there...paint, carpet, and new light fixture to name the obvious ones. Plus some more shelves or bookcases. But for now, it is a huge improvement, and he is loving how much brighter the room is. Just last night he walked in my room and said, "I didn't know my room could be so bright!"

Yup, I think he likes it. :)


  1. Hi, Nicole
    You don't know me - I'm from out West. I just found your blog (via orgjunkie) and am enjoying reading it (and the hymn stories on your other site as well!). Just wanted to jump in and say that I loved this story - how fun to organize a reeeaally messed up room and have it appreciated! Thanks for sharing. :-)

    1. Thank you Sarah! So glad you enjoy the blog, hope to "see" you around more often! =)


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