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Taking Back the Bedroom

Organizer Sandra Briggs helps a grandmother organize her cluttered bedroom.

Since her retirement, Susan Robinson has worked harder than ever. She is a full-time homemaker and caregiver to her 3-year-old granddaughter Halley, which has left her little time to get her messy bedroom in order.

At 16 x 18 feet, the space has become overcome with toys, papers, crafts and jewelry. Expert organizer Sandra Briggs signs on to help Robinson take control of the space once and for all.

Briggs' plan begins with sorting through all of the items, separating them into Keep, Donate and Toss categories. After that's complete, she wants to divide the room into zones. The first will be an office zone, the second a reading zone, which will be located next to the bed, and the third a sewing zone. Fresh slate blue wall paint will complete the new look. View the results below.


Office Zone

Before: Robinson's office area was a bookshelf full of loose papers and files for her cosmetics business.

Products from The Container Store:

blanket storage container
two garment bags for fur/leather
two large Beech coathangers
20 dress hangers (in sets of four)
72 tubular hangers, White
12 children's tubular hangers
12 deep sweater boxes
small jute and canvas box
medium jute and canvas box
pen/pencil holder
memo block
four clear mini stack boxes
two hanging file folders, assorted
file folders, assorted
bamboo lattice boxes
financial planner
four metal bookends, Silver
bulletin and magnetic board
large sort desktop file
small sort desktop file
two letter trays
magazine files
four records storage boxes
Eva drawer organizers, set of three
two Portofino jewelry boxes, Camel with Blue
two stacking rings and accessory trays
two stacking bracelet and watch trays
two necklace organizers
nine-section tray
18-section tray
diamond drawer organizer
four Damask bra and panty boxes
Damask sock box
Damask divided box
shallow translucent drawers
three stackable drawers
two Espresso Birch ledge shelves
8 ft Drawer Storage Chests
Busy Box
24-compartment loose-lid boxes
nine-compartment boxes, Clear
12-compartment boxes, Clear
one pkg. Good Grips magnetic clips, White
Elfa closet system
office desk and shelves

Products from Hold Everything:

three-drawer document boxes, Green
letter sorter, Chocolate
blotter, Chocolate
three Hapao Harvest baskets, set of two
Lacquer three-drawer boxes

Products from Stacks and Stacks:

pneumatic stool, Black
filing cabinet
china savers six-piece set, Natural
stemware chest, Natural
china keepers, six-piece set, Blue Gingham

Products from Home Decorators:

Saint Tropez leather club chair
Craftsman bookcase, Macintosh Oak

Products from Lillian Vernon:

Black wooden daily organizer
Birch-finish jewelry chest

Sherwin-Williams paint color used:

two gallons Cashmere series, color matched

Products from Fabric and Fringe Warehouse:

fabric, fringe, batting and foam from use on the headboard, throw pillows for the bed and leather chair, bench cover at the end of the bed, skirt for sewing table and the ottoman

Product from Ottomanopia:

custom storage ottoman

Products from Kelly Ritter Designs:

bench slipcover
table skirt
five pillows


After: Now it is a sleek workstation, complete with new vertical wall shelving, desk, filing cabinet and storage bins.


Before: The bedroom was chock full of clutter, including clothes, jewelry, paper, crafts and toys, plus a couple of pieces of impractical furniture and accessories.


After: Now it's a neat and tidy space that includes a new upholstered headboard for the bed, leather reading chair and ottoman on the right side of the bed and some new accessories.


Before: Robinson's grandchild's stuffed animals and toys took up residence on the bed.


After: Now they are stowed away in this dual-purpose ottoman beneath that new leather chair.


Sewing Zone

Before: This wall housed a cumbersome cabinet full of fine china--not something typically found in a bedroom.


After: Now it's home to a sewing table and mirror that Robinson already had, with sewing supplies stored underneath.


Reading/Sleeping Zone

Before: Adjacent to the sewing zone was this wall crammed with two large armoires and a vanity that weighed down the room.


After: Now only one of the armoires remains, and a new shelving system to the left of it holds various books and storage boxes.


Before: The vanity was covered with a hodgepodge of jewelry and random items, including boxes full of clutter underneath.


After: Valuable jewelry is now stored in a special box (top of shelf, center). Everyday pieces go in a divider in the remaining armoire.

Susan Robinson's chaotic bedroom is now a multifunctional space suitable for reading, sewing and even entertaining.

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