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Enjoy your decluttered spare room

Enjoy your decluttered spare room
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Operations - Store and Insure

A useable spare room has many benefits

Two years ago we made a conscious effort to clear out our spare room so it could actually be used for its intended purpose. It’s really quite a good room, with its en suite shower and great view across the wooded valley behind our house. We never had guests stay in it, though. It was just a bit... clogged up with computer boxes that I thought might come in handy one day and our skis and a broken exercise bike.

It didn’t take long to clear it out, and when it was decluttered we got quite excited about buying bits and pieces to make it into a welcoming bedroom. The paintwork was in good condition, so we didn’t even need to redecorate. We got the curtains locally and then went on Ebay and picked out plain duvets in matching shades and white towels. It’s much easier to keep it tidy and clean now the clutter is gone, and so far we’ve managed to keep it looking good.

I like to take stock of things from time to time and I thought I’d look back over the past couple of years to see how we’d used our decluttered spare room. I’d add actually using it seems to be the best way to keep it decluttered.

1.       We had room for an au pair

The first thing we did with our new spare room was get an au pair to cover what we knew was going to be a busy six weeks at work for both of us. Coralie – she was Swiss – went to the local language school a couple of hours a day. I think we paid her £70 a week to pick up the housework and keep our daughter company after school. Our daughter also improved her German – although I was told by her teacher that she now has a strong Switzerdeutsch accent! If you are tempted by the thought of the extra support an au pair provides, has an au pairs section .

2.       We enjoy having guests

I do like going to visit friends – but there are some friends whose offers of accommodation I always turn down. I’d rather fork out for the hotel down the road than spend a night in a bed wedged awkwardly between an ironing board covered in shirts and a wardrobe that won’t shut with a crossfit machine propped perilously near my head. With these experiences in mind I always felt a bit embarrassed about offering our spare room. But now it’s all properly done out, I look forward to welcoming my friends.

3.       We could help a relative who needed extra support

An elderly relative fell awkwardly and broke her wrist last summer. Instead of feeling sorry for her (and her daughter who was doing all the caring), we invited her to come and stay for a few days. It gave her daughter a break and we enjoyed the aunt’s company. Actually, now I think about it, our neighbours down the road came round and used the en suite when their boiler broke last winter – so there’s some other people we were able to help with our lovely clutter-free spare room!

4.       We now have an extra usable room in our house

I came home one rainy afternoon and found the house very quiet. The lounge and kitchen were both unlit and empty, and it wasn’t until I got upstairs that I found my family. They were curled up on the bed in the spare room reading, just enjoying a pleasant living space. My daughter has also co-opted it for sleepovers, which, going by the giggling, have been a success.

There are probably other ways we’ve benefited – not least getting rid of that broken exercise bike (what were we thinking?) – but that often seems to be the way with decluttering. How would getting your spare room back benefit your household?