Rehabilitation of my spare room has commenced

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Here, dear reader, is a corner of my extra bedroom/storage facility right before I spent two days excavating it with the expert help of my visiting friend Anne Johnston Albert, a.k.a. the Marie Kondo of Great Barrington, MA.

And here is the same room after two days of clearing it out. (Please excuse Sammy his very dirty paws.)

And I’m extremely pleased with how organized (for me) my Vitsoe bookshelves look. But there is still much to be done if this space is going to function as an office or—in a pinch—a guest room.

First off, now that I can see the floor in there for the first time in years, I feel a rug is called for, so I ordered this one from Aelfie.

This room is where most of my shoes live (see them in the bookshelf picture?), so I’ve acquired a number of these shoe stackers, which will economize closet space and keep them out of sight.

In the top photo, you can see a bunch of black cardboard storage boxes in various states of disintegration. They contained  my old magazine clippings, all sorts of Sassy-and-Lucky era stuff, 90s era fanzines, photographs, letters, and even some (tastefully) nude portraits I let a friend take when I was 30. I went through all of that, got rid of a ton of stuff, and will keep what remains in this clever box bench.

 

I have wanted this Uten.silo for years—we had one in my house growing up, as I’ve mentioned before, and I think it’s such a classic. And I have so much crap to fill it with that I could probably use two.

I might have just enough space for a small desk like this one.

And if price were no object, I’d pull the trigger on this Saarinen desk chair to go with it.

I did a major handbag purge, but I still have more than a few left. I’m thinking one of these hooks could easily accommodate them all.

My jeans have all been moved to the upper shelf of that room’s closet (my bedroom dresser doesn’t have the room to accommodate them), so I’m thinking a small stool like this might come in handy.

Finally, there’s not much room for a sofa, but I might be able to make this timeless Nelson daybed work.

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32 Thoughts on Rehabilitation of my spare room has commenced
    Jessica
    21 Feb 2019
    3:28pm

    So inspiring! And I love the wall silo thing – good to have a place for the floppy disks – ha!

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    Viajera
    8 Feb 2019
    1:20pm

    I like the wall hook very much, btw. Useful and beautiful too.

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    Gablesgirl
    7 Feb 2019
    7:38pm

    We bit the bullet and have hired and interior architect to re-do our 20 year old space to make it more functional. And last us another 20 years. Space is a major consideration as is lifestyle. Good bye dining area, hello communal space.

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    Gleaming the Cube
    7 Feb 2019
    11:16pm

    Ooooh, Vitsoe is just perfect. And way bummed I missed out on the Sorry Joey Ramone print!

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    Mamavalveeta03
    7 Feb 2019
    11:54pm

    MK must be inspiring people all over the US, or at least people with a NETFLIX acct who have watched her show. I explained her concept to my husband as we went through his closet, but he refused to thank his old khakis before getting rid of them. My closet is next up. Anne, do you travel? 😉

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    Brett Jackson
    7 Feb 2019
    5:39pm

    Hi Kim !
    Looks like you have your 2019 off to a roaring start ! Good for you- bet that feels so good to be able to just enter that room now….. Looks so good !!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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    Hope
    7 Feb 2019
    1:49pm

    Lucky did a closet-organizing spread in like, 2002 or 2003 that I ripped out and kept. It is so helpful! That’s where I got the idea to roll newspapers in my knee-high boots to keep them from flopping over. I love you and I loved Lucky

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    Mae
    7 Feb 2019
    2:52pm

    The room looks great and I love all your picks. And thanks for not organizing your books by color!

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    Kathi
    7 Feb 2019
    12:28pm

    And I thought I had a lot of boots😘 But those that are in minimal rotation are stored in their boxes on my closet shelf, not enough closet floor space even with shelves.
    Thanks for the peek and great design recommendations!!

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    Joyce B
    7 Feb 2019
    11:25am

    Thanks for sharing the before pics. I’m still unpacking at my new place, but I’m more than halfway done. 🙂 (it’s taking a really long time)

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    JW
    7 Feb 2019
    11:25am

    What are those cool plaid bags in the first photo? Love the room and the view.

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      Kim France
      7 Feb 2019
      11:49am

      They sell them all over Chinatown—they’re some highly synthetic material and dirt cheap and good for hauling away items that no longer spark joy.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        7 Feb 2019
        11:47pm

        Haha! I thank my garbage bag as it hauls my joyless stuff away.

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        Sherri
        7 Feb 2019
        12:12pm

        I bought a couple of those once and they smelled so badly of chemicals I had to dump them immediately. I fear that they are made of something evil, as cute and useful as they may be…

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    Joannawnyc
    7 Feb 2019
    11:25am

    I am also working on rehabbing my spare room with the help of an organizing friend. I have all the furniture but need more storage space–thanks for pointing out some excellent posibilities! Which I will get to as soon as I figure out what to do about the pink shag wall-to-wall carpeting …

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      Viajera
      8 Feb 2019
      1:15pm

      Not that it’s any of my business but … what kind of pink? I like pink, but the shade really matters. Shags can be good too. Meanwhile one can always just put another rug on top and worry about it later…

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    Laura McGahan
    7 Feb 2019
    11:57am

    Wow – tremendous job! I love shoe shelves – if you line up shoes toe to heel you can fit in an extra pair or two!

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    AmyM
    7 Feb 2019
    11:57am

    I am in the process of doing the same thing in my bigger-than-a-closet-smaller-than-a-room overflow area. This has inspired me to keep going and really make the space usable.

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    RL MCGRUDER
    7 Feb 2019
    8:32am

    That uten.silo might be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! That’s a dream piece.

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      PamJ
      7 Feb 2019
      6:10pm

      Omg I agree! It’s a little expensive, at $400 American $$. Anyone know of a dupe out there?

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    Liz
    7 Feb 2019
    8:47am

    I wish we had close up shots of those books! I love seeing what people read.

    We just did a similar clearing out of the basement. After my husband bought a projector and screen, we decided to turn what was our former storage room into a theater, but I also wanted it to feel like a den/library. The cleaning was a huge undertaking, but the home shopping afterward was the best.

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    Elle
    7 Feb 2019
    9:12am

    Super fun! Thanks for sharing. Love the Joey Ramone sign 🙂

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    Eloise
    7 Feb 2019
    9:50am

    Seeing Sammy with his dirty paws madr me so happy! My dogs often have similarly dirty ones. Thank you for always keeping it (at least fairly) real.

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      Viajera
      7 Feb 2019
      11:47am

      Ditto. It would be sad if one’s home were toooo clean. He looks so cute!!!

      So many books! They are lovely to look upon. I need to go through mine … I am such a slob, I can’t even get to them – which defeats the purpose. I am nowhere near being in a state of balance, thing-speaking. I should go do that right now!!!

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    c.w.
    7 Feb 2019
    10:34am

    If you haven’t already purchased that small stool that will allow you access to your jeans, I would suggest, instead, one of the very slim folding stools. I had a small stool similar to the one you picture and ended up tripping over it ALL THE TIME. Of course, that could just be me, but is simply a word of caution. Doesn’t it feel GREAT to clean out a room!?!

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      Anne
      7 Feb 2019
      12:33pm

      Ditto on a fold flat stool that can slide away when not in use, we have several small ones stashed strategically around our place for things in high places. Alternatively, get one (or several that stack together) that can double as a stool or side table when needed for extra visitors. I’ve been glad to have a set of those on more than one occasion.

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    Julia
    7 Feb 2019
    11:13am

    I need that Joey Ramone sign–it’s perfect.

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      Kim France
      7 Feb 2019
      11:51am

      Sadly, it is a limited edition that sold out some time ago, though occasionally they come up for sale. https://paddle8.com/work/adam-mcewen/23254-Sorry-Joey-Ramone/

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    candy
    7 Feb 2019
    11:23am

    This is great! I have a small, crowded-with-crap office that desperately needs Kondo-ing. Those box benches are going to be the first thing I get.

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    Heather
    7 Feb 2019
    7:35am

    This looks great — it feels so good to organize, and get rid of things. Hope you kept the nudes though. 🙂

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      Kim France
      7 Feb 2019
      9:32am

      But of course.

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    Kirstjen
    11 Feb 2019
    3:15pm

    Love all the MCM furnishings on your list. We have a similar eye for interiors. But I also love a home with books. Without them, a home just feels dead to me…

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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