Decorating mistakes for a spare room: how to prevent it becoming a dumping ground  

The most common decorating mistakes for a spare room and how to avoid them

More often than not, a spare room can become a dumping ground

I’m no angel either, as an influencer, it’s my day job to acquire ‘stuff’ so keeping on top of it is quite the mission. If you’ve seen my loft then no you didn’t. 

decorating mistakes for a spare room: how to prevent it becoming a dumping ground natasha coverdale wallpaper
photo: @lindsey_isla

To prevent the dumping ground situation there are two important things: organising and decorating.

If you don’t have any stuff to dump and if you have a space decorated the way you love, then it won’t become a dumping ground.

In theory anyway. 

I’m not a very sentimental person so I find it easier than most to clear things out – granted – and in doing so, I’ve learnt some tips along the way to help you let things go.

When it comes to clothes – if I’ve not worn something for over a year or it doesn’t make me feel very good then it’s got to go. I like to have a one-in-one-out policy for my wardrobe and I make sure when I’m buying new, I don’t buy anything similar to anything I already own. That’s a biggie for me right now. 

When it comes to interior pieces, everything has to belong somewhere, a picture or a vase, for example, has to have pride of place; it can’t be shoved in the back of a cupboard just in case. 

If there is something you’re on the fence about getting rid of then ask yourself this: ‘would I prefer to sell this and put the money towards something new?’ For me, the answer is usually yes. I would rather have one thing I loved than ten things I kinda liked. 

eBay, vinted, car boot sales, Depop and Facebook Marketplace are going to be your new best friend. I find once you get into selling, it can get really addictive. Apologies in advance. 

Now decorating: when it comes to decorating the space I’m a firm believer (I will stand on a soapbox about this) in keeping the room for your own needs, not for friends and family who might want to stay – shocking, I know, but I said it! 

If I had a spare bed in my office it would be chaos; there wouldn’t be any space for me to work and everything would end up on the bed. As nice as it is when people come to stay, it’s not often enough for me to dedicate a whole room to it. Air beds exist for a reason – you get me? 

decorating mistakes for a spare room: how to prevent it becoming a dumping ground pink office and walk in wardrobe dressing room space
photo: @lindsey_isla

Four big decorating mistakes for a spare room: 

No storage: 

When you’re planning your spare room, make sure you incorporate lots of space for storage. If there is a bed, then a divan one with draws would be good and some built-in wardrobes might be worth the extra expense. 

Not decorating it at all: 

If you’ve put time and effort into decorating a space then you’re going to be more likely to use it and treat it with the r-e-s-p-e-c-t it deserves. If it brings you joy then you won’t be tempted to dump your unwanted bits and pieces in there. 

Read more: decorating anxiety and how to pluck up the courage to start

Too much furniture: 

Sometimes we hold onto bulky furniture because we think it’ll be too difficult to find it a new home, or we feel guilty about getting rid of it, however, you’ll be amazed at how much one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Advertise it on Facebook marketplace or gumtree stating that it has to be removed/dismantled by the buyer. We’ve got rid of concrete paving slabs, a picket fence and garden furniture all without having to lift a finger. 

Not enough furniture: 

Similarly, if the space feels weird and cold then you’re not going to want to use it and ultimately, it’s going to be a dumping ground. Treat it like any other room in your house and furnish it accordingly.

A room without a purpose: 

If you want to prevent the room from becoming a dumping ground then the room has to have a purpose. Is it your office? Your hobby room? Do you want somewhere to read or do yoga? Work out what’s going to be most suited for you and run with that.

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