Introduction: Unlivable Space to Habitable Workshop

This room is that place in the house where everyone left things that they did not use frequently. Over the years it has been filled with stuff, some useful, some not.

Now that I had time I decided to take the MAJOR task of arranging everything in it.

It achieved this approximately in a month working every other day because (#1tip) you will need to take breaks, it can be an overwhelming


  • An untidy room!
  • Cloth or rag
  • Face mask (you don't want to get dust in your lungs)
  • A broom
  • A trash can and many trash bags (trust me, there will be litter)
  • Boxes

Step 1: Prepare a Sorting Space

If you have as many things as I did you will need some table (or tables) to put the things that you will take out from the room. The important thing here is (#2tip) to take it easy while taking things out, that will make the arrangement easier.

The idea is that you take everything out of the room so you become aware of what things you have.

This might sound overwhelming, but in my case it was necessary because I could find a hammer here but 2 hours later an other hammer there, and so on. That made me realize that I couldn't decide where to store anything because I didn't know how much space I would need for it because I didn't know how many of anything I had.

But taking the things out is not as simple as it sounds, I'll explain why in the next step.

Step 2: Do the Flowchart Test for Every Object

Thinking of how to even start with this room might be scary. So you should do this:

  1. Take something (#3tip) don't overthink it and take the closest thing to you
  2. Clean it with the cloth while taking it out of the room (#4tip) it has to be moist it so it cleans the dust better
  3. Go through the FlowChart test (as in the picture)
    1. Once you have an object you question yourself Is it broken? if it is then it is trash. If not...
    2. You question yourself Is it useful? if it is then you question yourself Do we really need it?another way of asking this is Could I live without it? If you want to keep it then you place it in your sorting area close to thing that might be in the same category. If you think you can get rid of it then maybe you can start a donation box (#5tip) thing that are still usable but you don't need might be useful to someone else.
    3. If its nor useful you question yourself Does it have a sentimental value? if it is then you sort it as valuable items (this things you might never use but you might want to keep such as in my case my mother wedding dress). If not it can be donated or thrown away.
  4. Place the object it category (trash/donation/valuable items/books/tools/clothes/raw material/decorations/electronics/toys/you name it..)

Repeat step 1-4 for every object

Step 3: Make a Storage Plan

Now that you know what you have you should make a plan on where to put everything back in.

Do some drawing taking into consideration the measurement of spaces. and the thing you want to put in it.

Get some boxes (#6tip) transparent boxes are best so you can see what is inside without taking it out.

Step 4: Create Shelves Where Needed

I wanted to make sure that in order to get something you wouldn't need move more than 2 things to get what you wanted. Thats why I placed a shelf dividing the space.

  • Take some wood. In my case was an old door.
  • Cut it to the size you need it.
  • Place it with some support.
  • Paint it

Step 5: Categorizing

I placed the tools in some drawers I found laying around empty and misused.

This are the categories I considered:

  • screwdrivers
  • pliers
  • wrenches
  • sandpaper
  • tape and glue
  • cutters
  • hammers

Step 6: Be Creative With the Things You Already Have

We had some piece of furniture that we decided to use as a door for the closet where we will keep Christmas things. The idea is to put some wheels so it can be moved easier. But that'll have to wait for now.

Step 7: Try to Keep It That Way

Now you know where things will go so you just have to place it back in, without dust and with knowledge of where things are.

Here are some pictures of the process.

I'm happy with it, now we can use that space!

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