We’re continuing on with our July organization jobs! If you’ve been following my Deep Cleaning Schedule with me, we cleaned our Dining Room already this month. Now we’re moving on to the bonus room (if you have one) or any “extra” rooms that aren’t on the cleaning schedule for another month.
A bonus room, which is usually a room above the garage or an add-on to a house, can be used for so many different things. They are not considered bedrooms if they don’t have a closet. So people might use them as a playroom, movie room, office, teen hangout room, craft room, yoga room, or they might use them as a bedroom anyways. If you have an extra space like a bonus room in your house, it’s important to define the space. Decide what you want it to be, so it’s not a hodgepodge of stuff.
Our bonus room has transformed a few times in the six years that we’ve had our home. It has been a guest room. My parents actually lived with us and stayed in our bonus room for six months while they were house-hunting. Now our bonus rooms serves as a home gym on one end, a home office on the other end, and another family room in the middle. We recently purchased the TV stand and bookcases. Hopefully, we will be getting a TV and a new couch or sectional for up there soon and will use that area for watching movies. It’s a work-in-progress.
Even though our bonus room serves three functions, each has its own clearly defined section of the large bonus room.
I’ll share with you here how I organize and clean my bonus room. Hopefully this will provide you with some motivation and inspiration in organizing your own bonus room, even if you have a different set-up than mine!
Bonus Room Organization
1. Clean Home Gym
We transformed this section of our bonus room into our home gym a few years ago. I love being able to just walk upstairs to do a workout, instead of having to drive to a gym (although my husband still does go to the gym, mainly since he has work out buddies there).
We bought interlocking foam squares from Academy Sports (similar to these). They do a good job at providing a flat, smooth, non-slipping surface for working out on, and they protect the carpet. However, when we use the equipment, it does kind of pull the squares apart. As you can see in the picture below, some of them are not quite interlocking all the way. I think this is kind of unavoidable having these squares on carpet. They would probably work better on concrete.
The first thing I did to clean the gym, was take everything off the foam flooring (that was a little work out itself!). I used my homemade multipurpose cleaner and a microfiber cloth and scrubbed the whole flooring. I reconnected some of the squares that were coming apart from each other (which didn’t help that much since they pulled apart again after I put the equipment back on).
After the flooring was cleaned, I put all the equipment back on the foam flooring. I used my multipurpose cleaner and cloth to wipe down all the equipment.
In our little home gym we currently have:
- an elliptical (an old hand-me-down- I definitely want to get a new one at some point!),
- a weight bench,
- barbell and rack,
- weight plates and handles to turn the weight plates into dumbbells (all from Academy Sports),
- 5- and 8-pound dumbbells (I really like these ones from Amazon that come with a rack to keep them organized.)
- a yoga mat,
- jump ropes,
- resistance bands,
- and weightlifting gloves.
2. Straighten Bookcases
In the middle section of our bonus room, we have it set up like another family room. We have two bookcases on either side of our TV stand. On each bookcase, I took everything off and dusted each shelf with my homemade dusting spray and microfiber cloth.
Then I went through the books and got rid of any that I don’t want anymore – if I didn’t like them and knew I wouldn’t read them again. Then I put all the books I’m keeping back on the bookcases neatly.
On this bookcase (this is on the left of my TV stand), I have fiction books on the first shelf, and nonfiction books (biographies, health, and investing related mainly) on the second shelf.
The third shelf has my scrapbooks (how I used to keep my photo memories) and my Shutterfly photo books (how I keep my photo memories now, since it’s much easier and faster to make).
The bottom shelf has notebooks and more photos in the boxes.
This bookcase (to the right of the TV stand) has more nonfiction books. I have Bible study/devotional books on the top shelf. The second book has my books on marriage and family, as well as some Bibles. On the third shelf are my husband’s nonfiction books about guns, carpentry, books for carpet cleaning, and books for the fire department.
The bottom is where I keep everything for letter/card writing – cards, envelopes, stamps, postage scale, etc. In the basket I have cards organized by type – Christmas, birthday, Father’s Day, etc.
3. Organize Toys
We don’t have a lot of toys in our bonus room. We have had more in the past, but now our boys’ toys are in their rooms, except for this train table. The boys love going up and building their train tracks on the table over to the couch, and down to the floor. I love how that is all kept upstairs and out of sight if guests come over!
To clean and straighten it up, I first took everything off of the train table. Then I dusted it with my dusting spray and microfiber cloth.
Next, I had my boys help organize all the parts. I love how this train table has storage underneath to store all the many parts when they’re not playing with them. There are three of these red bins. So we put train tracks in one, trains and people in another, and buildings/trees/signs in the last one.
4. Organize Files
We have our little home office on the opposite end of our bonus room from our home gym. We have these two 2-drawer filing cabinets. They were bought at different times (my husband bought the little wooden one before we married); so that’s why they don’t match. We bought the white metal one from Office Max recently, and I plan on buying another one to replace the wooden one soon!
My husband owns his own carpet cleaning business and uses the white filing cabinet for all his business files.
The wooden shelf on the right has our home files, including:
- receipts (I just keep ones I might need for taxes – like school supplies – or for things I might return),
- bank statements,
- vehicle information,
- and packets from our old taxes.
Organizing the files is a tedious task, but necessary. I do not like to keep things that take up space and that we don’t need. So I went through each file and looked at every paper. I took out all old bank statements, receipts for things we won’t return or that are from 2018 or older, bills 2018 or older, old doctor bills that I’ve already paid and are from last year or older. Basically I just keep files that I might need for doing taxes next spring.
We keep important documents in a safe to protect in case of something catastrophic, like a fire or a flood, were to happen.
All the papers that we don’t need, I set aside to be burned. I definitely recommend shredding or burning (if you have fire pit or burn pile outside) papers that you don’t need, instead of just throwing them away. This will help to protect against having your information stolen.
5. Organize Desk
Next, I moved over to our desk. I brought this little 5-drawer organizer home from school and used it to store rubber bands, pens, markers, and highlighters.
In the top drawer of our little bitty desk I straightened up our other office supplies – my many paper clips, staples, thumb tacks, etc.
The bottom cabinet of our desk has a few more office supplies, extra business cards of my husband’s, some notebooks, and this big binder.
The binder is where I store manuals and warranties for things we’ve bought for our home. I went through and got rid of some manuals for things that I know how to work and don’t need a manual for anymore. I also got rid of warranties that don’t apply anymore. Some manuals, like for our kitchen appliances and garage door openers, are important to keep and give to the buyer whenever we move from our house.
Next, I dusted anything that I hadn’t dusted already – the filing cabinets, desk, picture frames, knick knacks, etc.
7. Vacuum Floor
And finally, to finish cleaning the bonus room, I vacuumed the floor really well. I love how those vacuum lines make it look so clean and pretty.
As you can see, my bonus room is still in need of some decorating love, but, for now, at least it is clean and organized!
How do organize your bonus room? Do you use yours as a play room? Movie room? Exercise room? I’d love to hear from you!