room reset challenge | part 3 | making lists

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Master Bedroom, My House, Room Makeovers, Secret Weapons9 Comments

In part two of the room reset, we were playing with our stuff.  Like our room is one in a dollhouse and we’re moving around the pieces until we like it.  Adding some things, taking away others, assessing the space and trying to think outside of the box.  This is about using as much of what you have to make this room what you want it to be.

Now, it’s time for part three.  Making lists.  I know that doesn’t sound as fun as playing with your things, but the lists are about refining the space and making your dream room attainable.

Miss Mustard Seed-280

(This picture is from last year.  I’m not decorating for Christmas already!)

So,there are two lists to make at this point…


1.) A list of action items, things to do in the space

I have found that when you empty out rooms during a reset, you notice things that need to be done.  Maybe it’s spring cleaning-type things like vacuuming the snack buffet out from under the sofa cushions or wiping down the baseboards.  It could also be home improvement projects you want to do, like installing crown molding or swapping out a light fixture.

mbr 29

I usually break this action item list into a few different sections.  One is things I can take care of for free, right away, by myself.  The other projects are ones that might be free and I might be able to do by myself, but they are going to take more time to execute, like making a slipcover with fabric I already have.  The other section would be for down-the-road projects that I need to save or plan for.  I might even add a few things that are total wish-list items, because it never hurts to dream a little bit!

mbr 42


2.) A list of things to buy or look for

I have also found that once a room reset is done, there are usually a few holes.  You may not have the perfect table to fit at the end of the sofa or you could really use some fresh pillows or a larger rug.  Start making a list of things you would like for the room.

Be specific as possible.  Write down measurements, the style and color of what you want.  This will help you be more focused when you’re shopping.

Once you have a list, rewrite it in order of priority, so you know what you want to purchase first, if possible.  I like to start with the most impactful items first, so I make sure those fit into my budget, and then I’ll look for the rest and work down the list until my budget runs out or the room is finished.

 Miss Mustard Seed-3105


The process of making the lists and working until everything is crossed off can be a long one.  And that’s okay.  As I shared in the “evolution of my home” series, my rooms have very slowly evolved over the past nine years.  Sometimes I would do a room reset, make the lists, but I didn’t have any money to spend, so I ended up doing another room reset before I finished the first one!  And it’s okay if you do that, too.

Sometimes a room reset is just about getting out of a rut and giving you a new space without spending any money.  It helps you see your room and your things in a new way.  I found it always gives me an excitement about my house and gets my creativity going.  It also motivates me to pick up the house, finish projects that have been lingering on other lists, pull out some seasonal decorations, etc..

It’s a pick-me-up!


So, has anyone done a room reset along with this series?  Any success stories to share?  Did anyone move their furniture only to move it all back?  (I’ve done that plenty, so don’t feel bad!)

I’d love to hear what you have to share.  If you have pictures, please send them to me at

Have a great weekend!

room reset challenge | part 3 | making lists

Related Posts

makeover in a month | installing paneling in the office

five things | decorating a home office

antique-style mirrors for the master bedroom

Blue & White Wallpaper for the 1/2 Bath

9 Comments on “room reset challenge | part 3 | making lists”

  1. I’m really enjoying this series. We have just had some work done in our master bedroom and I’m almost ready to decorate. So, taking your advice I’m going to apply a neutral colour in the first instance so we can get the carpet installed and the bed back in (we’re currently sleeping in our lounge!) then I’ll have a play with the layout before I decide on the final decor. I want a feature wall so need to decide the best location for the bed first, it’s to heavy to move in and out of the room so once decided I can decorate around it. And then move on to the fun stuff of lists and shopping.

  2. I’m working on a room reset for our loft, which has always been a dumping ground. I really want to bring function to this room along with a new look. Right now I’m in the painting stage.

  3. It’s such a great outline to get started. I plan on doing this to my living room once my kitchen stuff is moved back to it’s place. I’m saving this blog.

  4. I haven’t done a reset yet but possibly after Christmas, I’m going to tackle one. Glad to have these guidelines! Thanks for sharing your process.

  5. I feel like every room is a “reset” right now! We’ve just moved! We are mostly done with the project aspect of things in each room, and I am now in the shopping/ painting furniture mode. The problem is, the projects have eaten up our budget, so the shopping will have to wait.

  6. The only thing I have done so far is take some photos of my living room. That is the room that bugs me the most! I don’t think I could really remove much to “try out” a new arrangement as everything is large and heavy. I have visualized switching the placement of a couple things, tho’. The couch and the TV, which would necessitate moving the other seating–four mismatched chairs–to different places. I know I want to take one chair out of the space, but not sure which one should go, yet. Or where I will relocate it. The photographs seem to help me look at the room as a whole, rather than focusing on just one area which I tend to do when looking at the real thing. The reset challenge has gotten me thinking again about changing the room around and that is a good start for me. I’m getting clearer about what I want to change. So, that is good. Thanks for the challenge!

  7. I just reset our master bedroom. Our house is a small cottage and all of the rooms are very small. So I wanted to try to make the master look updated and larger. Because it is small, we don’t have many options on furniture placement so I left the major pieces where they were. I painted the previously green glazed (from the 80’s?) walls bright white. We have a walnut armoire which stayed placed between the two windows. We have a canopy bed but I removed the top rails of the canopy and they are now stored under the bed. Just removing the canopy rails opened up the room quite a bit. On one side of the bed I had a round 36″ glass topped table with a floor length tablecloth. Once I removed that I realized it was really crowding the space and ordered a new scalloped edge zinc finished table, which is open underneath. What a difference. I’ve ordered a second one to replace a small antique night stand on the other side of the bed so it will look more balanced. I also removed the ceramic green crackled ginger jar lamps which now seem too big. I replaced them with our guest room lamps that are a cream chippy metal candlestick style. We’re still waiting for the second side table to arrive but the room looks so much better. Thanks for the tips and the challenge!

  8. Love this room reset series! I have reset the back hallway which had accumulated a bookshelf and a rack with bowls in it, along with a few other things. Our house is a smallish cape, and is a bit crowded with furniture, etc. so removing things is a great way to make it feel bigger. Now that the hallway is clear it will be getting a whole new look with beadboard wainscoting and new paint, and will be the start of a reset project for the rest of the first floor which is mostly open. The goal is to have it finished by Thanksgiving. So much fun and not expensive because the changes will be mostly paint and rearranging/removing things! Thanks for this wonderful technique Marion!

  9. I am so going to try this in my living room on the first rainy/snowy weekend! I can’t wait to get everything out of that room, give it a ceiling to floor cleaning and perhaps even try some paint samples on the walls. I am stuck with my living room furniture – couch, love seat and chair – but I am looking forward to changing it up and looking for end table/coffee table solutions. Perhaps even milk paint a sofa table if I could ever commit to a color! I need to figure out how to get more light in the room (north facing), too. Thank you for this series – it was a great idea!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *