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Local organizers transform cluttered room into new guest bedroom

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

When seven local organizers came to Yvonne and Kent Shafer's Bloomfield Township home this week to help the couple organize an upstairs room that had been consumed by clutter,  Yvonne felt a huge weight lift off her shoulders.

For months, the upstairs room in the couple's home was so filled with clothes, book and other junk visitors could barely move in the space.

"You couldn't walk in," said Yvonne.

Yvonne Shafer of Bloomfield Township is thrilled with the results of her room makeover. She is the winner of this year’s Detroit News Homestyle Section's Messiest Room Contest. A team of professional organizers from the NAPO-Michigan chapter spent the day Wednesday cleaning out and re-designing Shafer’s guest room for her two young granddaughters.

But all that has changed after a marathon tidying session Wednesday that ended with more than 40 bags of clothes, furniture and six to eight boxes of books to be donated to charity. The Shafers now have a brand new space in their home:  a guest bedroom for their young granddaughters to sleep in when they visit.

"They've performed miracles," said Yvonne. "I'm just overwhelmed."

The makeover comes roughly a month after Yvonne and Kent won Hometyle's second annual Messiest Room contest. The couple beat out roughly a dozen other people to win a room makeover by the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. 

Yvonne and Kent Shafer of Bloomfield Township are thrilled with the results of their room makeover. Yvonne is the winner of this year’s Detroit News Homestyle Section's Messiest Room Contest. A team of professional organizers from the NAPO-Michigan chapter spent the day Wednesday cleaning out and re-designing Shafer’s guest room for her two young granddaughters.

Seven organizers from all over Metro Detroit and as far as Fenton worked for nearly seven hours -- January is the group's Go! month -- to completely clean out the Shafers' upstairs room and get it organized for the contest, which was sponsored by California Closets, Saginaw Street Consignments and Slipcovey.

When all the clutter had been moved out, the group added a new trundle bed for the granddaughters to sleep in, a table and lamp. Special cushions are being made for a window seat.

A photo of Yvonne and Kent Shafer's junk room before a makeover by the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.

Organizer Susan Thomas of Movers and Shakers LLC said one of the biggest challenges in any makeover is clients being able to let go of their belongings. That wasn't an issue with Yvonne and Kent.

"Yvonne was able to let go," she said.

Organizer Betty Huotari of Logical Placement LLC said a lot of people have the intention of letting go of items but struggle to get the items to charity or donation facility. She and other organizers work with clients to identify what they love, what they like and what they can part with.

Susan Thomas of Movers and Shakers LLC (left) and Betty Huotari of Logical Placement clear out dozens of bags of donations on Wednesday. They were part of a team of six organizers creating a room makeover for Yvonne Shafer of Bloomfield Township, winner of this year’s Detroit News Homestyle Section's Messiest Room Contest.

For Yvonne's part, she feels motivated by the makeover to tackle other parts of her and Kent's 1911 house. 

"It's the year of transformation," she said.

mfeighan@detroitnews.com