Use templates to make arranging furniture a snap.

It's a good idea to arrange the furniture in your room on paper using templates first. Why? It's much easier to move scraps of paper around than to shove and push furniture across a room and back.

There are two ways to work with templates. The first (and cheapest)way involves graph paper, a ruler and tape measure, and a pencil. I'll tell you about the second way later.

To begin, measure your room accurately and mark the dimensions on graph paper. I like to use 1/4 inch square = 1 foot. Start in one corner, measure the wall and draw it on the graph paper to scale. Do all the walls this way, and be sure to indicate all doors, windows, fireplaces or radiators, and any other features that will affect your furniture placement. It's helpful, too, to note where the outlets, phone jack, and even the wall switches are located. Also- big also here- show how far into the room any doors open.

Once you have an accurate floorplan of your bedroom, you need to measure and draw your furniture to scale on another sheet of graph paper. Measure everything that you are considering placing in the room. When you are finished, you'll have a sheet of paper with lots of rectangles, circles, squares, and whatever other shapes- be sure to label each one. I like to color the templates with colored pencils, but you don't have to. I just like to color. Then cut all the furniture templates out and start arranging them on the floorplan.

This is where it gets fun. You can try out any arrangement of furniture you think of and if it doesn't work, so what. Just dump the templates and try something else. Find a place for the bed first, since that's the most obvious piece of furniture in the room, and then arrange the rest. At this point you'll see why marking the outlets, etc. is a good idea. No outlet near a bedside table means extension cords for a lamp and/or clock. That may be your only option, but at least you'll be prepared with enough extension cords.

When the design works on paper, try it out with the real stuff. Something to be aware of here- the templates are only concerned with two dimensions of the room and furniture; that is, length and width. The height of each item is important as well. For instance, I have a corner near a window that should be a great spot for a corner computer desk. It works on paper, but the window has a lowish sill. That means either I have to use a desk that sits low or else I block several inches of the bottom of the window, which is not a look I like. So keep the height specifics in mind when you do your paper arranging.

Okay, now the second way to get to the same place on paper is a lot easier, but it costs a few dollars. The templates in this furniture arranging kit provide over 300 templates of furniture and accessories printed on high quality card stock. Just measure your room and start arranging furniture.