by Aaron Helman | @aaronhelman
July is winding down to its end, and that means that fall is right around the corner. Aside from replacing yourself as the youth minister, the easiest way to launch a brand new school year is to do some new things in your primary space. For some of you that means a youth room, for others it might be an entire building or a shared space.
It's easy to dread renovations. The word conjures up images of a full-scale contracting project, but the truth is that you don't need to do anything too crazy. In fact, most of the time, the small things will make an even bigger difference than the large ones.
You've got about one month to introduce your new space. It's time to get started.
Clean up your youth room. It's certainly not going to get cleaner during the course of the new semester, so start with things tidied up as much as you can. Read this if you still need to be convinced.
Replace the easy stuff. It's simple and cheap to purchase new ping-pong paddles or a new volleyball. It's also a good time to replace all of the old lightbulbs or to buy a new whiteboard if someone accidentally used permanent marker on the old one.
Put up some new pictures. You probably did some cool stuff this summer. Get those photographs on your wall. I'm as cheap as they come, but this is one place where it's worth a few bucks for professional prints instead of running something through your ancient Xerox machine.
Recruit some new couches. Through one email, we were able to score the donation of five couches. The couch that still smells like the 2007 JrHi overnighter? It's time to break out the sledgehammer and move on.
Print new signs. Paper signs wear and tear. They get dirty. The colors fade, especially if they're near a window. For five-dollars worth of color printing, you can make everything look new again. This one is really a no-brainer.
It's time for a new coat of paint. I don't mean that you need to repaint the room. But if you have white or lightly-colored walls, you won't believe how a clean coat of paint will make your room look shiny and new.
Inventory Bibles or other books. If you keep plenty of Bibles in your youth room, make sure you've got plenty and that they're not missing entire chapters of the book of Luke. If you have a youth library, decide if it's time to make new purchases or replace any particularly worn books.
This is your chance to be an interior designer! What are you working on in your youth room? Share your story in the comments.