For those of us painting as part of the Style Cure, this is the all important first step - time to clear out your room and prep it for the work ahead. As anyone who has ever tackled this job knows, the work you do before you even pop open the first can makes a big difference. So let's get moving...
Box up all loose items from surfaces safely and be sure to sort and clean as you go. Taking the time to do the sorting and cleaning now will make moving back in and re-decorating your room so much easier next week. A few examples: That dusty vase? Give it a wipe down before it goes in the box. That framed photo that might look better in the bedroom? Move it to the new spot now. Those magazines that you still haven't read? Move them to the outbox to donate.
Remove all artwork and items from the walls, wipe them down and store safely against the wall in another room.
Move smaller pieces of furniture out of the room completely, stacking up in another room to give you as much room to work as possible.
Move the bigger pieces of furniture to the center of the room, stacking smaller pieces on larger, to create an "island" that you can safely cover with a dropcloth or old sheet.
Prep the painting surfaces. Keep in mind that the more prep you do now, the more time you have to paint this weekend. There is nothing like being able to dive right in to the fun stuff (i.e. getting that roller going and seeing the color on the wall!). Now is the time to patch, scrape and sand any imperfections as needed. Wipe down the walls to remove dirt and grease. Remove outlet and switch covers and store them neatly with their hardware (or tape off to cover). Tape off the borders of your paint surface (IF you are a taper, that is - here's a post and active comment thread all about the debate). Finally, put down drop cloths or newspapers on the floors to protect them in the area where you plan to begin painting.
Final quick pro prep tip: consider lining your paint tray with a plastic kitchen trash bag, taped in place. This will make clean up much faster.