What happened to my bedroom in 11 months

I told you yesterday that I’m doing a “Love by Decluttering” theme for my husband for the month of February, with the master bedroom as the big month-long project. I also told you I would post before pictures today. Oh boy.

I must say I’ve been dreading showing you these pictures, but I know it needs to happen. I need the accountability.

So I’m just going to warn you that they are bad. Really bad.

But really bad before pictures make for even better after pictures, right? I’m just going to look forward to that.

What makes it extra hard is the fact that I cleaned up and organized the closet area of the bedroom about 11 months ago. And it was so fabulous. I really didn’t think I would mess it all up again.

But I did. Not right away, but over time.

Part of this project will be analyzing what happened and coming up with some solutions to prevent it from happening again.

Ready? Let’s take a look.

This doesn’t seem too bad…

Wrapping paper, boxes of kids clothes, a potty seat. Wait. Which room are we in again?

Laundry baskets, unfinished decluttering projects, another potty seat…

Mega clutter pile. Mega, I tell ya.

The kids asked me why I have a box of microwave popcorn in my room. I told them it is in case I get hungry in the middle of the night. They didn’t buy it.

This stack of boxes contains books that once belonged to Mr. RSS’s grandfather. They have been siting in these boxes in our house for at least 8 years.

His side is not nearly as bad as mine.

And now we conclude our Tour o’ Clutter in the master bedroom. I’ll get to work and I’ll be back with an update on this project on February 10th.

Are you working on any decluttering/organizing projects this month?

I’m excited to be linking up with the 29 Day Organizational Challenge over at Org Junkie!


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Filed under Clutter, Goals

40 Responses to What happened to my bedroom in 11 months

  1. Kimberly

    I love the “love by decluttering” theme for Feb.! 😉

  2. Awesome theme!

    It is amazing how easily the master bedroom can become cluttered…alot of times it is the room things go to when guests are coming because no one goes in there but us!

    Good Luck!

  3. WilliamB

    It’s a pity that it got cluttered again but it will be easier this time around, because of what you did last time around.

    [Appointing myself the Stater of the Obvious] Discussing solutions: what about maintenance that is hard for you? And going back to something I said before: less is more. (Just don’t go peek in my attick while I say that. It’s roughly organized but there is a ton of stuff up there.)

    While you’re thinking about what didn’t work in this area, also write down what did work. In addition to making you feel better it will help you identify good factors to build upon.

    • Elizabeth

      Maintenance: I think the problem is that I don’t want to do it (Ouch!). I’d rather do other things, or I think I’ll get to it later. Or I feel like I don’t have time, or I just don’t even think about it. Or I get distracted. I’m just full of excuses, eh? I know that I just need to make it a priority. Any other thoughts on this?

      Yes. Less is more! I’ll be working on that. The interesting thing is that shopping is definitely not the problem. The vast majority of this stuff came from other parts of the house, or was just not put away in it’s proper place.

      Good ideas for my next update post. Thanks!

      • WilliamB

        If the vast majority came from other parts of the house, does this mean the other parts are in better shape then before? Hurrah!

        I’ve been wondering … You’re phenomenally effective at the timed 15 minutes, how would doing 15 min every day work for you? Wouldn’t matter what you did with those 15 min, just that you did it.

        PS: attic, not attick! Sheesh.

  4. Sadly, this is what my bedroom looks like too. Best of luck with the decluttering!!!

  5. Michaela

    It sure looks to me like you have a lot of soon to be donations going out the door! I say those boxes of books need to go first. I recently donated about two boxes myself recently to our local library (they have Friends of the Library book sales three times a year). Then I would finish the unfinished decluttering projects, and lose the potty seats (those just aren’t romantic anyway). Then start purging, ruthlessly.

    Also just a suggestion, have you ever considered perhaps hanging some type of curtain over your closet? I think with the way it is open it just makes it look cluttered when its not (also you can hide messes if needed – just sayin). And perhaps paint the bare wood in your closet? Add some baskets to the shelves to hide some of the clothes and other closet items? I think touches like that would make it more homey and finished looking – you know after your done decluttering and all.

    Seriously your bedroom looks like mine did about three years ago. I purged so many things, and now I can walk in without tripping and things are easier to put away now that I gave stuff designated homes. It took a lot of hard decisions, but I am happier with less (instead of more). I wish you the best of luck in this undertaking, and thanks for sharing with all of us on the internet!

    • WilliamB

      Michaela’s ideas remind me of another idea – labels. Then anyone could put things where they belong, not just whomever knows that particular area. Could be words, could be photos, could be pix drawn by your kids.

    • Elizabeth


      I have thought about putting a curtain up, but then I worry a little about how that will close off the room. Long-term, I think I would like to take this open system down and use one of the 2 regular closets that currently hold Mr. RSS’s clothes.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. My bedroom is always the last place that gets cleaned! Good luck!

    I am working on my storage room!!


  7. Best of luck for the Challenge, you have some great stuff to work with so just a matter of find the true homes for items.

  8. Thanks for being the first brave soul to link up to the challenge! Seems like clothes might be your biggest culprit. Can’t wait to see your after, you can totally do this! I’m excited for you 🙂


  9. Oh God bless you! You’re not alone. My bedroom is an absolute dumping ground, and it’s not even the worst room in the house. Love your “Love by Decluttering” idea. My husband would appreciate that too! Good luck. Can’t wait to see your progress!

  10. I’m doing my bedroom too! Looks like we have the same piles. Yikes! Can’t wait to see what you do. Conquer!

  11. Those can’t be all of YOUR clothes. You got rid of so many during the first great closet declutter! I’m betting the some of the stuff in the hampers is kids clothes.

    It did spiral back down to clutter land but there is still evidence of your early efforts. Look at the path on the floor, how sparse the shelves and hanging racks are and the structure of the pile.

    Plus, it looks like the mega pile is organized by category: non closet projects in white bags, clean clothes folded in hampers and dirty clothes in a pile.

  12. robbiekay

    I took your idea and tweaked it a bit. Since I hate spending money and DH & I have been having a hard time squeezing me into his house (fairly newlyweds), I suggested that we each choose one area of the house that is most frustrating to us and then we help each other declutter and organize that area and that could be a Valentine’s gift to each other–and he seemed open to the idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Oh, wow! You have a lot of work to do. I will be sure to keep checking in to see how it’s going! It looks like you have a great space to work with and with some extra love and attention, I’m sure the room will look great! I just tackled my master bedroom last month. It feels so good to walk into an uncluttered bedroom each night!

  14. meg

    It happens so fast, doesn’t it? A little pile here, a pile there, and pretty soon you can’t walk through your room. But it’s so wonderful when you see the clear space again (as I remember it…)! Keep up the good work!

  15. Jennifer G.

    I really really LOVE your blog. It is so great to see a blogger who doesn’t try to make her house look perfect.

    I, too, struggle with keeping a clean house…and I don’t even have kids yet!

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see your bedroom progress, and I think it will look great!!!

  16. Katie

    Hey Elizabeth!

    I came in via The Frugal Girl a while back and have been meaning to comment. You have such a friendly writing style, and you are one of the only bloggers out there who have “before” pictures that I can relate to! 🙂

    A few random thoughts:

    While I’m still in my initial declutter (flylady-style 15 min/day), I’m really curious about what it will be like to be in maintenance mode. I’m definitely interested in hearing what works for you as you figure that out.

    I love the idea of decluttering with an end purpose in mind, especially one as sweet at doing it for your loved one. I spend a lot of time thinking about and working on getting organized around here, but I don’t often keep in mind why I’m doing it. My big goal is to go weed out all my junk before my boyfriend and I move in together this spring. I think it will keep me motivated to remember that I’m doing this so we can make a nice space together without a lot of distracting, unnecessary junk around.

    Also, I love your sleigh bed. Always wanted one of those!

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Katie! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m also really interested to see what will work for me when it comes to maintenance. That is a huge part of solving things around here, I know.

  17. “Tour o’ Clutter” – funny! Did you take pics of my bedroom? Yours is so similar to mine it’s uncanny — down to the nice bed mixed with the old bookcase…no popcorn tho!
    I look forward to following your progress!

  18. Good Luck with the Challenge! I feel your pain-I struggle all the time with my bedroom clutter!

  19. Thanks for this! I stumbled upon your site from a college friend’s facebook page. 🙂 I admit it – I stole your idea of cleaning the bedroom for February. It needs it! Started my challenge and linked up with the 29DOC. (And I totally credited you. Mwah.) Can’t wait to see all our pictures when we’re done!

  20. Michele W

    Thank you for being so brave and showing us the ‘before’ pics! Your posting this challenge helped me spend a little time on my day off doing a few things to de-clutter our bedroom. I still need to get to clearing off my desk area – there are several huge stacks of papers. But it already looks better. It is amazing how it ends up being the catch-all room, and we spend all our energy cleaning up the other rooms in our home first.

  21. Pingback: » Love by Decluttering | The Master Bedroom Project – Update #1 Ready. Set. Simplify.

  22. Sandra

    I just stumbled upon your blog. I was on one of those decorating internet/blog strolls and up popped this page. Phew. Some tears in my eyes because that’s exactly what my house looks like. I’m a smart cookie and I love to organize my next organization crusade. Yet, I often end up living next to boxes of stuff to go through, to give away or to find a place for.

    We recently moved across the country. I packed with such purpose, putting so much thought into how everything would be “right” when I unpacked. We purged more than 1/2 our possessions and yet it seems like we packed all the junk that drove me nuts before. I’m living in your “before” pictures. So I’m missing my old home, friends, life and sitting in Martha Stewart’s nightmare, it’s the perfect storm of clutter and feeling sorry for myself, and this little muffin of honesty – your blog – comes floating in.

    Sometimes when we’re in the grocery store and someone lets us cut ahead of them in line it’s a nice gesture we appreciate. Sometimes, however, it’s a deep affirmation that all is well, people are good and that one, little gesture means infinitely more than anyone could know. I’m having one of those moments – where your pictures mean a LOT to me. They mean I’m not nuts, that sometimes it doesn’t all end up perfect but it CAN be worked on. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself and hopeless about this wall of boxes I’m looking at. So, thanks for leaving the back door open. I think I needed to come here. I’ll heat up my cup of tea and sit for a while.

    • Elizabeth

      Wow. You are so welcome. And thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story.

      I know about the moving thing, too. We once moved across the country and then back again one year later. Moving is a lot to deal with on many levels.

      I’m glad you are here. I love a good cup of tea, too. 🙂

  23. Linda in AZ *

    *** Oh my heavens! This is honestly SCARY!!! (Have you heard of the TV program “HOARDERS”? My friend, I HONESTLY do NOT want to sound mean… I swear… but seriously, you’d better be careful cuz you don’t want an episode featuring your bedroom, do you?)…

    I KNOW I probably sound like a stick-in-the-mud to you (and I’m NOT~ honest!), but seriously, this “isn’t good!”, & I suspect there’s DANGER around every corner here. Am SOOO GLAD you are going to tackle this~~~ a BIG BONUS should be that you n’ your husband, besides every OTHER positive thing about “cleaning up”, will most CERTAINLY SLEEP MUCH BETTER. EVERYTHING will be better, for sdure!

    Pleeease know I’m ROOTIN’ FOR YA!!! Sooo, “GET ‘ER DUN!”, girlfriend!!!

    Warmest good wishes,
    Linda in AZ *

  24. Pingback: » Love by Decluttering | The Master Bedroom Project – Update #2 Ready. Set. Simplify.

  25. Pingback: » Love by Decluttering | The Master Bedroom Project – Before and After! Ready. Set. Simplify.

  26. Mary Brock

    My bedroom looks so similar to this 🙁 Hoping to get started this week on decluttering and organizing. My husband has resorted to sleeping on the couch for months because he said he cant relax in the bedroom.

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