Love by Decluttering | The Master Bedroom Project – Before and After!

I’ve been decluttering and organizing The Master Bedroom this month as part of my Love By Decluttering project. Laura from I’m an Organizing Junkie has helped me stay focused and motivated as I have been following along with her 29 Day Organizing Challenge this month!

If you want to catch up on all of the posts related to this project, here’s a list:

I am so excited to show you these before and after pictures!

Before – Walking in the door…





After – There’s floor!

Before #1 of the mega pile.

Before #2 of the mega pile to  show what was under that pile of clothes – more clutter!



After – Crazy! In a good way.





My word for my newly decluttered and organized bedroom? Peaceful.

As part of concluding the 29 Day Organizing Challenge, Laura gave us 7 questions to answer:

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

I chose the master bedroom because I wanted to bless my husband with a peaceful retreat, not a chaotic clutterfest. It benefits me, too, of course. And you know what? I will feel so much better about telling my kids to clean their room, now that I am setting a good example.

2.  What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?

I think one of the most important steps was committing to participate in all of the progress link ups. I didn’t want to link up a post showing no progress, so I knew I would at least do something each week and not procrastinate until the end.

It also helped to have a method to follow. Laura has these great PROCESS steps for organizing. These are the basic steps, but you can read more about it here.

Plan of attack – I chose the master bedroom, and worked my way around the room starting with the worst area. Then I went bask through again to get anything I missed and to do finishing touches.

Remove items – I did this in stages as I worked my way around. For example, I took everything out of my closet, vacuumed and wiped down the area and cleaned any clothes that needed it.

Organize into piles – I had trash and recycling bags, and give/sell bags to help sort through things. For the items I was keeping, I had like items with like.

Containerize – In some cases there were containers, and sometimes it was just how much room was on a shelf. This was very helpful in deciding to get rid of things until they would fit in the space.

Evaluate plan – Since the project just ended, this will be happening over the next few weeks.

Solve/Simplify any remaining issues – As I evaluate over the next few weeks, I will tweak things to make them work better!

Smile, relax and enjoy your hard work! 🙂

3.  What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?

Not getting overwhelmed. It was especially hard when I realized just how much paper and other miscellaneous clutter was hiding in my room. I really wanted to just move it out of there to deal with later, but I knew that would be the wrong choice. That’s how it ended up in my room to begin with.

In order to get through this, I broke it into smaller parts sometimes by working in small chunks of time or by having a goal of one box in a day.

My friend Kristen offered to come over and help one afternoon, too, and that really helped keep me motivated towards the end.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

-Some of it went to other rooms in the house (toys, kids’ clothes, potty seats)

-A lot of it left in a recycling/trash truck! (Mostly paper clutter)

-A lot went to Goodwill. (clothes, household/decorative items, books) My friend Kristen took some bags with her, and the rest are by the door.  Mr. RSS is taking them today!

Here’s today’s load going to Goodwill:

I thought I was going to try to sell some things, but I realized that was too big of a barrier/time commitment and I just needed to get them out of the house!

5.  Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?

Getting through a box of paper clutter while I had 3 kids in the bedroom with me. Need I say more? Somehow it worked. They actually loved looking through the old Family Fun magazines I was finding. It just helped me realize/remember that I can declutter with kids underfoot, on lap, running around, etc.

6.  Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?

A lot of my organizing tools were already there and I had just allowed them to get overrun. So a lot of the process for me was paring down so that what I have will easily fit on the shelf or in the container without being crowded and cluttered.

-I made sure my shoes fit nicely on the shoe rack (I got rid of 2 or 3 pairs of shoes)

-I Paired down my sweatshirts so that they fit in one box that is stored on the floor for out of season storage.

-I got rid of some T-shirts so that all of my T-shirts would fit nicely on the shelf or in one drawer of my dresser.

7.  What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?

Work with a deadline and tell someone about it who will keep you accountable.

Going Forward

An important thing for me in this process has been figuring out how the bedroom got this way, and how I’m going to keep it from happening again. Here are my take-aways:

No hiding clutter from other rooms in the bedroom.

Clothes need to be put away right away. Clothes that are dirty into the laundry basket and clothes that are clean into the closet or drawers. There is no in-between place in the bedroom for clothes to hang out in a big messy pile. Kids’ clothes go in their rooms, not mine.

The one in, one out rule. You might be surprised to learn that shopping is not my problem. In the last year I only purchased 2 clothing items: a white T-shirt and a white tank top. And as far as clothing gifts go, there were 1 or 2 T-shirts and 2 pairs of  shoes. My problem isn’t bringing stuff into the house so much as it is never letting it leave. That has changed quite a bit this year, though. So for every item that comes into the house, I will get rid of at least one similar item.

Maintenance. I think when I have the kids clean their rooms on Saturdays, I’ll just think of that as a time for all of us to clean our rooms!

Head on over to I’m an Organizing Junkie to be inspired by more room transformations!

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Filed under Before and After, Declutter, Organization

41 Responses to Love by Decluttering | The Master Bedroom Project – Before and After!

  1. YAAAYYY!! Your bedroom looks so awesome now!

    Sonia says to tell you she thinks it looks good too.

    Congrats on a job well done!

  2. Oh my word!! It looks amazing!!! It must just put a smile on your face every time you walk in!

  3. Awesome clean up!!! It looks fantastic. Now, just stay on top of the laundry. 😉

  4. Natasha

    Wow! What an accomplishment! You must be so proud of yourself. I love that you are brave enough to blog about your cluttery house! It makes me feel normal and not alone. It’s so overwhelming sometimes but I have to say, you have made amazing and beautiful progress – especially in the bedroom! Congratulations!

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you so much, Natasha! It means so much to me when someone else who struggles with clutter leaves a comment like this. It makes me feel not so alone also! And yes, I really was being brave on this one!

  5. Farm Girl

    Your bedroom looks wonderful. Congratulations on a great job!

  6. NICE! It love seeing all that floor space! What does it feel like to walk into that room?

    I hear you when it comes to getting almost anything done with kids all around and underfoot. It’s inspiring to hear that you made progress with that going on. You really CAN get things accomplished with pure determination and perseverance!

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks, Abigail! You know what is really weird? Being able to walk right up to my closet instead of creating a human lean-to any time I want to get something.

      • WilliamB

        No human lean-to has to save you some time as well. Less time rooting through your closet means more time for other things, means more time to tidy other areas, means more time for yet other things… And thus does the tidy-snowball keep rolling!

  7. Wow! That is so awesome! You have been so busy! Thanks for sharing, it has definitely helped to motivate me to deal with some of my piles!


  8. Tina

    Thanks for sharing this. It inspires me to clean out the clutter here. Great Job RSS!

  9. Sarah Godwin

    Awesome! You really deserve to be proud of your hard work and enjoy the fruit of your labor! I admire your willingness to share. I have a tendency to hide my clutter and try to present myself as more organized than I am. You really inspire me to own up to it. Thanks for that.

  10. Fantastic work! Looks great!

  11. Jennifer G.

    WOW. That is great. It is so hard for me to keep up with putting my laundry away. I’ll do great for a few weeks, hanging up my clothes as soon as I take them off, but then a stressful late night comes and I just throw them on the floor, sending me back into chaos. Best of luck…I think you will do much better than me at keeping it up! Maybe you should do bedroom updates occasionally to hold yourself accountable.

    • WilliamB

      Do you have a chair you can use for this, or any sort of containerized space? It might help avoid the broken window syndrome that can come with clothes on the floor.

      • Jennifer G.

        That’s actually why I DON’T have a chair in the bedroom! Every chair I’ve ever had in a bedroom has just been a place to pile clothes. I have problems 🙂

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Jennifer! Yes! I should do bedroom updates!

  12. WilliamB

    Don’t it feel wonderful?!? But you seem to have decluttered one of your children. Maybe she was part of the stuff moved to where it belongs…

    Looking ahead, what’s your plan for maintaining your progress?

    • Elizabeth

      Did you read all the way to the end? 😉 Alright, I don’t blame you if you didn’t. It was a really long post and the pictures were the exciting part.

      I’m going to do room maintenance every Sat. when I have the kids clean their rooms. I didn’t do it today because it didn’t need it! 🙂

      • WilliamB

        I thought I had – read your post several times in fact – but evidently I missed a bit. In fact, though, I meant maintaining all your progress (desk, hall closet, island) and not just your closet.

        BTW, after a realization I just did a spot of kitchen rearranging that results in several fewer items sitting out. I do like the cleaner look, still seeing if putting various things away will work for me. Today, for example, I learned that the rice cooker cannot be used under a cabinet unless I want an internal rain storm (tuns out rice cookers vent a lot of steam). Oops.

        Hurrah for not needing a special time to maintain.

        • Elizabeth

          You will be happy to hear that I actually have a brand spanking new plan for overall maintenance that I will write about soon!

          Your rice cooker story cracks me up.

  13. Alice

    Congratulations! That really looks amazing, and I’m glad that it sounds like it wasn’t a total slog to get through. Here’s to enjoying the calm!

  14. getting there

    Wow, that’s a great job. You must have such a feeling of accomplishment and motivation to keep that going elsewhere in the house. I am inspired to tackle my downstairs rec room – which at this point is just out of control. I know my problem is procrastination and never having the motivation to just simply start with something small. I have all these plans in my head but unfortunately that’s where they stay LOL! I read a quote once (although I can’t say where/who it came from)that really describes me to a T:

    If you don’t back it up with hard work and performance, it’s all just talk.

    Also, I have to ask, is that a sword in the very last after picture – standing in the corner between the nightstand and mirrored closet door? Just curious LOL!

    • Elizabeth

      I know all about having lots of motivation and plans in my head, too! Get to work on that rec room! 😉

      Yes, it’s a Scottish Claymore. 🙂

  15. meg

    You must feel great every time you walk into your room now! Well done!!

  16. Tiffany C.

    What a sweet gesture! You worked so hard. I know what you mean about wanting to just move stuff from room to room. And cleaning with the kids around! You deserve an ice cream sundae! I’m sure you got your reward when your husband saw that room. You did an amazing job. And you taught me a lot along the way. Thank you for sharing this.

  17. I especially love the picture of the empty space in front of the mirrored closet. It looks so nice. Do you take a deep breath and enjoy it every time you go in there? I would. It looks great.

  18. Wow! I thought I should´ve left a comment the other day, when I first read this post, but I got inspired to go tackle some of my own clutter instead: 4 bags of trash out the door. Thank you and keep up the good work 🙂


    I am so proud of you. You are very brave. My bedroom resembles yours most of the time. You have become my inspiration. I know I can conquer the clutter now.

  20. Jessiejack

    Well done! The room looks great and so peaceful. I just did a bedroom closet declutter and I also love to just go and look at the order!! so calming

  21. Pingback: Organizing Encouragement For The Discouraged : I'm an Organizing Junkie

  22. I found your blog this morning while looking for inspirational de-cluttering projects. The change in this room is amazing! Have you been able to keep it looking so good? I am not bad at decluttering but (like my dieting) bad habits seem to creep back. Mind you, I’d have to declutter my kids to really have a tidy house, but where’s the fun in that!

    I hope it’s ok that I featured it in a list of my three favourite de-cluttering success stories. Let me know if not and I will remove the photo and link

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks for featuring my post! Unfortunately I haven’t kept it up like I wanted to. I did for a while, and then let it slide this year. It’s not quite as bad as these before pictures and I think it will take me less time to get it back in order – which is on my list to do!

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