The Master Bedroom Saga: Series Finale

It’s here.

The finale.

In case you’re new to the blog, last August/September, I worked on my Master Bedroom.  I took out EVERYTHING except the major furniture, and only put back what I really wanted to keep.  It was a success.

For like . . . two months.

During those two months, it looked basically like this:

And this:

But still had this:

Other than the blanket pile, it’s not that bad.  Really, for me . . . it was awesome.  But I waited to share after photos, because I wanted to make it perfect.

In hindsight, I wish I would have just gone ahead and posted those photos.

Because even though it looked like this for a record-breaking two months, eventually . . . November happened.

And I had to pack for five people to go on a cruise.  And then I went to Chicago for three days.  And then I directed a play, and wrote an e-book, celebrated Christmas and New Year’s, and released an e-book.

And by the time I was finished editing and putting out the videos of the work I did in the Master Bedroom, it looked nothing like the after photos I had.

And I couldn’t justify sharing After Photos that were now only a pleasant memory. 

So here goes.  I’m going to share what my Master Bedroom looked like last Thursday morning:

And . . . post over.


That’s not enough?


Here are the real photos:


I have no explanation/excuse.  I just have to say that this is what happens.

When I get overwhelmed and over-busy, I pretend my Master Bedroom doesn’t exist.

And that happens.

But this post isn’t over.

Here’s the thing.  Even as I went through the horrible, terrible, very bad process of getting everything out of the room back in August, I never had the delusion that it would never get like this again.  I knew it would.

I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly . . .

But the point of the Major Declutter was to make future de-disasterizing easier.  It was to get the room to a point where it could be cleaned. Just cleaned.  Not overhauled.

So Thursday, I cleaned up the room.  I did purge my dresser drawers, since that was one thing I didn’t tackle during the overhaul and obviously . . . I should have.  (Post/webisode coming on that later.)

But other than getting rid of threadbare swimsuits and t-shirts that I’ll never wear again, the only other decluttering I did in the room was to get rid of these things that I ran across as I picked up and cleaned.

My point?  Well, usually a big clean-up is a big decluttering project for me.  This wasn’t.  Which meant that it only took me an hour or so to get the room cleaned up.

Everything in the room, though out of place . . . had a place, even if that place wasn’t in that room.

Confusing enough?

Pre-saga, there was a mass of random junk that was stuck in there  indefinitely.

Now, there’s not.

The only stuff making it a disaster was stuff I’d brought in for a certain purpose and that could easily return to its real home.

Picking up and putting away didn’t take all that long.  It was basically trash (like Amazon boxes from Christmas presents), and vacation stuff that never got put away (like sunscreen and medicines and flip-flops).

When I quit on Thursday, it looked like this:

Not even stressing over Hubby’s table or shoes.

Yep.  A few piles over on Hubby’s side. 

I’m proud of these after photos.    The only thing I didn’t even try to tackle was the still-there-after-months-and-months Pile O’ Blankets.

(Those of you who suggested I might have more blankets than we actually need MIGHT have been right.  Might.)

But then on Friday I started tackling blankets, and with today’s Laundry Day, that side of the room now looks like this:

So was the Saga worth it?

Yes.  It definitely was.  (Even though I soooo wish it had magically stayed that way forever.)

I don’t know that I’ll ever get to the point where I never have to do Disaster Control in my Master Bedroom again, but all the decluttering and re-arranging I did made this Disaster Control Session ever-so-much easier and quicker than it has ever been before.

I cleaned my room.  And I didn’t have to declutter it first.  That may be a first for me.

I’m sorry if you’re horrified.

I don’t know what to be except honest.

I’m sure there will be more posts in the future about this room . . . . 

Click here if you can’t see the video. 



  1. 1

    I could not possibly “get this” any more. THAT is my bedroom. Major overhauls don’t last, but they certainly help during the next disaster!

  2. 2

    SO not horrified! I’m impressed! This stuff goes in cycles and it looks like you’re having an upward spiral, rather than a downward one. I am dealing with something similar with the closet in my office. At least everything has a place now, even if it’s currently in a pile on the floor instead… Anyway, your months of maintaining are nothing to scoff at and the room looks fantastic in those latest photos!

  3. 3

    I’m so glad you did this video series of the Master Bedroom Saga, too!
    I just goes to show you– we all have our room that we close the door on and ‘forget about’. My daughter calls those rooms our “Monica Closets” ( you know from FRIENDS)
    Well, getting that one room “done” to the point of NO LONGER A DISASTER -to- HEY, I GOT THIS. Just give me an hour. Is a great accomplishment. As it stands I have
    4 – “hey I got this, ROOMS
    3- Disaster Control INTERVENTION Rooms. (well, 1 of those rooms is more like…a perpetual state of limbo) …Wonder who came up with the Term: MUD ROOM?
    Way to go! I know you inspire me. I KNOW you’ve helped lots of homemakers meet goals and face reality. THANKS!


  4. 4

    This is your best post yet.
    I was up – yea the finale!
    I was down – I teared up at the sight of the drawers.
    And at the end I felt victorious! Cleaning your room in one NORMAL hour is awesome!

  5. 5
    R.M. Koske says:

    Add me to the “not horrified” list. I’m heartened. I don’t have to forever end my bad habits before I can live in a nice space. I’m not as far along the journey as you are, but I believe I can make it. Your honesty helps me so much.

    Thank you.

  6. 6

    This is exactly what I have found over the last year of de-cluttering my house. It still gets to the point where it looks like a tornado hit. But, even at its worst, it does not take Crabby Mom days to get it back under control. Nice Mom can get it back under control in a couple of hours with the help of Cheerful Kids.

  7. 7

    Oh my goodness, I’m just bursting at the seams, I’m so proud of you! Brava, dear one, brava. That’s the point: Every thing has a haome. Everything. That was the point of the big decluttering. Now, it is just a matter of developng habits to put things into their homes on a regular basis. I said, “just” I shouldn’t have–but you will figure it out, I’ve no doubt. And write another e-book and help countless others…..looking forward to seeing how this next part of the journey goes for you. Thank you so much for everything you do.

  8. 8

    Like some commenters, this is my life. And it helps to realize that maintainance happens. We don’t clean out a room to make it perfect, and make it stay that way, we clean out the room so that we can… clean it again.
    One tip: I couldn’t bear to get rid of the blankets, so I vacuum-bagged them and found a place to store them. This is particularly helpful in the summer when my kids leave the comforters on the floor and step all over them… ALL SUMMER. Zip them up, put them away, get them out in the fall and it’s mostly stress free.

    • 9

      I had a big, fluffy blanket I needed to store. I took a clear recycling bag (a large, clear garbage bag) and squished all the air out after putting the blanket in, then twisted and knotted it to keep it vacuum-packed. Worked great! The flat-packed blanket now fits in the drawer with my spare sheets.

    • 10
      CMS Sultana says:

      My thoughts on the Master Bedroom Saga:
      First, following up on the what to do with blankets item: I read in Dan Ho’s book about how he’s using out of season blankets as bed skirts. I decided to “store” my blankets under the big mattress protector/pad I use to keep the mattress clean. Already had a skirt I was happy with. Makes the top a little extra fluffy and we “know” exactly where the blankets are!

      Great job you really know your stuff! I know you identify as a slob, but I sense you are leading your family out of the way of the slob and into orderliness. When you have a whole team going to the same goal post it is way easier to get to that goal!

      De-cluttering and Cleaning are not identical, even though most of us end up doing both (at least this list of posters indicates this) when we get around to addressing the various messy situations we are in. Once we have that understood, we can decide to do the 15 mins. tidy up at the end of each and every day. This gets easier to do as time goes by, really. I set a timer and play music then just go to town. That way I can plan my de-cluttering, not just dig myself out from under it all!

  9. 11

    Lovely lovely. I love that you know even if it gets bad, you can fix it and it’s not going to take you weeks. That’s really inspiring.

    Ask your darling hubby to put in another bracket to hold up the shelf under the TV. Shelves are not supposed to sag like that.

    You have such a pretty bedroom!

  10. 12

    That is exactly what my room looks like when it’s in bad shape….except my carpet is my clothes. For some reason we throw them all on the floor. We recently did an overhaul and it is soooo nice! Yours looks awesome!

  11. 13

    I tackled mine yesterday! It’s not exactly the “finale” yet, but I’ve made great progress thus far. And I found a long-forgotten treasured item while I was de-cluttering, so that’s going to spur me on to finish the project. What do you think?

  12. 14

    THANK YOU for all that you do and for showing everything despite you not feeling its perfect! It really helps me and it looks like a lot of us realize its not just us, we are not perfect, we are doing the best we can.

    Like you, my master bedroom is the worst. And I have a thought on that, I see it as a metaphor for how I treat myself.. this is hard to explain, but here goes. When life gets REALLY hectic, how many times do we put ourselves last? “Well, that just affects me, I’ll do it later. Gotta get x,y,z done for a,b,c no time for myself, that will be later.” For me, this is what I do with my house.. any space that is “mine” I treat like dirt.. “I’ll get to it later. It wont affect anyone but me.” and then I realize I don’t have a place of my own to cherish, relax, etc.

    Hope this makes sense. The point is we need to keep ourselves on that priority list and treat ourself and our deserving spaces with as much love as everything else we do. NOT THAT I’ve been able to do that!! My room is SO much worse than yours, I could NEVER show it! ha ha!!

    Anyway, thanks!

  13. 16

    I LOVE this post! Thank you for being so honest! I swear, you have no idea how much hope you give me! I am not just the only one who gets overwhelmed and clutter comes home to roost!

  14. 17

    My bedroom is way worse. No worries.

  15. 19
    Jan Jones says:

    Horrified? No! Inspired? Yes!! My bedroom looks like an episode off of “Hoarders”!! When you said you took everything out of your bedroom, I thought to myself that, outside of renting a storage pod, I have no idea where I would temporarily store everything in order to sort it!!

    • 20

      I did my room a bit at a time – remove everything off this shelf. Put back what I want to keep there. Let go of the rest. I’m still struggling with some of the letting go parts but the stuff from the shelf that didn’t make the cut and I’m not read to let go yet is in a…..(wait for it) container! *thanks Nony*. And that container can stay for a while and then after a while it will be easier to let go of that stuff.

  16. 21
    Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for sharing!!! That is my bedroom too!! You have inspired
    Me to go overhaul mine as well.

  17. 22

    Thank you so much for being so open with your reality! I totally “get” where you are coming from, your room looks a lot like ours! We too struggle to keep things normalized and in order….but they almost always end up in disaster again just like yours did. So nice to see that I am not the only one who struggles with being able to keep it clean each and every day.

  18. 23

    Keep it up! You are doing great and are an inspiration to the rest of us!

  19. 24

    That was my bedroom (and I guess my whole house) to a T until about a year ago. I was doing a research project on domestic squalor and hoarding (inspired by the way that I had been raised) and it really hit home. I decided to MINIMIZE not just tidy. We got rid of many trailer loads of clothes and furniture and STUFF. We are lucky to have built in wardrobes (but I have cleaned them out to the bare minimum too; not just put stuff in cupboards) so the only things we now have in our bedroom is the bed and bedside tables. I must admit I LOVED my dressing table, my desk and in other rooms I had a beautiful huge country style kitchen hutch and so much other furniture; now I have room and a sense of decluttered peace. I really appreciate your honesty and it is good to know I was not alone.

  20. 25

    Best post ever. I love it. Brutal honesty can be a beautiful thing.

  21. 26
    Jennifer A says:

    My master bedroom is constant clutter. Especially with laundry. Partly because our washer had sn issue where it doesn’t stop filling when it reaches the right level then the tub overflows if you don’t watch it and shut the water off once it starts agitating. (Waiting for tax refund to buy new one). But even with a fully functioning washer, I’d still have at least 3 loads of laundry sitting in baskets in our room, waiting to be put away. I have Bern inspired by your posts and even timed myself to see how long it took to clean my kitchen to the point where I could actually prepare a meal without having to constantly shuffle objects around on my counter tops…stuff that didn’t belong in the kitchen to begin with.

  22. 27
    Kelley G. says:

    Finally watched it. Just remember even though things get in disarray like the bedroom did, you are still a huge motivator to so many people. The fact that your room can get whipped into shape so quickly is s reminder to us all to keep at it and every little bit helps. Thank you for being brave 😉

  23. 28

    Great post! I think what you’re teaching me is to recognize “triggers” that lead to that slob brain. I cleaned my bedroom after Christmas (it was horrible) and it was maintained for 3 weeks…until I missed completing laundry day on a Sunday and putting clothes away…and now…it’s a disaster, clothes everywhere. Before I started following your site, I would have never realized there was a trigger, I just would have thought I’m hopeless. So thank you!

  24. 29

    Good job! I commented on the video, so I’ll not repeat here. 🙂

  25. 30

    Last week I had company. Oh, how I had worked to get things in order! ;o) Everything looked beautiful! Well, company left on Thursday. I swore that this time I would KEEP things in order… Imagine now that I have to do some serious work today to re-get it back in order! I am going to get off this computer and get to work NOW! I have figured out that I need to pretend I am going to have more company. ;o))

    You did a GREAT job on your bedroom! I am so proud of you!!!! :o)) You teach me many good things! THANKS!!!!

    Gotta scoot… Much to do…

  26. 31

    Glad to know my hubby and I are not the only ones who live like this. Now, add 6 cats to the mix….

  27. 32

    I’m not horrified at all. Sure, the before picture was a bit of a disaster, but it was a lot less heavy with stuff than that room used to be. And your ability to get it recleaned in a reasonable amount of time is great. I would have been horrified if you had said: “look at it now, I failed, I’m going to stop trying.” But you didn’t. I have the same focus issues, and I think you just proved to yourself that it is no longer an insurmountable task, and therefore not something to put off for forever.
    I’m reading backwards, and I feel like I’m Grover in The Monster at the End of This Book – I want to keep it from “ending” but I know I must keep on. I’ve majorly overhauled my master bedroom in the last 3 days (building off prior major declutterings) and actually have hope for my home now. 🙂 Now to get my bottom outside and finish planting the garden! Thanks for the inspiration Nony. 😀

  28. 33
    chelsea says:

    I just want you to know how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog! I never knew I had a twin out there 😉 My master bedroom has been the dumping grounds for everything that didn’t have a home since we moved into this house nearly a year ago. I went to work on it Monday morning fully expecting this to be a month long process. I mean, it was TRASHED. Like, half walking half falling on your way to the bed trashed. I want you to know that I was so inspired by you to keep plugging away that 6 hours later I had completely tackled the beast!! I’m so stoked right now! Just don’t open any of the closets or bathroom door if you want to keep the illusion alive lol… Also, I’ve been doing the daily tasks with success. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep everything up!

  29. 35
    unmowngrass says:

    Yaaaaaayyyyy!! Well Done!

    Any estimates of how much stuff you donated and/or trashed from there?

  30. 36

    oh I know we have way more blankets than we need, but people keep giving them to us as gifts. So now they are the dreaded sentimental stuff (which is way harder to convince my husband to get rid of). Why do they have to be blankets? Blankets take up so much fluffy space!

    • 37

      I find it easier to get rid of blankets when they’re going to homeless or near-homeless situations. My sentiment seems very little compared to their very real struggles.

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