Decluttering the Boys’ Room

(Click through to the post if you’re reading via email and can’t see the video!)

In early January, I decluttered my boys’ room.

It’s March, and I’m just now writing the post.  The good news is that I can say with confidence that the rather extreme measures I took have had a lasting, positive effect. The vast majority of their floor has been walk-on-able for almost two months now.

There really isn’t any bad news.  I’m just irritated/amazed/embarrassed that it took me this long to do the post.

Here are the before shots:

That, my friends, is a picture of an “Organization System” that doesn’t work.  That never worked.

Oh, and of a dead-looking alligator pillow.

I got rid of that entire shelf/system/whatever as well as this canoe-shelf:

I thought that canoe was going to be so cute in their room when I bought it.

I was so wrong. I suppose it could have been, but the shelf only ever held random junk shoved on there in moments of Extreme Maternal Threatening. I gave up and gave it away.

I moved the dresser that had been in the closet (see video for horrific before shot) into the place of these two shelves.

Ignore the tripod and hangers and broom and such and focus on the empty floor space.

And the vacuum marks.  Aaaahhh . . .

I got rid of a LOT of stuff.  Yep.  This was the day before I giggled with glee as a stranger took a big ol’ load of my crstuff to sell.  Or keep. Or burn.  Or whatever.  (I soooo don’t care what he did with it.)

But I did keep some. As much as I wanted to throw it ALL away, I know that there are some things that the boys do use. I made a spot for them in the closet.  I wished I could have kept it like this:

But this will have to do for now:

And most of that stuff in the before picture? It was pretty much consolidated into this:

Stay tuned, and I’ll share the progress on the other side of the room!



  1. 1
    celina... says:

    is it wrong that i SO WANT THAT ALLIGATOR PILLOW.Where was this fabulous item found!!!!!!

  2. 3
    Kelley G. says:

    Loved the putting away the laundry reenactment, very accurate 😉 My girls room is the one that is bad, right now my sons isn’t too bad. Another cup of coffee and I think I will tackle it, thanks for the motivation and being so honest about how it is a continual process!

  3. 4

    We just decluttered my son’s room, too. It took us five hours, and he helped all the time.

    Do your boys like their new and improved room? Mine sure does like his airy new room. 🙂

  4. 5
    Nancy L. says:

    Bwaahaaaa! That’s how my son puts up laundry.

  5. 6

    I sooooo love this. Decluttering my kids room’s is a passion of mine/thorn in my side. They are such slobs, but they come by it honestly. I was a slob kid and grew out of it. I can only hope my kids do as well. I’m doing good to keep my room clean, now I’ve gotta teach 4 kids to do the same?!? They like when I help them clean and when it’s clean. . . it’s the process they avoid like the plague. If you happen to look at the website I’ve created, you’ll see my daughter’s room. I have 4 kids in 3 rooms. They’re all as messy as this. I can only do so much. But if it kills me, I will get them to see what their room and an organized space can look like. I have high hopes I can get them to keep it that way. . . eventually. Whether they keep it like that or not??? Who knows. I cleaned out the boys room last year and it’s a mess again. Gotta work on those routines.

    Sorry this is so long. I love your blog and your honesty. Thanks for keepin’ it real and for showing us the humor that can be had in it all.

    • 7

      Oh by the way, the alligator pillow. . . . we found a huge fish at Walmart when my now 14 year old son was, like, 4 or 5? I think it’s still on his bed. And we actually found him a stuffed alligator along the years. Sad thing is that alligator had a family out there. Yes, it came in small, medium and HUMONGOUS!!!! And, yes, we have all three. In our not so wise years, we see a toy/stuffed animal our kids like . . . we had to get them 3-10 of them. (shaking my head) I’m still trying to convince him to get rid of it all. Have yet to be successful. :o/

  6. 8

    Ha, I love the putting laundry away skit!

    Seriously, though, I want to tell you that one of the things I appreciate the most about your videos is that you are not afraid to show when you become overwhelmed. I get overwhelmed A LOT and it is really hard for me to get past that and keep going. Seeing that you can reach that stage, accept it, and find a practical way to get through it really helps.

  7. 10

    How about mounting that shelf on the wall to hold tissues or books just a thought

  8. 11

    Thanks again for you honesty, Nony. One thing I sometimes find difficult is to admit that something didn’t work and let it go. 😛 For me it often relates to projects that didn’t get finished or some hobby or interest. Also, being overwhelmed – yes. And, it does help to just break it down into something you can deal with, doesn’t it? I have to make myself focus on what I *can* do sometimes and just let the rest go! Not always easy.

  9. 12

    I want to say first that I love you site and am constantly telling myself to do the easy things first and then things tend to roll from there. So thank you for that piece of advice.

    I noticed that you cleaned your boys room without them. How do they feel about you getting rid of their stuff without any say in the matter? I’m so tempted to do this to both my children’s rooms but fear their wrath when they discover I got rid of their stuff.

    • 13

      We have to clean out their room often enough that I’ve done it both ways.

      Honestly, most of the times when I do it without them, they’re so excited that it is clean and play-in-able that they don’t really notice what’s gone. If you’ve never tried it, you might try boxing up things and removing them so they can see how awesome it is clean. Then, you wouldn’t be worried that something would truly be gone if they missed it. Of course, you could make them name the actual item and then you go find it instead of letting them go through the whole box!

  10. 14

    I love the mask! I should wear one but I don’t. Then I spend half my day sneezing and have to take some allergy meds for the next week.

  11. 16

    My husband and I started cleaning our son’s room (with his help) and we got so overwhelmed we put it all back and left it. He’s only FiVE. He has more stuff than we do!!! I’m loving reading all of the posts from people who have actually succeeded in cleaning up though. It CAN be done……right?

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