A Few More (Somewhat Important) Details About the Master Bedroom Cleanup Day

Yesterday, I shared the story of two hours spent cleaning in my master bedroom to be ready for the possibility that I’d have to open the door and let the Insurance Lady see inside.

I was happy with the results. My husband was happy. My daughter was in awe. Yay for middle-of-the-night walks to the potty made easier!!

But there were a few more details of that day I feel I should share.

First, that at 9:12 (after starting the excavation at 8 a.m. with a 10 a.m. doorbell/deadline), I realized I should at least LOOK at the rest of the house. Specifically, the part she would DEFINITELY see. Cleaning a room that MIGHT be seen only to miss something obvious in a room that would DEFinitely be seen sounds exactly like something I would do.

So I walked to the front door and looked. I wanted a realistic idea of a first impression.

I knew it was actually pretty good (which was what allowed me to work for the two pre-visit hours in the bedroom).

The View from the Front Door at ASlobComesClean.com

Some shoes, a few things on the floor. Not too bad if-I-do-say-so-myself.

Two seconds later:

After a little picking up

(Notice the magic of closing a door, as demonstrated in yesterday’s post.)

A laundry basket on the coffee table gives the impression that I didn’t bother cleaning up for my guest. That I’m just that comfortable letting people into my home and showing them our “real life.”

And that I DO LAUNDRY.

At 9:36, I decided the house was fine, the master bedroom was in decent-enough shape, and that I should take the last 24 minutes before the scheduled doorbell to go ahead and tackle this:

Messy-again dresser

It was last priority in the Master Bedroom degrossification. Mostly because it generally avoids the very first impression due to its position in the room.

But with 24 minutes left in a block of time I’d already designated for the bedroom, I figured I might as well.

I found all sorts of goodies and plowed through with my two decluttering questions.

Where would I look for the birthday card my kids gave me for my 40th birthday (almost exactly one year before this decluttering day . . . )?

Last Year's Birthday Card

In my underwear drawer, of course. So I put it there. Without even moving my feet.

When the doorbell rang a few minutes EARLY, I’d made this much progress:

Doing What I Can in a Few Minutes at ASlobComesClean.com



Spending Two Hours In The Master Bedroom (Cleaning)

2 Hours Cleaning the Master Bedroom at ASlobComesClean.com

I mentioned last week that my washing machine died. It died a watery death.

A watery death that ruined the wood floor outside the laundry room.

Which meant I had to call our insurance company.

Which meant I had to let someone inside my house.

Which meant I feared she would need to open the door to the master bedroom which is just to the side of the now-warped area.

Which gave me heart palpitations.

Welcome to one of those posts that separates the true slobs from the people who complain about a messy house but would never in a million years let any room (especially the master bedroom) get like the picture above.

To those who hang around assuming I’d only write a slob blog because I’d already solved all my slob problems: See ya! It’s been real.

Here’s the thing. I KNOW I can do amazing things in even the craziest of rooms in less time than I’d ever have imagined pre-blog. I just have to do it. To start. Finding out someone with master-bedroom-door-opening powers will ring the doorbell the next morning at 10 a.m. gets me started.

My goal: Make it Less Embarrassing

That’s how I roll. I feel the average non-slob can have an imperfect bedroom when surprised with a reason to let people see it. I’m even good with being deemed a Really Messy Person. I just want to avoid the gasps. And the shudders. And the dropping of the jaws.

In real life. Online, I’ll show the world. (Wow. I have serious issues.)

Anyway, not having perfection as my goal was helpful. (As always. Duh.)

I started with the Easy Stuff. That’s the best way to stop the in-the-doorway-glazed-over-eyes feeling of overwhelm that I experience at the beginning of any daunting decluttering project.

Last box of Christmas Decor at ASlobComesClean.com

Easy thing #1: Move the final box of Christmas decor out of the room. (I totally almost wrote: “to the garage so it can be taken to the attic by Hubby” but looked up from my computer and saw the box, complete with partially filled ThreadUp bag, tucked “neatly” in the gameroom.)

boots + other random clutter

Easy Thing #2: Boots to the shoe spot.

Solving One Problem Super Quickly at ASlobComesClean.com

Easy Thing #3: Shut the bathroom door.

I’m sure there could have been a reason for her to cross the bedroom and go into the bathroom, but I was willing to had to take that risk. (For time’s sake.)

Closing the Dresser Drawers. Duh.

Easy Thing #4: Close the dresser drawers.

Not much of a difference, but a difference. And really, it doesn’t get easier or more decision-free than that, people.

Once I’d plowed through the easy stuff, I decided to repeat to myself (over and over, again and again) the phrase once casually uttered by a Normal Person I knew: If your floors are clean, people think your house is clean.”

Since “what people think” was all that mattered, I went with it.

I concentrated on clearing the floor at the end of the bed first. And next, the floor in front of the dresser.

Picking up the floor

I needed a way to stay focused and not just run around in circles waving single socks and long lost belts and crying about how I’d never ever be able to finish.

Clearing the floor again.

Once the floor areas were clear (remove trash first, then put away, then “declutter”), I tackled the Pile O’ Good Intentions at the end of the bed. While it was overwhelmingly humongous, it turned out that a LOT of it (the top 2.5 feet or so) was made up of a load of laundry that somehow missed out on the Laundry Management Method that rocks my world. I’m sure there was a really great and logical reason why that didn’t happen.

That, and a batman mask.

Found Hubby's Batman Mask

And the rest of my new velvet hangers and other hangers and more.

Once the pile at the end of the bed was gone, I decided to . . . make it. Ummmm, yeah. I’m pretty sure the state of the bedroom and me ignoring the most basic daily habit of MAKING THE BED are somehow related. Somehow.

And so, after twoish hours, the bedroom looked slightly better:

After spending two hours in there

Not perfect, but much less embarrassing. Yes, I still had to practice feigning some WHAT?-you-need-to-open-my-bedroom-door-but-but-but-there’s-a-huge-pile-of-laundry-just-inside-the-door-y’know-cuz-my-washing-machine-broke embarrassment, but I was actually pretty proud of myself.

And yes. I do see that brown flip flop in the picture. I’d have looked for it all next summer.


The Pile that Grew (And Grew and Grew and Grew)

And this post demonstrates why Hubby no longer worries that I’ll run out of Slob Blog Material.

Tackling the Pile that Grew and Grew and GREW!! at ASlobComesClean.com

That’s the pile.

I knew it was there. I knew it had grown.

But it wasn’t until I needed to deal with it that I grasped its vastness.

In my mind, there were boxes in there. Christmas happened, and I did the vast majority of my shopping online. I randomly threw each new box atop the pile. Then, when it was time for a 5 (or 10) minute pickup on Sunday afternoon, I’d tell the kids to stick any additional random boxes on the pile in my bedroom.

What started so innocently as a temporary spot to keep boxes turned into an abyss.

I had a few minutes on a Saturday morning. Not enough time to truly “clean the master bedroom” like I needed to do, but enough time to pull some boxes off the pile.


When overwhelmed, I start with the easy stuff first. The easiest of the easy stuff (especially when staring at a big ol’ pile of overwhelm), is trash. Stuff that should never have been there, but is there.

I started removing boxes. Useless ones got broken down and pitched. Good ones went to the Donate Spot to be filled with clutter.

As I found trash, I stuck it in the trash bag. (Novel idea.)

As I ran across things (like a suitcase which belongs in a closet ten feet away) piled up with the trash, I took them there. Right then.

Found within the Pile of Clutter at ASlobComesClean.com

Once the top layer of the pile was gone, I found long lost things like boots. And audio books purchased during the fill-a-bag-for-$1 library sale. Ugh. I just took them straight to where I would look first if I needed them.

I even asked Hubby where he DID look first when he needed his Ugly Sweater for work. He started to hem and haw about where it should go, and I stopped him and asked, “Where did you look for it first?”

Ugly Sweater at ASlobComesClean.com

That’s where it went. (Yes. We do have to keep it. Hubby is the hit of the Christmas party every year with that hideous thing.)

After a whole fifteen minutes, the space looked like this:

15 Minutes Can Make a BIG Dent at ASlobComesClean.com

Far from perfect, but far, far better.

That box? It’s the problem. It’s the stuff for our Brownie troop, and I just can’t think of a place to store it. But the presence of one box starts the pile, so I know it needs to go.

Any ideas?



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