From Catch-All Room to Master Bedroom Retreat

I decided to kick off Life: Simplified Project by tackling the 2nd worst room in my house – the master bedroom.

(The basement is my worst area but it’s cold down there right now!).

Standing in the doorway of my bedroom I stared. Piles of stuff stacked two feet high on my dresser obscured the mirror. A narrow path between stacks of clutter led from the hallway door to the closet and to the far side of the bed. Not only was it a mess, it was a DANGEROUS mess!

When had my bedroom turned into a catch-all junk room?!

Feeling overwhelmed I slowly began to clear the floor, tackling one stack, one laundry basket, one out-of-place box at a time.

From Catch-All Room to Master Bedroom Retreat


As I worked to declutter my catch-all room master bedroom I began to notice the stuff fell into several general categories:

  • kid’s crafts and papers from church,
  • paperwork (bills, documents, junk mail),
  • clothes (baskets of clean clothes and stacks of outgrown children’s clothes),
  • miscellaneous items that belong in the basement (but someone was too lazy to put them away).

I now consider these categories my nemesis to a master bedroom sanctuary!

I worked for hours to clear all of the clutter from the floor, dresser, chest, and side tables. I feel no shame telling you I let multiple DVDs babysit my children to keep them out from under my feet. Desperate times call for desperate measures.


After I decluttered my catch-all room, I began to think about my vision for my master bedroom.

  • What emotions do I want to feel when I’m in this room?
  • What possessions can I put in here that arouse those emotions?
  • What treasures do I want to look at when I wake up and before I go to sleep?

My vision was to create a master bedroom retreat in which to rest and recharge. I want to feel relaxed and peaceful when I’m in my room. I want a place to escape the chaos of mothering five children and managing a house.

My children are allowed in my room, but they have their own spaces. The master bedroom is for ME and my husband, so the focus is on us. No toys, no kid’s crafts, no walls of baby pictures. It’s a special place.

I’m still thinking through how I want to prettify {totally a word!} my bedroom. I know I want to include books that I’m reading, photos of our pre-child days, a rocking chair, and my favorite art works. It’s the bed covering and curtains that I’m stuck on. As you can see from my Master Bedroom Sanctuary Pinterest board, I don’t lack inspiration. I just can’t make up my mind which idea I like the most!


While I wait for design inspiration I’m working to create new boundaries for the master bedroom. I keep telling myself:

  • Laundry can only sit in a basket in the middle of my room 1 night.
  • Don’t set stuff down, put it away.

With those two rules turned into habits I hope to avoid my master bedroom becoming a catch-all room again.

Come back next week when I share some of the ways I am implementing my prettify vision.

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  1. Wow Stephanie! That looks great! Truly a retreat for the grown-ups! Nice job! LOVE it! I am in purge mode now for our entire house!
    Kristin Wheeler (@MamaLuvsBooks) recently posted..HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® to Live Your Best! #Moms4JNJConsumer #sponsoredMy Profile

    • Stephanie Kay
      Twitter: stephmommybrain

      Thanks, Kristin! I’m sure that beautiful new kitchen and bathroom has you looking at other areas of your house from a different perspective! 😀

  2. Ah yes…this is always the place that I get stuck! I’ll be great for a month or so and then BAM! It’s back to catch-all for me as well. But it will come further along in the year for me. Looks great!
    Kate @ Teaching What Is Good recently posted..Life: Simplified – menu planningMy Profile

  3. Sarah
    Twitter: theEarlyBirdMom


    It’s gorgeous! Your bedroom turned out beautifully! I’ll bet your husband loves it, too. Your wall color is so pretty.

    Someone commented n my laundry post that her trick to getting the laundry put away by bedtime is to skip the basket and dump the clean laundry right on the bed! She’s forced to do it before going to bed. I don’t know if I’m brave enough for that strategy:)
    Sarah recently posted..7 Tips to Tame the Laundry PileupMy Profile

    • Stephanie Kay
      Twitter: stephmommybrain

      Sarah, I cleaned out the room and rearranged the chest and dresser (just swapped places) while my husband was gone overnight. His words when he saw it – “It’s so STARK.” lol! I’m married to a messy, love the man, but he is a packrat! So, I’m focusing on keeping my side of the room clean. One baby step at a time. :)

  4. That is quite lovely. Nicely done. I suspect your “before” is my “now.”
    Annette W {This Simple Home} recently posted..Favorite Books of 2013My Profile

    • Stephanie Kay
      Twitter: stephmommybrain

      I forgot to take before photos until most of it was cleaned up. I can’t tell you the relief I feel when I walk into an orderly room!

  5. Looks great!! Love that put some new “boundaries” in place as a plan to keep up your hard work! Enjoy “prettyfying”!!

  6. I love this! My master bedroom needs some work. I’ve been brainstorming ways to prettify it, too!
    Joanie @ Simple Living Mama recently posted..How To Create a Home Management Binder – Life: SimplifiedMy Profile

  7. My bedroom is the same way. I had so much laundry in there it started to look like an episode of Hoarders. I have started to clear things out.

    • Stephanie Kay
      Twitter: stephmommybrain

      I know exactly what you mean! When I switched out my clothes for the season I cleared out a bunch of items I don’t enjoy wearing or can’t fit into. I need to do that again! I’m learning fewer choices makes me happy AND reduces my workload.

  8. Wow! What a beautiful space. I love how you did it. We have one basket for kid stuff in the room, anything extra goed out!
    Chelley @ A is for Adelaide recently posted..Marvelous MondayMy Profile

  9. Wow, Stephanie! Your room turned out beautiful! I need to transform my master bedroom, too!
    Heidi@OneCreativeMommy recently posted..Frozen Olaf Valentines {Free Printable}My Profile

  10. Gorgeous room – love the steps! Will be tackling my bedroom this week!

  11. Quite lovely. Thank you for the inspiration to tackle these kinds of projects…
    Sharon Couto recently posted..An argument with a 4-1-1 recording ~My Profile

  12. WOW this is so inspiring and I am a huge fan of prettifying and decluttering. Great post.

  13. Boundaries are soooo important! I tried tossing the laundry on the bed to be folded, assuming I would never sleep under a pile of clean clothes. Ha. And then I tossed laundry on our family room couch because I assumed I was always in there, and I’d do it while I watched tv, but it’d never sit for long. Ha HA! Boundaries are the single most important thing to making a dent in my cluttery house. Thanks for sharing!
    Kirsten recently posted..It’s Tea Time!My Profile

    • Stephanie Kay
      Twitter: stephmommybrain

      Putting the laundry on the bed or in a chair doesn’t work for me either! I have an amazing ability to ignore it. I’ve learned that having fewer clothes means washing less laundry, which means I’m more likely to get it all put away. I’m not perfect at keep up with laundry but I am making progress.

  14. I love how clean it looks! I need to do this. Our bedroom is ok but it lacks personality. Thanks for sharing your space and giving me some ideas!


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