Spring cleaning: day nine

We’ve got two more days of spring cleaning left. For the past eight days, we’ve methodically decluttered, cleaned, and organized nearly our entire homes. It’s a great start to a simpler home! You should be proud of yourself.

Today’s focus is the area on which we tend to focus least. Our master bedrooms should be your haven of the entire home, the one place where you can find solace with your spouse and some grownup time apart from the kids.

So why do master bedrooms become the storage unit for kids toys, the catch-all for clutter when company arrives, and the last place to get clean? I’m pretty sure it’s because as home managers, we take care of everyone else in the family, leaving ourselves last.

Ours is a sacrificial job, and it’s noble. But we also need to take care of ourselves – and creating a little place in the home just for us and our spouse is a great step toward a simpler home life, a staging ground for intimacy, and the place where peace is guaranteed.

Today, Mandi at Organizing Your Way has some wonderful ideas on making your master bedroom a haven.

The Closet

As I mentioned in the e-book, I would rather have ten items of clothing that fit perfectly and are made to last, than 100 so-so pieces of randomness that won’t last more than a few years. The same goes for shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories.

I encourage you to use the method described in the e-book and get rid of the clothes you know you’ll no longer wear. Whether they no longer fit, they’re out of style, or they’re damaged, these clothes do not deserve residence in your precious space.

Either donate them to charity (if they’re in good condition), sell them on eBay or Craigslist, or repurpose them into cleaning rags or fabric for sewing projects. Only repurpose them if you legitimately need them – don’t save them with the noble intention of one day reusing them.

If you’re unsure about something, create a “maybe” box. Keep it in your closet for six months – if you don’t dig the clothing out by that time, it’s time to say adios.

Like your kids’ clothing, store out of sight the off-season clothes.

In the future, stick to wearing the basics, and have only a few pieces of trendy clothing. And I recommend you do your research on which brands might fit you best – what one woman swears by might not fit you at all. Read up on 10 basics every mom should have in their closet.

The Rest of the Bedroom

Declutter the rest of your place, and keep only the essentials that make your bedroom a haven. Don’t use under the bed as storage unless you use the items regularly, or if you have absolutely no other room. If you do, use well-labeled containers, as this area is a dust bunny magnet.

Get rid of anything you don’t love. You really won’t miss it. You’ve decluttered your kids’ stuff, your media, and your cooking tools – treat yourself and your marriage place to a good overhaul as well.

If your bedroom serves another purpose, such as your office, your workout nook, or a library, make sure it’s useful in your bedroom. An office needs good natural light, and you need decent floor space for exercising. Do your best to make sure this secondary purpose doesn’t overwhelm the first – a haven for you and your spouse.

Our Bedroom

Our master bedroom is miniscule, much like the master bath attached to it. We don’t have much room, but I like it that way – there’s only room for the essentials.

before: after:
bedroom before bedroom after
before: after:
bedroom before bedroom after

We collated all the laundry, and hung our clothes properly in our shared wardrobe. There wasn’t much need to get rid of clothes, since we just did a major overhaul when we visited the States. Here are all my clothes:


Because of our tiny space, I love my multi-tiered hangers – they really maximize space.

skirt hanger

I use two tie hangers, one for necklaces and bracelets, and one for handbags and scarves.

jewelry hanger

My husband added some dowels to create more hanging space, and uses a simple basket for his undergarments.

closet closet

We don’t have room for traditional night stands, so simple, streamlined chairs (from Ikea, of course) do the trick.

night stand

Believe it or not, I’ve also got my writing desk in here. It’s a small secretary desk (from you-know-where), and I love that I can close the lid to any disorganization. It’s important to keep it tidy, though, because there’s not much room inside – if it’s messy, I’m less apt to use it.

before: after:
desk before desk after

desk after

We couldn’t find simple curtains that were long enough and our style, so we repurposed thin throw blankets as our curtains. They work perfectly. We actually use them in the kids’ bedroom and playrooms as well.

bedroom after

I’m looking forward to seeing your master bedrooms today! Also – don’t forget to add any of your photos to the Simple Mom Flickr pool, so that I can consider adding them to my book when it’s nearing its publication date.

What’s your favorite thing about your master bedroom?

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Encouragement for living simpler, right in your inbox.

We share our stories as we simplify our lives - no guilt-trips, just love.

(no spam, promise. we hate it, too.)


  1. Day nine! Holy mudballs how did that happen?? Oops..”teacher I need to come in after school and get caught up”. I am a tad bit behind the rest of the class I think. I really like your comment about clothes and having and handful of good ones instead of a ton of crappy ones. Even though I buy 99% of my clothes at thrifts, I know which brands are the best for me and take very good care of my clothes. If something itches, rides up, binds, or just plain makes me feel unattractive, out it goes. I read somewhere once you should take as much pride in your clothes and clothes care as your would with a fine piece of art. I will get crackin on the rest of Spring Cleaning…I may be into “Day 29” but I will git ‘er done!

  2. Our bedroom is long and skinny – you could use it as a bowling alley! When we moved into our 90 yr old house, the whole thing was covered in very old wallpaper. It took ages to remove!

    That’s why my favorite thing about it now are the beautifully painted red walls.

    I like your clothes area – I minimize in that area as well and find that it really helps to simplify my life.


    steadymom.com´s last blog post…Am I Living with a Preschooler or a Teenager?

  3. As you know, I have put off the spring cleaning party until we have our big yard sale in a few weeks but I am still keeping up with the blogs (saving them for when I get to do it) and comments. The master bedroom being the haven is awesome! Mine is just storage space pretty much and with 4 kids we always search for that quiet place but never go into our bedroom. What a great idea! I now can’t wait until I get to my Day 9!! Thanks for all you are doing!

  4. I can’t believe the two weeks are almost up. I still feel like I have a lot of decluttering to do, but the progress I’ve made has been great too.

    Here’s my post on my master bedroom cleaning. I still have more to do in there, but I have made progress.

    I think my favorite thing in my master bedroom would be my bed. My dad actually made it for us so it has a sentimental place in my heart. Thanks for all the great tips on cleaning and organizing.

  5. I LOVE the idea of using chairs for nightstands. We live in a small place and having extra chairs handy for guests would be great!

    What I like most in our master bedroom is my husband and I each have our own closets. Mine is usually much more cluttered but not for long. I am all about getting rid of clothes that I haven’t worn, if I haven’t worn it in a year it’s gone.

  6. VeggieMomma says:

    Noooo, not the bedroom/closet!! My closet is almost like another room and hold baby blankets, sheets, towels, my clothes, my husband’s clothes, my son’s clothes, bags of maternity and out of season clothes, old clothes from pre-baby, clothes that need sewing or a new button, bags of shoes, too small baby clothes….. AHHH!!! I was planning on tackling this…but only in the back of my head. Now I must make it a reality….It will take a few days, but I’ll hopefully post pics!

  7. Oh I *love* our master bedroom. It didn’t used to be this way, but I committed to creating a haven when we moved. It is simple and clean, and of course true to my nature, very shabby chic. It is a small room, and really only holds our bed, a small table and then thankfully our TV is a flat screen and is up on the wall. There is barely room to walk around, but because we have kept it so simple it doesn’t feel even a tiny bit cluttered. It is certainly my retreat. Ahhh 🙂

    Angie @ The Creative Mama´s last blog post…Get inspired.

  8. I’ve been looking for a way to store my necklaces without having a big ugly jewelry chest. The tie hanger is perfect! Our Master is about as tiny as yours, so everything has to be organized perfectly to fit.

    Steph @ Dirt Won’t Hurt´s last blog post…My Guitar Hero

  9. Hi there, I am not participating but from your party via my friend Nancy who IS participating, will be born my blog on my techniques of achieving junque freedom.

    Great job, wonderful links – TY!

    Oh yes, the favorite thing about our master is that I’ve turned it into our gym; ) I have the stairmaster, a big round mat, weights, balls – my tv swivels up on the wall, I have my variety of dvd’s, in short, it’s perfect! Thx, J


  10. I love my bedroom 🙂 Its my haven, my get-away…its comfy and clean and organized because I need that to relax. I need to paint it though, I hate the color, always have, but its a big job and I am lazy 😉

    I LOVE your desk!

    Laurie´s last blog post…Spring Cleaning the Master Bedroom

  11. My master bedroom is also my office, but it isn’t a secretaries desk, so obviously not nearly as easy to tidy up. I love what you’ve done though.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…The Classroom is Only a Baseline

  12. I haven’t started my spring cleaning yet, but I am getting ready to. I bought and love your e-book. I have a favor to ask, though. Could you design a button for those of us that didn’t get to follow along with you–one without dates? I don’t want to feel behind before I start. Thanks for your series and book! ~Melissa

    Melissa´s last blog post…Ants and Fleas and Lice. OH MY!

  13. Oh, I have soooooooooo much to do on our master. It is indeed the catch-all space and not at all the soothing haven that I dreamed it would be.

  14. We used to live in an apartment were our desk HAD to be inside the master. That brought a lot of clutter! We moved to another apartment but this one has the study area outside the master. It has made a huge difference! The room looks less cluttered than before and easy to go around and put things back on its place. We try to keep it simple. We didn’t even had side tables! Now we do, but not those that have drawers. They are simple folding tables to eat in front of the TV! We choose them dark colored and they look neat! This keeps space minimum to keep the lamp or flower base, a book and some little extras like my hand cream, the clock alarm and my husband’s black box (where he puts his jewerly and wallet when he comes back from work.

    lvlc @ FromMomToMom´s last blog post…Growing Seedlings Tips

  15. Where did you get the picture of the husband and wife on a scooter? I love it!

  16. because our home is very small, our master room actually is also our storage unit too. ie… extra pantry, linen cupboard, art center, and more! so this will take me about 3 days I think to get completely sorted!! But im SO enjoying this cleaning journey that we’re all on. Im still going hard out, though im VERY exhausted. My favourite part about our room is our bed and our new canopy that flows over it. (i am slowly getting photos uploaded onto my blog. only up to the kitchen so far. Thanks again for this amazing spring cleaning fun, Tsh. Its been hard work, but very very rewarding.
    Amy Salinger

  17. Today is my volunteering day at the local crisis pregnancy center so I was unable to do this task. Tomorrow we will be leaving town for the weekend so next week I will have to make up Days 9 & 10 … but I am ready to get into my master bedroom!! It isn’t that bad, really; and it is our haven … but, some “stuff” has accumulated. I hadn’t really considered NOT having stuff under my bed but that is now my goal!

    Everyone’s ideas and photos have been so inspiring. Cna’t wait until Monday to get started. Will post blog then. Happy cleaning, oops, I mean, Happy Partying to all!!

  18. Wow Tsh, I love your decor. Very bright and and tasteful. My bedroom *sigh* is a grey box, because, Tsh, you are so right, parents come last. 🙂 And from my pics, the “clean sweep” in my home didn’t last a week. BUT, I did manage to get most of of swept up again. Thanks so much everyone for the cleaning encouragment! Abbie
    You can see my post here, http://www.organizing-life.com/spring-cleaning-the-master-bedroom/
    And if you want to get an idea of what I would like my master bedrom to be like take a look at my post Feng Shui Tips For Your Master Bedroom .

  19. When we cleaned up we knew it was time for a paint job! It seemed like we moved into a new house. What a difference!
    Thank you for the article, 10 basics Every Mom Should Have In Her Closet!

    Laura´s last blog post…Dr. Wayne Dyer- The Story Of Teddy

  20. Somebody help me!!! I’ve fallen off the wagon. I got sidetracked with some projects and stopped around Day 7! I’ve still got to tackle the kids room, however I did start to work in the craft room. I can’t wait to share those pictures soon! I love seeing everyone’s progress. I promise I will catch up! I will!

    Donna S´s last blog post…Project Procrastinators Party: Our Family Photo Gallery Wall

  21. My bedroom scares me!

  22. great thought – it’s so easy to let the master bedroom become a dumping ground for all sorts of things…great motivator to tidy up the few things in there that need it – thankfully, we did a major closet clean-out a few weeks back, so that work is already done! I think we took 4 or 5 huge bags to Goodwill…we both vowed to shop for clothing much more carefully in the future! thanks!

    jodi´s last blog post…wall vinyls here we come!

  23. CarrieK says:

    The think I like most about my bedroom are the plans I have for it! It’s become a laundry room, home business storage area and all around, general catch-all room. I want to paint the walls a nice warm lt brown, add bamboos shades and upholster a headboard. We are using the same bedding I bought 10 years ago with some of our wedding gift money…it might be time for some new stuff. I’ve been scouring yard sales and Goodwill looking for a bench for the foot of the bed. I guess the first step is getting rid of the clutter…and moving non-bedroom stuff to the closet. Thanks for all the inspiration and pictures.

  24. Wow… you have motivated me.

  25. Nooooooo! I was hoping the closet would be like day 388! I’m too embarrassed to even take a picture of mine. It is horrible!

  26. We took the smaller bedroom so the kids could have a bigger space to play until we seperate them. It’s hard with a small closet, but it’s good in a way it makes me not keep so many things in our room.


  27. This was my easiest day so far!!!! Ipictured my way to organize jewelry and my fave bedroom spot on my post. Check it out!


  28. I do love our bedroom when it is clean and neat but it tends to be a magnet for clutter from every other room in the house! We are in the process of switching furniture sets and today’s Spring Cleaning task didn’t go as well as planned. It’s a touch lighter with fresh, clean sheets on the bed and all the seasonal boxes moved out to the hallway to be put in storage!

    My favorite part of bedroom would have to be the new Ikea king sized bed and end tables we purchased when I was pregnant with the twins! Simply wonderful!

    Olivia @ Moomama´s last blog post…Day 8 – The Kids’ Rooms cont…

  29. I love the pictures and your bedroom. I realized that it’s hard for me to answer the “what I love” question, because I really don’t. It’s the place where I sleep, mostly because it’s teeny. So I can really appreciate your tips on maximizing space, especially with tiered hangers. And I’ve got to be honest, I’m so jealous of your desk!

    turnitupmom´s last blog post…Best Buddies

  30. Okay. I have completely fallen off the wagon.


  31. V. Higgins says:

    I saw that you’re reading Love & Respect ^_^ The conference is amazing by the way, but I got more out of their second book “Cracking the Communication Code”, fully recommend that. ^_^

  32. Be encouraged, everyone! Even if you’re “behind,” the goal here is a more organized, peaceful home. Not to finish in 10 days. Every year, this process becomes easier.

  33. Thankfully, it only took me about a half hour to complete our master bedroom today, since I did a major cleaning in there not too long ago. I’m so glad to have only one day left to go, and I’m only going to be finished one day after you.

    I’m so awesome. 😉


    My favorite thing about my bedroom is the sense of seperateness. The color alone is a far cry from the cheery yellows and greens of the rest of my house. It’s the only room that really feels “indoorsy” and private to me. And that’s what I love best about it. 🙂

    Tiff @ The Faery Inn´s last blog post…The Sanctuary

  34. The link on the page for entry way is directing me back to master bedroom….?

Add Your Thoughts