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Preparing Your Home For The Holidays: The Master Bedroom

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 12, 2010 · 26 comments

Mandi of Life... Your Way and I have teamed up to bring you a special series over the next two weeks called Preparing Your Home for the Holidays.

I love this quote from Mandi's master bedroom and guest room printable:

Your bedroom should be a haven so that you can truly rest and recharge.

Up until recently that was probably the furthest thing from what our bedroom was. Though we've lived in our house for nearly six years now, our bedroom still more closely resembled a college dorm room than a restful haven. So my husband and I have made it a priority to attempt to make our personal space inviting and cozy.

This isn't easy since we outgrew our overall living space so quickly after moving in, but we're finding ways to creatively stretch our living area until we're ready to purchase a larger home in a year or two.

Our biggest clutter challenges in the bedroom:

  • Miscellaneous clutter on dressers.
  • Laundry -- while I don't mind doing it, I'm horrible at folding, hanging, and putting it away.
  • My current magazine issues needed a home.

:: Miscellaneous Clutter

We don't have a lot of knick-knacks and such sitting out in our bedroom. They just invite dust and need frequent cleaning. However, the flip-side of this is that there's plenty of room for "stuff" to just accumulate.

I've found that trays like this help to contain the clutter and make it look a little neater. If it doesn't fit in the tray, it gets put away. And if the tray starts looking messy, then it's time to find a home for everything or put it in its proper place.

This concept also works for my husband, but I gave him a silver bowl that's a little more masculine for his use.

:: Keeping Up With The Laundry

What you don't see in these pictures is the mounds of laundry that I had to put away before I could even begin dusting and decluttering. Laundry is a big pain point in our house. Well, it's not so much the washing of the clothes that's a struggle -- it's the folding, hanging, and putting away of all of the clean clothing. The baskets always seem to migrate their way to the master bedroom, and often they'll sit there for days.

Consciously I know that this is just creating extra work -- extra work in searching for the coordinating items for an outfit, the mate to a sock, ironing the now wrinkled clothing, etc. My latest attempt to get this under control is just to sort the clothes into baskets by room and enlist the kids to put away their own clothing. This is somewhat of a battle, but it seems to be working so far. Suggestions here would be greatly appreciated!

:: A Home For The Magazines

I like to read at bedtime. Many days I don't have much "me" time, but I always know I'll have those few minutes before dozing off for the night to page through a magazine, so I tend to stack them on my nightstand. But then I often tear out interesting articles and create quite a mess.

My solution was to use a simple tote to hold all of my current unread magazine issues. I carry it up and downstairs with me every day because I get new issues pretty frequently since I've been able to sign up for so many free magazine subscriptions. I can just pull out any issues that I've read for recycling or to pass on, file any articles or notes that I've torn out, and then put any new issues in the tote.

:: Deep Cleaning

After looking over Mandi's cleaning tips, it occurred to me that it's been a good while since we cleaned our ceiling fan. It's usually on all the time to cool the upstairs, so I hadn't really noticed just how grimey it was. So we cleaned it up and also reversed the direction to help keep the upstairs an even temperature over the winter. Ceiling fans should turn clockwise in the winter and counterclockwi!se in the summer.

I feel like we still have a ways to go in "making our bedroom a haven," but I'm just thrilled that we've made some progress

You can join us in Preparing Your Home For The Holidays over the next couple of weeks by using the handy printable checklists that Mandi has created for each room of the house! And of course we'd love to hear your tips and tricks for getting your home ready for the holiday season.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel November 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Where did you get your ceiling fan? I am about to buy one for the living room and love that one!


2 Tara Kuczykowski November 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I believe we got it at The Home Depot -- they have a really nice selection.


3 Ashlee November 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! Laundry is my number one issue as well. The clean clothes stay in baskets unfolded which creates more ironing and more time digging through. And some clothes then fall on the floor and I forget if they were in fact clean and wash them again. I've been trying to fold them in the laundry room first which helps a little.


4 Laura November 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I could have written an identical statement about the laundry, in fact, there is a huge pile in the master bedroom right now :/!

Great idea on the tote next to the bed though! I have a bookshelf that ends up getting cluttered with my magazines.


5 Meredith November 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I do my family's laundry on Sunday and Wednesday. As soon as it gets out of the dryer I lay out the clothes that need to be hung up with each member having their own stack. I then fold the other items as it gets dry. My kids are responsible for taking their pile and putting it away. I do all of these on our couch since we don't have a true laundry room. It is a good motivator to get it done that day since any vistor could see it if they stop by. : )


6 Tara Kuczykowski November 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm

You guys have no idea how much better it makes me feel to know that I'm not the only #laundryfail out there!


7 Laura November 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

LOL, I was thinking the same thing when I saw your post... "thank goodness I am not the only one!!!"


8 Joy November 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Count me in, too as a laundry fail. :) Dh has been on my case about it. He suggested we do the fold and make separate piles for the boys to put away. The only prob with that solution is I fold laundry after the boys are in bed. So the piles then sit in my room for days. So back to the laundry basket in my room. At least they are folded and in a basket.

Do y'all have an ironing board in your bedroom, too? I do and it is a pain. An over door one didn't work in ours because of the type of doors we have.


9 Tara Kuczykowski November 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

Our ironing board is actually in our closet, but it's really not the best solution because there's no outlet in there, so I have to stretch the cord into the bathroom. But it doesn't really fit in our laundry room either, and there isn't an extra outlet in there aside from the washer and dryer plugs anyhow.

If we ever build another house I will definitely pay much closer attention to where the outlets are located, that's for sure!!


10 Deb November 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Call me kind a dumb but I'd never heard the fan was soppose to turn clockwise in the winter-thanks for educating me:)


11 Erin November 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Add me to the list of horrible laundry people! I absolutely hate folding and putting away laundry.


12 Christie November 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I have no problems with doing the laundrey and folding it, my problem is ironing it ! I hate to iron, I'm in desperate need of a new one so therefore it's a chore. I like the idea of hanging it or laying it flat right out of the dryer, this should reduce my need to iron! thanks for posting!


13 Ginger November 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Tara, where did you get the cute basic trays for your dresser?


14 Tara Kuczykowski November 12, 2010 at 4:57 pm

The green tray is from Target -- LOL, my 4yo DD thinks everything comes from Target. The silver bowls (in the tray and on my husband's dresser) are both from Southern Living at Home, now Willow House.


15 Kathy November 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm

How encouraging to know that I am not the only one who fails horribly at folding and putting away the laundry!


16 mobba November 12, 2010 at 6:58 pm

It makes sense - People wake up and go to sleep in their bedrooms. That means the start and end of each day is in the bedroom. We want to wake up in heaven, hoping the rest of our days remain the same!


17 Tracy November 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Laundry is one thing I manage quite well. But I do one load a day, start to finish. If I had piles to do, I'd find it overwhelming and procrastinate as well. Here is how I do my laundry, which comes from my website. Laundry was my August monthly mission.

There is no magic pill. You need to finish a load of laundry by folding it and putting it away. Make it as simple and as enjoyable as possible. I fold mine in the living room while watching a few minutes of something grown up (not SpongeBob) and make the kids put their own stuff in their rooms. Hope this helps.


18 Jessica-MomForHim November 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I can join you in the laundry fail area! I also don't mind doing it, but putting it all away is another matter. I also have 5 young children, so I'm doing laundry all the time and all it takes is one busy day and I'm behind again. I have 2 or 3 baskets waiting in my master bedroom, too, because that's where it gets "hidden" when people come over!! ;-)


19 Lindsay November 12, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I keep up with the laundry pretty well, but I am TERRIBLE with filing. We have papers all over the place. Our bedroom is a dumping ground for papers that don't have a home. I need a better filing system or something.


20 Amy November 12, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Ditto to the whole "putting laundry away" thing! My husband works two jobs. His second job is delivering pizzas and I always feel awful when he has to say, "Do I have any clean pizza clothes?" How sad is that? He should be able to just look in the closet and see them hanging there.


21 Joy November 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Oh yeah, I have the magazine graveyard in my room. I never have time to read them so they just accumulate. I'm a year behind. I keep telling myself I will find the time to read them ... one day. Dh is on my case about it constantly. I did put them in a basket and a tote bag but dh still complains.

I think I have a magazine hoarding problem.


22 Kelly November 13, 2010 at 7:47 am

Wow as I read this I felt like you were actually talking about ME!! Master bedroom catchall, laundry folded living in the laundry baskets forever and my magazine collection stacked near my bed...ugh!! Knowing it isn't just me, makes a world of a difference! Thanks for this post and the tips, my mission is clear this weekend.


23 Diane November 13, 2010 at 9:38 am

At least your laundry is in the house. Mine is in the back seat of my car.


24 Lacey November 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I only have two little ones, but I have found a system by chance.
1. At dinner I put a load in.
2. Move to dryer when kids are in bath.
3. Remove from dryer before putting them to bed and put on couch.
4. After putting kids down I crash on the couch and fold the laundry while catching up with my hubby (he helps too!). Putting in piles for each person in order of room location.
5. In the morning I put the piles away while the kids are stretching and before breakfast. Helps get the day off to a good start.
I found that organizing the piles is key to getting them put away in a flash. Like start with the dresser; top to bottom then on the bottom is closet. That way you only open a drawer once and have no back tracking. I have to be fast before my 20 month old helper attacks my stack. LOL


25 April November 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

My public library accepts magazines for the "Friends of the Library" sale. They use the money to buy new books. You also get to use it as a taxable donation.


26 Nicole November 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Wow Tara--you've been reading my mind! Your recent post about increasing storage space in the garage, and the pics of how your husband did it, were inspiring. When I read the list of the 3 issues you have in your bedroom, I wanted my husband to come and read that we're not alone--same exact issues!!! Thanks for sharing ideas and pics. I'm inspired. : )


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