When I first started writing about the renovations we’re doing in our home, I called this series “Tales from a kitchen renovation” because we were starting with the kitchen. But we’ve pushed the kitchen portion back until mid-September, and we started with the master bedroom.


In my last post about our renovation, I talked about what to donate, what to toss. As we were clearing out the bedroom for the workmen to work in, we purged our way through fourteen years of stuff. We donated more than 100 books that had been in the room, bags and bags of clothes, and various odd items that ended up in corners of the master bedroom because we didn’t know what else to do with them. Other items went out to the curb either to be recycled or trashed. Then there were the things we kept. The things that we needed to bring back into the room when it was done.


Here’s something I wasn’t expecting. I’m doing a second purge. I have another couple of bags of items to be donated. Here’s why. The room is beautiful. We had the closet moved and made larger, and we had a closet organization system installed. The photo above is of the new closet. We’re looking around to find the right curtains to put in front of it. Since it’s open right now, I’m being very choosy about what gets put back into it. Look how lovely it is. Uncluttered with room to spare. It’s probably good that we didn’t get doors or curtains right away. The openness is helpful as I put things in it.


I don’t want to fill it. I’ve lived with previous clutter for so long, that I’m bound and determined not to re-clutter. So as we’ve been moving things back into the room, we’re asking ourselves questions.


  • “Is there a place for this in the room?”
  • “Do we really use this?”
  • “Do we really need this?”
  • “If I keep enough shoes to exactly fill up the racks, what will I do when I get a new pair of shoes?”

I take several carloads of items to Goodwill every year, and yet my home never seems to have less stuff in it. It looks as if one of the unexpected benefits of this renovation will be a house that not only looks less cluttered but is less cluttered. In the past several years, I’ve learned to think long and hard before I buy something new because of the environmental impact of it. Now, I’ll also be thinking, “Do I have a good place to put this or will it just clutter things up?”


It will be a few weeks before my next update. We’re not sure if the bathroom or kitchen will be up first, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of insightful (and partly anxiety-ridden) renovation news for you when we decide.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Tales from a renovation: Moving stuff back in
The master bedroom in our food blogger’s home is finished being renovated. It’s so wonderful she doesn’t want to clutter it up with things like clothing,