House Purge Update: Zoe’s Room



So I thought this cutie’s room would be pretty easy.   I was wrong.  When it comes to sorting baby stuff, a million socks, random sizes where they don’t belong, a baby shark and a stingray {I’ll explain later}, my old trumpet mutes from college and a crapton of sentimental stuff…it’s going to take awhile.  I’m amazed at what we were able to cram into a teeny space.
So I turned up my big band pandora station and went to work.
{Before we start, in case you’re new here, we are a family of 5 living in a little house just over 1000 sq ft and don’t plan to move in the near future.  We are tired of managing stuff…moving it, cleaning it, organizing it, stepping over it, etc.  We would rather do other fun stuff so…we’re trying to fix that.  You read a little more about that here and see what we’ve done so far in our bathroommaster closet and bedroom and the boys’ room.}

This is the state it was in right after Christmas.  Fun, new toys from loving grandparents and other family were waiting to be played with in a hot mess of a little girl’s room…

zoes room before2 zoes room before 2 zoes room before 3

zoes room before 4 zoes room before 5 zoesk room before 7



Like I said before, the room is really small, but we had crammed a lot into it and the closet.  With my “helper”, I started going through the closet shelf by shelf, touching everything and deciding it’s fate.  I had saved quite a few thing from her infancy so I set aside a special keepsake box, but lots of things were chosen to donate or store for the future.


A few hours in and this was the hallway after a big load was taken to the car…


zoes room hallway aftermath
zoes room hallway aftermath 2



Among all the treasures, I found these delightful creatures {vacation souvenirs}:


{“Stingy” and “Sharky”…because who doesn’t have a baby stingray and shark hanging out in their room?}


And my trumpet mutes from college {oh, the memories they bring back…like of them falling out of a player’s bell, clanking loudly to the hardwood stage in the middle of a moving pause during a concert. and yes, we used toilet plungers.}:


zoes room before mutes

It took a couple of days to completely clean out the hallway after things were donated, put on craigslist, trashed or stored in the garage to be dealt with later.  {that’s the hardest part, I think}.
But the end result has been sooo worth it….

zoes room after 2 zoes room after 1 zoes room after 3 zoes room after 4 zoes room after 8

zoes room after books

zoes room after 9 zoes room after 12 zoes room after 11 zoes room after 10



One little room holds her bed, changing table, glider and kitchen {with pots and pans}.  Her changing table houses diapers, wipes and 4 little felt bins of books, a tea set, phones and a few other toys she loves.  Just enough for her.

Before,there were plastic drawers holding her clothes in the closet, but I really wanted her to have a place to store her new shopping cart and cute little pink wagon.  So I pared down her wardrobe to just the pieces that she actually wears {no kid needs 20+ pairs of socks} and managed to fit almost all of her daily outfits {dresses and coats are hung up} into two bins with pajamas, socks and tights in another basket.  That opened up so much space for her!
The closet might be the biggest difference.


zoes room after 13 zoes room after 14 zoes room after 15 Zoes room after closet 1

{please excuse the horrific closet lighting}


I also finally took the dot decals off the wall that we put up before Manny was born {I mean, are we the slowest people on the planet with changing out nurseries? What is our deal with that?}.  
That beautiful blank wall space is ready for prints and a great mirror that I’ve stored away, but for now I’m really enjoying the calm clean slate.  Let’s see it again, shall we? :)


zoes room after 3

zoes room after 16

{wall-to-wall.  small, yes…  but pretty perfect for her right now.}


A few more lessons learned along the way:


–the more I experience the calm that a decluttered and pared down room brings, the more I start to ask what are the basic essentials we need to be happy here instead of what can I fit in here?  It’s a quiet shift, but a pretty powerful one.


–the tedious process of going piece by piece through a room full of stuff is starting to really make me think twice about what I bring into our home.  I ask myself how much I really want to babysit that thing…how much do I want to pick it up, put it back, wash it, dry it, repair it, organize it, pack it up, move it and eventually sell, donate or trash it?  Things still slip in {hello Target dollar spot…my weakness}, but it’s a lot better.


unless it’s a huge money-maker, craigslist might not be worth it.  right now, I might list something, but if it doesn’t sell in a week, it gets donated to a local store that benefits a battered women and children shelter.


Whew!  Onto the hall closet next!


How do you decide to get rid of something?  Craigslist?  Goodwill?  Something else?  I’d love to hear about it since that’s the hardest part for me.


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8 Responses to House Purge Update: Zoe’s Room

  1. Kristin Galphin says:

    Test comment!

  2. hahollander says:

    Looks like the comments are working! I wanted to share some fun things I noticed in your post. First of all, great job on the room! I think I have said it before, but you are really inspiring me to get to work in our home! My room, ughh, needs lots of help! But the fun things I noticed are in Zoe’s room. The brown and pink stripped boxes that are in her closet are the exact ones that my girl has! I remember registering for them before she was born! So fun, and yay for Target stuff! :) And, we also have 3 paper flower poof balls in the corner over my girl’s bed! Fun little things, love it!

    • Dana says:

      You’re not a spambot…yay!!! And yes…those are from the dwell for Target dot collection! Same as the dots on the wall and the sheets. I LOVE that bedding more than any other I’ve had. And aren’t the tissue poms fun? I made them a long time ago and look the same as they did then. I keep meaning to add a couple of colors to it. Good luck with your room! Getting started is the hardest part..then you kinda get in a groove. :)

  3. Katie C. says:

    “…what are the basic essentials we need to be happy here instead of what can I fit in here?”

    Yes! This is what I’m discovering through our house purge, too. It’s not about the stuff. It never was, but we’re just learning that. I find it much more difficult to purge my daughter’s things than my own. I start to feel like I’m cheating her by taking her stuff. Then I see how much happier she is with empty space in her room to move around and how she actually plays with her toys more when there are less of them.

  4. Dana says:

    So true, Katie! It takes me being able to step back and watch to start to see that less really is more. Our culture has fed us such lies! I’ll watch old movies where a little girl receives ONE doll for Christmas…and is just delighted! I’m not saying that’s the goal (necessarily), but I just wonder how much I’ve let commercials tell me what I (and my kids) need to be content and happy. In fact, I think listening to the marketing machine has led to a lot of unhappiness in our house. Anyway…WAY TO GO!!!

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