On Thursdays, I post a guide with ways to declutter a certain area in your life. If you’re not ready to toss everything out, try these ways of reducing clutter, one area at a time. Like me, you may not think you have much, but you’d be surprised to find how much stuff you have that you really don’t need.
Your bedroom/sleeping space is the most important area of your home. It is your sanctuary. In this space, you relax and unwind, sleep while your body grows, and may have some fun with your significant other. What you think about before you go to bed will affect your sleep and how you feel when you wake up will affect your day. To ensure a peaceful mind, it is very important to have a calm, relaxing, clutter-free bedroom. Also, who doesn’t want a room that is easier to clean?
1) If you have a television in your bedroom, remove it immediately. Watching television before bed will lead to a bad night’s sleep and related health problems. Television is too stimulating and you need something calm in your space before going to bed. The same concept applies to browsing the net or watching videos on your computer before bed. Close the laptop. Turn off the television. Read a book, meditate, pray, talk with your spouse, play under the covers with your spouse, or listen to quiet music. Do this for a half hour before sleep. You will be much more relaxed! Your room will also thank you for uncovering a little extra floor space – this can make a huge difference!
2) Put your clothes away as soon as you take them off. Unless you’re doing a sultry striptease and putting your clothes away would disrupt the flow of the performance, just put your clothes away! Drawers, closets, hangers, laundry bins – you’ve got them, so use them! I’ve done this since I was a little girl – I never had clothes on the floor of my room and I don’t understand how other people can leave their clothes everywhere. I attribute this to being a neat freak, but neat-freak or not, it will be so much easier to move about and organize your clothes if they’re not on the floor!
3) Clear off surfaces. I find that clear surfaces immediately creates a sense of peace. File away/recycle/shred papers. Decide which physical items are important and what can be tossed/donated/put away. Important items can be put back in a designated spot – but try to keep it basic! Also limit the number of items you have out: one book, one pair of slippers, one picture frame, etc.
4) Store personal items in quality containers. You’re probably not throwing away everything you own. Solution: hold onto those trinkets and photographs but keep them out of sight. If they’re valuable enough to keep but hide, organize items neatly in cute boxes or similar kind of container. Put them on a closet shelf, or stack them artistically somewhere in the room.
5) Find a place for everything! I cannot stress this enough It is so much easier to manage your space and items if you have a designated spot for everything. If you don’t have a spot, then you probably don’t need it or something else has to go to make room for it. If you have something that doesn’t even belong in the bedroom (plates, cups, towels), remove it!
6) Spice up the walls. Unless it’s your style, plain white walls can be unappealing and make the room feel incomplete. Paint the walls (or just one, or two) your favorite color, hang up a few (just a few!) tasteful photos or pieces of art, or add some curtains to the windows. Doing something with your wall space can help bring the room together and make it feel cozy without adding too much clutter. I love re-visiting my bedroom at my parents’ house because it was painted a calming shade of green – my favorite color.
7) Rearrange the furniture. This is not essential to having a clutter-free room, but it can help you become mindful of the objects you have and how difficult it may be to handle everything if you have too much stuff. Keep in mind the function of pieces of furniture in your room. Do you use them? What do you use them for? Do you need it? Can you do without it? Minimally, you just need a place to sleep and a place to store clothing. You don’t have to be that extreme, but perhaps you don’t need that second dresser or chair in the corner of the room that you use to throw clothes over rather than just relax in. If you’re curious, all I have in my sleeping space right now is a mattress on the floor (OK, honestly? Two mattresses, one for each of us – long story.), a two-drawer nightstand (one drawer for me, one for him), and a floor lamp. Everything else fits in our tiny closet. On top of the nightstand is a clock and a lovely wooden box that holds a few small items.
8) Streamline your closet. I saved this for last because it is perhaps the most daunting task: so many bags, boxes, and clothes! I could probably write a separate post for this but here are some quick guidelines:
- Create three piles: keep, donate, toss.
- Find your favorite signature items. Keep those.
- Try to create a flexible wardrobe based around those items with things you wear often.
- If you haven’t worn it in the past six months, get rid of it.
- If it doesn’t fit you anymore, get rid of it. Don’t wait until you ‘will fit in it again.’
- Not sure how you feel about a piece of clothing? Pack it up, put it out of sight, and go back to it in three months. If you don’t miss it, get rid of it.
Check out Project 333 for more inspiration!
Remember, if you plan to tackle this project, do one area at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself!
For more inspiration, check out How to Create Your Bedroom Oasis.