Some people seem to have no trouble with keeping their bedroom immaculate all the time. There’s never a crease out of place or a stray piece of clothing to trip over, and it always looks and feels completely fresh.
For other people, the bedroom looks like a constant warzone, and even after a thorough ‘tidying’ it still refuses to feel empty, minimalist or even homely. If you’re one of these people, it may be time to declutter your bedroom.
It’s a task that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re not a natural de-clutterer. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the mess is even coming from, and why. Here are a few tips on what to look out for in your bedroom, and how to start the process of decluttering.
One of the most common reasons to find clutter in the bedroom is because there are so many things that simply don’t belong there. The bedroom should be a room primarily for sleeping in, but for many it also becomes a place to eat, to watch TV, to play games, sometimes even to work. When you start bringing other activities into the bedroom, clutter comes with them, and the more time you spend there, the more clutter accumulates.
The first step here is to try and use your bedroom only for sleeping, and save any other activities for more appropriate rooms. Watch TV in the living room, eat in the dining room, work in the office. Once you take your activities elsewhere, your clutter will stop accumulating in the bedroom, and it becomes easier to keep tidy.
Not only that, but as an added advantage, as your mind becomes used to the idea of the bedroom as a place only for sleeping, it will naturally settle down into a sleepy state just by being in there, so you sleep easier too.
Another major issue in many bedrooms is the problem of the ‘waiting chair’. Not always a chair, this is the place where you throw things that belong in the bedroom but that you don’t want to put away straight away; laundry, clean clothes, unopened letters, emptied pockets and so on. It’s a sign of a desire to be organised, but without any of the willpower to do so.
To solve this issue, it’s necessary to push yourself to actually organise. Instead of thinking that you’ll tidy it all away later, make sure to deal with it straight away. Put laundry straight in the laundry basket, and hang clean clothes up immediately. Put rubbish from your pockets straight into the bin, and spare change into an appropriate piggy bank or back into your wallet. If you don’t want to open letters straight away then arrange an inbox for yourself somewhere in the house so you’ll know where to find them later.
The ‘waiting chair’ is really just a way to feel organised in the short term without any of the long term declutter potential. Decluttering requires constant, ongoing vigilance, and must include every surface.
Even if you follow all the above advice, you’ll often find yourself with a bedroom that feels cluttered and overwhelming. It’s not just about picking up dirty laundry, it’s also about making sure that your bedroom is somewhere that feels tidy, and for many people, the barrier preventing that tidiness is the contents of their wardrobes.
In your case, it may not be confined to a single wardrobe, or any wardrobe at all, but is a simple way of referring to wherever you keep your clothes, your shoes and your bedding. Whether that’s all in a single wardrobe or spread out among multiple pieces of bedroom furniture isn’t really important, except to say that if you have too much furniture, that may also be adding to your bedroom clutter.
Chances are, you have too many clothes. It’s hard to accept, but there it is. If you have more than a wardrobe’s worth for just one person, you almost certainly have too many. If you only have one wardrobe, but it’s bulging and difficult to close, that’s definitely a problem.
If you absolutely can’t stand the idea of getting rid of all your clothes, then at least consider moving some or all of them to a separate room. If you’re fortunate to have a space that you can use as a walk-in wardrobe then your bedroom might benefit from you moving out all of the excess. Otherwise, consider moving clothes to storage when they’re out of season or you don’t wear them very often. This way you can maintain a few separate ‘wardrobes’ without it cluttering up your bedroom and using up all your space.
Much like clothes, you’ll probably find you have more shoes than you need. Take a look through your collection and consider what situation you need any particular pair for. Are you holding onto shoes that you no longer wear because they’re too worn out? Those definitely need to go? Shoes that are waiting for the perfect outfit, the one you’ve never found? Probably worth selling on. Shoes that you love but are just the wrong size for you? Get rid of them, your feet aren’t changing size.
Shoes clutter the bottom of your wardrobe, and having too many of them risks allowing them to spill out onto the floor as well. At best, even if they stay tidy, they clutter your mind when you have to think too much about which pair of shoes you’re wearing today. Part of decluttering your bedroom means decluttering your bedroom activities, and that includes getting dressed.
Bedding often has to compete for space with the rest of your wardrobe, and the more you have, the less space you have for everything else. Too much bedding shoves everything else out of your wardrobe so that it ends up hanging around the room and taking up space.
Consider how much bedding you actually need. Generally only 2-3 different spreads will do you, especially if you use relatively neutral styles that are easy to mix and match. Keep only your nicest, newest bedding and get rid of the rest to save space for more important things in your wardrobe. When you buy new bedding, remember that it’s replacing bedding you already own, and get rid of the oldest or least liked among it.
It’s easy to simply say “get rid of it” but there’s more to it than that. Most bedroom experts agree that the easiest way to get rid of the clutter in your bedroom is to arrange it into piles based on what you intend to do with it once it leaves your bedroom:
Some of what you’re getting rid of, you’re not actually getting rid of. The items that you’re keeping for elsewhere in the house should be arranged into their pile, then dealt with immediately when you’re finished with your decluttering session. Figure out where in your home they’re going and put them there immediately.
A lot of what you’re getting rid of can reasonably be sold elsewhere, whether that means putting it on eBay, selling it to friends or taking it to a car boot sale. In any case, find somewhere in your home to put it while it’s waiting to be sold, and put a time limit on it so that it doesn’t stick around forever. If no-one buys it, then consider moving it to the donate pile.
Some of your items are too old or cheap to sell on, but not old or broken enough to simply throw out. These items can be donated, either given to charity shops or given away directly to charities and homeless shelters themselves. Just because you’re done with an item, doesn’t mean it needs to be thrown away altogether.
Finally, some items are simply past it, and need to be binned. Before you decide that this is the case, however, it’s worth looking around as there are some charities that will recycle or re-use old fabrics even if they’re no longer usable or wearable. If you can find a new use for your clutter, that’s always better than taking it to the dump.
Hopefully this advice helps you to declutter your bedroom, and leads to a future of long, peaceful rests and happy mornings.
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