Take your bedroom from chaos to comfort. A tidy, peaceful bedroom has the power to improve your whole day. It gets your mornings off to a better start and helps your evenings wind down into better rest. It’s your private space, so watch how a transformed room can transform you.
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If you’re new to decluttering, or want a refresher, take a look at our article about the Simple Steps of Decluttering. You’re going to repeat these steps over and over as you work your way around your bedroom.
Take 5 minutes.
How do you want this room to function, feel and look?
Ideally, a bedroom’s main purpose is to provide a restful, peaceful environment. This is proven to help us unwind at the end of the day, get a better night’s sleep, and feel less-stressed when we get ready for the day.
Decluttering is an important part of creating this environment.
But also think about what changes would make your daily routine more convenient. It might be changing where you store things to keep like items together, or making your clothes more accessible so getting dressed is easier, or getting rid of an excess piece of furniture to create more space.
If you want to change the look of the room, the decor pieces you have may no longer be a good fit.
Give this all some thought, but don’t let yourself get stuck here.
You’ll get some bright new ideas as you go through the process as well.
Remove things that clearly don't belong.
Just look around for items that are obvious.
Bedrooms can easily become a catch-all storage space.
One of the reasons for this is their privacy. Very few people other than us are usually in our rooms. So it’s a pretty safe place to stash things you don’t want other people to see.
Also, we tend to undervalue the effects of clutter on our sleep and mood.
A classic example of something that doesn’t belong is a piece of workout equipment that you don’t use regularly.
But there are probably lots of smaller things that don’t belong as well.
Here are a few examples from my own experience:
- Someone else’s clean laundry
- Clothes waiting to be returned to the store
- Random items that were stashed there in a rush to tidy up for company
You get the idea.
Next, work on areas of visible clutter.
Decluttering flat surfaces will give you some immediate relief from the feeling of overwhelm and open up space to deal with the rest of your things.
The goal is not to clear every single thing off these surfaces and try to keep them completely empty.
But you do want to consciously limit what items stay there on a daily basis.
It may seem obvious, but make sure that your bed is clear of everything except what you need to sleep.
When you go to bed, you shouldn’t have to nudge or remove anything to make space (except maybe your dog!). It’s possible to even have too many pillows or blankets that aren’t really used but just tend to collect here.
Dresser and vanity tops
Limit the items that will stay on these surfaces and use containers to reduce the look of clutter.
Lots of “smalls” tend to collect here: earrings, watches, rings, tie clips, necklaces, sunglasses, loose change, cosmetics, personal products, etc.
Go through each item and decide what you’ll be keeping.
To prevent the surfaces from looking cluttered, select a few decorative containers that will hold and separate the smaller items, such as:
- A jewelry box
- A coin dish
- A cosmetic organizer
- A pretty box
If it takes more than a few containers, store the remainder out of sight.
A crowded nightstand is one of life’s little nuisances. Do you find yourself having to shift, nudge, or put something on the floor to make room for your remote or book or glasses? Do you knock things over reaching for the alarm clock in the morning?
Limit the top of your nightstand to the basics … a space for the things you use just before sleep every evening, a clock, a light, and something decorative.
Shelves are great for storage and also a clutter magnet.
Whether you have a free-standing bookcase, shelves mounted on the wall, or shelf space built into another piece of furniture, take the time to declutter all of them.
Empty floor space is often used as open storage. But it needs to be decluttered just like other flat surfaces.
Using the floor as storage causes all sorts of visual clutter, not to mention making a room harder to navigate.
It’s also very inefficient because the vertical space is not being used.
When you take advantage of vertical space you may find much more potential room for storage than you thought possible.
Walls and doors
Walls collect clutter too! Take a good look at everything hanging on your walls: home decor, personal memorabilia, hooks, shelves, etc. Will the style fit your vision of the room? Are you ready for a change? Are there simply too many? Can you reduce visual clutter by storing items currently on hooks or shelves elsewhere?
Also, do you have anything hanging on the back of a door? Don’t forget to include this area as you declutter.
Move on to concealed clutter.
Since you’ve been concentrating on visible clutter, your room should feel more open and look significantly better.
Now on to areas that are a little more hidden, such as:
- Enclosed shelves
- Storage furniture like a bench or chest
- Under the bed
- Media cabinets
Oh, so much clutter can hide in these spaces, but its days are numbered now.
Work your way through a single piece of furniture or space at a time. So do all the drawers in one dresser, then all the drawers in another. Or work through an entire storage bench before moving on.
Tackle your closet.
I’ve saved the closet for last because it’s actually a whole project unto itself.
And now that the rest of your room has been decluttered, you should have more space to empty items out of your closet for sorting.
Most of us will complete this over multiple sessions, not in one go. So remember to keep your decluttering to small increments that can be finished in the time you have.
Be sure to handle every item in the closet. You’re not done until you’ve made a decision about all of them.
Depending on your closet size and number of belongings, here are two ways to approach this task.
- Work section by section, one drawer, shelf, hanging rod, etc. at a time.
- Work through all similar items at a time then move on to the next: shoes, pants, jeans, dresses, belts, shirts, blouses, sweaters, scarves, hats, etc.
Tips for success
- Work on one defined space at a time, and completely empty it out before you begin going through the items.
- Remove decluttered items from the room at the end of a session. This means everything except what you plan on keeping in the room: items to donate or sell, move to another room, return to lender, or throw away. Not only will you see your progress, but the next time you start to declutter you can dive right in where you left off.
- Stay focused and work your way through the room methodically. Whether you declutter your bedroom all at once, or more slowly over days or weeks, keeping on track will make the whole process easier and more efficient.
- Start practicing better habits right away to maintain your progress. Don’t store anything in your room that doesn’t belong there, even if you tell yourself it’s “just for a day”. Tidy flat surfaces regularly and carefully keep the items on them to an important few. Keep the floor clear.
Decluttering your bedroom is a great step in changing your life for the better! Take your time and enjoy every bit of progress. When you’re finished, you’ll be so glad you stayed with it.