There’s no place like home: a place where you can relax, rest, and be yourself. A vital part of that equation is your bedroom, and it should be calm and inviting to help you get the best sleep possible.
Unfortunately, the chaos of daily life can creep into the bedroom, and furniture and closets can become cluttered and messy, putting a strain on your comfort and sleep.
Visually and mentally, having an organized bedroom can bring a sense of peace when you turn in for the night and when you wake up. It simplifies your routines by making it easier to find what you’re looking for and putting an end to those frantic searches for the keys when you’re trying to get out the door. Getting organized is hygienic as well, eliminating nooks and crannies that can accumulate dust, or worse, harbor bed bugs.
If you’re ready to make your bedroom a restful haven, this guide is for you. We’ll review the important steps for bedroom organization and put you on your way to deep, restorative sleep.
Start by Getting Rid of Things You Don’t Need
Organizing your bedroom may seem like a daunting process, and it can be hard to know where to begin. Most experts agree that a helpful starting point is to get rid of any items that you don’t use or need.
Thanks to the craze around Marie Kondo, you’ve probably had friends or family purge their house of all items that don’t “spark joy.” If this approach to tidying up resonates with you, it serves as a useful framework for deciding what is actually worth keeping.
At the same time, Marie Kondo’s approach isn’t the only effective way to pare down your household items. The important thing is to divest yourself of anything that is only taking up space and cluttering up your bedroom.
Depending on the size of your bedroom and how much you have stored, this step may take some time. Make sure to budget a few hours so that you don’t feel rushed and can take breaks to avoid getting burned out in the process.
To begin, pull everything out of drawers and closets and get a high-level sense of the items that you have. This is also a good time to wipe down shelves and drawers to get rid of any dirt or dust.
Now, start going through and sorting each item into a different group based on what you plan to do with it.
There are some things you will definitely want to keep. You may be tempted to immediately put them back in a drawer or closet, but if you have the space, set them aside first. That way, after seeing everything that you want to keep, you can determine the best place to store it and to keep it organized. You can also review these items a second time, in the end, to make sure that they are all really worth keeping before they are granted valuable storage space in your bedroom.
Tidying up doesn’t just improve your sleep and peace of mind; it can be beneficial for your finances as well.
The items that are most likely to be worth selling are those that are in like-new, very good, or good condition; however, some items, like antiques or older books, may be valuable even with notable signs of wear-and-tear.
Put items that you want to sell into a pile and make an inventory. Take note of the item, its condition, and if you have it, any defining details such as its brand or model.
Once you have the inventory, come up with a ballpark for the price that you want to sell it for. It’s fine to be optimistic, but remember that most people buying used goods are value-shoppers. It can be useful to check online marketplaces to see what the going rates are for similar products.
There are many places where you can sell your unwanted items. Brick-and-mortar stores like pawn shops offer cash for many items. If you have a lot to sell, you can have a garage sale or can team up with neighbors to have a joint yard sale.
You can sell items online through sites like eBay and Craigslist, an online classified service. Items can also be sold through neighborhood groups on social networks like Facebook and Next Door.
Some items may have limited resale value because of their condition or because they were a low-cost product in the first place. However, this doesn’t mean that the item isn’t potentially useful for another person or organization.
Before adding an item to your donation pile, make sure that it’s clean and in usable shape. The next step is deciding where to donate the items from that pile.
In some cases, “donation” may simply mean giving something to a friend who could put it to good use. In other cases, you can donate items to organizations in your area, some of which may have specific needs. For example, groups serving the homeless may need clothing or unused toiletry products. You can search online or in most areas of the United States can dial 2-1-1 to learn about organizations in your area.
If you have a large mix of items, you can bring goods for donation to large organizations like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. These groups sell items in second-hand stores and use the funds to serve charitable missions.
Many donations of used items are tax deductible, so keep a list of what you’re donating and its estimated value. When you actually take your items to donate, make sure to request a donation receipt if you give items to a non-profit organization.
Recycling and Reusing
Keep a separate stack of items that you don’t want to keep or donate but that may be recycled or repurposed.
Most municipalities have recycling programs for specific materials. Consult with your local program to determine exactly what in your area is eligible to be recycled, and then place items of those materials in a separate bin. Examples may include glass jars, plastic containers, old papers, and cardboard boxes. It is important to note that these need to be clean to be recycled.
Another option is reusing or repurposing items. Old clothes that are falling apart can be reused as cleaning rags or to wipe down your dog’s dirty paws when coming in from outside. Small boxes or jars may be reused to better organize your kitchen or to corral the small items that you have chosen to keep. A good rule of thumb is to only keep items to repurpose if you already know exactly how you plan to use it. Otherwise, they can end up as clutter waiting around for a new use.
Throw it Away
The last pile is for things that you just have to throw away. This can range from trash that might have been hiding in your drawers to items that are too dirty or broken to sell, donate, recycle, or reuse.
If the items are small, you can usually just put them in with your normal trash. For larger items, you may have to take them to a dump or transfer station. If you don’t have the means to get the items there, you can contact your trash provider about bulky trash pickup or can schedule haul-away services from a junk-removal company.
Keep in mind that there are regulations about what products can be put in your regular trash. Some localities prohibit items like batteries, light bulbs, and chemicals such as many household cleaners and paints. These items may require special disposal, so check with your trash provider or local government to confirm the rules in your area.
Organizing a Bedroom Closet
Once you’ve cleared out your closet and purged those items that you don’t need, it’s time to organize your closet. Having a well-kept closet contributes to your overall peace of mind and prevents clutter from building back up over time. It also streamlines your morning, making it easy to see the clothes you have available and put together an outfit for the day.
Evaluate your available space and think about how to put the items you use most, usually clothes, in the handiest location. Sort clothes by type and by color, making sure to hang anything that needs to avoid wrinkles. Opt for nice hangers for things like suits or dresses, and even consider color-coded hangers for extra coordination. Less delicate items can be folded or rolled to take up less space.
Take advantage of vertical space by using hooks, hanging shelves, and shoe racks to provide more room if you have a small closet. Stackable plastic bins, drawer organizers, and wire baskets can keep items in place and easily accessed.
To avoid accumulating excess clothing, place any item you haven’t worn in awhile on a hanger facing the opposite way of your other clothes. In 3 or 6 months, if an item is still facing backward, it’s a clear sign that you won’t miss it if you part ways with it.
Keeping Your Bed and Bedding Tidy
It’s called a bedroom for a reason, and having a tidy one requires taking care of your mattress and bedding.
As a general principle, try to limit your activities in bed to only sleeping and sex. The reason for this is to create an association in your mind of getting into bed with falling asleep. This makes it easier for to initiate the process of your brain and body slowing down to drift smoothly off to sleep. Eating, watching TV, and other activities can disrupt this association that plays an important part in sleep hygiene.
Given the amount of time you spend in bed each night, having a great mattress is critical to sleeping well. The right mattress should be comfortable and should relieve your pressure points so that your spine is properly aligned. To get the best results, combine a quality mattress with a supportive pillow so that your neck is cushioned and never overextended.
Take care to maintain your mattress and bedding. If you are worried about spills or stains, consider a mattress protector or mattress pad. Wash your bedding frequently to prevent the buildup of sweat, dust, and allergens, and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning sheets and blankets to avoid damaging them.
When you leave in the morning, remove any clutter from your nightstand and make your bed, even if it’s not to perfect hotel standards, to give your bedroom an organized appearance.
Arranging Furniture For Better Sleep
Arranging your bedroom furniture might seem like an afterthought, but it can actually contribute to better sleep. That’s because furniture affects the sleep environment, and optimizing your sleep environment is an essential part of sleep hygiene.
Obviously, you have to work within the limits and dimensions of your bedroom, but there are multiple steps that you can take to best arrange your furniture:
- Choose nightstands of appropriate height and keep them next to the bed
- Use only low-light lamps
- Install blackout curtains if you have windows that let in a lot of light
- Keep tripping hazards out of the path from the bed to the bathroom
- Use a fan, humidifier, or white noise machine to limit sound disruptions
- Place soft-toned decorations on the wall to create a soothing ambience
- Consider a floor rug to absorb sound; decorative rugs can add style and sound dampening when placed on walls
- Find house plants with visual appeal and a calming scent
- Avoid bright alarm clocks or consider using a wake-up light in place of a traditional alarm clock
- If you use a sleep tracker to get data about your sleep, make sure to position it effectively.
Tips for Organizing Small Bedrooms
Getting comfortable in a small bedroom poses extra challenges. With less space to work with, you may have fewer choices about how to set up your furniture. If you’re in an apartment building, you may be confronted with more noise or light pollution or may be limited by your lease in terms of the types of changes you can implement.
In a small bedroom, it’s even more important to be meticulous about getting rid of items you don’t need. Choosing wisely helps make sure that you’re not wasting any space on unnecessary things.
Taking advantage of vertical space is critical in a small bedroom. For example, you can use a platform bed frame that provides plenty of under-bed storage. Corner shelving units, hollow ottomans, floating wall-mounted shelves, and wall hooks can provide added storage space. Nesting and folding tables can reduce your furniture footprint, and if it fits, you can open up floor space by putting a dresser in the closet.
To make the room appear bigger, consider using a floor or wall mirror. Harness natural light and avoid obstructing sight lines out of windows. Well-placed house plants can provide more depth of color and visual contrast to give your small bedroom a more spacious feel.