A cluttered and dusty bedroom is a stressful bedroom. So many of us rationalize not bothering with spending a lot of effort clearing the bedroom “because no one ever sees it.” But you see it. Every day and every night.
There is always yet another chore left for “next weekend” calling to you from some corner of your home but a bedroom should be top of the list and treated like your quiet haven. This is the place where you should be calm and peaceful. It should be clean and orderly, laying the foundation for a good night’s rest.
Start by creating storage that works
One of the major culprits of clutter, besides lack of time during the daily grind, is inefficient storage space. Adding more designated homes for your things ensures not only a cleaner space, but also an easier time finding what you need and putting things away. Plastic storage bins and over-the-door organizers are inexpensive fixes to piles of seasonal clothes and shoes. For a more permanent fixture, consider adding floating shelves and modular closets to utilize more vertical space. These are great for holding more than just clothes: jewelry, shoes, handbags, workout equipment, and office supplies (if your office is in your bedroom as has become the case for many this last year). Furthermore, modular closets are customizable and can fit in any sized space.
Declutter your closet items before you put them back
Before you refill your newly redesigned closet with all of your stuff, it’s time to sort. Use the “Three-Bin Method.” Get three large plastic bins and label one “Love,” another “Donate,” and the last one “Undecided.” Obviously, anything that you enjoy and wear on a regular basis goes into the “Love” bin, and things that you dislike (that ugly sweater you received on Christmas) or have not worn in years go into the “Donate” bin. For items that are harder to part with (but you know you don’t need them), store them in the “Undecided” bin and hide it away for three to six months. The chances are your attachment will disappear by then. If it doesn’t, then keep that item. Toss out anything ripped or worn out.
Once you’ve got your closet sorted, you can add some extra pieces to organize your stuff, in ways you might not have thought of:
- Plastic storage bins are inexpensive fixes for your out of season clothes and shoes. Put away items that you don’t need in the current season, neatly and tidily. That way, they’re easy to find and ready to come out next season
- A shoe organizer that hangs on the back of the closet door doesn’t have to be for shoes! They’re also great for costume jewelry, makeup, hosiery and more.
- Hooks for scarves and handbags ensures that you can see all your favorites, and don’t end up cluttering the closet floor.
Add dividers into dresser drawers. Dresser drawers are the bane of many homeowners’ existence. Why bother folding clothes if they mess up anyways every time you pull an outfit out to get dressed? Drawer dividers are a perfect solution for keeping clothes separated and nice and neat. Use anything from plastic grid inserts to fabric bins and DIY cardboard compartments to categorize your belongings. Store jewelry, makeup, and other small items in shallow canning jars, tin muffin pans, and cutlery trays. For a creative flare, align the inside of the drawers with colorful, heavy-duty wrapping paper or cardstock paper before installing the dividers.
Give your bedroom a deep clean
In addition to avoiding clutter, you want the space you spend 6-8 hours a night in to be pristine and clean.
- If you’ve got carpeting, get it steam cleaned, including inside the closet and under the furniture.
- Flip and clean the mattress: a great way to do this is to sprinkle it with baking soda, leave it for an hour or so and then vacuum up the powder. The soda will soak up any odors and the vacuuming will pick up dust mites and dead skin. If you don’t have one already, a mattress cover can go a long way to keeping your mattress clean and fresh.
- Clean all your bedding. Even most throw pillows can go for a refresh in the dryer, to help get rid of any dust or dirt. The pillows you sleep on should be washed at least twice a year.
- It’s a good idea to replace pillows regularly—they get flat and their support weakens—and mattresses every 7-10 years. If you’re coming due for that, now is as good as time as any.
- Don’t forget about window treatments and overhead fans or lights. These need to be cleaned and dusted thoroughly. If you are planning to wipe down the walls, start at the top and work your way down. Crown molding also needs a swipe!
- Don’t forget to clean under the bed and move furniture such as dressers etc. so you can clean underneath and behind and get the piles of dust bunnies that tend to collect there.
A few additions—and subtractions—for a restful night
Additions: Blackout curtains, if you’re a light sleeper, are a good idea, as is adequate lighting for reading before bed, and pillows for support. Keep your bedside table extras minimal so that there is nothing to distract you from the purpose of the space: sleep.
Subtractions: A television isn’t ideal in the bedroom, and can be a major distraction preventing you from getting a good night’s rest, particularly when your favorite series just dropped a new season on Netflix! Same goes for other technology: phones and computers that you can check “just one more time” before bed can really get in the way of sleep.
Now that you’ve organized and cleaned your bedroom, you can look at it as a nightly retreat, a place to relax and unwind, letting go of the day’s stresses and looking forward to a deep and restful slumber. Sweet dreams!
Marty Basher is the design and organization expert with Modular Closets. Marty regularly contributes on topics of DIY renovations, home design, organization, improvement, and more, helping homeowners get the most of the spaces in their home. Modular Closets are high-quality and easy-to-design closet systems made in the USA that you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve a true custom look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets.