Let’s face it. Life is messy. I believe our bedrooms shouldn’t be. Too often we use the room where we sleep as a catch-all for anything we aren’t certain where to put in the rest of the house. We stack our clothes and pile our papers, completely covering every flat surface with odds and ends. Shouldn’t the room where we sleep be peaceful and inviting rather than cluttered and confusing? The moment we open our eyes -BAM- we’re hit with mess from every side, defeating us before our feet even touch the floor. We can solve this by focusing on four separate things.
1. Clothes. I discussed clothing briefly when I revealed my closets. Our clothes should always fit neatly into closets and dressers. Old, stained, stretched, worn, unflattering clothes do not belong in our wardrobes. Becoming Minimalist has a great guide to owning fewer clothes which I recommend. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, Courtney Carver has a project you can join (free!) to help you beat the clothes horse: Project 333. Once you’ve handled your closets and dressers, all clothes should be put away each night. It’s either dirty or it’s clean; put it in the hamper or put it away. No other family member should have clothes stacked or stored in your room. If you have so many clothes you can’t put them away easily, you won’t put them away at all. Reassess what your clothing needs truly are; what you already own, and how you are using your space. I do not recommend running out to buy more under-the-bed storage containers. These are seldom convenient for clothes and are usually an organizational tool more than a minimalizing tool. Whatever combination of actions you need to take for your needs, clothes and space to align in a way that allows an end of clothing clutter, do it immediately. Most of us have conquered half the bedroom problems when we have minimized our clothing.
2. Make your bed. At the risk of sounding like your mom, I’m going to say it again: make your bed. Three minutes a day is all it takes to make your room less cluttered and more inviting. This one action will make a huge change. From a health perspective, investing in a good mattress and pillows for your bed will work wonders on how you feel physically, which of course improves life before even lifting a finger. Personally, I love to sit in my bed and read a book, so comfort and pillows are a must. We also enjoy the luxury of a king size bed which we first bought to accommodate mom, dad and three small children. The teenagers don’t visit our bed in the night anymore, but we still enjoy our spacious bed. It’s an area we could minimize, but we don’t want to.
3. Bedside space/ Nightstands. These can be terrible spaces making lazy piles, after all, we’re in bed and not dealing with minimizing anymore! The only items that need to be on your nightstand, are things you use while in the bed. On my own I have a lamp, my books, lotion – I often climb into bed and decide my hands are dry, so I keep lotion by my bed-, lip balm, a reading light, a flashlight. There is a place for my kindle and my phone to sit while charging. Anything else that finds it’s way to this surface, is removed each morning right after I make the bed. Once this becomes a routine, you won’t even think about cleaning it, There are things we need near us at night, but they are few and they shouldn’t present you with an “I really need to clean that” moment as soon as you open your eyes.
4. Try to find a place for everything else somewhere else. Bedrooms should be about relaxing and recharging. Keeping every hobby and project just complicates how your bedroom looks and feels. It also makes it more difficult for your brain to stop focusing on the next thing demanding your attention. An uncluttered room gives us room to breathe and dream. I have slept in bedrooms the size of a living room, and ones so small we could barely walk around the king size bed. I have seen both types become cluttered and overwhelmed by stuff. Whether your bedroom is large or small, you can control what goes into it, and how restful an environment it provides. Make your bedroom a welcoming place to come home to and the rest of your home won’t seem as daunting to minimize.
4 1/2. What about the TV? There are many arguments against having televisions in bedrooms, however, my Hunky and I do have one which we very much enjoy. We do not watch it every night, and we do not have it on for “noise in the background,” especially since we don’t have cable. But we do enjoy snuggling up in bed at the end of some long days and watching a movie or a show together. Personally, I believe TV is as useful or as detrimental as we allow any other items we own to be and it’s up to each of us to determine how much technology is too much in the bedroom…and every other room in our home as well.