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The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is the prime space to unwind, relax, and be yourself. Unfortunately, modern life doesn’t make that as easy as it sounds. Between work and play, keeping your space organized and tranquil may feel like a gargantuan task.

It’s no surprise that Marie Kondo’s book and show on tidying up became an international hit — the world is drowning in stuff, and we don’t always know how to get rid of it or organize it. And as one recent study revealed, frustration with clutter often increases with age. Older adults even associate high levels of clutter with life dissatisfaction.

So, how can you kick the clutter and reclaim your space? We’ll walk you through the steps below.

Remove Items That You Don’t Need

There’s a high chance that you have more objects than you actually need in your room. Here are some simple tips to clear out your space and better organize your bedroom.

Clear Out Clutter

It may be a daunting, but empty everything out of the drawers and shelves in your room so you can see it all at once. This will give you an idea of how much you actually have, and how much you need to keep. You may find multiples of the same items, like three pencil sharpeners or two hair brushes. Select your favorite and figure out how to responsibly dispose of the rest.

Also ask yourself what really belongs in your room. Sleep experts have spoken many times about only using your bed for sleep and sex. Doing other activities may cause your brain to associate your bed with being awake. Using your bed exclusively for sleep and sex psychologically clears your mind and prepares you to rest.

Do you really need a work desk, electronics, and other random clutter in your personal oasis? See if you can find a permanent home for objects that induce stress in another deliberate space in your home, such as an office, basement, or living room. Not using phones and other blue-light screens in your bedroom an hour before sleeping is another best practice you can implement when reorganizing.

Move Out Your Stuff

Once you’ve cleared out all that clutter, you have some big decisions to make. Where are you going to put everything? What will you keep or scrap? Below, we walk you through a variety of options, from upcycling to selling and everything in between.

Storage

It’s hard to part with your possessions, especially when you’ve worked hard to purchase and accumulate them. When people start ridding their house of clutter, they’re often tempted to put those items in storage because they can’t bear the thought of getting rid of them.

If you’re considering this option, you should really think twice if storage is worth the investment. Consider the space in your home and whether there’s anywhere else you could easily store what doesn’t fit in your bedroom. If this isn’t a solution, ask yourself if you really need an item that badly if you’re putting it away in storage for months. Additionally, is it worth paying a monthly storage cost for something you rarely plan on looking at? Before you decide to open a storage unit, consider some of the below options instead.

Recycling and Upcycling

Some items won’t be of use to you as they once were. When things must go in the trash, check if they can be recycled first. The EPA has a full guide on how to recycle a variety of items, from paper and plastics to batteries, glass, and even used oil and tires. Much of the recycling programs available will depend on where you live, so be sure to check with local recycling programs.

Another way to recycle is by upcycling, means bringing new value to items you don’t use anymore. Maybe that means repurposing worn-out t-shirts into cleaning rags or even turning an old chair into a hand-towel rack. There are entire Pinterest boards devoted to creative upcycling, and it can be a fun and unique way to decorate your home as well.

Another option: participate in a clothing swap. Have a party where you and your friends bring clothes that you don’t want to wear anymore (excluding items with stains or holes). People can “shop” around, swap clothes, and then donate the remaining items to charity. Which brings us to our next point…

Donation

Donating unneeded items is beneficial in many ways. Not only does it clear unnecessary clutter from your home, but it also allows you to give back to those less fortunate. There are all kinds of places you can decide to donate to as well, such as:

  • Goodwill and Salvation Army
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Your local church, community center, school, or library
  • Women’s shelters
  • Food banks

Don’t forget: you can also ask for a receipt and add your charitable donations as tax deductions. Win-win.

Selling

Some items may feel too valuable to let go for free. In this case, it’s often worth it to sell your additional items to local second-hand shops or online. Certain places like second-hand vintage shops may even give you credit towards the store worth more than cash payouts.

If you’re not sure where you should sell your items, here are a few suggestions to start:

  • Clothing, crafts, and vintage – Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, Crossroads, Poshmark, Ruby Lane, Etsy, local antiques shops
  • Electronics – Gazelle, Glyde, and Swappa
  • Miscellaneous online – Facebook Market, eBay, Bonanza, and Craigslist

Get Creative About Storage

Now that you’ve decided what you want to keep, it’s important to give those items a deliberate home. This will make it easier to find objects when and where you need them. Effective organization also has the pleasant side effect of reduced stress levels and a more harmonious bedroom.

Here are some creative ways to store your items exactly where you need them:

  • Get a bed with space underneath – Most bed frames have empty space underneath. It’s easy to make this a secret repository for junk, but you can make the choice to organize it instead. It’s a simple solution to make or buy storage boxes that fit neatly underneath the frame.
  • Invest in wall shelving and/or hanging hooks – Wall shelving can be a great way to feature objects that bring you joy, such as photos, trophies, and other sentimental items. If you have specific jackets, bags, or hats you want to keep in your room, shelving and hanging hooks are also a great option.
  • Make footboard and headboard storageMany bed frames now come built-in with storage space. There are some frames you can lift up to reveal an entire storage space underneath your mattress, whereas others have drawers on the side of your bed.
  • Put cubbies under desks – If you decide to keep a desk in your bedroom, adding a little cubby underneath also offers additional storage space. Much like the other storage options on this list, you can buy something or build it yourself.
  • Use a shoe hanger – Storing your shoes off the ground acts as a great spacesaver. You can buy shoe hangers that suspend from any door or closet in your room. That way, your shoes will be easy to find and not take up other precious floor space.
  • Store foldable/flat items on the wall – Shakers are well-known for the foldable chairs and tables that they hang on the wall. Even if you don’t invest in this kind of furniture, you can create other spaces to hang light or flat items such as a yoga mat.
  • Hang a cork board for versatile storage – Cork boards can keep all kinds of items — random ticket stubs, receipts, reminders, photos, or even jewelry. The only limit here is your imagination.
  • Suspend your bike – Bikes can take up a lot of storage space, especially if you don’t have your own garage. Many people in dense cities like New York like to hang their bike on the wall or suspend it from the ceiling. This can also act as a sort of decoration.
  • Use a hanging fruit basket – This item doesn’t only have to belong in a kitchen. Use a fruit basket to store themed miscellany, such as socks, gloves, hats, or small hobby items.

Regardless of how you decide to use your space, remember that it’s okay to get creative. What matters most is that your space feels free of clutter and that your important objects all have a home where you can always find them.

Efficiently Arrange Your Furniture

Arranging furniture is an art in some cultures, like the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui. You’ve probably been accustomed to how the furniture looks in your bedroom and forgot that it’s possible to arrange your space differently. Re-imagining how your furnitured is arranged may give you better peace of mind and even help you sleep better.

But before you start moving heavy furniture around, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Use nooks and corners – Putting large pieces of furniture in the center of your room is a surefire way to take up space. Instead, see what pieces of furniture might fit better in small spaces. This will maximize space to walk around freely in your room.
  • Make your furniture multi-purpose – Many of the furniture items in your bedroom don’t have to serve one purpose. For example, you could use your dresser as a dual-purpose nightstand. Or, you can buy a nightstand that comes with built-in storage. A desk could act as a vanity mirror or vice versa.
  • Unblock the flow of movement – Do you have a bed or drawers that currently block other spaces such as your doors or closet? Having to move items (or move around them) before you can access something may cause a subconscious level of stress. Make sure that you can open doors with ease.
  • Maximize natural light – Natural light is an automatic mood booster and gives any space more cheer and energy. Make sure that big items of furniture such as bed frames and bookshelves aren’t partially blocking the light from your windows. You can also install mirrors in strategic places around the room to reflect more light or an expansive part of your bedroom.

Changing the placement of the furniture in your room can actually be a fun activity (so long as you do it safely). Creating more strategic space in your room will de-clutter your mind and help you wind down after a long day.

Conclusion

Once you create an intentional space where you can relax, you’ll see all kinds of benefits — starting with a great night’s sleep. While it’s tempting to keep everything you started with, chances are you don’t need all the clutter that’s accumulated in your bedroom. Removing items you don’t need is a great place to start. After that, coming up with creative storage solutions and rearranging furniture can transform your space, whether you’re ready to splurge or doing so on a budget.

Additional Tuck Resources

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