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