What do you feel when you walk in to your bedroom? Do you have an overwhelming feeling that you need to do laundry or clean up so you can even find your bed? Ugh… I have had those days. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked (ok dragged myself) into my bedroom and – oh the shock – I still have to put those clean sheets on my bed before I can even climb in!
The first place I started to work on cleaning up in my life was my bedroom. Yep I simply started in the room that I came to the realization that I can’t live this cluttered, crazy life of mine any longer. So here is the beginning of my journey to Simply Organized Meets Real Life… in the bedroom.
That morning as I pondered over the mess my room had become (piles of laundry overflowing out of the basket, dusty furniture, stuff scattered everywhere, and a closet bursting at the seams of clothes that no longer fit me), I decided that I wanted to have a place that felt like a sanctuary for my husband and I. I wanted a comfortable and simple place to go to at the end of busy day. A place to relax mentally as well as physically.
Here are 9 simple steps you can take to create your own bedroom sanctuary (this does not have to be done all in one day – take one step a day if you need to). Also, this is NOT an excuse to ‘go-buy-new-stuff’ – the idea here it to get rid of stuff and only keep the essentials and what creates a clutter-free bedroom sanctuary. Here we go…
- Electronic Free Zone: first thing you must do is take out all cell phones, computers, televisions, movie players, distracting lighting (night lights that change color), etc. These electronics keep your brain going and does not allow your brain to shut off and relax as you prepare for sleep. The one electronic device that I do allow in my bedroom is a essential oil diffuser – my husband and I like to use a relaxation or breathe blend. If you decide this is something you want to keep or incorporate in your room, make sure your diffuser does not have any kind of light or one that you can turn off. Your room needs to be as dark and distraction free as it can be to allow your brain to turn off and prepare for rest.
- Clean Up Those Surfaces: next is to take everything off night stands, dressers, shelves and windowsills. Ok, now dust and clean every surface area. I suggest taking your night stand and placing a lamp as your anchor piece and decide what one decorator/picture item you want to incorporate with it. Then really decide what few necessity items you need (I have lip balm, baby monitor, and water bottle – yep that is it!). Less is more here. Now do the same for the rest of your room – keep 1-2 plants if you like them and very minimal items. The less you have on display the less you have to dust and the calmer your room will seem. Clutter only creates a busy space that does not create a sense of relaxation.
- Floor Space: pick up everything on the floor and put it where it goes. All items should have a special place for it. Put shoes in the closet. Dirty clothes in the hamper. Toys in kids room. Trash in the garbage. Sports equipment in the garage. (you get the idea – put it it away – everything…). Now vacuum, sweep, mop – baseboards too. By the time you get done with this task you should be feeling a whole lot better about your room.
- Walls: the pictures, artwork, etc. that you have on your walls should be calming – not busy with bright, bold colors. Decide if what you have on your walls creates that sense of peace and relaxation for you – if it doesn’t, take it down and donate or display in it in another area of your home. Remember be minimal – less is more.
- Windows: clean windows, add or replace any broken blinds. Your room should be dark and your window coverings need to black out any lights from the outside. I personally have blinds and dark curtains that are made out of heavy material not only to keep light out but to also help keep drafts down and maintain room temperature. You don’t want your mind distracted or being woke up from busy lights or the neighbors taking their dog out at 4 am.
- Bed: wash all bedding and replace any old pillows, torn sheets, broken electric blankets or anything that has stains or holes in it. Your bed should be comfortable, cozy and inviting. Add or remove any blankets or covers that you need to so you are not too hot or too cold (think Goldilocks here… seek to get it just right for your best, optimal sleep). Your decorator items need to be minimal – do you really need all those decorator blankets or throw pillows? Keep it simple and minimal.
- Plants: are you a green thumb or a brown one? I am sometimes amazed at how many plants people keep in their homes. One friend of mine had over 20 plants in their kitchen/dining nook! She was a great plant keeper but it made her space overwhelming, cluttered and unkempt – not to mention the time she spent every week taking care of them. If this describes you – starting thinking with a giving heart… give these gems away to others who may not have plants of their own. Your bedroom space should not feel like an overgrown jungle (or for those brown thumbs a dead, dried up desert). Keep a few (3-4) of your favorites. Brown thumbs – toss all of those dead and dying plants and donate the pots or try some succulents rather than houseplants – you may find a little green in your thumb after all.
- Lighting: if you can, add a dimmer switch to your overhead lighting in your room. As your day is coming to a close and you prepare to retire for the day, dim your lights in your bedroom to fifty percent of normal. This tells your brain that it is time to start shutting down and prepares for rest and relaxation. Remove any night lights and move them to the hallway or bathroom where safety may be needed.
- Closets: before going to bed, close your closet doors. Everything should fit in neatly and doors should properly close. This helps the mind focus on the business of relaxation and not the mess and/or the abundance of stuff in your closet. Closing your closet doors tidy’s up your room with one easy move. (Coming soon! ‘How to Organize Your Closet’)
Congratulations! I know with these simple and easy to do steps in creating a clean, clutter-free bedroom you will be resting easy and enjoying your new sanctuary space. Please comment below so I can hear about your success and your new-found appreciation for living simply organized in your bedroom and how this has helped with your peace of mind and relaxation.