It’s one hour before company comes, and the house is cluttered with the detritus of your life: half- done projects, books, magazines, CD’s, videos, binders, backpacks, briefcases, a month of old newspapers, mending and other fix-its. You decide to stash it all where no polite guest will venture—the master bedroom. As the doorbell rings, you open the front door and usher your guests into the “presentable” part of the house.
Something’s wrong with this picture. We devalue our most personal space—the bedroom–by using it as a dumping ground, relegating ourselves to second class in our own digs. We deserve to live clutter free every day of the year, even when guests aren’t coming to dinner.
Sleeping 7 or 8 hours a night uses about one third of your day. This means unless you sleep on the couch, you spend a good chunk of time in your bedroom. Clutter can affect the quality of your sleep, which affects your overall well-being. Everything gives off something—is it positive or negative energy? Do your surroundings drain your energy or fill you with energy? It’s time to notice the association you have with things in your living space, especially in your bedroom.
- Don’t keep a laundry basket where you sleep; dirty laundry gives off stagnant energy. Instead keep it in the bathroom or laundry room.
- Don’t keep something hanging on the wall or in your room that has unpleasant associations. You’ll see it first thing in the morning and that’s no way to start your day.
- Don’t have a desk or paperwork in your bedroom. You need a break from work, and will be more productive in the morning without papers glaring at you. If there’s not another option, maintain order as best you can, shut down the computer at night, and consider a screen to divide and camouflage.
- Don’t keep the ringer on the phone at your bedside. Let your bedroom be the one place you can’t be bothered.
- Don’t dress in the dark—that’s how one client left her home wearing two different shoes. Install adequate lighting in your closet, or a floor lamp beside the closet. Light is a boost to one’s energy level, and that’s a good thing come Monday morning.
- Do hang a full length mirror to help you dress your best.
- Do store night necessities in your bedside table such as reading glasses, hand lotion, clock, notepad and pen to jot down midnight inspirations.
- Do keep an extra blanket at the foot of your bed, if you tend to get cold at night.
- Do be selective about what lands on dresser tops and nightstands. I like to keep reading materials at my bedside and framed photos of my girls on the dresser.
- Do keep the floor clear for energy flow and safe night maneuvers.
- Do arrange a mass exodus of things that belong somewhere else: return toys to the kids’ rooms, glasses to the kitchen, clothes that don’t belong to you, etc.
- Do make your bed; it’s the centerpiece of the room. Seeing it made up when you enter room will symbolize the change you are making. Use a duvet or comforter to make the job as easy as possible.
- Do change your sheets regularly to aid in better sleep.
- Do dust and vacuum often to deter dust mites which cause an allergic reaction in some.
- Do keep your dresser near your closet, if possible, to save steps in putting things away and getting dressed.
- Do store things like luggage and off season clothes at the back or highest shelves of your closet, since you don’t use them often. If you have another closet, use it for those rarely used items.
You’ve no doubt noticed that you and your mate have a different tolerance for clutter. This is quite common, due to our attraction to the opposite, either consciously or subconsciously. If this is your situation, define areas for each of you, and keep your area the way you like it. Don’t force your organized ways on another. “A person organized against his/her will is disorganized still.”
For a deeply cluttered bedroom, it may take a full day to sort, purge, contain and put it all together again. But you’ll sleep better after you’re done, knowing that a daily tune up of your new bedroom should take only 10 minutes. Maintenance is the best prevention to the re-invasion of clutter.