How to Declutter Your Room | Get Rid of Clutter (part
“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week,” states a Spanish proverb. In the bedroom, thoughts and worries about tomorrow can sabotage a restful night’s sleep. If your bedroom is cluttered with half-read books or heaps of unfolded laundry, your journey toward a peaceful tomorrow is that much more difficult.
“Mess causes stress,” says Donna Smallin Kuper, a small space living expert and author of “Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness.” Older adults may be especially entrenched in their habits, unaware of clutter’s depth, or the impact on sleep. Kuper prescribes taking an honest look, starting with a simple, 15-minute assessment, at what is turning your serene sanctuary into a carnival of clutter.
Bedroom clutter tends to fall into three main categories. Here’s how to get each under control, so you can rest easy.
Kuper believes most adults’ wardrobes follow an 80/20 rule: We wear 20 percent of our clothing some 80 percent of the time. Even if you clean out your closet regularly, chances are there’s a big pile of clothing you could part with. Start by removing duplicates, and ask yourself, “would I buy this today?” to set limits on what is still welcome in your closet or bureau. Keep laundry organized in accessible baskets, and hang up or put away clean laundry immediately after folding. Kuper also advises selecting the next day’s outfit before going to bed, another way to make for a lower-stress tomorrow.
Between the artificial light and the tug of social media and incoming messages, electronic devices are bad news for good sleep. But a portable e-reader — preferably one not connected to Wi-Fi — can save your nightstand from buckling under a stack of books. Set your device to a night mode to avoid eye fatigue. If you’re wedded to the feel of paper, focus on just one book or magazine at a time, and store your queue of upcoming reads in an accessible, orderly spot, like a small bookshelf across from your bed. The goal, Kuper recommends, is nearly-clear nightstand and dresser surfaces.
One person’s clutter might be another’s treasured objects — items inherited from family members, mementos of childhood or travels, photographs of family and friends. If memorabilia is cluttering your dresser, walls, or closet, Regina Leeds, author of One Year to an Organized Life, suggests creating a shadow box to preserve swatches of clothing, photographs, and choice objects that honor and celebrate cherished memories. However you choose to pare down your sentimental bedroom displays, try to ensure guilt isn’t part of your process. Your most precious memories live in your heart, not on your dresser.
Read the rest of this series:
- How to Organize Papers | Get Rid of Clutter (part 1)
- How to Clear Emotional Clutter | Get Rid of Clutter (part 2)
- Kids Left But Their Stuff Hasn’t | Get Rid of Clutter (part 3)
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