Imagine walking into your bedroom and seeing clear, clean surfaces. The bedcovers are smooth and inviting, the pillows are plumped, and on your nightstand is nothing but a vase of fresh flowers, a candle, a cup of herbal tea and your journal and pen. Any clothing has been easily put away because it fits within your dresser and closet space with room to spare. If you have children, imagine finally coming into this beautiful space, closing the door behind you and enjoying a few moments of blissful peace and quiet.
Sound appealing? The first step on the road to a joyful, clutter-free home is (you guessed it) giving clutter the boot. In this series, we’ll approach each room in the house from the perspective of identifying what sparks joy. Read on for the first installment, in which we tackle the bedroom.
Reframe clearing clutter in a positive light. It’s all too easy to let the bedroom become a dumping ground for all the random items that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. So the first step in clearing clutter is to consider what you do want in the bedroom. Fresh sheets, good lighting, your current book on the nightstand? Definitely. Piles of paper, children’s toys and the vacuum cleaner? Probably not.
Take action: Center yourself by taking a few deep, calming breaths before you begin. Then start sorting through items in your bedroom, piece by piece, choosing those you want to keep there and removing everything else. Don’t worry right now about where the unwanted items will go — separating out this part of the process can make decision-making much easier.
Calm the visual noise. Ideally, the bedroom would be solely devoted to rest and relaxation, but if you live in a smaller space, this simply may not be possible. If you must make room for your desk in the bedroom, aim for a setup that allows you to hide everything away when you’re done working. Tuck work-related items into drawers and cabinets, leaving surfaces as clean and clear as possible for a restful feeling.
Take action: Remove anything that reminds you of work, bills or to-dos from within visual range of your bed. If you can find a place to store these items in a different room, do so. If not, clear out a drawer or shelf in a closed cabinet to keep them out of view.
Create a peaceful atmosphere. What would a peaceful bedroom look and feel like to you? Consider whether there’s a certain color (like vivid turquoise) or object (like a vase of fresh flowers) that really brings to mind the mood you want to create. Only bring in objects with the intention of cultivating peaceful, restorative feelings.
Take action: Take some time to sit quietly in your refreshed space and list the colors, objects and activities you’d like to invite more of into your room. Pick one item on your list and take a step toward making it a reality. For example, if you’d like to paint your bedroom a more soothing hue, take a trip to the paint store to pick up swatches. If you’d like to incorporate meditation into your nightly routine, create a quiet corner with cushions where you can practice.
Savor and relax. Imagine doing a few gentle stretches or yoga poses before bed, lighting a scented candle and sipping some chamomile tea while you write in your journal. There are no to-do lists or pinging phones vying for your attention. You can simply be. Imagine how easy it would be to gradually unwind, release the tension of your day and ease into a restful, deep, restorative sleep in a space free of clutter and distractions. Once the busyness of the day is done, make time to simply relax in your newly cleared space.
Take action: Once your bedroom is clean and clutter-free, pick and choose from the list below to enhance your space and get a better night’s sleep:
Originally published at medium.com