Clutter blackspot: bedrooms

BedroomPicture the scene. Your significant other leans over to you to whisper sweet nothings in your ear – only to be crushed by a large pile of books falling from the shelves above. Or perhaps you have lit a number of scented candles to get your partner in the mood – and you accidentally set fire to a pile of old bank statements. Either way – clutter ain’t sexy. It’s no good wanting to throw your lover on the bed, when you’re not even sure where the bed is anymore.

It’s time to tackle a notorious place for junk. The bedroom. Think about it. Each day begins and ends in this room, so it is bound to have a profound influence on your life. The bedroom should be a place to relax, to drift off to sleep after a wonderful day, not a place you dread going into because it’s so full of junk.

So let’s get started. First of all think about all the ways in which you use this room. Apart from sleeping and if you are lucky some romance, you may also use this room to store clothes, get dressed in,  pursue hobbies, work in as an office, or exercise in. You may like to read or listen to music, or stay up late watching TV. That’s a lot of potential uses. It maybe that your bedroom has become increasingly difficult to sleep in because it’s associated with too many activities. Let’s face it the term bedroom implies only one thing. It’s a room with a bed in it. Everything else could be clutter….

Let’s look at each potential activity:

1 . Sleeping. Hurrah we all love a good kip and most of us don’t get enough of it due to our busy hectic lives. There are lots of reasons why you may be suffering from lack of shut-eye, but one thing we do have some influence over is our sleeping environment. If you get to the point where you want to get to bed and you can’t because a) it’s a total mess because you failed to make your bed when you got up or b) you can’t physically get into it because there is so much stuff on top of it then you have a problem. You need to make your bed a clutter free zone. It should be ready and waiting anytime you feel like a kip. Which also means ditching all those cushions and fancy throws that you keep piling on top of it which take ten minutes to remove and rearrange each night. A clean comfortable bed also encourages our next point.

2. Romance! A calm, uncluttered environment will allow you to focus on your parter. It will help you relax and give you the space to swing from the chandeliers should you so desire – without slamming into an inconveniently placed piece of furniture and breaking your neck.

3. Clothing. Are your clothes hung discreetly in a wardrobe or tucked away in a period style chest of drawers? Or are they lying in piles on the floor, spilling out of the laundry basket and mixed in with all your dirty clothes? If it’s the latter then oh dear. Move your laundry basket out of your room and put your dirty clothes in it each night. Clothes that you don’t need to wash hang up in your wardrobe, or put straight away in the drawers. It’s not difficult. If you feel too tired to do this before you go to bed then go to bed ten minutes earlier! You could also try deciding what to wear the night before and lay your clothes out ready. This will save you time in the morning and stop you pulling out different garments to try on, which you then don’t have time to put away before you start work.

4. Hobbies. By their very nature hobbies should be relaxin,g so pursuing a hobby may help you get off to sleep (unless your hobby is playing violent computer games late at night.) I’m thinking reading and crafts here. Problems arise when the number of accessories you buy for your hobbies spiral out of control and start taking over the bedroom. Or you may start lots of projects and leave them unfinished. Try keeping only the best pieces for your hobby and finish one project completely before you start the next. Ideally find another room in the house to pursue, or store your hobby supplies.

5. Reading and music. Very nice. These are relaxing activities to be enjoyed in bed to help you fall asleep. Keep only the book or CD you are using in the bedroom at any one time. The rest should be stored elsewhere or at least put away. Alternatively find a safe spot on your bedside table for your iPod or Kindle. Please note. Horror stories and death metal are probably best avoided when you are about to go to sleep.

6. The TV/IPAds/ Computers. Personally I’m against TVs and computers in the bedroom. The goggle box and associated gadgets already invade too much of our lives one way or another and quite frankly I don’t want them in my bedroom. However I know that many people enjoy snuggling up with their partners and watching cooking shows on a Sunday, so who am I to deny them their pleasures. But personally I don’t want those flickering lights disturbing my brainwaves last thing at night.

7. The home office. Your bedroom may be the only room you can use for your work, but again it’s not ideal. It’s hard to switch off from the demands of your job if you have a constant reminder every time you open your eyes. As a minimum, clear your desk of all paperwork each evening and make sure you power down all your equipment. (This applies to TV’s too). This will ensure your room stays as dark as possible without little red dots popping up everywhere.

8. Exercise. Ideally exercise should be done outdoors or with other people. Large exercise equipment takes up a significant amount of space in the bedroom and unless you are very disciplined, it can serve as a constant reminder of the exercise you are failing to do. If you must exercise then do it first thing in the morning and put any small pieces of equipment away again. Thinking about selling large items and taking up a form of exercise you can enjoy in the park like walking or jogging. For alternative forms of exercise, please see point two.

However you choose to spend your time in the bedroom, please remember that less is more. Be we wary of all those items that creep into the bedroom that really don’t belong there, but have been shoved in there because you couldn’t find anywhere else. Are there places in your home where you could keep these items instead? What can you live without?

Think about how you could create the bedroom of your dreams. Don’t let it become a waking nightmare!

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