How to Declutter and Organize Your Bedroom
The bedroom is supposed to be where we go at the end of the day to relax and unwind. In many cases that is where all the stuff goes that we don't want to deal with at the moment; at least that is true in my case. It then takes forever to make the time to go through it all and get the bedroom organized again.
In order to keep one's sanity, it is best to follow a few steps to making the bedroom as relaxing as possible.
The first step to decluttering and organizing is to have proper storage space. This is not always possible, especially when the home you live in is less than 1000 square feet.
If there is inadequate storage space, the next best thing is to purchase some clear storage totes. Clear is the better option as it allows you to see what each one contains without having to open all of the lids.
The second step (and this is the messy one) is to pick a closet and start going through it. It is most likely going to mean your bed is full of stuff for awhile, so I would suggest starting this project in the morning. Be sure to pick a morning where there isn't much going on during the rest of the day. I know things can unexpectedly come up that need your immediate attention, so allow as much time as possible for the room clean.
Have the totes set out on the floor side by side so you can put items in them as you pull them out of the closet. You may wish to mark them as follows: "seasonal", "give away", "recycle" (for rags, rugs, quitls, etc.) and "other family member's". This way you have a spot for each item of clothing you take out.
When it comes to the other items that end up in the closet, this is where your bed comes in. Pile all of the stray items on your bed or return them to their original owner (namely a child; it's amazing how much stuff ends up in our closets that isn't even ours). I have a huge stuffed dog in my closet that will be going back to my daughter's room within a week or so - yes, my room is in dire need of a cleaning.
When you have removed everything from the closet, get a bucket of hot water and vinegar (or commercial cleaner) and wipe down closet rods, shelves and walls. This will make the room smell fresher (at least for a little while) and will give you a clean spot to put items back into.
As you are returning items to the closet question the potential of it; will it ever be used or is it there just to take up space? If there is even the slightest hint it will never be used by you or a family member toss it into the "donate" tote. There is someone out there who is less fortunate than you and would benefit greatly from an extra coat or sweater (or whatever the item happens to be).
Organize the clothing as you put it away; seasonal, work, casual. If you share a closet, separate each person's belongings to make it easier to find what is needed at a glance. In some cases adding an extra closet rod is a good idea, especially if there is adequate headroom.
Next it is time to organize the totes and other questionables that have made their way into your bedroom.
If the totes you used are not clear, label them and set them on the floor of the closet. Many closets are large enough so two totes may be stacked on top of each other to free up some floor space.
For those with a large variety of shoes, this is where a good shoe rack comes into play. (In my case a small shoe rack would be more than enough.) Instead of keeping your shoes in the bedroom closet, perhaps put the rack in the entryway closet. It will free up some space in the bedroom and make the shoes easier to access on the way out the door.
Continue with the rest of your bedroom; in some cases this is a fairly simple process. In others, not so much.
Invest in a laundry hamper (if you don't already have one) for dirty clothes so they don't end up in a pile on the floor. An extra laundry basket or even a box also works well. Put it in a corner of the bedroom or even inside the closet if you have room (for those of you with walk in closets, I envy you). Also, make sure it gets used! How often does the laundry end up on the floor right next to the hamper?
The same principle applies to all items in your room; does it have a purpose, and will you ever use it again? I understand there are items with sentimental value (I hold on to too much just for this reason alone), but perhaps storing them or adding a display shelf would clear up some space on the dresser.
Another thought on sentimental value items: take a picture of the item, add it to your scrapbook and write about its history. The picture will be enough to keep the memories alive and perhaps the item may be of use to someone else. It's amazing what we tend to keep sometimes.
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Are We Done Yet?
Wipe down all other furniture in your room as you go, as well as the walls, doors and clean the windows. Getting rid of the dust bunnies alone gives one a sense of accomplishment.
When the totes are put away, closets are cleaned and dressers are neat and organized, it is time to sit back and enjoy - but only for a moment. Get your camera and take a picture of the finished room. Whenever your bedroom starts to look cluttered, look at your picture and take the necessary steps to make it look that way again.
If a quick clean is done once a week, there should be no need to have to do a major overhaul every few months. The seasonal items can be switched and dealt with at the appropriate times. As for everything else, keep it neat and organized and you will find yourself wanting to be in your room more; not just for sleeping.
Adding a few final touches can make your bedroom the most relaxing room in the house (as it should be).
For those who like candles, add a wall sconce with some tealights or votives. If you enjoy the fragrance but aren't a candle person, perhaps a decorative holder with reeds and scented oils or an electric melts warmer will be better.
A quilted wallhanging on one wall or scenic painting may also be added. These items are more of a personal preference, and are not right or wrong. Personally, I would stay away from the Dogs Playing Poker picture (you know the one), but someone else may prefer it. (You know who you are.)
The goal is to make your bedroom as relaxing and inviting as possible. Keeping it neat and tidy gives you a place to relax after a long day. With all of the stresses life has to offer, everyone should have somewhere to escape to that is stress-free.
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