Decluttering the bedroom to make it a more relaxing space

Few children have been exempt from a parent's stern order of "Clean your room!" A child's bedroom often does duty as a place to sleep, play, and do homework, and can easily become littered with all manner of detritus.

One would think that adults would have an easier time keeping their bedrooms in order. After all, when you own a home you'll have plenty of areas to keep your belongings. The bedroom takes on a more functional role, as a place to change clothes and turn in at night.

But it's still easy to find yourself confronted with messy conditions in the bedroom. Tackling this clutter will not only give your home a more ordered appearance, but can also create a more relaxing environment in the bedroom.

It can be overwhelming to try to overhaul your bedroom in one go, so you might prefer to clean it up gradually. You might want to work it into a regular routine of home maintenance, focusing on decluttering your bedroom every few days. Elizabeth Larkin, writing for the home design site The Spruce, recommends spending half an hour every week cleaning up your bedroom.

Removing the most visible clutter is a good place to start. Clear off the tops of your chest, nightstand, or any other furniture in the room. Corral any dirty clothes in a hamper or laundry basket, and put away any clean clothes that haven't been sent to the closet or dresser. Cleaning out drawers and other storage areas can be done more infrequently, but should still be checked regularly to make sure they haven't become a repository for belongings of little use.

Before putting items away, consider whether you really need to keep them. Katie Avis-Riordan, writing for House Beautiful, says you should have containers for items that will be donated, sold, or thrown away. Set these containers aside in a storage area once you've finished sorting items; things to be discarded can be trashed immediately, and you can periodically work to sell or donate the other items.

Every few months or so, go through the storage areas of your bedroom to see if there's anything you can discard or give away. Larkin says the closet can easily become overstuffed with old clothes and other clutter. In addition to regular organizing, such as making sure clothes are hung up or otherwise organized, it helps to go through clothes every season to pare them down. Avis-Riordan says clothes that no longer fit and those you haven't worn for a year or more should be donated. Some stores will also offer a discount for recycling old clothes.

In the spring, go through your winter clothes and pack away any you want to keep into a trunk or other storage area. This process frees up more closet and dresser space for seasonally appropriate clothes. Repeat this process with your summer clothes in the autumn.

In conjunction with decluttering, a more thorough cleaning process can keep your bedroom looking nice. Avis-Riordan says this can include cleaning surfaces, including the inside of drawers or cabinets, washing your bedding, and cleaning your mattress. You can also vacuum, sweep, or dust underneath and behind any furniture.

Consider whether you want to rearrange the furniture to free up space or better accommodate how you use the room. Caren Baginski, writing for HGTV, says you might create a pleasant reading area with a chair and side table. However, you might also want to cut down on unused furniture. Avis-Riordan says removing furniture will help the room seem bigger and more spacious.

If you're looking to replace your bed, consider one with built-in storage. Shifrah Combiths, writing for the home design site Apartment Therapy, says some platform beds have drawers that can store extra linens, out-of-season clothing, or other belongings. Long, flattened containers can also be used for this purpose if the bed is high enough to keep these containers underneath.

You can capitalize on added storage with other furniture as well. Nightstand drawers let you keep a variety of small items out of sight, while a trunk or even a second dresser at the foot of the bed can also be useful. Larkin says trays and bowls can add a decorative touch to the bedroom décor while keeping jewelry, keys, and other items from cluttering up the space.

Closet organizers can make it much easier to keep this part of the bedroom organized. Some options include shelving, containers, or hangers that will hold multiple pieces of clothing.

Starting a few habits meant to improve cleanliness can make your bedroom look markedly better. Baginski says making your bed each morning will only take a few minutes, but can also inspire you to take other steps to declutter the space. It also helps to have a hamper ready to keep dirty clothes in one place.

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