As an Interior Designer I see my clients put their bedrooms at the end of the list of rooms they are going to decorate. They want lounges that look gorgeous, kitchens that become the hub of family life and children’s rooms that look cute and make the little people in the house happy.
But where is your space? Though we don’t spend as much time in this room in comparison to the other rooms in the home, you have got to start looking at what this room supports instead of how much time you are in it!
It supports sleep, relaxation, sex – yeah, I did just say it – and clothes storage. It is the place we start and end our day. It is a place where you can be 100% YOU, not Mum, Dad, daughter-in-law, son etc. So why don’t we create true havens that can be our sanctuary that we want to linger in a little more?
In my earlier blog post this month (HERE) I tackled how we can create spaces that mean we can have a good night’s sleep. Now I’m going to tackle another thing that can make a big difference to how you feel in this space. Clutter! Oh yeah, I just said that too!
In 2012 during the research project “Life and Home in the 21st Century”, UCLA studied 32 Middle Class American families and how they behaved in their homes. The biggest mind blower for me was the physical reaction to clutter, which was the same as “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”. So when you “feel” stressed when you see that pile of dirty laundry in your bedroom your body is genuinely going through the stress response to it. This is why it is really important to get your storage right in this room because if stuff doesn’t have a home to easily go into, then it’s going to be just lying there creating a physical reaction which can eat you up inside.
In other words, clutter is the antithesis of relaxation and the arch enemy of romance. Whoever thinks of James Bond seducing his ladies while tripping over a pile of smelly shoes? To help you find personal space in a busy home you have to treat your bedroom to some TLC so it can care for you.
So, what are the areas you need to address?
What do you need?
Ask yourself honestly – what do I need to store in my bedroom? And have only that in there.
You don’t need all the family photo albums hidden in your wardrobe, the next size of children’s clothes under your bed waiting for you to use and it is definitely not where your Christmas decorations go! Even that list of stuff has cluttered this sentence.
Your bedroom isn’t a storage room for the rest of the house because then it isn’t going to be a space looking after you. Instead it is looking after everyone else’s junk. Put your and your partner’s requirements first and prioritise the stuff you need in this room to prepare for your day or to prep for sleep! NOTHING ELSE NEED APPLY!
If your Wardrobe is vomiting clothes all over your room, it is time to conquer it. Many start by thinking “I need more storage” but I address it slightly differently. The bigger the storage the more you will fill it, so work with the storage space you have. If you have too much to store in here then you need LESS STUFF! I can be quite ruthless these days. If it doesn’t fit, it goes; if it’s the wrong season then it goes away until it is. If I won’t be excited to buy it now or wear it immediately, it could be time to ask if I need it. Beware how easy it is to pop things back all the time “just in case” but this is a killer phrase which means your wardrobe is full of things that you aren’t sure about while the stuff you love and use is like a pile of junk on a chair. In the practice of Feng Shui the belief is that you need to let go of stuff, only then can good things come into your life. So, like Elsa in “Frozen” sang, “Let it Go!” Though it can be hard to go through the de-cluttering process, when you drop that stuff off at the charity shop you will feel lighter in the soul. Trust me you will!
The other handy tip which I share with clients to help get the most out of the space in their wardrobe is flocked thin hangers. T K Maxx do them and Amazon do packs of 50.
This means all your clothes are at the same eye level. By having all your clothes on the same level, you can easily spot every item, you can also hang EVERYTHING – jumpers, T shirts (well I guess not underwear!) so you only have one place to go to pick your outfit for the day.
It’s easy to overlook this piece of furniture in the room but I believe these need to work hard for you and always look for at least one drawer in them. Why? Well I know that I need some ugly stuff at hand next to my bed. Lip salves, Ventolin inhalers, hair bands etc. I want them next to me but I don’t want to look at them because they are just clutter in my eye line while I try to doze off. And you know what that does!!! Keep the top surface simple with only a few select pieces.
Yet again I look to have this piece of furniture work really hard for me and will want cupboards and drawers in it, so I can store all the stuff I need to use to keep my face anywhere near gorgeous! Keep surfaces clear of as much stuff as possible with only stuff you want to have on it. I keep a picture of my family and a few mementoes. This makes it a space that when I sit down to get ready for the day it’s all about things that speak about who I am and what matters to me. I don’t crowd it, I just want them sitting there putting a smile on my face.
Sadly, this is something that we can’t avoid in here. In fact, I say having this anywhere else will naturally lead to clutter. You won’t go wandering around your house in the evening when tired and possibly nude hunting for the family laundry basket. Instead you will leave it on the floor to deal with tomorrow. So, keep the laundry basket to hand but out of the eye line. If you have any space in your wardrobe this is a great spot to add it in so the task of getting undressed is easy. Things either get hung up or popped in the laundry.
Caring for yourself gives you the ability to care for all around you, so treat yourself to a stress-free bedroom and move that clutter out!