Declutter Your Bedroom

Declutter your bedroom and begin to enjoy it as the sanctuary it was meant to be. 

More than any other space within a home, bedrooms tend to be neglected, especially master bedrooms.  Often times these would-be sanctums are populated with mismatched, hand-me-down furniture and all the clutter that never really found a permanent home in any other room of the house.  Furthermore, the master bedroom is frequently forced to juggle multiple roles as a workout space, a home office, and sometimes even a nursery. 

While space limitations do tend to dictate a room’s uses, it is possible to have a functional, organized bedroom that meets both your storage needs and your need for relaxation.  

Step 1: Vision Meets Reality

In order to successfully declutter your bedroom you’ll need to develop a plan for the space.  Think about how you’d like the room to function under ideal circumstances. 

Are relaxation, rest, grooming, and intimacy your main intentions for the space?  If so, then the focus of the room should be on supporting those activities.  Everything in the room should somehow relate to one or more of the room’s functions.  Anything that doesn’t relate needs to find a new home. 

Next, decide if there are any other functions the room will be required to serve beyond those for which it was intended.  Is there no other space in the house for workout equipment or your home office?  If that’s the case, don’t despair.  Just look for ways to downplay those elements in the room.

Step 2: Play to Your Strengths

How do you deemphasize an unwanted element in your space?  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Draw attention away from the undesirable by creating an inviting focal point elsewhere. In a bedroom, the bed is the most likely candidate for this role.  As the largest element in the space, it will naturally draw attention.  Make sure it’s deserving of that attention.  How
  • For starters, always make your bed.  This is the quickest and most effective way to declutter your bedroom on a consistent basis.  An unmade bed invites chaos while an attractively made bed creates an atmosphere of order.  
  • To further emphasize the bed as the focal point of the room, dress it for success in coordinated bedding.  Bedding need not be expensive to be stylish.  Look for colors and patterns that speak to you in a price range that won’t keep you up at night.
  • Throw pillows are another way to emphasize the bed as the centerpiece of the room.  These little gems add depth and warmth to the space.  They give it a luxurious and inviting look, which is exactly what we’re going for, so pile on the pillows!
  • Another way to add umph to your bed-as-focal-point is to paint the wall behind the bed a different color than the other walls in the room thus creating an accent wall.  If you have patterned bedding, choose a color from the bedding for your accent.  If your bedding is solid, choose a complimentary color for impact.
  • An attractive headboard can also add emphasis.  If you don’t have a headboard, try making one.  You can build one from scratch, repurpose an old one, or create one by combining existing items such as bookcases in a new and interesting way. 
  • Artwork is another excellent way to draw attention.  Choose a statement piece that has meaning to you or create a collage by grouping smaller pieces for greater impact.  When hanging artwork over a bed, be sure it is securely attached to the wall.  You don’t want it falling on your head while you’re sleeping!

2.  Avoid the urge to use exercise equipment as a clothes rack or catchall. 

  • The more you pile on, the greater an eyesore it becomes and the more challenging it is to declutter your bedroom.  If you aren’t able to keep your exercise equipment elsewhere, keep it as unassuming as possible by keeping it clutter free. 

3.  Keep desk clutter to a minimum.

  • This can be a challenge if space is limited, but it is possible and imperative when you’re trying to downplay its presence.  
  • A messy desk is an eye magnet.  In the struggle to declutter your bedroom, victory in the battle for a clear work surface is crucial to success. 
  • For best results, provide storage specific to the work space.  If possible, choose a desk with ample storage.  Another option is to hang or place shelves above or beside the desk for added storage. 

4.  Create functional areas within the room. 

  • Try to contain the workout equipment or work space to one corner or section of the room rather than allowing it to take over entirely.  If possible, delineate the separation by placing a piece of furniture or even a screen in such a way that it can act as a divider.

Step 3: Purge

The next step to achieving the peaceful retreat you long for is to purge.  Purging is mandatory whether you’re trying to declutter your bedroom or some other room in the house.  The more stuff you can identify that isn’t needed or doesn’t belong, the more space you will free up.  The more space you can free up, the more inviting your room will be.

Recommended Reading

For more information on the process of purging, check out the link below.

Before you begin purging, gather supplies.  You’ll need an empty box for items you want to donate, another for trash, and a third for items that don’t belong in the bedroom. 

Before tackling the closets and case goods, begin by purging the bed, floor, and all other surfaces in the room. 

Throw out any trash you happen upon. 

Place items that don’t fit with the room’s functions in the box for misplaced items.  When you are through in the bedroom, you can find them a new home elsewhere or return them to their proper place. 

Put away anything that is out of place but belongs in the space. 

Identify any items you’re ready to part with and place them in the donate box. 

Now you’re ready to move on to the furniture.  Sort through dressers, nightstands, armoires, media cabinets and so forth.  Follow the same guidelines you used to purge the room’s surfaces. 

Once the furniture’s been purged, head for the closets and repeat the process all over again.  

Recommended Reading

For more information on decluttering your bedroom, check out these pages:

Take it Step by Step

Keep in mind that all this purging can and should be done over time.  Don’t try to do it all in one day.  Take it a step at a time: surfaces today, furniture tomorrow, closets next week, or whatever works best for you.  Consider your energy level as well as your time constraints when setting goals to declutter your bedroom.  The trick is to remain focused and motivated without getting burned out.  

Step 4: Plan Your Space

Many rooms fail to function as they should due to a lack of space planning.  Often people don’t know what’s wrong with their room, they just know it isn’t working.  For this reason, space planning is a crucial step in the effort to declutter your bedroom. 

For best results, sketch a simple diagram (floor plan) of your room.  Use graph paper and draw it to scale as best you can.   This will require you to measure the room. 

Mark doors, windows and closets on your drawing.  Then cut out simple geometric shapes to represent the furniture that needs to go in the room.  Make these to scale as well and cut them out.

Move the furniture cutouts around within the diagram of the room to see what layout will work best.  Avoid placing dressers and armoires too close to the bed or door where it will be difficult to access their contents.  Be sure to leave room to maneuver around the bed, 36 inches on all exposed sides is preferable. 

Think about what isn’t working as you play with your room design.  Look for ways to solve the problem as you experiment with furniture placement.  Once you’ve found a design you like you’re ready to do the actual manual labor of moving furniture around within the room. 

Recommended Reading

Bedroom storage should be taken into account when planning your space as well. Now is the time to decide if you have enough storage and if the storage you have meets your needs.  

Clutter is chaotic.  It causes stress.  The last place you want to feel stressed is in your bedroom.  Take the time to declutter your bedroom and transform it into the peaceful retreat you deserve. 


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