or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Help me make my bedroom an oasis!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help me make my bedroom an oasis!!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm finally coming around to the realization that DH and my bedroom is the least attractive and most cluttered room in the house. Not good for sleep or anything else that might occur there.


So, I'm making it my project to make it sparkle and feel like a calming oasis. First, I am getting rid of our busy, colorful duvet cover and going for an off-white with a subtle pattern. I'm going to paint the walls an aqua/blue/green that matches a lamp we have (very monochromatic, but soothing). We have a brown natural fiber rug and two wood dresses and night stands. Planning to eventually buy/make some very simple wall art. 


So I have all the decorating ideas, but need help with how to keep the clutter out. It piles up because it tends to be our go-to spot when we are cleaning downstairs and guests are coming and we need to stash some stuff somewhere. It's not usually very much at one time (maybe a stack of books I plan to sell on Amazon or a small bag of clothes that need to be returned to the store) but over time it adds up and there seems to be more going in than out. We actually have fairly regular out of town guests, and since they don't generally go to our bedroom, it's an easy place to hide things we don't know what to do with. I know...very bad all around for someone striving for minimalism! Then there's the loose coins/receipts/business cards my DH takes out of his pants pockets when he gets home from work, the laundry that needs to get folded that is still sitting in the basket, and my clothes from yesterday that I took off quickly and threw on a chair. 


So....if you have a beautiful bedroom - how do you keep it that way? Do you just break make a rule that nothing can be put there anymore or do you get in the habit of tidying before bed every night? Any tips or ideas would be appreciated!

post #2 of 22

I'd like to see the replies! Our bedroom is the same way. I clean it periodically, but then all the stuff with no home finds its way back in there... Every other room in our house is the way I want it (well, except for the garage and basement).

post #3 of 22
I was JUST thinking about this (and came on MDC to procrastinate the bedroom decluttering lol!)

What about getting some nice baskets to hide stuff? Or clearing a shelf of the closet for things 'in transit' (or 'in hiding' lol)? Only thing is, probably the last thing you want when you're trying to relax at night is staring at a big basket of things that need to be put away before it overflows! So it seems like the better solution might be to designate another place for temporary storage. Maybe a chest in the basement or a Rubbermaid bin in a spare closet?

Also, maybe a drawer organizer would be helpful for your DH? So he has an out-of-sight place to stash his coins and cards...

I think my own biggest decluttering challenge is figuring out what to do with all those random 'in transit' items too. There's got to be a good system, I just have yet to discover it! smile.gif
post #4 of 22

What helps us is to have a "home" for everything and to do our best to put things away immediately.


We have a cabinet downstairs in the main living area that serves as a "home" for so many odds and ends. Inside the cabinet is a basket where DH puts his wallet, ID badge, keys, and other items. It's also where we keep the checkbook, envelopes with receipts, stamps, paper, pens, etc. (It basically serves as an office storage area.) On the top shelf, I store my yoga mat and blankets too. We keep it pretty tidy and well organized, but there is some space so if I need to store something (like books to sell on Amazon to use your example) then I'd put them in here. The nice thing about the cabinet is that you can close it. (We have a child lock on it to prevent our curious toddler from opening it.)


The cabinet wasn't expensive. It was something similar to this:



I also do my best to immediately fold laundry as it is coming out of the dryer. (My toddler likes to "help" too.) I will put off  drying laundry until I know that I'll have a section of time to finish it. I find that it is much easier psychologically for me to put away a basket of folded clothes than it is to tackle a basket of randomness.


My system for the folded laundry is to put down the big items (pants, shirts, sweatshirts) down in the basket first, then pick out baby's clothes and put them off to the side, and then put my undies and socks on one side, and DH's socks and underwear on the other. I usually wear DS in the Ergo when it's time to put away laundry and put things away.




post #5 of 22

Nothing in the bedroom but minimal clothes and a box of DD's books.  And the beds.  It takes a few minutes to tidy every night and in the morning  I make the bed.  Clutter builds up every where else in the house but not the bedroom.  It's my little oasis of sanity.   I need the inspiration it provides or I get totally despondant about the housekeeping.  :)


I have a basket in the kitchen for coins, receipts, keys, etc.


I also have a big tupperware thing for stashing clutter in a hurry.  That can be carried into the bedroom but it's easy to carry it out again.



post #6 of 22

you'll need to create a different drop zone for those things. 


remember, it can be a part of your closet, or a piece of furniture (eg, an old dresser, side board, or cabinet), or, if it's truly just a small number of items, just leave them out when the guests come. 


in my previous homes, I had a place right by the front door that was where i put a bag of this or that to donate. Usually, as you say, it wasn't much, and so I found no need to really move it. It wasn't intense clutter, and it wasn't inhibiting the use of space. Nearly everyone I know has a spot where things are going out, so why feel embarrassed about the "oh, i'm selling that stack of books" stack of books? 


but, if you need the get the away, then create a place for "things that are going out" to go when they are still "in." 


For the bedroom, i like your idea. I think it sounds really lovely. :D our bedroom is just our bed and dresser. it's nice.

post #7 of 22

oh, and our clutter builds up in the closet of our house. I'm int he process of decluttering it, then I plan on setting it up as a reading/writing room for DH -- curtain off the closet side, put in a chair and lamp, a wall of shelves for books, and then a wall of cork for him to do his writing/index card thingy that he does.


but it gets cluttered quick, so i have to stay on top of it!

post #8 of 22

Oh I have the same problem! 


I know that it would help things if I moved the shelves out of the room, as they tend to be a magnet for clutter, but right now I have nowhere else to put the bookshelf.  Also we have built in shelves in a corner of the room, which have quite a collection of things on them right now....china and knick knacks, perfume bottles, a lamp etc.


Just went and took a good hard look at our room and I think this might have to be my project for September, to work on the master bedroom.



post #9 of 22

I don't know if our bedroom is beautiful, but I like it a lot. I think it helps that our room is the farthest from the entry. DH and DS empty their pockets at designated places in the front room (DS in fact has a small box for his stuff).

Our bedroom has:

    * the bed,

    * our wardrobe

    * A bedside table

    * In one corner, a small table in and chair, and a dehumidifier. On the small table, a fan. And above it 2 shelves that hold some books and the family printer, and a battery-wind-up radio. When we want to print we bring the lap-top from the living room to the bedroom to print.

    * In the opposite corner, a lamp and an acoustic guitar in a case

   *  Floor to ceiling windows opposite the bed which look out over some beautiful green hills. We have green curtains for them, but if it's not really hot, we leave them open most of the time. That's what I think makes our room very pretty and peaceful.



Either DH or I make the bed every morning. If we want to re-use clothes, we fold them up and put them on the table or on top of the dehumidifier. If I feel like they are building up, I either put them back in the wardrobe or put in the laundry. We vacuum and dust at least once a week.

I would recommend that you try to make your bedroom a place to sleep, talk, and relax without noise & distraction. No TV, no stereo, no desk.


Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
So....if you have a beautiful bedroom - how do you keep it that way? Do you just break make a rule that nothing can be put there anymore or do you get in the habit of tidying before bed every night? Any tips or ideas would be appreciated!



post #10 of 22
notes.gif Our bedroom closet is this way.
post #11 of 22

I pride myself on having a beautiful bedroom, despite the fact that it also serves as my office, my library and my corner to prettify myself (oh, and as the cat's play ground from time to time).


I think one of the most important things you can do is to try to organise your room so it becomes easy to continuously tidy up after yourself, so you don't really have to do much else than dust the room once a week, clean the floor, change the sheets and then take a damp rag to the furnishing from time to time. This is achieved by four things for me:


1. Making sure that any garbage collecting spots (notice wrappers of different sorts, tissue paper etc. building up somewhere?) has a waste paper basket right next to it. Or at least a waste collecting tray. By my desk, I have a paper basket for recycling paper, and an old ash tray for those little things like pencil shavings etc. that I just dump in the garbage can in the room once a day. I also have a small paper bag by my bed for tissue paper. This keeps this kind of trash from getting all over the room, making it much easier to keep the floor clean since you can bring out the hoover at once without having to pick up trash first.


2. I've organised my room according to what I do where. For instance, since I brush my hair while checking my mail storing my brush in a drawer by my desk means I am more likely to put it away where it belongs, since it is easy to do so. Before, it would often just end up laying on my desk, rather than in the designated spot in my vanity/dresser.


3. Don't organise your room according to what should be in there, but what truly is in there. This took me quite some time to learn, but really helps a lot. Because if things end up in a room, but there's no space for them, then things will become a mess.


4. Lastly, the all important "putting out the hotspots". If you notice a chair getting crowded with things, or the dresser cluttering up, make a point of clearing it before going to bed. Also, keep in mind the other points above. If you for example find a lot of change on the dresser, put a bowl for the change right there (not anywhere else). Or if you notice you have lots of belts hanging over a chair always, consider why this is the case. Perhaps you actually need a rod or hook there, because the current belt organising system does not work.


Quite simply, organise your room according to how you use it (and stop procrastinating) and you should soon have a calmer bedroom. :)

post #12 of 22

My bedroom is the cleanest/tidiest room in the house.  I make a promise to myself to keep it this way when my kids were very young & I was exhausted from little sleep/busy schedule.  A beautiful serene room sets the tone for you when you wake up in the morning & when you fall asleep.  When life gets hectic I always say to myself, "at least the bed got made today' and my room is clean.  


If you have the mind set that your bedroom is an oasis and there is not an exception to this rule, it will help you keep it serene.  Remove everything that needs to be taken out of your bedroom and find another home for it.  Tidy your bed every morning and make sure your floor/furniture is clear before you go to sleep.  


Use the other awesome suggests too.  You deserve an oasis. Don't let it be a place where you dump things.  

post #13 of 22

We employ many of the strategies already mentioned.


Another one is I removed the chair in our bedroom. I did sit in the chair to apply makeup and do my hair or DD's hair, etc. However, the chair ALWAYS had stuff on it. Bugged me. I have an exercise ball that was always roaming around the house. I moved it to the vanity as my "chair". Ahhhh!!!! love.gif


Also, we have a master bathroom right inside our master bedroom doorway. We put an 8-hook (two rows of four hooks) over-the-door rack on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom door for our "re-use" clothing. DH has right side (2 upper and 2 lower hooks) and I have the left side (same). It is always accessible (even when someone is in the bathroom with the door closed), but not obvious when the bathroom door is open (which is most of the time) due to the arrangement of doors and natural lighting. The clothing airs out very nicely and we have learned over time to keep the items to a minimum. Once in awhile it gets too full and I just toss everything into the laundry sorter. When I need a few items to fill a load for the washer, I'll raid our hooks or DD's hooks. She has a wood rack on her closet wall (tiny walk-in style; our closet is very different and this didn't work for us).


Like a PP, I will wait to dry clothes until I can pull the items out and get them put away right away. I do it more due to wrinkles, though. I don't iron clothes! (I do iron crafts.) I also line dry. Linens go outside. Clothing is usually on a wood folding rack in our bedroom due to space and airflow and warmth/dryness. I place the rack right behind my "ball chair", so it cannot live there long.


I think the biggest thing for me/us is making the mental/emotional shift. Our bedroom is an important space and let's treat it as such. I use our bedroom for quite a few activities and I love it in here now! I have my makeup and hair stuff in a vanity (old-fashioned small desk with new glass top and new hardware). I also store my essential oils and carrier oils and tinctures and other such items here. I have a small cabinet with three shelves behind a door plus a drawer and slide-out shelf. I keep a stainless steel tray under the cabinet for mixing and such. I also meditate in this room. It is a wonderful space!


We have several lighting sources:

1) soft overhead lighting via switch (low wattage bulb in frosted globe, which is a light kit on the ceiling fan);

2) bright/strong light behind the headboard for reading (tall uplight, which I leave on but unplugged for convenience and safety);

3) small crystal "romance" lamp across from the bed (simulates candlelight without the risks; also left on and unplugged when not in use);

4) lighted vanity mirror for makeup and eyebrow tweezing and other close work (it's a pretty stainless steel version...one of two items kept plugged in in our bedroom -- other is clock radio with battery back-up); and

5) our bedroom has a six-foot by five-foot window that faces due West for plenty of luscious natural light by day. In the winter, we keep the blinds closed at night and open during the day via twisting the wand (angle of blinds). In the summer, we close the blinds fairly tight regarding the angle during the day, but keep them slid open a couples inches from the end for some natural light...and open them further at night via sliding them as far open as the window is open to increase the cool night airflow without listening to the flapping blinds.


We make the bed and tidy up in the morning as part of our morning routine. As the day goes along, I will tidy up after each project I do, if I am working in here. Once a week, we dust and vacuum. It is so fast when all the surfaces are clear of clutter!


DH has a nice wood organizer box on top of our dressing chest. It holds his personal small stuff, including wallet, keys, phone, wedding ring, watch, money clip, etc. It is right next to our clock CD radio, which has a built-in charging station for iPods and iPhones, etc. It came with 3-4 inserts for charging those various items. I keep one in the slot and the other one we use on DH's box and the others inside his box. I have two CDs I like to use for meditation. One is in the CD portion and the other is in the prettiest case. LOL (I gave away the other case.) I switch off and the one CD case is neatly arranged in an otherwise empty spot. It is convenient for DH to empty his pockets in our bedroom because he generally changes clothes after work (from the hooks) and he enjoys a few minutes to himself when he first gets home.


I, however, am always running in and out of the house during the day and would seriously dislike having to go upstairs to the back of the house every time to get my belongings. I walk most places, but drive sometimes. I need different items for different activities and prefer to carry the least possible. We have a small "pub mirror" next to our front door. In addition to the mirror, it has a shelf and three pegs. I have my various keys and favorite hat on the hooks/pegs (single house key for walks; house/mail/car keys for drives; dad's house key; and whichever neighbor's house/mail key we're housesitting/petsitting). If I am using a purse of some sort, then it is usually small enough to hang from a peg. The shelf is very small, but holds lip balm, lipstick/gloss, a piece or two of outgoing mail, and my prescription sunglasses, which I swap for my regular glasses and return immediately. Next to this space is a tall Ikea bookcase with doors on the bottom. The first open shelf has an organizer basket closest to the door and holds coupons, gift cards, digital camera, small tripod, Chico bags (2), small tape measure, membership cards, small wallet-type insert, small flashlight, etc...all outgoing type things. There is space behind it, so we tuck two paper lunch bags back there to hold batteries and lightbulbs for recycling. They cannot be seen, but we know they are there. If I had the organizer pushed back, then "stuff" would accumulate in front of it (or the paper bags would obscure the organizer and make it unfriendly to use). The bottom step of the staircase is our holding zone for bigger outgoing items, such as a stack of library books/videos or a bag of returns to the store. In front of the tall bookcase is the spot for bigger outgoing items, such as a box or camping gear or luggage. Having the doors on the bottom of the bookcase means we don't leave these types of things for long because we cannot get into the bookcase! The bottom of the stairs can only hold so much before maneuvering becomes difficult. This is all by design!!!


Our very small coat closet is under the stairs and somewhat awkward since it is not close to the door. There is no other place for jackets and such, so we make do. I added two sets of hooks (one on each side of the small closet). One side holds our "go bag" and other outside play stuff that can hang (jump ropes, for example) and the other side holds the canvas bags that are not in our cars. I leave from the house multiple times a day and 90% of the time I am walking the opposite direction from our parking area (townhomes where monkeys designed the parking lots). I often clip a Chico bag to my purse or belt loop for the return, but many times I am taking stuff with me too. Having canvas bags in so many places can get tedious, but it is the only way we remember to use them.

post #14 of 22



Originally Posted by berry987 View Post


I really don't think the answer is to find a new place to put this stuff, or to get pretty baskets to hide. Just get rid of it.


It's not usually very much at one time (maybe a stack of books I plan to sell on Amazon or a small bag of clothes that need to be returned to the store) but over time it adds up and there seems to be more going in than out.


Errand day. Plan one day next week that you will run errands and take all that stuff with you. Drop the books off at the library (most libraries collect used books and have a big sell and the money goes to fund programs at the library), return the clothes, and take care of whatever else is sitting in your room just waiting. Load up the car and get rid of as much of it as possible. The couple of bucks you will get from selling them is most likely not worth the months of staring at them feeling guilty for not taking care it. Right now, you are trading your oasis for a to do list, but you put an end to that. Planning running an errand or two at the same time you grocery shop each week, and then they won't get backed up again.


Then there's the loose coins/receipts/business cards my DH takes out of his pants pockets when he gets home from work,


We have a pickle jar for a change jar, a trash can for receipts, and DH has a business card holder. Change contained in a jar looks fine. Random little pieces of paper, not so much. If these are receipts that he is going to need again, they need a real home.


the laundry that needs to get folded that is still sitting in the basket, and my clothes from yesterday that I took off quickly and threw on a chair. 


Fold the laundry the minute you get it out of the dryer and put it away. It comes out nicer that way. Don't start a load without thinking through when it will be done and if you have time to really finish it. Don't go to bed with laundry half done. 


I still throw clothes on a chair, but I'm working on it!!! It's like I have issues declaring them truly dirty enough to go into the hamper.



post #15 of 22

subbing because I so need this thread!

post #16 of 22
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

The couple of bucks you will get from selling them is most likely not worth the months of staring at them feeling guilty for not taking care it. Right now, you are trading your oasis for a to do list, but you put an end to that.



Thank you , thank you~!!!!! I so needed to read that..I am so guilty of planning to sell things for years, yes you read that correctly...YEARS!!  and they sit there unsold and then if I am lucky I end up listing a few here or there and by the time I pay fees I get a few dollars.  So silly!


post #17 of 22

Our bedroom is my favourite room in the house - I made it that way on purpose. Honestly, what helps a lot is that dh uses our third bedroom for his clothes. THAT room is a mess but at least it is not our bedroom!


I agree that you need to make "homes" for all the items. We have specific places for change, keys, business cards, receipts, things that need to go out of the house, etc. The only thing I'll add is that for clothes that aren't ready for the hamper but that I might wear again before doing a laundry load I keep a certain place in my closet and just re-hang them. But since they are in a certain place, before I do a laundry load I go through them and pick out what I want to wash. The rest stay hanging. I think hooks are a good idea, too, if you have a place to hang them out of the way.

post #18 of 22

I need help with this too! I live in community, in a house shared with 17 other people, so my bedroom is the only room that's all mine. This means everything I own and want to keep needs to find a place in my room. My partner has her own bedroom but we mostly sleep in mine, so her stuff ends up in my room a lot and I finally set up a laundry basket for her clothing and other random stuff to go in. I think that having the right shelving in the right places is really important, and equally important is to keep up with myself in terms of decluttering, taking away things I no longer use, etc. My room is a total mess right now, and I know it's because I don't yet have good places to put everything (I moved rooms a few months ago and never got around to getting everything set up nicely) so there are boxes of random stuff sitting on the floor, clothes that I've already worn but aren't dirty enough to wash yet piled up on any available surface, and random pieces of paper all over my desk space. The worse it gets the worse I feel about it so cleaning up becomes something I keep putting off because it feels like such an impossible task.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

I just came back to this forum after a few weeks and wow, thanks for all the responses! The tips are great - some of them I am already putting to use. We got rid of the chair (well, moved it somewhere that we'll actually sit on it, not use it to throw clothes) and i've been making a point to straighten up the bedroom each night before bed. Since I do it every night, there are only a few things to put away (maybe a kids book or two that my children brought in there, some dirty clothes and DHs loose change). I LOVE waking up to a clean bedroom! I am also trying to stay on top of things like packages that need to be mailed, etc. Those things always ate away at me anyway - so seeing something I needed to return to a store night after night was kind of stressful. So now, it sits on my kitchen counter so I won't forget or put it off. Oh, and I just donated a huge stack of books I'd planned to sell. Too much effort, too much stress at this point that I didn't want to deal with.


I bought a new duvet that is plain white, too. So minimalist and clean....love it. I'm due with my 4th child in 2 weeks and I think my bedroom will be a place I'll enjoy resting with her!



post #20 of 22

Sounds like you have done really well! Good for you! thumb.gif

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Organize & Declutter
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Help me make my bedroom an oasis!!