There’s nothing worse than getting up in the morning, your eyes still glazed over, reaching for your phone on the nightstand and knocking over a dozen things before your phone hits the floor.
Worse yet are those times when you can’t find a thing to wear because there’s a pile of clothes taller than you and you can’t tell what’s clean and what’s dirty.
Your bedroom should be a haven for peace and tranquility. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s a catch-all for those things you intend to “do later,” because, typically, you and your family members are the only ones who see it.
The biggest offenders making your bedroom a cluttered mess fall into four categories:
- Miscellaneous stuff that belongs somewhere else in the house
- Miscellaneous stuff that belongs to someone else
It’s time, then, to get your bedroom under control and organized. We’ve done our research and found some of the best ways to achieve an organized bedroom.
The One-Touch Rule
How many times do you pick up the same thing to put it away and something gets in the way? It seems to be never-ending cycle. The best way to put a stop to it is to employ the one-touch rule.
Simply put, the One-Touch rule goes like this: pick something up, put it away. Do not set it back down again until you’ve taken care of whatever needs to be done with that item. If it’s a shirt that needs ironing, iron it. If it needs to be hung up, hang it up. If it needs to go in the laundry, put it in the laundry basket.
It sounds simple enough, right? It comes to a screeching halt, though, when you don’t know what to do with something. The solution to that is, if you can’t figure out what to do with something, you don’t need it. Get rid of it. Always have on hand a bag destined for your local thrift store or charitable organization and use it frequently. More about that later.
Your Clothes: Do You Love It?
We all have sections of our closet for clothes we’re hoping to get back into after we lose 20, 30 pounds, or so. And what about the clothes we’re hanging onto until they go back in style? Trust me — those bell bottoms may come back, but by the time they do, you won’t be able to get into the ones you wore in high school.
There are several ways of organizing your closet, each of which has its own advantages.
Hanging Out in the Closet
This organizational method goes like this: Group your clothes by item, so shirts with shirts, pants with pants, suits with suits, and so on. Items you wear regularly go on the hangars in their normal way. Clothes you haven’t worn, but want to hang onto, go on the hangars backward. In six months, check to see which you’ve worn and which hangars are still backward. Anything remaining on a backward hangar goes into your donation bag.
Applying One Touch to Your Closet
Applying the One Touch rule to your closet goes like this: Take things out of your closet, one item at a time. As it’s coming out, ask yourself:
- Do you love it?
- Do you need it?
- Does it fit?
If the item doesn’t fit into one of those categories, it goes into the donation bag. Donate things that don’t fit. The chances of losing the weight needed to get into things two sizes too small are slim to none (no pun intended). Besides, if you do get down to that size again, it’s a great opportunity to go shopping!
Shoes are another cause of your bedroom being cluttered. In some homes, shoes come off at the front door, leaving a pile of shoes right in the entryway. In others, shoes are discarded anywhere, any time, leading to a mad rush to find matching pairs in the morning.
There are several ways to corral shoes at the front door. Pinterest has great ideas for DIY shoe storage, as simple as a regular bookshelf with wicker bins and more elaborate options. Of course, Amazon and other major retailers have options, as well. Whether you DIY a solution or you buy one, making sure shoes left at the front door are kept at bay is important, not only to make sure no one trips over them, but also for the health of your shoes. Better yet, when you build a home, ask your builder about including a mud room where everyone can store shoes the minute they walk in the door.
The shoe problem in your bedroom can be an even bigger issue. You may have a shoe rack in your closet, but there’s nothing in it, because shoes are strewn all over the bedroom or the floor of the closet. One big reason for the clutter is you have too many shoes and not enough storage space.
Before you buy more shoe storage, go through all your shoes and make sure they fall into the same categories as your clothes. Do you love those shoes? Do you need them (do they fill a specific purpose)? Do they fit? And add one more question — do you have a matching pair? Once you get started, you might be surprised by how many single shoes you have without a matching shoe. Whatever doesn’t fit into one of those categories goes into your donation bag as well.
Dressing the Dresser
The top of your dresser and nightstand are the main catch alls in your bedroom, where things tend to pile up or are thrown instead of being put away. While it’s true you can’t put things away if there’s no place to put them, it’s also true that you won’t use an organization system that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Having a beautiful jewelry box is wonderful, but it is useless if all your jewelry ends up in a pile on the top of your dresser or thrown into the drawer of your nightstand.
Most major retailers have storage solutions for the top of your dresser or nightstand. Just make sure you’re choosing something you’ll actually use. If your jewelry ends up thrown on the top of your furniture, find a catch-all solution that fits your style and still looks organized. For example, Amazon has everything from a faux leather valet tray for a man’s dresser to a set of fabric organizer blocks that are interchangeable, depending on where you’re putting them.
You can use the same systems to organize the nightstand drawers and your one bedroom junk drawer in your dresser. Stackable inserts are especially helpful, as they keep your most-used items handy. When building a new home, ask your builder about walk-in closets in the bedrooms, which can help you keep clothes, shoes and accessories organized and your bedroom tidy.
There’s no question — our bedrooms get a lot of use and abuse, despite our wish to have a clean, clear oasis from the hassle and jumble of this world. Make your own oasis by getting organized, getting rid of things you’ll never use again and generally cleaning things up.
Laurie Leiker is a published author, business coach and consumer advocate. She spent 10 years as producer and on-air investigator for the Troubleshooter Tom Martino radio show in Denver, Colo., where she helped consumers get back more than $2 million in one year. She also was a technology pioneer, starting her first computer company in 1990, winning the designation “Best Computer Repair Company” in Denver in 1992.