If your bedroom is always a mess, and you just can’t manage to keep it clear of clutter, it’s probably not because you’re inherently lazy or untidy. More likely, you’re falling into one of several common traps that make it difficult to control your excess stuff. If you recognize yourself in one or more of these five decluttering mistakes, understanding the cause and adjusting your behavior or environment accordingly can help you eliminate bedroom clutter permanently.
You’re neglecting the basic rules of decluttering.
Sometimes, as we attempt to clear out a cluttered space, we get overwhelmed and simply forget to go back to decluttering basics. Look at your bedroom and ask yourself: Have you removed from the room any item that belongs elsewhere? If not, return towels to the hall closet, drinking glasses to the kitchen, and so on. Have you made sure that every item you want to keep in your bedroom has a “home,” or designated spot where it belongs? If not, decide now that all books in the bedroom belong on the nightstand, and stick to it. Does everything in your bedroom either serve a real purpose or otherwise genuinely improve the time you spend in your bedroom? Maybe you can toss or donate some extraneous decorations. Are you forgetting to declutter regularly so that little things don’t become big messes? Set a routine and devote a few minutes every weekend to cleaning up. Are you ignoring some elephant-in-the-room item, like an unused treadmill, that you know you should really sell or donate? Deal with it now.
Your clothing storage method is working against you.
If your bedroom is full of stacks of clothing you never want to put away, it could be a sign that the way you’re currently storing your clothes isn’t working for you. Is your closet stuffed so full that you hate trying to cram another hanger on the rack? Do you even own enough hangers for all your clothes? Are you keeping frequently-worn items on shelves so high or low that they’re difficult to access? Whatever the issue, diagnosing the flaws in how you’re storing clothes – or linens, shoes, and anything else that accumulates out in the open instead of getting put away – can “magically” fix this issue. And the solution doesn’t have to involve building an entirely new closet. It might mean introducing a few carefully chosen closet organizers or even downsizing your wardrobe.
You’re using the bedroom as a storage unit.
Is your bedroom the default place to stash any mess you don’t want guests to see? Is it where you store anything you don’t know what else to do with? Have you mentally assigned it the status of a dungeon that only needs to function as a place to sleep at night? Find a more fitting place for all that junk and reclaim your bedroom as a relaxing and attractive space.
You have too many zones in your bedroom.
Dividing the space into zones (like sleeping area, work desk, reading nook, etc.) can be a great way to organize your bedroom. But if a bedroom has too many zones, the entire room can become inefficient and uncomfortable. If your bedroom is filled with bookshelves, desks, workout equipment, and crafting supplies, try moving some of these zones to other rooms. If you live in a studio apartment, then obviously your bedroom has to serve as a living room, dining room, and so on. If you have a very small bedroom, think about ways to make one zone do double or triple duty (e.g. a sofa bed that you can sleep on, relax on, and sit on while working on your laptop) and look into a more minimalist lifestyle in general.
You have too much stuff.
After reading this far, are you thinking that you do make an effort to keep your bedroom neat, and you have already addressed every applicable issue listed above, but your bedroom still feels cluttered? Well then, there’s a good chance you have too much stuff. To put it slightly differently, you own more things than you need or feel comfortable with. A cozily cluttered style may have worked for you in the past, but often as people change and mature, their belongings – especially collections, be they clothes, hobby equipment, or porcelain giraffe figurines – no longer represent who they are. This creates a feeling of being trapped by your stuff rather than surrounded by lovely things that enhance your daily life. It could be time for a major reevaluation of your belongings, in which you ask yourself what is worth holding on to, and what you can happily let go.