Create a clutter-free sleep environment
The bedroom should be a haven from the stresses of everyday life, but often it becomes a dumping ground for stuff. Think dusty books by the bed, a wardrobe crammed full of clothes and loose change on the dresser top. A cluttered space not only makes a room look busy and less attractive, but it overloads the senses, making it harder to switch-off and get a good night’s sleep. We asked decluttering expert Arianna Steigman of ClutterBug London for her tips on creating the ultimate clutter-free sleep zone.
Identify your goal
Visualise your dream bedroom. What does it look like, feel like, even smell like? Does it include clothes flung over wash baskets, or is it a clean, clutter-free zone? If it’s the latter, think how lovely it would be to sleep and wake up in this calm oasis and picture that image as you declutter. This image will motivate you to achieve your clutter-free goals.
Start by sifting
Start sifting your clutter by picking a category. Clothes are often the biggest clutter culprit, so gather them up and place them on a clean floor. Lift each item one by one, and sell, donate or bin anything that neither sparks joy nor is truly useful. Apply the same rules with your other bedroom items, such as books. Keep just three sets of space-hogging bed linen: one for the bed, one in the wash and one in reserve. Invest in or keep only your most beautiful linen and dump or donate everything else.
Give things a home
Designate a place for everything: books on a shelf (except those you’re actively reading), everyday jewellery in a pretty box, underwear in a drawer with dividers, and learn the basics of folding. Correct folding will help you appreciate the clothing you have, make items instantly identifiable and free up valuable space. Once you’re cured of your clutter, you’ll find tidying away easier and less time-consuming. Think of all those hours saved!
Basic folding method:
1 – Lay the item flat
2 – Fold in the sides to create a rectangle
3 – Fold the item in half to create a smaller rectangle
4 – Fold into a third and place front-up in the drawer
Put things back
You’re far more likely to put things back immediately after using them if everything has an intuitive, easy-to-reach home. Once you’ve decluttered, keep up the good work by putting things away as soon as you’ve used them, and encourage young children to do the same with toys. Prevent your handbag from becoming a dumping ground for loose change, chewing gum, squashed lipsticks and crumpled receipts by emptying it at the end of each day.
Arianna is a member of the Association of Professional Declutters & Organisers and founder of ClutterBug, which provides professional decluttering services across London and south-east England.