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How To Organize Your Bedroom and Keep It Clean

Posted in Organization on Jan 13, 2020, tagged with decluttering

If getting organized is on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, why not start off with a room that, when clean and organized, will also aid you in getting a better night’s sleep?

It’s easy to overlook organizing your bedroom because it is often the one space guests rarely see, so the only person you have to impress with your organizational prowess is yourself (and maybe your partner or some pets). But isn’t that who matters most?

Add organizing your bedroom to the top of your 2020 to-do list and get down to tidying with these tips:

Declutter & clean

As with every space, the best way to start the organization process is to get rid of all of the items you no longer have any use for or which don’t hold any sentimental or monetary value, especially if your bedroom organization project was inspired by an upcoming move.

Moving? Ashley Lipman from theurbanavenue.com advises you to look at multiple apartments before choosing the best one—but don’t be afraid of a unit that doesn’t have a massive bedroom. If you’re creative, you can do anything. All you’ve got to know is what you have, what you want, what you need, and how best to balance out these directives.

While it may be hard to part with some of these items, it is important to remember that as we grow and change, so do our needs, senses of style, and aesthetics. Items that we may have once loved or found useful are things that may not be needed now or in the future. Take a note from Marie Kondo and thank the item for its service before discarding it in the appropriate category:

  • Garbage or recycling
  • Donations
  • Items to be sold, shared, or re-gifted

TSI TIP: Parting with clothing is often a stressful experience, especially for items you still love but which don’t fit your personality anymore, or don’t fit period, and pieces for special occasions. Whatever your reason for buying it, it’s almost always difficult to part with at least some of the clothing you own, so decide carefully and be honest with yourself about what you are actually going to wear.

If you aren’t sure, try the hanger trick: hang the item with the hangar backwards. If you wear the item, hang it back up with the hanger facing the right way. If it’s still hanging backwards after six months or a year, it’s time to toss or donate it.

Get more tips for decluttering your stuff.

Create zones

If your space is especially disorganized, you will want to start out the post-purge organization process by creating and working in zones. This way, when you get tired, you won’t have to clear a pile off your bed to pass out, and the tasks will actually get completed.

Break your bedroom into zones or categories and tackle one or two areas per day:

  1. Closets & wardrobes
  2. Under your bed
  3. Shelves & wall space
  4. Bins and boxes
  5. In drawers (bedside tables, etc)

Closets and wardrobes

The closet is a beast that most of us dread tackling, especially if you have a small room or limited closet space (that’s why we wrote an entire post about it). Thankfully, with decluttering already out of the way, your closet should be easier to organize.

Consider your clothing and the current closet organization system you have. Is it adequately keeping things under control, or is it missing key items that would make it easier to stay on top of the mess? If it is not up to the task, it’s time to take a look at new closet organization systems and solutions, such as built-in closet organizers, hanging shelves, or boxes and bins.

To decide which method of organization system will work best for you, take an inventory of your remaining wardrobe. The types of materials that they are made of can help you make smart organizational choices. For example, should they be folded and placed in drawers or hung on hangers?

Clothing Item

Suggested Storage Method

T-shirts Folded
Expensive knits Folded
Linens and silks Hung
Jeans Folded
Trousers Hung

Once you’ve tackled your clothing, ask yourself what other types of items do you keep in your closet. Is it where you store extra shoes, hats, jewelry, or accessories? If so, you’ll need to incorporate organizing tools for these items as well. Consider simple additions like:

  • Shoe racks
  • Storage boxes and baskets
  • Soft storage bins
  • Hanging storage
  • Pegboards
  • Sorting trays
  • Towel rods (they’re great for hanging jewelry!)

TSI TIP: Utilizing vacuum-sealed bags and underbed storage for seasonal items is a great way to keep your closet from becoming packed to the brim.

Under your bed

The space underneath your bed can quickly become a dumping ground for items that you don’t know how to deal with, such as:

  • Books
  • Shoes
  • Dirty clothes that never quite made it into the hamper (no judgement)
  • Out-of-season items
  • Seasonal decorations
  • Old papers
  • Toys and mementos from childhood
  • Furniture components
  • Gift-wrap
  • Extra linens

The best way to deal with this out-of-sight mess is to dig everything out, organize it into categories, and place them into labelled slidable bins. Clear bins are preferable—that way, you can quickly assess what is in each container and can avoid pulling everything out to find what you are looking for. If you can’t find clear bins, label them instead.

If you prefer the look of decorative baskets, that's okay too! Check out this example by Modsy:

TSI TIP: To prevent dirty clothes from piling up on the floor or under your bed, have two different clothes bins or baskets in your room:

  • One for genuinely dirty, must-be-washed items
  • One for worn-but-rewearable clothing

Don’t be afraid to get creative! Ashley Lipman from theurbanavenue.com joined us to share her advice on finding space in unexpected places:

“The tiniest of bedrooms can have a big heart, but it may take a little creative input. For example, does your bed have to be on a box spring? Does your bed have to be flush with the floor? Could your bed be lifted three or four feet in the air with a little stair? Drawers beneath your bed can put a closet in a bedroom where there is none, without sacrificing space. Granted, in such a scenario, you won’t have quite the same level of headroom, but most bedrooms have a ceiling that’s eight to ten feet high. Unless when you sit down you’re more than four feet in height, in such a room a bed lifted four feet above the ground will make it so you can sit up straight and be nowhere near a ceiling.”

Shelves and wall space

Walls are often an under-utilized space in our bedrooms. Not only can making use of your walls get your artwork and photographs off your tables, but there are also lots of organizational tools you can mount on your walls to help keep your floor clear and your closet streamlined, making it easier to stay more organized in the long-term. Try these useful additions:

  • Hooks
  • Pegboards
  • Railings and racks, ideally with hanging bins
  • Wall-mounted cabinets, shelves, and drawers
  • Hanging baskets, like these from Sawdust Sisters:

Bedside tables, desks, and drawers

Keeping items tucked away inside drawers is another great way to keep your room organized. Maximize use of this space by lining the drawers with storage boxes and dividers, using them to create separate spaces and categories for all the things you keep in your drawers:

  • Clothing
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Ties
  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Makeup and toiletries
  • Medications
  • Pens and pencils
  • Paper clips
  • Secret candy stashes

Get inspired by this organized jewelry tray by Type A Lifestyle Company (photo by Mary Craven Photography).

For items that won’t fit into your drawers or that you use too regularly to keep hidden away, consider investing in or creating a bed pocket or bed caddy. These handy pockets slip in between the mattress and bed frame, allowing you easy access to the things you need without having to get out of bed.

Need more drawer organizer inspiration? We've got you covered.

Ashley Lipman advises that you consider what sort of bedroom you have before making any major changes to your bedroom workspace:

“If you’ve got a tiny apartment with a family, then you might put the kids in a bunk-bed. Also, bunk-beds with desks beneath can help you maximize a tiny room by combining the bedroom into the office.”

Conclusion

Organizing your bedroom is often the last room on your list and it can easily become a dumping ground for day-to-day detritus. Set yourself up for success with an organization system that works for you, and: 

  • Declutter & clean your room
  • Create zones to make the organization process less daunting
  • Tackle your closet
  • Get your underbed storage under control
  • Utilize wall space

Want to kick your imagination into high gear? Here’s one last tip from Ashley Lipman:

“As a final bit of imagination stimulation, consider the tiny home movement, and what innovations have developed there. You may be surprised at how creatively people have been able to maximize minimal space. Such tactics are perfect for any apartment, and especially the small ones.”

With your bedroom organized and decluttered, you can now add a few touches to enhance the now clutter-free space and create an even more comfortable, sleep-friendly environment. Consider treating yourself to:

  • Weekly flower delivery
  • Aromatherapy diffusers
  • A humidifier
  • Fresh new linens
  • House plants (if you get the right amount of natural light from your windows)
  • Blackout curtains
  • A white noise machine
  • A full-length mirror for your closet

Get more tips for organizing your home on Outside the Box.