9 things a professional designer will never keep in his bedroom
The bedroom should be a quiet and relaxing place so that you can enjoy the best possible quality of sleep, but often, this private space is invaded by untidy habits. Professional declutterers and KonMari practitioners—including members of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Regulators (APDO), and the Spark Joy Collective of KonMari consultants—have a list of things that should never be allowed in a boudoir. Follow their practical advice and prioritize what needs to stay – and go – when you snuggle.
1. A TV
Says Sian Bielski, President of APDO and Founder of Sorted! It is a known fact that screen time prevents your brain from producing melatonin which aids your brain in its sleep-wake cycle. The bedroom should be a place for rest and recuperation. This is not likely to happen easily when you’re stuck watching stuff on TV.
“I wouldn’t have a TV in my bedroom either,” agrees APDO and Spark Joy Collective member Rosie Barron, founder of The Tidy Coo. “The whole purpose of the bedroom is restful sleep and having blue light electronics does a disservice to that.”
Blue light acts as a signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up, says Kate Galbally, APDO member and founder of Better Organized: “Watching TV can mess with your circadian rhythm. It can affect the ability to fall asleep, as well as the quality of your sleep.”
So get rid of your TV, remote control, digital box and other tech gadgets and you’ll also get rid of the clutter that takes up precious space.
A messy, ever-growing pile of clothes on the floor isn’t just a teen thing: “Get rid of it,” says Victoria Nicholson, founder of My Wardrobe Zen and member of the Spark Joy Collective. Get everything off the floor and go back to the closet. It will really save you time in the morning when you’re not scribbling in a pile.
Plus, it’s safer, adds Kate Galbali. Not only does a floating dress look untidy, but it can also make it dangerous if you need to get up during the night. Make it easy on yourself by having an open-top laundry bag to dump dirty clothes into. Discarded clothes tend to attract more discarded clothes – which leads to a huge mountain of hard to contend with. “
Avoid tossing clothes around where they don’t belong, says Jane Fearn, a member of the Spark Joy Collective and owner of Simply Tidy With Jane: “The bedroom environment needs to help you feel safe, peace, loved, and comfortable, sprinkled with soothing joy.”
So transform that laundry pile, deal with those chairs piled high, and tackle the wardrobe that isn’t working as it should because of excess.
3. Too many ornaments
Here’s another piece of advice from Victoria Nicholson: “Think of the last time you were on holiday and stayed in a hotel and how easy it was to fall asleep in such a peaceful and uncluttered environment.”
Now look around your bedroom, she says. Are you guilty of commenting on trinkets you don’t even like, hanging pictures you can’t find anywhere else, or leaving empty perfume bottles for “show” because you can’t bear to part with them?
They all add up to bedroom clutter. And having that constant “to-do list” reminder won’t help you relax.
‘Treat your bedroom as your sanctuary, a quiet place where you can relax deeply,’ says Mimi Bogelund, Spark Joy Collective member and founder of Home & Life. Make time for a thorough cleaning, deep cleaning, bed linen change and laundering of all soft furnishings. Open the blinds and windows. It will ensure you a better sleep with fresh air and a clean and tidy room.
4. Exercise equipment
There are many reasons why treadmills, rowing machines, cross-trainers, and even free weights are a no-go in the bedroom, disposal experts say.
Jane Lee, APDO member and founder of Jane Lee Interiors, wouldn’t have an exercise bike in her bedroom: “Because, first, they’re magnets for clutter—I don’t remember ever seeing one that wasn’t covered in clothes!” And secondly, bedrooms ideally provide a reassuring and peaceful haven dedicated to rest and romance. Bulky exercise bikes, treadmills, and cross trainers conjure up an image of high-energy workouts rather than calm.
Find an extra bedroom or an outdoor building instead, is her advice: “Staring at the silhouette of an exercise bike as you fall asleep—especially if you’re feeling guilty about not exercising that day—is hardly conducive to a good night’s sleep.” But if you really don’t have another place, lock it up for the night.
Also, exercise equipment in bedrooms is unsanitary and can actually be harmful to our (mental) health, says Elizabeth Weeks, APDO member and founder of The Life Organizer. Do not wipe regularly. And if it is not used, it can become a regular reminder of guilt that we should use, remove and/or sell it. Not great for our mental health.
5. Your mobile phone
Most bumbling connoisseurs of phones—and messy charger cables—would give orders to haul them out of the bedroom, but that’s not always practical. To limit your phone presence, look at the rituals and rhythms that support you and adjust accordingly. For example, no phones in bed after 9 p.m. or until you wake up and get dressed in the morning,” suggests Spark Joy Collective member and lifestyle coach Jenny Hayes.
Here’s good advice from Mimi Bogelund: “If you need to be contacted in an emergency, leave the phone away from the bed, but you can hear it and tell family to call instead of sending a message, so if it’s urgent they get to you.”
A pen and a small notepad in the drawer, “just in case I wake up in the night and need to write something down,” is the only paperwork Sue Spencer, Master Konmarie counselor, APDO member and founder of A Life More Organized, allows in her bedroom.
You avoid piles of papers, books, and things on the bedside table or piling up around the bed because that clutter is an extra stimulus and noise for your brain to process.
Many of us now work from home, and the bedroom is often where we end up with our laptop and files. If that’s you, Craig Hoarrow, APDO Member and Founder of A Tidy Mind – South London, says: ‘If you only have your bedroom to work from, try hiding it in a way that it doesn’t show when you go to bed or put things away after the work day. Use drawers or a shelf in closed cabinets.
Sue Spencer also recommends changing up the lighting – so turn on a softer lamp to help with relaxation – and lighting a candle to “change the mood in the room” and make it feel like a different space.
Jacqueline McLeod, director of communications for APDO and founder of Bancrofts Organization Services, refuses to allow late-night snacks or breakfast in the bed next door.
“I wouldn’t have food in my bedroom because my bedroom is my sanctuary that’s been curated in a way that supports our health through the right scents, lighting, design, layout, and elements,” she says. “Food is out of place in this space and defeats the purpose of a bedroom that’s all about quiet activity before bed.”
8. Flimsy curtains
To get a deeper, more restful sleep, blackout window treatments are always the best way to go, says Rebecca Roberts, APDO member and founder of Curate My Space. So remove your blinds or bulletproof drapes. Keep it dark inside, especially in children’s rooms and in the northern hemisphere where it’s late light and early summer light.
9. Coats, shoes and outerwear
Keep outerwear out of bedrooms, says Mimi Bogelund, because it will bring in dirt and debris from the outside world: ‘Outerwear and shoes have always had contact with benches and the streets. This is not a good combination in the privacy of your bedroom. If you don’t have the option to keep them anywhere else, find space in a dresser rather than on the floor or a chair.
“As much as I love my sweet dog, I draw the line at sharing my ‘sanctuary’ with her,” says Anita Fortes, APDO member and founder of A Neater Life Professional Organizing. “I would never put my dog in my bedroom. Dog hair, pebbles, random toys, muddy paws, not to mention About the dog’s delicious smell There should be one “dog-free” area in my house, and it has to be the boudoir.
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Independent home and property writer
Jayne specializes in how-to stories for House Beautiful magazine and writes on a wide range of topics, from gardening and DIY to pampering and mindfulness. Based in Yorkshire, she recently renovated a 1920s house, where she lives with her family.