We’ve all done it. Used our bedrooms as storage. Ugh! What were we thinking?!
Oh, it happened so innocently. Perhaps you got a box out of the attic to sort through seasonal clothing for the upcoming season. Then on a whim, you decided to have friends over for dinner. But there sat that box of clothing in the middle of the living room floor.
No problem; you can just set it in the bedroom for now.
But the weekend is over, and it’s back to work, children’s activities, grocery shopping, etc. You think to yourself, “There’s always next weekend to tackle that box.”
Next weekend came but there were kids’s ballgames. So, it’s okay that the box is in the way. You’d been working around it for a week now anyway. What’s another week?
Then you teen’s science fair project took up residence in your bedroom where the siblings wouldn’t destroy it before the science fair next month. Next month?!
And then the stack of magazines you were scouring for new recipes showed up.
The stack of T-shirts for the quilt have been washed, but you’re not quite ready to sew. So . . . yup, they’re now lurking in your bedroom.
You not only get the picture; you’ve actually lived with the mess. Your bedroom often becomes home to a barrage of items that don’t belong there in the first place.
Eventually, you decide you must sort through everything that is now at home in your bedroom.
Bedrooms are an easy target for clutter and extra storage space, but they shouldn’t be!
Instead of talking you through the usual organizing steps, I want to talk you through WHY you should organize your bedroom. Understanding the sanctity of that space will go along way in motivating you to get it organized and keeping it organized.
Bedrooms are for sleeping and ultimately resting.
It’s common information now that clutter adds mental weight. When our minds are heavy, rest is, at best, well . . . restless, and at worst, illusive. We simply cannot rest when we are buried in “stuff.” The “stuff” veritably screams out to us to put it away, meaning we do not truly rest.
Bedrooms provide a haven.
Relaxing by its very nature implies a haven. Think spa. Need I say more? We all long for time and a space to feel like the cares of the world are far away. Bedrooms should provide just that.
Have you ever been to a spa or salon where the boxes of shampoo, nail polish, or incense are sitting in the waiting room? There’s a reason that area and the massage rooms are clear of clutter.
Hotel rooms are a classic picture of why we like and need clutter free bedrooms. We all love the picture perfect place to relax. In fact, have you ever walked into your hotel room and just flopped on the bed with a deep sigh. Me too!
Your bedroom should be that space and evening should be that time to find your haven away from the cares of the world.
Bedrooms are often our only place of retreat.
There’s a lot of activity going on in a home: meal prep in the kitchen, eating in the dining room, homework in the kids’ bedrooms, TV watching in the family room. And sometimes the standards are all over the place: eating takes place in the kitchen or the family room and homework is done in the dining room. Nonetheless, home is a busy little place.
If we want to get away with a book, find a place to work on our planners/journals or just to think, we head to our bedrooms.
I know; I know. It won’t be long till some little fist comes rapping at the bedroom door, and somebody wants you for some reason. But the fact that there was even a knock at the door, tells us that for some reason, it’s understood that something quiet is going on in there, and he who enters needs to do it respectfully.
We all need to retreat away from the busyness of life from time to time. You want your bedroom to function that way for you or your spouse.
(We could deviate here and say the same applies to your guest bedroom. Do your guest find a retreat, a haven, a quiet resting place in the space you provide for them? Or do they feel like they are keeping you from your hobby?)
Organize as you will. But let me recommend some things to eliminate from your bedroom.
- Hobby paraphernalia – all of it! Even projects that you are presently working on. You don’t do them in your sleep anyway.
- Stacks of magazines that you plan to read before going to sleep. It’s doubtful you will.
- Removing a TV may be necessary if watching it makes you stay up later than you should.
- Electronic devices; unplug for a bit, for heaven’s sake.
- Laundry – if it’s clean, put it away; if it’s dirty, put it in the hamper. Your bed nor the floor are storage facilities.
- Any kind of box of any kind of thing. If you need the items in the container, then they need a “home” where you can get to them. A box is not a “home.” For anything.
- Clutter on your dresser top. What? You were able to make it to the dresser, but you couldn’t get the drawer open to put that item away?
When it comes to organizing your bedroom, you can go about it in a variety of ways. In the end, if you truly value your bedroom, it will serve you well.
When we talk about organizing for sports, most moms will roll their eyes. If you’ve ever been the mom of a sport’s participant, then you know just how many pieces of equipment even one sport can call for. But if you have multiple kids or even one kid in multiple sports, then the barrage of balls, bats and bags can . . . shall we say, make a mom shout, “Time out!”
I had three boys and a coaching husband ~ enough said!
Rule #1 – Organizing sports equipment is not a team effort.
Why? Two reason:
- Each person organizes his own equipment and apparel because he is the one using it, and he understands how he needs his paraphernalia to function for his best effort on a team.
Moms, as much as our family needs us, our kid really does have a brain that functions in its own unique way. What works for us may not work for him.
- It’s his responsibility. We want our kid to develop organizational skills; here’s a great place to start and/or refine those skills.
Rule #2 – The best games are built on the basics.
- Keep your storage simple. Don’t over organize. Our family had a sports gear storage station. It sat in our garage, and while it served to corral some bats and balls, it basically gathered dust.
- Our basic go-to equipment storage consisted of only three items. A net ball bag, a plastic storage crate, and a fiberboard barrel.
The crates were hung on nails in our garage wall, making it easy to grab a ball or store a ball on the way in and out of the house. The fiberboard barrel held bats and hockey sticks.
The net bag was kept in the trunk of our car. If you have boys, you know that no matter where you go or for whatever reason (read: it may even be a formal occasion), once you arrive, the first boy out of the car starts running out into an open field or parking lot, and the second boy out of the car emerges, ball in hand, yelling, “Go deep!”
Keeping the organizing basic means everyone is more likely to do his part.
- For traveling, he used the bag of his choice. Remember we don’t think the way our athlete does, nor do we understand all of what is required. A bag with a plastic pocket inside does allow for sweaty uniforms to be separated from otherwise dry clothing.
Which brings us to Rule #3 – If you play sports, the sports bag should always be packed and ready to go.
Have your player repack his “go-bag” as soon as he gets home, rather than right before he needs to leave for his next game or practice, minus, perhaps, the sweaty, smelly uniform that will need to be washed. Game equipment is really more protected in the sports bag than stored somewhere in the house.
Our society is so mobile and busy, keeping with basic equipment storage makes packing up and heading out the door easy. Why put sports equipment in some storage bin only to have to retrieve it and pack it in a travel bag of some kind? Equipment and apparel for games can be kept and stored in their sports bags ready to go.
Basic storage for home and sports bags for the athlete on the go – sounds like a win-win.
Have you ever found yourself in “information overload?” We get that by spending too much time on the internet.
Have you ever felt like you had “too many things to keep track of them all?” We get that by putting too much on our plate.
There is a great deal of information out there on how to prioritize, plan, set goals, declutter, let-go, say no, etc. There is plenty of information about how to find peace and calm in the midst of chaos. Sometimes all that information can actually contribute to the clutter in our brains.
When we find ourselves in the throes of mental overload, please, please find a system to meet your needs.
- Maybe you need to make lists in order to get everything done. And just maybe you think it would be better if someone else made out that list. Check out ListPlanIt.com and take a look at the household binders. (Affiliate.)
- Maybe you need a calendar to track your events and to-do lists.
- Maybe you need a timer to keep you focused.
- Maybe you need an accountability partner to check on you periodically to make sure you are staying with your goals.
- Maybe you need adjust the number of commitments that you have and say, “No” to more things.
But for sure you need to notice that the key word in both of the scenarios above is the word “we.”
You and I are the source of our own mental overload. Here are a few suggestions for decluttering your mental state:
- Decide to live your life according to the things that you value. If you value time with your family and that time comes in the evening, then you shouldn’t try to fill that time with hobbies, blogging, Pinterest, etc.
- Know that you will be saying “No” to some activities and to some people. No need to feel guilty.
- Learn to let go. Have you ever struggled to make a decision? But as soon as the decision is made, you feel such relief. The same thing is going on in your brain over:
- projects you have unfinished
- clothes in your closet
- books you haven’t read
- gifts you need to buy
- letters you need to write
- long lost friends you need to contact
You get the idea. Things that need to get done, but linger in the recesses of our minds create mental clutter. But we are the ones to relieve ourselves of the burden they create.
- Set aside some time to address the issue. Most of the issues will take less time than you think. they just need you to address them.
- Make the decision of what to do about the problem and follow through with the decision.
- Let it go. I assure you; you are the only one that is struggling over it.