Experts agree we should treat our bedrooms as sacred, peaceful spaces where sleep is the main objective. But many of us continue to keep certain items in our bedrooms that can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Ahead, we’ll explore what things to get rid of in a bedroom, listing the items you shouldn’t keep in this space so you can achieve the sleep you need.
Things to get rid of in your bedroom
As a professional organizer who devises design solutions to support a sense of well-being, Erica Thompson, owner and founder of Organized by Design, shares her top items to keep out of bedrooms:
1. Electronic devices
Check them at the door. If you use your phone as an alarm, place it face down or put it in a nightstand drawer to decrease light exposure. Or better yet, purchase a digital alarm clock.
2. Food and drink
Alcohol before bed can cause you to wake up earlier than usual and/or lose hours of sleep. (Learn more about how alcohol affects sleep.)
Have a shut-off time and place for work and leave it out of your bedroom. Give yourself time to detach from the day. If you’re staring at that report that needs to be completed right before bed, then you won’t drift off to sleep.
Keeping your bedroom tidy adds to the ease with which you unwind and sleep. When you’re focused on the unfinished—laundry, bills, an over-stuffed nightstand—your brain can’t turn off.
Take a few minutes at the end, or beginning, of your day to put things away. It helps ease anxiety and lets your brain relax.
5. Bright colors
Too many bold colors can keep the brain in alert mode. Bedrooms need to feel like sanctuaries, and the more visual cues signaling that, the better.
Think calming neutral tones—grays, creams, oatmeals, and even rich charcoals and navies can create a feeling that’s settled and secure.
6. Inconveniently-placed lighting
Having a floor lamp or a lamp placed beyond easy nightstand reach can disrupt that gradual relaxation. Imagine you’re enjoying a book and are ready to doze off, but you first have to get out of bed to turn off the overhead light. Keep your lamps or light switches within effortless reach of your bed.
The bottom line
Keep your bedroom your bedroom, says Thompson. “Separate it from other areas of your life and home so that it is its own space,” she says. “Bring in things that soothe you. Decorate it to make it a true sanctuary. Create a space that you look forward to going to and detaching from at the end of your day—and a place you enjoy waking up in.”
After all, your room is the first thing you see when you start your day, adds Thompson. “A clean, clutter-free, well-designed bedroom affects how well you sleep, and sleep is the foundation for a successful and productive day, mental clarity, and stability,” she says.
Keep these must-have items in your bedroom for better sleep
What should not be kept in the bedroom?
Thompson lists the key items that can disrupt sleep since they can cause your brain to become overactive. They include electronic devices, food and drink, anything that’s work-related, clutter, bright colors, and lighting that’s not within reach of your bed.
How do you get rid of things you don’t need in your room?
“Take inventory of where you sleep and ask yourself what in here is adding to and what is taking away from my mental well-being and ability to get a good night’s sleep,” Thompson says. “Anything that gives you anxiety or even simply keeps you on alert must go.” Sometimes, you don’t need to get rid of things—you can simply relocate them to other places in the home, she adds.
What is a must-have in a bedroom?
Thompson lists her top must-haves for creating an organized, restful sleeping space. They include:
- A comfortable and supportive mattress
- Good pillows
- Good-quality, cozy bedding
- Blackout curtains
- Lamps or pendant lights to create low lighting
- A scent that relaxes you, like lavender pillow spray or sachets
Looking to give your bedroom a makeover? Here are the top bedroom decorating mistakes to avoid.