Bedrooms are for sleeping, part 1

Simple living shouldn’t be about deprivation, but about avoiding the stress that often comes from too many possessions. One of the best examples of how this philosophy can be applied is in the bedroom.

Ideally, your bedroom is a place for sleeping. That is, it’s a place for rest and relaxation. Anything in your room that doesn’t contribute to the relaxation will likely only keep you from recharging your batteries. A TV will keep you up all night. Piles of books and work will only remind you of things you have to do or read. Clothes strewn about will evoke bad feelings about undone housework.

The first step toward this goal is to take everything out that doesn’t have to do with sleep or sex. Work desk with a computer? Find another room for it. Overflowing hamper? Put it in a closet or other space. For those of us who live in small urban apartments this might not be possible so placing a room dividing screen between the bed and the home office can help. Another tip that might help is taking all those photos off the walls and replacing them with a single big art piece, or maybe nothing at all?

Some great tips to make a bedroom a stress-free sanctuary include getting rid of extra linens. You only really need two sets (one to use while the other is being washed). That’ll cut on clutter beyond the bedroom. I suggest that when it comes to the two linen sets you do have you go for luxury. Most people spend at least eight hours in bed every day, and those eight hours have a big impact on how the rest of your day goes well. Why not outfit your bed with the most comfortable accoutrements you can find?

And don’t go pillow crazy. You only need a pillow or two for each person. A dozen little pillows are only dust-collecting fluffy clutter that you have to shuffle around every day. Avoid it.


This post has been updated since its original publication in 2007.

7 Comments for “Bedrooms are for sleeping, part 1”

  1. posted by veronica h. davis on

    Very helpful information to clear clutter from life.

  2. posted by fabulous roxy on

    this is true…i am at a point where seeing the clutter just drains my energy. i have been working the last two weeks at getting rid of stuff. you are right…i really do not need a lot of comforters, or pillows, or linens…

  3. posted by Aaron on

    The picture sure helps to inspire – any idea where it came from?

  4. posted by Jerry Brito on

    Aaron- I just did a Google image search for “japanese bedroom” and found it. Another search you might try for inspiration is “tatami room.”

  5. posted by Ellen on

    “You only need a pillow or two for each person”? Speak for yourself, please! I use four most nights, five on others: two squishy ones under my neck, two king-sized ones on either side to support my back when I roll over, and one on nights my ankle is acting up and needs extra support. We’re not all young and/or able-bodied, and we don’t all sleep in the same ways.

  6. posted by Jerry Brito on

    Ellen, That’s right, we’re not all the same. But you have to admit that you’re the outlier.

  7. posted by Sal on

    While I agree that clutter is unsightly and distracting, may I just say that I would really hate to live in a room like this? It looks cold, uninviting and boring. If all you’re going to do in the room is to sleep, why not have a smaller room? At least that way, you wouldn’t have all that empty, barren, unfriendly space around you.

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