A Simple Approach to Living With Less

How to Create Your Bedroom Oasis

The state of your bedroom will deeply impact your last thought of every day and your first feeling of every morning. If you are surrounded by clutter, you will feel unsettled while a clear space facilitates calmness.

I love my big family, but if I didn’t have my bedroom to escape to I would quickly lose my mind. If my bedroom isn’t free of clutter, then I lose my little getaway of calmness.

Bedroom Clutter Comes in Many Forms

  • Laundry Explosion
  • Paper Clutter
  • Work Distractions
  • Closet Disorganization
  • Sloppy Shelves
  • Lost Toys

Clutter comes in many forms and can tricky to deal with, but there are certain steps to creating and maintaining your bedroom oasis.

Action Steps for a Bedroom Oasis

  1. Take immediate action. Stalling never works when it comes to conquering bedroom clutter. Whether it’s putting away laundry or dejunking your shelves, attack the project now or it will become easier and easier to overlook.
  2. Start with the Visible Piles. File the receipts off the dresser, trash the catalogs and magazines sitting in a pile, and get rid of the stack of clothes still waiting to be put away.
  3. Remove the Distractions. If you leave projects or work related items laying out in your bedroom you will unconsciously go to sleep feeling like you have something left to do. For better rest, keep the work out of your room.
  4. Conceal the Disorganization. Even the cleanest closets and bookshelves can have a disorganized feel to them. Keeping the mess out of sight can help. If you aren’t able to keep the contents concealed behind doors, consider hanging curtains or adding a privacy screen.
  5. Uncover as Much Floor Space as Possible. Creating more open spaces will add to the serene feeling in your bedroom. Look around your room with a critical eye and consider removing any extra pieces of furniture or downsizing the pieces you already have. We have decided to switch from a king size bed with a bulky frame to a queen size platform bed with storage underneath in an effort to gain more floor space. I can’t wait for the transformation.
  6. Make Simplicity the Goal. From choosing simple room decorations to removing knick knacks, keep simplicity as your focus. Choose things that are meaningful to you and serve a purpose rather than things that just take up space.
  7. Be Proactive. Don’t wait for your room to get cluttered before you take action. It is so much easier to take a few minutes throughout your day to put things away and stay one step ahead of the clutter. Waiting until the mess is unavoidable is incredibly discouraging and distracting.

Do you have any tips to share on creating a bedroom oasis? I’d love to hear them in the comment section.


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photo by Spanishale

Article originally published on 01/24/2011

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  1. I loved this post!

    I definitely agree – floor space is critical. What’s one of the first things people say when they organize? “Wow, I can see the floor!”

    Great job – have a great day!

    • Faith Janes says

      Thanks, Robert. And I also just read your comment on Art of Minimalism today about moving on from minimalism. I loved it, saved it, and will refer to it often. Thanks for your insight!

  2. Great tips Faith! Having a place to retreat to is so important! I am a pile-r so I have to be careful not to let my bedroom accumulate piles! One thing we splurged and did a few years ago was to purchase and install and white wall unit with doors on them from Ikea. So instead of a dresser top where we dump pockets, etc, it is all kept behind doors. If I keep my piles cleared away, it is actually a very nice refuge! Hmm. Know what I need to add to my list of things to do!
    Oh and my latest post is about getting sleep, having a restful bedroom would help with that as well! Get enough sleep

    • Faith Janes says

      We have an IKEA bookshelf with frosted doors in our room too. It doubles as a bookshelf and my dresser. It’s so nice for keeping things out of sight.

      • …Billy? We have two with frosted glass doors.
        But we still found you could see ‘too much’ through them, so we added a sheet of wallpaper 2cm behind the glass. People will now ask where we bought these ‘one-of-a-kind’ closets.

  3. I like having a solid color, neutral bedcover. It helps me feel calm not being distracted by the visual clutter of the print or pattern on the bedspread. Its probably just personal taste, but its so nice and calming at night when the light is off and just the lamp is on, and it spill across the cream color bedpread that has been turned down. Its very inviting when your tired and ready to rest.

    • Faith Janes says

      With downsizing our bed I want to go back to solid colors too. The other thing I want to do is lower our pillow count. It’s really gotten out of control and makes the bed feel cluttered to me.

  4. Jill Foley says

    I’ve done well with this concept for our bedroom, but now want to implement this same idea in my girls’ room. It’s a bit harder as their room houses all their toys and books, but taking the time to make sure everything is put away well goes miles in this department.

  5. Faith,

    Perfect timing for me! We’ve got a “sort of” oasis going on in the bedroom. All items have been reduced to a minimum and I can “see” that it could be very serene. Right now we’re still saddled with a queen size bed in a very small space. That’s probably the biggest issue. But we haven’t spent the money to buy a smaller mattress set because we’re not sure if we’re leaving come springtime.

    The second biggest issue is the “giant” kitchen hutch in the bedroom. (Not our house so we can’t control it. She cleared everything out of the room but the hutch.) Hopefully it will sell in the yard sale we’re helping her put on and that will open up the space tremendously. Please somebody come buy this hutch. Please!


  6. Our bedroom is the one room in our house that isn’t usually too cluttered. And I feel so relaxed if I go in there and the bed is made and the floor is vacuumed (because if the carpet has been vacuumed it means everything has been picked up off the floor).

    Now, for step 7 so that it stays tidy and relaxing…

  7. Our bedroom is pretty much an oasis, we repainted it in a soft warm sunflower glow and we have a minimal amount of furniture, but laundry can’t even be given an inch or it gets out of control in there. I do have to work on the closet – for the most part it is empty and doesn’t have many “closet” things in it.

    What your post is making reconsider is the top of our book shelf which has special items of meaning – what some people would call an altar or meditation space – sometimes it feels like it dominates the room, or at the very least pulls the eye to it. I have considered recreating the space in the closet, but then it becomes kind of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. I’d love to hear ideas of what other people have done with this.

  8. We live in a fairly small house with a family of 4. clutter seems to be always an issue. Both my husband and I have agreed to a few rules for the bedroom. No TV or computers. Bed is made daily. It’s not a place for piles. We designate our room to be the least cluttered and most serene.
    We also believe in everything in moderation so occasionally we take the laptop in to get away from screaming kids and 6 out of 7 days a week the bed is made. We’ve been able to keep on top of the clutter- it gets pushed out to the living room!

  9. Last but not least (Ok, Molly mentioned this earlier, but I think it’s such an important one)

    Noooooooooooooo T.V.!!! 😉

    I agree with a bedroom needing to be a serene space. Since we moved into our recent home (about 3 years ago) we’ve been thinking about what ‘theme’ we wanted to give our bedroom. So far, the question hasn’t ever been answered. We have a pretty large bedroom, which up until now (and really.. I just know it’s going to stay that way!) only features a bed (duh!) a clothes-closet (Ikea pax system) and my wife’s wedding dress on a dress-doll.

    She figured it either needed a space where it can be seen permanently, or it should go out the door. So this way, it may catch a little (or a lot) of dust and will eventually fall apart because of the sunlight, but it’s better to have enjoyed looking at it for years than to have it in pristine condition in a closet somewhere..

    Greetings from the Netherlands! 🙂

  10. My bedroom always feels better with a freshly-made bed. Although I don’t have the discipline to do it every day, it sure makes a difference when I make the effort!

  11. Great post! I recently tackled my master bedroom. I made some blocks to put under my bed so that I could use under bed storage containers. Took a dresser out of there and moved it to another part of the house. Then moved all the clothes items (socks, under garments and t-shirts) to the master closet where I get dressed in the mornings. Then moved a easy chair into the room where the dresser had been, so I have a comfortable place to read.

  12. Mariah Allard says

    A round of applause for your blog post.Thanks Again. Want more.


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