My 5 golden rules for a clutter-free bedroom, as a professional home organizer

'I tend to be flexible on rules around my house, but I will always protect my room from accumulating clutter'

bedroom with green and pink bedding
(Image credit: Future PLC)

My favorite thing to do after I put the kids to bed is climb into my own bed with a good book. 

I ensure the room is cool and have the pillows and covers just right. It's the perfect way to relax after a long day, and I love waking up refreshed and ready for a new day.

Sleep can sometimes be elusive, but some home organization tricks can help you catch more z's. 

Golden rules for a clutter-free bedroom

Here are my five golden rules for a clutter-free bedroom to set you up for successful sleep.

Relaxing bedroom in flax blue by Neptune Clemmie headboard

(Image credit: Neptune)

1. Use closed storage as much as possible

Using closed storage is a golden rule for many rooms and especially applies to a bedroom. Nightstands can collect various things, such as lip balm, hand cream, tissues, TV remotes, books, magazines, and sound machines. Some people keep pen and paper by their bed, journals, and iPads. All of this will look cluttered and may even prevent your brain from 'turning off,' so if you find things collecting by your bed, look for a nightstand with drawers or a cabinet with shelves. Use simple drawer dividers, at Amazon, so you can quickly grab what you need.

Dressers and chests are pretty standard in a bedroom, but I have a little trick, so they work extra hard for you. Choose one drawer and avoid putting clothes in it. Instead, use it for the items that tend to flow in and out of the bedroom. In our house, my husband tends to empty his pockets after a work day, so he puts things in the drawer. In a drawer divider, of course. I'll put clothes that need mending in the drawer or items I need to return to someone. It's the perfect holding place for items that are in between where they belong.

2. Limit items unrelated to sleep

Relaxing bedroom with White Company bedding and throws

(Image credit: The White Company)

Sometimes, even closed storage can't contain the clutter, which is when you must be ruthless about what is allowed in your bedroom. I have a friend who doesn't allow kids' toys in her bedroom, which is brilliant. Think about what types of things end up in your bedroom and how you can prevent that from happening. Do a quick pick-up in the evening so your bedroom feels like a sanctuary rather than a drop-zone when it's time to go to bed.

Sometimes, a bedroom has to do double duty. You may have a desk or piece of workout equipment in your bedroom. Totally fine. Try to create little zones in your room so that the exercise accessories are in one area and the desk/work-related items are contained. You don't want those items to wander over to your sleep space and distract you when you go to bed.

3. Keep floors clear

Items on the floor make even a tidy space look cluttered. Similar to a family room, pillows, and blankets often end up on the floor, so consider having fewer bed accessories if you aren't a fan of making your bed.

Keeping the space under your bed clear is essential so you aren't subconsciously stimulated by the items stored there. Having a storage box peeking out is a quick way to a cluttered room, but sometimes, you need to use that space for extra storage. If you must use the area under your bed for storage, ensure the items aren't visible.

Finally, evaluate your furniture and what's necessary. Chairs and benches, standard pieces in bedrooms, are usually used more as clothes hangers than as seats. If your furniture collects clutter, consider moving it elsewhere in your home.

4. Put clothes away right away

I know, I know. Sometimes, you really don't want to take the extra step to put away your clothes, but I promise it will be worth the extra 45 seconds to put away clothes you can wear again or toss dirty clothes in the hamper. I know it feels easier to toss your clothes on the chair in the corner, but that one piece of clothing will become a monster of a pile in no time.

I have a couple of hooks in my closet where we hang things we wore briefly one day and will wear again the next day. It's for items that aren't dirty, and we will wear them again soon, so there's no need to put them away.

5. Ensure furnishings are easily cleaned

Parquet wood flooring in a bedroom

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Bedrooms tend to be dusty, and excessive dust, pet hairballs, and wispy spider webs will instantly make a room look cluttered. Ensure you can easily wipe down surfaces, wash linens, and vacuum or wash window coverings. We have kids and pets that tend to pile on our bed, so we wash our bed sheets often for a fresh, crisp look.

Keep décor, framed photos, and knick-knacks on nightstands and dressers to a minimum. These items tend to translate as clutter; without them, it will be much easier to keep the surfaces clean.

It’s hard for me to fall asleep if my room is cluttered because the little piles of things are reminders of incomplete tasks. I can’t turn my brain off with pending tasks running through my mind. I tend to be flexible on rules around my house, but I will always protect my room from accumulating clutter. If you find it difficult to relax in your bedroom, try these five golden rules. Clearing the clutter just may be the solution, helping you to sleep better.

For more inspiration, head to my golden rules for a clutter-free kitchen and living room.

Caroline Roberts
Contributing expert

Caroline Roberts, a certified KonMari Consultant and professional organizer, founded the organizing agency The Simplified Island in 2019. Caroline believes being organized goes much deeper than pretty bins and can be life-changing. She recognized her organizing and streamlining skills were unique as she ran her marketing agency, Coastal Connections Marketing, and raised her two sons.