While it might offer up a temporary solution for our worn-but not-quite-dirty clothes, the bedroom ‘clothes chair’, as it’s affectionately known, can quickly spiral out of control. One better than a ‘floordrobe’, we admit, but still an eyesore that demands a declutter – quickly.
Yes it’s not great to look at, but that’s not the only reason why you should prioritize the ‘clothes chair’ when decluttering a bedroom. According to the experts, clutter creates ‘bad energy’ and impacts stress levels, so it could be the reason you’re not getting the best night’s sleep. Not only that, but it’s not doing your clothes much good either.
‘Continually adding to the pile means the clothes at the bottom become wrinkled and unwearable anyway, so there’s really no point in them being there! By decluttering clothes and clearing the chair you’ll save yourself unnecessary laundry and ironing, plus your clothes will stay in better condition, too’, says professional organizer Diane Quintana, co-founder of Release Repurpose Reorganize.
How to declutter the bedroom ‘clothes chair’
Decluttering the bedroom clothes chair is a good first step, but your long-term goal is to prevent the pile-up from happening in the first place.
‘Re-thinking your closet organization ideas, reshuffling your clothes storage ideas and organizing clothes so you’ve got a sensible system in place will make it easier and quicker to put items away, making the chair a far less appealing storage spot’, says Millie Hurst, Solved Section Editor, Homes & Gardens.
With that in mind, we’ve put together our top tips for decluttering the bedroom clothes chair, as well as ways to organize a bedroom so it remains clutter-free going forwards.
Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, overseeing the Solved section, which provides readers with practical advice for their homes. Millie has written about and tried out countless cleaning and DIY hacks in the six years since she became a journalist, and has worked in both London and New York.
1. Start with a sort out
First thing’s first, go through every item on your chair and place it into one of three piles; definitely clean, definitely dirty and could-wear-again. Hang or fold the clean items and put them away, or set them aside if they need mending/adjusting. Dirty clothes can go straight into the laundry hamper. Try and make a habit of doing this straight away in the future.
Once you’ve done that, you should have a much smaller stack of clothing to deal with. The ‘could-wear-again' items aren’t quite as straightforward, but implementing the steps below should prevent them from taking up permanent chair residence.
2. Free up space in your closet
If the reason you’ve got a bedroom clothes chair problem in the first place is because you’re short on bedroom storage ideas, it’s time to do something about it – shoving clothes into an overflowing closet is counterproductive anyway. Investing in more storage might be what’s needed, but in the interests of living a more ‘minimal’ lifestyle, experts advise you to declutter and organize your existing clothing collection first.
‘If you’re wanting to declutter your clothes fast, but struggling to make decisions, Chicago based organization expert Jessica Litman advises trying items on. ‘How does it make you feel? There’s nothing worse than wearing clothes you don’t feel good in, so if that’s the case, remove it from your closet straightaway’, she says.
3. Designate an alternative storage spot
It can be tricky to know what to do with those not-quite-dirty clothes. So tricky in fact, that you can easily end up doing nothing at all. If you want to avoid the inevitable pile-up, you’ll need to assign a specific space to store them so it’s quick and easy to put them away – ideally somewhere out of sight.
‘You think that you'll just put that one item on the chair, but before you know it, there's an entire pile! Conceal mess and free up space by introducing hidden storage solutions. You can empty and organize a dresser drawer, clear a spot on a closet shelf or add a hanging hook (like this one from Amazon) to your closet rod specifically for clothes that aren't quite ready for the hamper just yet’, says professional organizer Susan Santoro of Organized 31.
Consider adding scented drawer liners or hanging sachets to give your clothing an extra boost of freshness, or use a fabric freshening spray, like this one at Amazon.
A veteran, parent educator, and mother of three, Susan is also a certified organizational specialist helping people to declutter and downsize, and organize homes in tough times.
4. Implement the ‘48-hour rule’
If a few clothes on the chair doesn’t bother you, that’s fine, we’re not denying it’s convenience, particularly if you’re planning on wearing the items the very next day. To prevent that pile from building though, you’ll need to implement the 48-hour bedroom decluttering rule.
‘The clue’s in the name – if it’s been on the chair for 48-hours, it needs to be dealt with. Either put it in the wardrobe, in the laundry basket or to one side if it needs particular attention; mending, altering, dry cleaning or donating, for example’, says Jennifer Ebert, Digital Editor, Homes & Gardens.
Jen is the Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.
5. Establish a routine
It’s one thing decluttering the clothes chair, but if you want it to stay that way, you’ll need to commit to a regular routine for putting away clothes.
‘Consistency is key to preventing the clothes chair from making a comeback!’ says Karina Toner, operations manager at Washington DC based Spekless Cleaning. ‘Make it a habit every morning or evening to sort through what’s there. If there are dirty items, start a load of laundry. This ensures that you're not just relocating the problem to a different part of the room’.
6. Consider a capsule clothing collection going forwards
The less clothes you have, the easier it is to keep them well-organized. ‘Whenever you buy a new piece of clothing, make it a rule to donate something you already own. This not only controls the clutter but also encourages thoughtful purchasing. Don’t be tempted to impulse buy either; ask yourself if it’s something you really need or want’, says Jess Farinha, founder of London House Cleaners.
How do I get rid of clutter in my bedroom?
Clutter in general isn’t the best, but in a bedroom, it’s a big no no. Have a good look around – the only items that deserve to be ‘on show’ are those that promote sleep and relaxation, so start by removing anything that’s not ‘bedroom-specific’ and find a different home for it.
Next, move onto closets, dressers and other storage areas. Don’t forget lesser-frequented spots, such as under-bed drawers or inside an ottoman bed. Clothing in particular can be tricky to declutter; you’re likely more attached to things than you might think. Try and be strict with yourself, but if there’s items you really can’t bear to part with, at least move them outside of prime storage space.
Don’t forget surfaces. Bedside tables and dresser tops are clutter-hot spots, so ensure you’ve got sensible storage to contain it. Enlist the help of drawers dividers to sort smaller items or use stylish and space-saving stackable containers for organizing makeup and toiletries. Trinket trays look pretty, and ensure loose jewelry doesn’t go missing.
It’s worth rethinking your bedroom storage options, too, particularly if you’re organizing a small bedroom. Is what you’ve currently got working hard enough? Consider investing in under-bed storage and / or multifunctional furniture pieces to utilize the space you’ve got to its best potential.
Ultimately, a bedroom chair is for seating, not storage, so you’ll need to find another home for those not-so-dirty clothes. How far you go to declutter a bedroom clothes chair will depend on you and your lifestyle. Undertaking the ‘48-hour rule’ might be all you need to prevent a pile-up, but if yours is particularly clutter-prone, rethinking closet storage, organizing clothes, and instilling everyday habits may well be necessary.
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For 10 years, Tara King worked as a Content Editor in the magazine industry, before leaving to become freelance, covering interior design, wellbeing, craft and homemaking. As well as writing for Ideal Home, Style at Home, Country Homes & Interiors, Tara’s keen eye for styling combined with a passion for creating a happy – and functional – family home has led to a series of organization and cleaning features for H&G.
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