Items to never store in a bedroom – atmosphere-killers designers always veto

8 items that have no place in your bedroom, according to the experts

(Image credit: Future / TI Media / Adam Carter Photo / Nune Design Studio)

Your bedroom very much represents you, housing all your personal items, from clothes, favorite books, diaries, and photos, to your prized decor items. But often the lines of what you should and should never store in your bedroom can become blurred, leading you to keep a number of miscellaneous items in your room, creating clutter.

To maintain a tranquil and relaxing bedroom, it's important that certain items that don't contribute to the atmosphere, aesthetics, or purpose stay out of this space. This can begin by organizing your bedroom to determine what and what doesn't belong.

Our experts have shared the top items you should never keep in your bedroom.

Items to never store in a bedroom

Your bedroom should never come to resemble a storage locker, so items that don't serve a bedroom-related purpose or are counterintuitive to creating a calming space must go.

My bedroom has always been my favorite room in the house, it's the place to unwind after a long day, enjoy lazy Sundays in, and to take pride in its carefully curated décor. However, I notice my enjoyment of this room sharply declines whenever I let everything get out of place and a host of random objects pile up, which is why having a routine to assess which items don't belong in your bedroom and taking them elsewhere is key to creating an inviting environment. 

1. Mattresses and pillows that are out-of-date or subpar

Wooden ceiling, bed

(Image credit: Future / TI Media / Adam Carter Photo)

One of the most easily forgotten items that don't belong in a bedroom are mattresses and pillows that have become worn out and uncomfortable. 

'Old, lumpy mattresses or unsupportive pillows might be clandestinely affecting your sleep,' advises Keely Smith, interior designer expert at Home Stratosphere. 'Periodically reviewing the state of your bedding can be a game-changer, ensuring your sleep haven remains just that – a haven.'

If you haven't purchased a new mattress in a while and find that you're not sleeping as well as you once did, this may mean it's time for a change.

If you're wondering how often should you change your mattress, the answer is around every ten years. For how often you should change your pillows, this should be every one to two years, and to keep them comfortable and not clumpy, give them a good fluffing every now and then.

Keely Smith
Keely Smith

Keely Smith is an interior designer expert and artist at Home
Stratosphere, a leading interior design studio in North Vancouver, BC. With over 10 years of experience, she's helped numerous businesses and individuals realize their interior design goals. 

2. Items for storage

Contemporary, light and bright bedroom with double bed, rounded small mirror mounted on wall above, large textured pendant hanging above bed, brown small sofa at foot of bed, large patterned grey and brown rug at end of bed, sofa in large bay window area

(Image credit: Jessica Bennett of Alice Lane Interior Design, photography by Nicole Gerulat)

Keeping a collection of miscellaneous items in your bedroom is the number one bedroom storage mistake that can lead to your bedroom feeling incohesive and cluttered.

Don't let old clothes sit around waiting to be taken to the charity shop, keep excessive amounts of books lying around, or leave random items cluttering up your drawer.

Muffetta Krueger at Muffetta's Domestic Assistants advises, 'While under-bed storage can be helpful, it's essential to keep it organized and not let it become a dumping ground for clutter.'

For a while, I ended up using my bedside drawer to store just about any item that had made its way into my room, including toiletries, books, receipts, portable chargers... the list goes on. Not only was this unrelaxing, but made it impossible to find anything I needed, and when it came to items that I needed to keep in my bedside table, there was no space left.

'Limit storage to essentials. Big items and old journals are better placed elsewhere,' suggests, Artem Kropovinsky, founder at Arsight.

If you have a 'dump' drawer or shelf in your bedroom, comb through it and find a proper space for everything. This can mean finding some innovative bedroom storage solutions for the essential items. The benefit of creating order in a bedroom should never be underestimated in its ability to make your bedroom more enjoyable and easy to navigate.

Muffetta Krueger
Muffetta Krueger

Muffetta Krueger is a cleaning expert and founder of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants with over 16 years of operational management experience in the service industry. Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants provides housekeepers, house cleaners and maids, and is based in New York.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.

3. Work clutter

Wooden desk, orange curtains, blue walls

(Image credit: Stephan Kent Johnson/Otto)

With people increasingly working from home, for many, their bedroom is slowly morphing into a home office. However, it's important to balance your personal and work life by ensuring your bedroom remains a place of rest and relaxation instead of one where you never leave work mode.

'Combining workspaces with sleep environments can be challenging,' says interior designer and founder of Kaiko Design Interiors, Nicholas Kaiko. 'An overflowing work desk introduces visual noise and can be a source of stress, and reminding us of pending tasks or responsibilities. This blend can affect the quality of sleep and relaxation, and lead us to associate the bedroom with work-related stress.'

Make sure not to allow work clutter such as documents, electronics, work calendars, and schedules to remain in your bedroom. Anything that brings you out of your relaxing space and conflates work and relaxation in your mind should not be stored (at least on show) in your bedroom. This will help you to sleep better.

'To maintain the bedroom as a sanctuary, consider situating workspaces in a different room or using multifunctional furniture to hide away work clutter when it's time to wind down,' suggests Nicholas Kaiko. We've listed some of our top picks below.

4. Excessively bright lighting fixtures

Bedroom Feng Shui with white scheme

(Image credit: Nune Design Studio)

'Lighting plays a pivotal role in setting the mood of any space,' says Nicholas Kaiko. 'Overly bright or harsh lighting fixtures, especially those not suited for a bedroom, can shatter the ambiance.'

There's nothing worse than coming into your bedroom in the evening and only having a harsh overhead light to turn on, leaving you considering popping on your sunglasses. Exposure to bright and cold lighting before bedtime can make sleeping more challenging since it will inhibit sleep-inducing melatonin production, according to sleep scientists. This is one of the biggest bedroom lighting mistakes, which is why it's important to choose 'subdued, warm lighting instead of stark, bright options; it's all about ambiance,' recommends Artem Kropovinsky.

Nicholas Kaiko adds, 'Opt for ambient and layered bedroom lighting solutions. Adjustable and soft-lit options, such as dimmable lamps, can help create a warm and inviting atmosphere essential for relaxation,' making them them some of best type of bedroom lighting.

5. Plants

Blue flower wallpaper, black bedframe, wooden bedside table

(Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

While bedroom plants can be a great way to add an air of fresh natural decor into your room, and some plants can even help with sleep, there are downsides to be aware of, and some plants should never be stored in your bedroom. 

Michael Bader, cleaning expert at We Clean Bathrooms warns, 'Plants can release allergens into the air. Some plants, such as ragweed and pollen-producing plants, can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. 

'Additionally, plants can attract pests, such as aphids and mealybugs. These pests can damage plants and leave behind sticky honeydew residue. Pests can also spread diseases to other plants and to humans. 

'If you do choose to have plants in your bedroom, choose plants that are known to be hypoallergenic. Be sure to keep them clean and pest-free.'

Make sure to investigate the best bedroom plants to make the best choice. We love using peace lilies in bedrooms such as this white peace lily from Walmart.

6. Exercise equipment

bedroom with bed, pillows and nightstand

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'Fitness and health are crucial, but integrating bulky exercise equipment, such as treadmills or elliptical trainers, within the bedroom can disrupt the harmony of space,' advises Nicholas Kaiko. 'Not only does this equipment often dominate the room, creating visual clutter, but its presence can also blur the line between rest and activity.

'Sleep is also so important to health so bedrooms should be spaces of tranquillity and rest.'

'The master bedroom is incredibly important in Feng Shui' says H&G's interiors therapist Suzanne Roynon. 'It’s the space dedicated entirely to rest, romance and relaxation, and anything which doesn’t support these vital aspects of wellbeing should not be in the bedroom.'

7. Dirty laundry

Bedroom with wooden floorboards and coffered ceiling, double bed and bespoke white fitted floor to ceiling wardrobe doors.

(Image credit: Ti Archive)

Cleaning expert and owner of Germicidal Maids, Michael Gottron says, 'It's crucial to avoid storing dirty laundry in the bedroom. Dirty clothes can carry odors and allergens, which can negatively impact the quality of your sleep.'

Although keeping a laundry hamper in your bedroom may be the most convenient option, since it is most likely where you store your clothes and where you undress, you should either avoid entirely keeping it in your bedroom, and instead store it in a laundry room or bathroom, or make sure you don't store dirty laundry in your bedroom for long by using your bedroom hamper as a temporary go-between for transporting dirty clothes to a main hamper in another room. 

8. Damp towels

Bedroom color ideas with bold decorative color palette

(Image credit: Nicola Harding)

Don't let damp towels taken to your bedroom after a bath or shower sit around in the bedroom. Mold can begin to grow in a pile of moist towels, and it only takes a day for it to do so. This can undermine the aroma and nice scents in a bedroom.

'The phrase "don't put it down, put it away" has made such a difference for me when it comes to keeping my bedroom tidy, and it's especially important with towels,' says Millie Hurst, section editor at Homes & Gardens. We're all guilty of hanging them over the bedroom door in the morning rush, but this creates that horrible damp towel smell and prevents the fibers from drying properly. 

'If damp towels in the bedroom are a regular occurrence, maybe you need better towel storage – this could be as simple as putting up a few more hooks in the bathroom or purchasing an over-the-door set of towel hooks, such as these hooks at Wayfair.'

millie hurst news writer
Millie Hurst

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. 


What are some of the easiest places to forget to declutter in a bedroom?

One of the places we most often see people forgetting to declutter in their bedroom is their bags. Unless the items you need in your bag remain the same day in and day out, it's important to remember to declutter the items in your bags and return them to their assigned place until they are next needed. This can make your daily morning significantly speedier if you have emptied your bags the day before.

When determining which items you should never to store in your bedroom you should rely on your intuition. Ask yourself, 'Does this serve a purpose or is it hindering the comfort and tranquillity of my space?'

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.