4 things to remove from a bedroom if you want to stay organized – and why experts hate them

These four things are magnets for chaos – according to professional organizers

A warm rustic bedroom with wooden headboard stretching aling a whole wall, and a large bed with neutral bedding
(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

While it is important to make our bedrooms cozy and comfortable, cramming them full of stuff is not the way to go about it – especially if we want to stay organized and avoid chaotic clutter.

Given that excessive clutter and bedroom mess can have a dire impact on our sleep (yes, even with your eyes closed), setting up your sleep space to make it easier to maintain and clean a bedroom is essential, experts warn. 

They recommend four things to remove from a bedroom to stay organized and explain why they are magnets for chaotic clutter. 

Things to remove from a bedroom to stay organized

It isn't always possible to stick with decluttering a bedroom when dealing with chronic clutter. When piles of clothes, laundry, and other miscellaneous bits continually make your bedroom a hotspot for stress, it's important to deal with the root cause – and it isn't always just because you are busy or disorganized. 

In fact, these four common bedroom items are magnets for clutter, and getting rid of them is one the best ways to restore your sleep sanctuary and shave some things off of your weekly to-do list. Here’s how. 

1. Non-essential seating

A green swivel armchair next to a full length mirror

(Image credit: McGee & Co.)

While a chair at a dressing table or a stool to help get dressed and put on shoes can be helpful in a bedroom, other seating arrangements such as accent chairs, large benches that don't have storage integrated into them, or conversation chairs in the corner of the room eat up space without adding value and entice you to be disorganized, giving you ample space to throw clothes down rather than hang them up at the end of each day, warns Nina Lichtenstein, interior designer and Founder of Custom Home Design by NL: 

‘They may seem inviting in theory, but they can become catch-alls for clothes. Consider repurposing or removing non-essential seating to open up your bedroom and improve its functionality.’ 

If you need a space to sit down to make dressing easier, a storage bench at the bottom of your bed or a storage stool is a better alternative. This way, you can throw clothes that have been worn but are not dirty enough to justify doing laundry inside, out of sight but still in easy reach. It also doubles as a great spot to store bed linens.  

Storage Ottoman | $1,045 at ABC Home

Storage Ottoman | $1,045 at ABC Home
This spacious storage ottoman is ideal for the bottom of your bed. It comes in a huge range of colors too, so it will suit any space

2. Bulky dressers

White dresser, armchair, black vase

(Image credit: Cotswold Company)

It might seem counterintuitive telling you to get rid of a dresser if you want to organize a bedroom, but it is a must in specific circumstances, explains Chenise Hinds, designer, and home stager. Oversized dressers on top of other big bedroom storage can entice you to keep hold of more than you need, with clothing items getting lost at the bottom.

‘These days, most homes come with huge closets that often make dressers unnecessary. I can't count the number of clients who've realized all their clothes fit perfectly well in a few drawers tucked inside of an existing closet or even nightstands if they have drawers,’ Chenise shares. ‘Who really needs a giant dresser taking up the whole bedroom?’ 

3. Built-in bed frames

Mid-Century Storage Bed

(Image credit: West Elm)

For Houna Bech, designer, and owner of the lifestyle blog With Houna, built-in bed frames that have no storage underneath have no place in a bedroom if you want to keep them neat and organized: ‘I don't love built-in bed frames that are permanently attached. They limit rearranging or getting a new bed later on,’ she says. 

Stand-alone beds usually have more ample space beneath for stowing away seasonal clothing in under-bed storage bags. Alternatively, you can pick a divan bed with built-in storage that is still contained, helping to keep clutter out of sight while still in easy reach.  

4. Bedside tables

bedroom with cream walls and velvet headboard in warm brown tones and view to en suite bathroom with cream panelling

(Image credit: Tim Lenz)

This may be another controversial opinion, but bedside tables (especially those with cabinets or drawers that provide space to conceal clutter in a bedroom) are another magnet for clutter that makes restful sleep more difficult. 

‘Most people nowadays use their smartphones or tablets as alarm clocks, so the traditional large bedside table with a lamp serves little purpose,’ designer Niki Tashe begins. Floating shelves and wall-mounted bedroom lighting ideas, on the other hand, still give you space for a book, a drink, and your phone, while dissuading you from keeping more beside your bed than you really need. This, in turn, limits distractions and can help you to sleep better

After all, do you really need to keep three books, two pairs of glasses, tissues, and all your medicines right beside you as you sleep? 


Why does my bedroom make me feel overwhelmed? 

A bedroom should be a place for rest and relaxation. If you always feel overwhelmed in the space, then it might be down to poor organization or excessive clutter. Having a clear out of items that are regularly strewn around your room and don't have a home is a great place to start, as is removing anything that entices you to be disorganized, such as bedroom chairs that you never sit on, and only use for storage. This is a great way to ensure our bedroom stays tidy, and you get a better night’s sleep.  

How long should it take to declutter a bedroom?  

How long it takes to declutter a bedroom will depend largely on the size of the space when you last decluttered it and how much you have in there. A bedroom with lots of cramped furniture that is filled to the brim with stuff will take a lot longer to do than a simpler bedroom with well-organized closets and a choice selection of furniture that doesn't block walkways.  

While decluttering these larger furniture items is a bigger undertaking than decluttering a closet, it is one of the simplest ways to open up the space, reduce how much stressful clutter you own, and make your bedroom feel more inviting, concludes designer Nina Lichtenstein. It also makes cleaning and maintenance easier, helping to improve your sleep hygiene and achieve a more restful night’s sleep.  

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.