A Guide to Slow Home Principles: The Bedroom

If you're new to the principles behind the Slow Home, the bedroom is a good place to start. As one of the few rooms in a home that has both strong functional and emotional components, the benefits can be immediate and have a direct impact on your daily life.

According to the Slow Home Movement, all bedrooms should have good daylight, sufficient storage, and can logically fit a bed. While these are good general rules, here a few more specific ideas to make the most of your bedroom:

1. Eliminate unnecessary clutter. By paring your bedroom down to the essentials, you create a comfortable and relaxing space without the pile of laundry, bills, or other to-do list reminders. While hidden storage is a good tactic for clothing and other essentials, don't allow yourself an opportunity for things to collect. My biggest culprit? The night stand turned junk drawer. I now have a bedside table with a single open shelf, which helps keep things in check.

2. To help restrict clutter, go small. If you have a choice, chose a smaller room with good daylight. If your bedroom is large, consider using a free-standing wardrobe or room divider to break the space into a sleeping zone and dressing zone.

3. If you're an early riser, pick a bedroom that faces east. Waking up to daylight instead of an alarm is a good step in the slow direction. If maintaining darkness is important, install opaque blinds or shades to provide control of light throughout the year.

4. Be smart about storage. Depending on your home's layout, consider storing clothes in a room or space adjacent to the bedroom. If that's not feasible, make sure that your closet or wardrobe has a door or curtain that can be closed when not in use. To further reduce the stress that can come with visual clutter, take advantage of other out-of-sight storage options, like under the bed or behind a door.

5. Splurge on good bedding. A comfortable, well-made bed is worth the investment and will last a decade if not longer (when was the last time you worried about your bed going out of style?). Your bed gets daily use and sheets and pillows that feel good, make you smile and encourage rest are a smart buy.

6. Nix the TV and other distractions. I know, I know. I've debated this one many times, but ultimately have been happier without the tube in the bedroom. It saves space, energy and puts an emphasis on the bedroom as a quiet haven. (I think smart phones also fall into this category and am struggling to keep them out of the bedroom as well.)

7. Utilize calming colors and decor. A Slow Home bedroom doesn't have to be a stark white box with a single bed. Peaceful colors and a few special and beautiful objects go a long way in creating a personal and cozy space.

8. Connect with nature. In addition to natural light, a visual (or sometimes physical) connection to the outdoors can serve as a daily reminder of the beauty of the natural world (or the hustle and bustle of city life, depending on where you live!). This can mean a view of a nearby park or just a flower box of seasonal blooms.

9. Don't forget about sound and privacy. It's often overlooked, but creating a quiet and private space is one of the keys to a successful bedroom. Consider lining the walls and floors with a sound-absorbing material and make sure the doors and windows have a good seal around the edges.

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