This Simple Addition Instantly Makes Your Bedroom Look and Feel More Organized

published Feb 21, 2023
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There’s something specific I notice immediately whenever I’m standing in someone’s bedroom or closet, which happens more frequently than you might think. That’s because I’m either organizing these spaces for a client or friends and family members want my opinion on how to improve theirs. Either way, I often see a frequent clutter offender that gets overlooked.

The culprit? Tags, stickers, safety pins, and similar small debris scattered around the room. I find them in and on top of dressers and nightstands and littering the floors and closet shelves. There might be an overabundance of trash or just a few things here and there. Either way, there’s an incredibly easy fix to this, and — whether you think it may or may not — it will have a positive impact on how organized your space looks and feels.

And that is to include a small wastebasket in your room and/or the closet. It might seem obvious, but remember, I’ve been in hundreds of bedrooms and very rarely see them in here. I recommend finding one that matches your decor so it blends in and placing it where the most amount of trash collects. I keep one next to my dresser, since I find that I naturally want to place garbage in the corner of it, but yours can sit next to a full-length mirror where you decide to keep the clothes you try on, or at the bottom of your closet to collect clutter that would otherwise fall to the floor.

Since the items you’d be putting in it aren’t necessarily dirty or smelly like what you toss out in the kitchen or bathrooms, I advise choosing a can sans lid. The open top will make it much more likely that trash will make it in. The key to staying organized is to remove any obstacles in your way of tidying up. Also, since the goal is to avoid the additional visual clutter, I would suggest keeping away from clear or acrylic cans as it more or less defeats that purpose.

It will take some time and practice to get used to using the wastebasket. In the grand scheme of things, however, it’s a pretty easy habit to form. Set yourself up for success with a visual cue such as a sticky note taped to the inside door frame reminding you to clean up before you leave the room. Or, create a ritual at the end of the day where you take care of it as you’re getting ready for bed. Ideally, you want to get into the routine of throwing things out immediately — like, as soon as you remove the tags off of your new favorite sweater.

Another motivation to put this new habit into practice? Choose a cute trash can you actually want to use. Check out the following options that appeal to a range of styles and price points:

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This trendy trash can lets you toss things away even when your hands are full.

2 / 5
The Container Store

Don’t disrupt your bedroom’s boho look with this super cute rattan can.

3 / 5

For a sleek, modern look, try out this simple wastebasket that comes in, believe it or not, 20 different colors.

4 / 5
The Container Store

This natural palm leaf basket blends well with almost any bedroom. Plus, it conceals the look of any trash.

5 / 5

Would you prefer to put a mini can on your dresser top or a shelf in the closet? This trash bin with a swing-open lid is perfect for collecting tiny tags.

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to sleep in them, decorate them, make the most of small ones, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!