7 Things That Don’t Belong in Your Bedroom

published Feb 24, 2022
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Your bedroom is a sanctuary — or at least it’s supposed to be. The place you spend all those hours resting and recharging should feel rejuvenating — but you also know how tough it can be to truly relax when a space is in a state of disarray. And despite the fact that you probably only really spend one (mostly unconscious) part of the day in a bedroom, it can get cluttered quickly.

If your bedroom needs a reset but you’re not exactly sure where to start, here are seven things that don’t belong in your bedroom.

Unfinished Projects

Physical clutter has a way of creating mental clutter, which can make it hard to relax — and that’s especially true of unfinished projects, according to professional organizer Katherine Lawrence. She says half-finished crafts, clothes to clean or mend, broken things awaiting gluing, or books to read someday can make people feel overwhelmed before they even have their morning coffee. 

So if finishing that Pinterest project or sewing a button on that old blouse isn’t likely to have a major return on investment, it may be time to say goodbye (or, at the very least, relocate it to another area of the home).

Paperwork and Mail

If mail or paperwork somehow ended up in your bedroom, now’s the perfect time to sort through it and toss what you don’t absolutely need. Again, papers don’t just add physical clutter to your space; they also remind you of work, which can prevent you from relaxing. 

In the event your bedroom also functions as a home office or school room out of necessity, Lawrence suggests spending 15 minutes at the end of each day tossing items you don’t need: completed to-do lists, dried-out pens, junk mail, and bills that have been paid. Neatly put the rest of the items in a container like a paper tray or drawer so the space looks tidy when it’s time to wind down for bed

Outdated Memorabilia 

Take a minute to scan through your decor. If your bedroom’s heavy on sentimental items, such as old photos, posters, and knick knacks, Lawrence suggests picking a few and letting go of the rest. Is that framed photo of you and your college best friend or that knick knack from a trip five years ago really sparking joy, or is it just taking up valuable space on your dresser? “Let the past go to make room for new memories and experiences, especially if those items are cluttering up what could be your cozy, peaceful, bedroom,” she says.

Clothes That Don’t Fit 

Aspirational clutter—all that stuff you think you might use one day in the future—can quickly make a space disorganized, but it’s especially problematic in smaller spaces like your bedroom. That’s precisely why pro organizer Sarah Dunn suggests getting rid of all the clothes that no longer fit or work with your lifestyle.

In your bedroom, keep clothes, pajamas, and activewear that fit you and your routines right now, and donate the rest. If you can’t part with something, then definitely store it outside your room. 

Donation Piles 

Those piles of old textbooks, bags of unworn clothes, and outdated decor? According to organizing expert Jessica Litman, those things absolutely do not belong in your bedroom. Yes, they’re taking up valuable real estate on your floor or in your closet, but they’re also reminding you of stuff you haven’t done yet (kind of the opposite of sanctuary vibes).

To make sure the items you’re saying goodbye to find a home outside your bedroom, make a plan to actually donate them ASAP. (And, hard as it is, try not to leave those piles indefinitely in the trunk of your car.) 

Your Phone

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You’re better off leaving your phone outside your bedroom. There are a lot of reasons to find a different resting spot for your phone than the one where you’re trying to rest: Improved sleep, less stress, uninterrupted time with your partner are just a few.

Old Bedsheets and Blankets

Having a spare set of sheets and blankets is a good idea, but only if they’re in functional shape. As  you sort through your bedding backups, take a close look for any major stains or tears. Pro organizer Brenda Scott says stained sheets, comforters, and pillows either need to be professionally cleaned or replaced. “Your bedroom should make you feel loved, not grungy,” she says.