How to Prepare Your Bedroom for Better Relaxation and Sleep

Imagine checking into a nice hotel room.  It doesn't have to be the most expensive, just a clean and pleasant place in an area you want to visit.

Put the key card in the slot, open the door, and imagine what you see.  You may or may not like the color of the bedspread and drapes.  You may or may not like the artwork on the walls.  But you probably like the super-clean, spa-like bathroom and neatly made bed.  Extra pillows and in-room coffee are nice too.  (One place Jon and I like to stay on the Sonoma county coast has a gas fireplace in each room.  Love!

Hotel rooms offer a place to shower, store your clothes, and sleep while you're traveling for work or fun.  Maybe they have a nice pool or a beautiful view.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

It's that simplicity that beckons you to curl up with a good book.  Maybe you'll watch a bit of TV while you snuggle into the robe that's provided.  Or you might take a nap in the afternoon before heading out for dinner or to visit friends.

simple, comfy bedroom

What's a bedroom for?

Wouldn't you love to have that feeling at home?  When you enter your bedroom, you want to feel relaxed and comfortable.  You should instantly know that this room is where you take care of yourself and get a good night's sleep.

It sounds simple.  But some of us have bedrooms that are nothing like the useful refuge of our dreams.

Different rooms have different functions.

  • The kitchen holds dishes, cookware, appliances, and food so we can cook and eat.
  • The living room holds entertainment options and places to sit and socialize.
  • Bathrooms contain items for personal care and cleanliness.
  • Garages are for parking the car, and may also hold laundry facilities and garden tools.

Perhaps your bedroom needs to provide a place to study, or a spot for intimate conversation.  But its primary purpose is for relaxation and sleep.  It doesn't need to be a home gym, business office, or toy room.

Before you think, "I don't have any place else to put those things," keep reading.

Get better sleep tonight.

There are only a few things you need to have a good night's sleep:

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In additional to sleeping essentials, your room might need a few more things to be functional:

  • bedside table and lamp
  • a comfortable chair or two (or a compact loveseat)
  • dresser
  • clothes closet

Seriously, that's all you really need!  When you add more, you turn your sleeping room into a multi-purpose space that might be anything but relaxing.  How many of the following can be found in your bedroom every day (or at least most of the time)?

  • exercise equipment
  • work desk, filing cabinet, computer, etc.
  • dirty laundry
  • baskets of clean, unfolded laundry
  • textbooks and school supplies
  • children's toys
  • dirty dishes
  • artwork and décor you don't care for
  • pictures of people that don't bring you joy
  • bulk purchases
  • boxes of things you've decluttered that haven't made it to the Goodwill yet

How to live in the real world

uncluttered desk
In a perfect world, you'd remove all of those extraneous things from your bedroom and never let them in again.  But we don't live in a perfect world, and sometimes our square footage doesn't quite accommodate all of our needs.

That doesn't mean you should give up and let the extras invade your calm and restful space.  All these reminders of things you need to do and take care of aren't going to put you in a stress-free mood.

Some items (such as dirty dishes and laundry) represent habits you need to change to make your bedroom (and home) a more pleasant place to be.  It's a matter of putting things where they belong when you're finished with them, and that isn't in your bedroom.  The piles of toys and bulk purchase items may be dealt with the same way.

Sometimes the issue is whether you actually use these things or not.  Are you really on that treadmill every day?  Maybe the solution is to sell or donate the exercise equipment and get outside for a walk or run several times a week – no large appliance necessary.

Other items simply need to be removed from your home and life.  Make a plan to get those Goodwill donations to the shop this week.  Don't forget to remove the décor you're tired of.  Do a thorough dusting, and let the trinkets you do enjoy have room to shine and be appreciated.

What about those things that might be better in another part of the house?  Maybe removing that unused chair and side table in the living room will provide a nice corner for your desk.

Or not.  It would be nice to remove what doesn't belong, but it might not be possible.  So you need to think about hiding and storing things away so you don't have to look at them all the time when you just want to turn off your mind and go to sleep.

Storage solutions

comfy chair with a view
Maybe you work from home and need your desk and computer.  Can you switch to a laptop so it can be closed and put away instead of being a constant, ugly presence?  Maybe you're a college student and can't get rid of your textbooks, but looking at them just reminds you of all the work you need to finish.  Your books and papers could go in natural sea grass baskets with lids – a beautiful solution that you don't need to hide.

Make your closet more functional.  First, declutter the clothes and shoes you don't need or use.  Then maximize storage with an expandable system of shelves and hanging rods.  Add fabric storage cubes if you want to be able to store some things out of sight.

Utilize the empty space under your bed for out of season clothing, blankets, hobby supplies, or other things you want handy but hidden.  Make sure that under bed storage is breathable so you don't create problems with mold or mildew.

An over-the-door organizer will neatly store a variety of items behind your bedroom door, closet door, en suite bathroom door, etc.

Good night!

When you lay down to rest, the last thing you want is a messy space that reminds you of everything on your to-do list.  As you declutter and organize, make sure your bedroom is the most beautiful, peaceful haven in your home.  Then you'll be prepared for a good night's sleep.


  1. Hi Karen,

    Loved your piece on the bedroom as a sleep sanctuary – it’s like you read my mind! I kicked my TV out last night (not literally, but you get the idea), and boy, did I sleep like a log.

    I’m also trying this new thing where I ditch my phone an hour before bed. It’s tougher than I thought, but so worth it. Maybe your readers might wanna give it a whirl too?

    Just wanted to share my experience, Keep the great tips coming!

    Maria Positiva


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