Want to sleep better or wake up feeling refreshed? Stop keeping these things in your bedroom. Your room will instantly feel less cluttered and more serene.
Life is exhausting. Add in the stress of work or raising kids — or both — and getting a good night’s sleep becomes even more important. It also gets harder to achieve.
The only thing worse than poor sleep is waking up in a cluttered bedroom. Before you even get out of bed, you’re surrounded by stuff that puts you in a bad mood. Stuff that stresses you out. And the day hasn’t even started yet.
Your sleep is important. Your mood is important. Your space is important. You can protect all three if you’ll stop keeping the things below in your bedroom.
9 Things You Shouldn’t Keep in Your Bedroom
1. Anything Work-Related.
Are you working from home more these days? Many of us are. It can be hard finding space to work when your house is full of people. For a good night’s sleep, you need to keep your brain from associating your bedroom with your workday.
So, if you have space, set up your work area in some other part of your home and stop keeping work-day stuff in your bedroom. If there’s nowhere else that suits, or you have to work in your room to avoid interruptions, stick to a schedule. Then, once you’re through for the day, put away work-related materials.
This practice will help your brain keep your bedroom’s work and sleep functions separate. It’ll also help keep your bedroom from turning into a cluttered mess.
2. Love Letters from Old Flames.
You probably don’t read love notes from former sweethearts while in bed with your partner. (And, if you do, you’ve got bigger problems than the clutter in your bedroom.) So, why keep those old mementos nearby?
One of the best ways to eliminate clutter in your home is by letting go of things that don’t benefit you today. Yes, even old love letters or mementos if they make you dissatisfied with where you’re at today. (Related: The Golden Rules of Home Organization.)
If you can’t bear to part with them, at least put them where you stash other paperwork. Once you stop keeping reminders of old relationships in your bedroom, you’ll make space for happier times in the one you have.
3. Unread Books and Magazines.
Reading is a wonderful thing. Reading in bed is a great way to end the day. But stacks of unread books and magazines collect dust and make your room look cluttered. Besides, there are only so many books you can read at the same time.
Keep the one you’re reading nearby, of course, but stop keeping your To Be Read (TBR) pile in your bedroom. Move those stacks to your den, family room, or reading nook. Your bedroom will look less cluttered, and you’ll see far less dust, too. (Related: How to Reduce Household Dust.)
4. Exercise Equipment.
We’ve all put a treadmill or exercise bike in our bedrooms in the hope of using it more often. But often it winds up a clothing rack for stuff too dirty to wear but too clean to wash. Then, it not only collects dust and looks cluttered, but it also makes us feel guilty. That’s no way to start and end your day.
Stop keeping unused exercise equipment in your bedroom. Move it to a different room, or get rid of it altogether. (Related: How to Decide What’s Clutter and What’s Not.)
5. Electronics that Produce Light.
It seems like all electronics are light-emitting now. TV power buttons glare even when they’re off. Game consoles glow. Even security system keypads are so bright they can light up a room.
Stop keeping electronic things in your bedroom if you can. But, if you’ve got to keep them in there, at least take steps to prevent them from messing with your sleep.
If you use your phone as an alarm clock or for emergencies, switch it to Airplane Mode. Then the screen won’t light up every time you get a notification. For everything else you can’t move, cover those annoying lights with electrical tape. (Or try these light-reducing stickers.)
6. Your Kids’ Toys.
Every exhausted parent has let their child play quietly on their bed while trying to take a quick nap. When your kids are little, that may be a regular thing, especially if they love waking at the crack of dawn on the weekends.
There are a couple of excellent reasons to stop keeping your child’s toys in your bedroom, though. For one thing, it encourages them to continue waking up early, because they don’t feel like they’re waking you up, too. But, also, it undermines any time you tell them their toys only belong in their rooms.
7. Space Heaters.
Every winter brings a new round of horror stories about fires caused by space heaters. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters cause over 25,000 home fires every year. Most times, the fires occur because the space heater is too close to something flammable, like curtains or bedding.
Sure, you may not put it there to start, but pets or humans can easily knock it out of place, and you might not notice. But there are many other reasons that space heaters start fires, too, like dust buildup, using a power strip or extension cord, or a faulty thermostat that lets it get too hot.
So, stop keeping the things in your bedroom — space heaters are simply too dangerous. Stay warm with a heated blanket instead. They’re safer, and you only pay to warm yourself, not the whole room. (Related: How To Wash An Electric Blanket.)
8. Food and Drinks.
Here’s another reason to get that TV out of your bedroom: it makes you more likely to snack while in bed. Now, just about everyone’s done it at one time or another. Breakfast in bed is, after all, a wonderful Mother’s Day treat. But that’s what it should be: a treat, and not a regular occurrence.
Eating in bed attracts pests like cockroaches, which can survive well on mere crumbs. Even if you’re a super tidy eater, dirty dishes and glassware breed mold and mildew. While you’re at it, stop keeping your favorite snacks or treats in your bedroom so the kids don’t find them. Pests will. (Related: How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches.)
9. Important Papers.
One of the first rooms thieves ransack when burglarizing a home is the bedroom. Stop keeping things like birth certificates, passports, and Social Security cards in your bedroom. Even if a thief doesn’t plan to steal your identity, they know they can make a lot of money selling them to someone who will.
Fireproof, waterproof home safes are not expensive (here’s the one I use). Then keep it out of your bedroom. A good place for a home safe is a low-traffic area where two exterior walls meet, ideally at least two feet off the floor. You can even stash those old love letters in it if you like.