More than anywhere else in your living space, bedrooms need to be a place of relaxation. Clutter is linked to higher stress levels and a distracted mind, the last things you want when you’re trying to sleep at the end of a long day.

Having a lot of “stuff” everywhere can also distract from more important things, or make your routines more difficult than they need to be. 

A treasured photo, beloved jewellery display, or childhood toy, may go unnoticed for months if they’re buried under heaps of discarded accessories, coffee cups, and empty tissue boxes. 

These can also disguise the things you absolutely need to make your day work properly. Starting the day trying to remember which of the 3 bags you sometimes use had your keys in is stressful and can have a big impact on your day, as can spending valuable sleeping time sweeping every vertical surface for where you put your meds or contact lens solution. 

Planning out a Small Master Bedroom

-Step 1: The essentials

While we can’t promise a completely effort-free way to never have a cluttered room again, many of these problems can be avoided with some proper room planning and preparation beforehand. Start by listing things you absolutely need for your small bedroom to function day-to-day, not including long-term storage.

 “Somewhere to sleep” is the obvious one but, depending on what you value, where else you have to put personal things, and what your routines look like, it could also include things like:

  • A desk
  • A make-up mirror and somewhere to sit
  • A surface next to your bed for books/drinks/phones
  • An accessible plug socket for gadgets
  • A lamp you can reach from bed
  • A laundry basket
  • A display for treasured objects

-Step 2: Items to Store

Next, it’s time to think storage. When thinking about this, you should consider what your actual habits are rather than what you’d like them to be. 

If you’re someone who will reliably put each item in it’s proper place after use, a detailed storage system is great. If you know you leave yesterday’s clothes on the floor more often than not, it’ll be more practical to transition to leaving them in an assigned “worn once/deal with tomorrow” space (like a hamper or specific draw) to avoid this rather than imagining you’ll start folding each individual item to put back.

And again, think about what absolutely needs to be kept in your room. Maybe your summer and winter clothes could be rotated in from elsewhere, for example, or makeup could move to the bathroom. 

-Step 3: Storage Solutions

If you have a significant budget or you’re lucky on gumtree, you might be able to invest in some base furniture which lifts, folds, or otherwise transforms to give you more storage. If not, you’ll just have to be purposeful in looking for basic furniture with potential. High beds and cabin beds can fit a lot of boxes or even whole cupboards underneath, or why not go for a desk rather than a traditional dressing table to give you more draw space? How about a stool where you can remove the seat to use it as a clothes hamper?

Once you’ve assigned as many storage uses to your pieces of furniture as you can, arrange your room according to the needs you laid out at the start to make sure it works for you. Make sure you can move around as comfortably as possible, and that your furniture isn’t blocking out too much natural light. Still have possessions without an assigned storage spot? This is where you deal with it.

If you have the floorspace to be able to comfortably accommodate it, good old-fashioned wardrobes (sliding doors are the most space efficient) and chests of draws can often fit a lot more than you’d expect, and remain and excellent storage solution. You could even splash out on a bespoke fitted unit built into an awkward wall. If you don’t have the room or budget for a full-sized option, skinnier sets of draws can often fit into unusually shaped corners and are great for smaller bits like underwear and accessories. 

For these larger pieces of furniture, make sure to use features like draw separators, wardrobe organisers, or even regular plastic crates. This makes these options more useable - no more pulling everything out of a draw to find your favourite top - and stops items from getting lost in swathes of assorted stuff. 

If floor space is at more of a premium, easily moveable choice like hampers and storage bins can give you move flexibility in how you use the space.

Using Wall Space

If this isn’t an option, vertical space is truly your friend. Shelves can be cut to fit into almost any awkward space, and they aren’t only for books. Why not set some sturdy ones high up on your wall (maybe even over your doorframe if you’re blessed with a high ceiling) fill up some colourful storage boxes and keep your sightlines completely free of clutter. 

Other possibilities for making the most of your vertical space include using pegs or rails for hanging your belongings, nets for hammocks to gather and display soft furnishings or stuffed toys, and box shelves to display special somethings. 

Working with your Routine

Ensure that the things you need every day have a particular place they always return to, which won’t be covered even on your messier days. Small dishes or racks for particular pieces of jewellery are popular, or a charging stand for your phone. 

Another innovative use of space is to use the back of the bedroom door for everything you might need for a quick trip out - your favourite handbag and purse, a brolly, comfortable shoes, and a warm outer layer, for example. 

Cleaning a Small Bedroom

Keeping small bedrooms clean can be as difficult as keeping them tidy. Some hoovers can struggle with tight corners and bedroom knickknacks seem to endlessly attract dust. 

Here are a few tips to manage the space.

  • Keep anything that might be stored long-term (for half a year, for example) in sealed containers such as lidded plastic crates or vac-packed bags. This prevents them from fading, becoming musty, or gathering dust.
  • Invest in a hand-held vacuum - much easier for successfully navigating small spaces
  • Regularly open any windows to freshen the air in the room and let out any condensation which may build up
  • When choosing objects you always want on open air display, prioritise knick-knacks which are easy to move around for dusting and have a smooth finish. Fabric items, Lego, and unvarnished ceramics are all notoriously difficult to dust, as are some plants. This can mean they gather allergens as well as looking dull over time. Consider putting these elsewhere inside glass or plastic display cases.
  • Arrange to have your mattress deep cleaned about twice a year. With small bedrooms, you’re likely to regularly use the bed as a seat and lounging space as well as to sleep in. Considering adults lose approximately 285mls of fluid a night and 454g of dead skin a year, this means your mattress could probably do with some TLC. This helps to keep your bedding hygienic, fresh, and cuts down the possibility of creepy crawlies deciding to share your bed. 

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