Does your house look “lived in?” That’s the nice way to put it – that cluttered look that we learn to live with because we just can’t keep up.
Mom used to say, “There are 5 people in this house, and 4 of them are slobs.”
She was right, too!
We could step right over a pile of clothes on the floor and never notice it. So what if we run out of plates – just rinse one off and keep going.
While some people truly are never bothered by clutter, the truth is that it does have a negative effect on most people. It can create low levels of stress that undermine your endurance and make sleep difficult. In fact, your bedroom could actually be keeping you awake at night! Women, especially, seem to be more prone to this type of stress, not particularly because they care, but because they are expected to care.
The appearance of the home is often considered to be direct responsibility of the woman of the house. But even if you have developed a certain level of tolerance for clutter in your home, you will find that you can decrease your stress levels by decluttering, and sleep better with a decluttered bedroom.
Here are some pointers on why & how to make your bedroom more – peaceful.
The human brain is geared to reason and order. Clutter can create a distraction that keeps you from being able to concentrate, which results in frustration and stress. You’ve probably experience fury of suddenly realizing that EVERY time you need something, you have to LOOK for it.
NOTHING is where it is supposed to be! When your life reaches this point, it’s time for a change. Clutter also constantly reminds you that you need to clean. Even if you justify putting the cleaning off, you know it’s still necessary, so it nags you.
On the other hand, our brains respond positively when things are ordered. Even when the housework needs to be done – vacuuming, dusting, mopping – a decluttered house gives the brain a sense of order and the feeling that things are somewhat in control.
Piles of clutter can also affect your physical health. As piles grow, so does the retention of mold, dust, animal dander, and even mildew. Yes, that wet bathing suit will mildew before it dries out under that pile of clothes.
Declutter Your Bedroom
Since you spend about 33% of your life in your bedroom, it can be a good starting place. In fact, if you think you only have the endurance to clean up one room, the room where you refuel your mind and body is the perfect choice.
Clutter is the lead & the heat plays the supporting role
The room being or even subjectively “feeling” too hot impacts the quality of your sleep in two ways.
Perception – we all know the feeling, if you get nervous and frustrated, a hot room will get those sweat glands going in 3 seconds.
This becomes even more of factor when it comes to sleep. A messy room will feel more claustrophobic if it’s hot, too. Add the factors of daily stress and you got a perfect recipe for a night of tossing & turning.
Biology of sleep – the process of falling to sleep includes a temperature drop in our bodies. That’s why most of sleep better in cold rooms.
This is a big one because, for people living in large houses (especially if the ceilings are high) cooling down the space for the summer night will add hundreds to the electric bill.
The smart alternative is cooling your mattress down locally, using a cooling mattress pad, topper or a cooling mattress fan. The best cooling mattress pads & toppers might even give you the convenience of just cooling down your half of the bed when sleeping with a partner.
The choices you have with cooling mattress pads – these nifty little mattress add-ons come in a few “flavors” that offer different types of cooling. The ones that are referred to as “active” will directly change the temperature (like fans or electric cooling pads). The other group are the classic cooling mattress pads that simply make the surface of the mattress more breathable. Read more about the types & recommendation of the best cooling mattress pads at TheSleepStudies.com.
Too Many Covers
We have a quilter in our family. So, we have a LOT of quilts. They are beautiful, and we love using them, but there has to be a stopping place. I counted 4 – that’s FOUR – quilts on our bed!
We bought a wall-mounted quilt shelf, folded the quilts, and hung them so we can see them – without kicking them off into the floor. An electric blanket keeps us warm enough now, without the weight of so many covers.
You’ve probably heard this one before.
Move your computer out of your bedroom. Seriously…and the TV and iPad and smartphone. Anything that emits a little blue light should be banished from your bedroom.
It’s not just about the distraction and not being able to relax, sources of blue light actually mimic the effects of daily light as far as your brain is concerned.
If you have trouble sleeping, the clutter, warmth, humming, and especially the light from electronics may be part of the problem.
If decluttering your bedroom seems to be a hopeless task, start small. Start with the bedside table. Throw away all of the tissues and cough-drop wrappers.
Take all of the half-full water glasses to the dishwasher, and put all but one of the books and magazines on the bookshelf. Take a damp cloth and wipe off the flat surfaces, and only keep on that tale the things you will actually use that night. Believe it or not, simply cleaning your bedside table creates an oasis in your bedroom.
Why a book instead of Kindle?
Because a book doesn’t emit blue light. A bedside light emits a different kind of light that your brain registers as temporary.
So, you may not be able to keep every single clothing item picked up in the bedroom. Ban something. Maybe you need to resolve to leave all towels in the bathroom. Or, kick your shoes off into your closet, rather than at the foot of your bed. This can actually start the process of decluttering the floor.
How nice would it be to walk through your bedroom at night and not stumble over shoes.
You can step on clothes with little damage to your feet (unless your toe gets caught in a belt loop), but shoes are the bedroom version of leggos.
Still not convinced?
Studies are showing more and more that people who try to sleep in clutter are more likely to become hoarders. It’s sort of a vicious circle – they can’t sleep because of the constant nagging from clutter, so they are too tired the next day to make balanced decisions.
This increases stress, which interferes with sleep. Eventually, their executive functions deteriorate to the point where they can’t part with anything – even that wet bath towel soaking a pile of shoes in the bedroom floor. Start small with your decluttering. It may not get further than that, but it can make the difference you need.