For those of us able to stay home right now, why not make the most of hunkering down and put those idle hands to use?

Master Bedroom
Vanessa Lentine

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According to a 2015 study by St. Lawrence University, researchers found that a cluttered bedroom leads to poor sleep and increased anxiety. The study also found that people with messy rooms had a harder time falling asleep than those with tidier rooms. And we know that lack of sleep can affect your overall health, making you prone to serious medical and mental conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, fatigue, and depression.

But the stress associated with clutter doesn’t stop at sleepless nights and fatigue. A 2016 joint U.S. and Australian study of 101 undergraduate students found that students are more likely to develop unhealthy eating habits when living in a messy environment.

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The takeaway? Clutter can have a profound effect on your mental and physical wellbeing.

So What Can We Do about It?

Bedrooms can spiral into disarray starting with a messy closet. Bringing your workspace into your room also amps up the chaos level. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary (not an office or storage unit). Here are three simple tips for turning your sleep space back into a relaxing oasis.

Tip 1: Streamline Your Desk

It’s safe to say we’re all struggling with balancing WFH life. If you have a messy desk with cords everywhere and piles of sticky notes, it’s time to pack it up and find another place in your home. If that’s not an option, organize these items neatly in a sleek cabinet or using desktop organizers. If you can swing it, opt for a new desk with plenty of built-in storage. Not only will this help your sleep, but it will help keep you less occupied and more productive at work.

Courtesy of Article

Courtesy of Article

CULLA Desk, $599 from Article

Tip 2: Maximize Your Closet Space

We all have those jeans we tell ourselves will fit again someday or an old prom dress hanging in the back of the closet—it’s time to pack those up. If you haven’t worn something in over a year, it might be time for the donation box. It will make it easier to move onto seasonal items like coats and ski gear that might be taking up a lot of space. Put them away in your coat closet if you have one. Underbed storage bins are also a great call if you’re tight on space.

Courtesy of Get Open Spaces

Courtesy of Open Spaces

Underbed Storage - Set of 2, $130 from Get Open Spaces

Another commonly overlooked reason for clutter is simply not having the right tools to maximize your closet space and keep it orderly. If you’re looking for a long-overdue closet facelift there are plenty of easy-to-install and customizable systems at various price points. Couple that with non-slip hangers and a sensor light, you’ll have a tidy and enviable closet.

Our digital director’s messy closet to the left, and her more streamlined space to the right.
Design by Modular Closets
Closet Modules, prices vary by custom design, from Modular Closets

Tip 3: Keep Furniture and Decor to a Minimum 

Your bedroom might be a reflection of your style, but it shouldn’t act as a living mood board or museum of all your memories. Gallery walls, shelves with trophies, or concert ticket stubs can be comforting, but they can also overstimulate your brain when you’re trying to get some shut-eye. Try editing down the decor that really speaks to you and put the rest in memento boxes that you can visit whenever you’re feeling nostalgic.

Courtesy of West Elm

Twist Weave Baskets, $25-$90 from West Elm

When it comes to furniture in your bedroom, less is more. All you really need is a comfortable bed and nightstand. If you have multiple seating options in your bedroom (like a bench and chaise) get rid of the one that isn’t used as often. The bottom line is to think of your bedroom as a retreat, with only the essentials.