Food & Fitness

The Living Healthy in the Real World Guide to Cleaning & Organizing, Part Seven: Making the Bedroom a Relaxing Area

Be sure to check out our previous installments:

Part One: Why Should I Clean?

Part Two: Starting Fresh

Part Three: Dealing with Housemates

Part Four: Cleaning and Organizing the Bathroom

Part Five: Creating a Welcoming Living Space

Part Six: Working in your Kitchen

Part Seven: The Bedroom

As someone who has dealt with sleeping issues for years, I can attest that it is vital to keep the bedroom as relaxing and stress-free as possible. Living in a studio-style condo without a separating door between my bed and the rest of my home makes it a little bit trickier to have a defined “bedroom”; I keep my bed in a corner by the window with a nightside table and a dresser beside it. The area designated to the living room is beside it, and on the other side of that is my kitchen, where I keep my laptop. As a result, I use my bedroom for what it is meant to be used for: sleeping. All work gets done on the opposite side of the condo.

In my old apartment I used to do all of my work in my bedroom, which meant that when I tried to fall asleep at night my mind would still be working vigorously. These days, I enjoy being able to wind down with a book in bed before falling asleep, the computer far away on the other side of my house.

Here are a few things that you might like to incorporate into your bedroom style:

1) Invest in a proper mattress. I have noticed an amazing difference to sleeping in a queen-size bed as compared to my old twin-size. The mattress is wonderfully comfy and it feels so good to be able to stretch out. We sleep in our beds every night, so be kind to yourself and make it a great sleep. Beds come with hefty price tags, but if it means that I am getting a solid sleep, it is worth the price.

2) Make sure the pillow works for you. Some people like lots of squishy pillows, others prefer a flat surface. Some people need their head propped up and others like to sink into a cushion. Try out lots of different pillows to figure out what you like best. If there is someone else in your bed and they have a different preference to your own, get two different kinds of pillows to accommodate for each of you so that everyone gets a sound sleep.

3) Be a minimalist. Try not to keep your room crammed with a lot of things (unless maybe if it is all organized). Your brain will not be able to shut off at night if the room is too busy; it will distract you. If you must keep lots of things in your bedroom, at least keep your night side table relatively free of anything: a book, a lamp, and maybe a glass of water are all you really need. I also keep my phone beside me because it serves as my alarm clock.

4) Reject technology. Coming from a blogger? What is this madness?! No, I don’t mean reject technology for good, of course! But when you are in the bedroom, keep the electronics away. Don’t work on your laptop in bed. Don’t have a television in the room. If you do happen to have a computer or television in the bedroom, turn them off a couple hours before you fall asleep. They will interfere with your sleeping patterns; even staring at a screen when you are just starting to feel tired can result in a detriment to your ability to sleep comfortably. My previous mention of keeping my cell phone nearby conflicts with my statement to reject technology, but until I get an alarm clock (I’ve been eyeing the iPod ones for some time now :D), I will be keeping my cell phone within arm’s reach. I can also freely acknowledge that the cell phone does hinder my ability to have a good sleep: people unfortunately sometimes send text messages at all hours of the night, thus disrupting precious sleep.

5) Don’t drop things on the floor. One of the best feelings in the world is to wake up in the morning to a clean and tidy room. One of the worst feelings is to wake up to piles of stuff everywhere. Put clothes in the laundry basket, don’t leave papers lying around, and do your best to straighten up the room – at least with putting things into organized piles – before you go to bed at night.

6) Make it yours. The living room, as previously mentioned, is a space for you to be in the public eye. The kitchen is a workplace; the bathroom is all about hygiene. The bedroom, however, is something entirely different. This is your space. Make it what you want it to be. No one has to go into your room if you don’t want them to (unless you live in a bachelor suite like I do), so you can really have fun with it and do whatever you want. If you love pictures to cover every inch of the wall, if you have colour schemes that you are wild for even though other members of your family aren’t big on them, the bedroom is your chance to take advantage of that. Everywhere that I have lived, my bedroom has always been my haven. It is separate from the rest of the family and it defines you alone. Of course, problems arise if you share your bedroom with someone else. In that case, you may have to compromise.

7) Try using feng shui. In essence, a feng shui approach is what we are really going after in this mini-series, I suppose, but I think that it is especially appropriate to focus on in terms of the bedroom. You don’t have to be an expert in feng shui – I know that I certainly am not – but common sense will lead you in the right direction. If your bedroom is a place you want to be, I’d say that’s a good sign. Think of creating harmony and balance. If you aren’t entirely satisfied with your current set-up, try moving the furniture around. It might have a whole new effect on your comfort level.

What do you do to make your bedroom as relaxing as can be?


  1. fd

    Thanks for those, I’m happy to say (for once in this series) that I’m implementing them 🙂 Another challenge when sharing the bed is sharing the covers! People like different temperatures, sleeping people are thieves etc… In some regions of Switzerland and Austria they have two single duvets on double beds.
    Sagan, I also use my cellphone as my alarm clock, but it works when it’s switched off too. I have done for 10 years and through several models and brands of phone. I think I would go mad if I was woken by text messages in the middle of the night. Have you tried seeing if it works switched off?

  2. Emergefit

    This is where I plead, Bear. Engaged now, and living with fiancé so no longer valid, but for 10+ years I was a floor sleeper, used no coat hangers, no bedroom furniture — floor = closet, closet = floor, had ZERO electronics in the room, and now refer to that period as, “The good old days” 🙂

    Makes you wonder how I became engaged at all, huh?

  3. Hanlie

    We are very good at keeping electronics out of the bedroom… No radio or TV and our cell phones are never next to the bed – I’m concerned about electromagnetic waves and I believe they affect your sleep. We have an old-fashioned alarm clock – it actually ticks!

  4. Sagan Morrow

    fd- I had no idea it could work when switched off! I am definitely going to give that a try. That would be wonderful. Also, I am a TOTAL bed-hog. For such a little person, I can take up an entire queen-size bed… and steal ALL the covers for myself. Hehe.

    Emergefit- Ahahaha! The times they do change 😉

    Hanlie- Ooh I would LOVE that kind of alarm clock. It would fit in my condo perfectly. Must hunt to find one!

  5. Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15)

    I like this series! I’m kind of a messy person, so I have to work to keep things nice. But nothing beats the freedom of a clutter-free room. Also, I realized how awesome it is just to make your damn bed. I never would until recently and it makes a huge difference. My bed might not be military standard like my mom’s is, but it’s tidy and looks so much better than my former permanent rumple.

  6. Holly

    I really need to look into feng shui again! My house could definitely use it. 🙂

    The past 3 places I’ve lived, I’ve painted my bedroom a really pretty sky blue. I really do find that is true what they say about cool/warm colors in rooms. To me, it’s so relaxing when I walk in the door!

  7. Sagan Morrow

    Mimi- I am so glad that you like the series! Making the bed can be a hassle (I find myself climbing all over the queen-size as I try to tuck sheets under, hehe), but it definitely does feel nice to see it looking all tidy.

    Holly- Different colours seem to really HIT us. For me, it’s dark green. I’ve always loved the colour and it totally relaxes me. That’s the trick – figuring out the right colour that you truly love. Sounds like you’ve found yours!

    Diane- For sure. Looking back is a good plan for any room when leaving the house in the morning! It’s great to walk out the door and know that everything is where it ought to be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *