Let’s talk, readers — how messy is your bedroom? (Should this be a new series, Adventures in Adulting?) We just talked about making our kids’ beds over at CorporetteMoms, and — like our discussion here about how often we make our beds — I was surprised how many women don’t make their bed daily.
I suppose this is the Instagram trap we all fall into — everyone ELSE has picture-perfect homes all the time, right? With a mountain of pillows and fluffy bedding, and matching, well-designed, grown-up furniture that definitely did not come from Ikea! And their bedroom is super clean because it is their haven! (The stock photo illustrates the point — look how calming and lovely it must be to live there!)
For my $.02, the entirety of Casa Griffin is messy, but particularly my and my husband’s bedroom. In addition to the barely-made bed (I just pull the sheets and cover up so we have a “clean” surface — essentially to sort laundry, if we’re being honest), I have piles of half-dirty clothes on the floor… and chair… and necklaces hanging on dresser hooks instead of where they belong… and a huge mountain of parenting books by the bed that I never read. There are also piles of clothes to try on, clothes to return… Because it’s spring, there are also piles of seasonal clothing out, as I put away winter things for the next six months and slowly bring out my shorts and dresses and pastels and other bright, summery colors. (And, hey, it’s me, so I have “summer blacks,” because yes I have lighter weight tops and pants that I separate from my “winter blacks” so I remember them.)
My husband is a fan of keeping piles of clean laundry around the room, as well, and we generally are both happiest if he folds his shirts and socks (he has a system, he tells me), so I generally, er, respect that system and don’t put away his laundry. (That’s the ticket.)
Our one redeeming quality is that dirty clothes that are ready to be washed go directly into the hampers. I have one for regular wash and one for delicates. But there are still a lot of half-dirty things like pants and sweaters that we wear multiple times before washing them…
(In terms of how this applies to adulting, I think I always thought my bedroom would be more like a hotel room when I got older. But I’m not quite sure who I thought was going to be making it just so every day — in my childhood dreams was I going to have a daily housekeeper?)
In my current reality, I’m the only one I really want touching the stuff in my bedroom, so if it’s going to be clean, that comes out of my dwindling bank of time, energy, and patience… The bargain I’ve made with myself is I’ll tidy it a little bit when we change the sheets, but that’s only once a week.
I should note despite the mess, my bedroom is still my haven, and I still feel a — I don’t know — happy tingle of success when the day has ended and I can retreat into it.
So I thought it might be a fun discussion — if your bedroom is clean and haven-like, tell us your secret! If your bedroom is, um, messy like mine, do indulge us… how messy is your bedroom? What about your bedroom makes it your haven?
Stock photo via Stencil.
I’m team haven. Leaving my bed unmade leaves me feeling disorganized all day (I do wait to make it until after I get ready for the day because that allows moisture to evaporate beforehand).
We keep the bedding simple. Just a quilt and two decorative pillows. Ain’t nobody got time to style a Pottery Barn display in order to have things look neat & tidy.
To corral clothes-
1. We use a pretty coatrack in the bedroom (it hides behind the open door during the day) – it holds PJs, robes, and our evening loungewear, so none of that has to be draped anywhere.
2. We have a designated spot in the closet for lightly worn clothes to air out. Even clothes that are “dresser clothes” – they go on hangers for this purpose. For sweaters we use suit hangers to pad the shoulders during “airing time.” If after 1-2 days of airing they still smell stale – into the laundry bin or dry-cleaning bag.
3. Clean clothes and any accessories (jewelry etc) get put away immediately!
4. Nightstands have drawers – so no unsightly pile of magazines, books, Kindle charger, etc on the nightstand.
Hmmm. Your comment leaves me thinking I might have ir be able to create a nook just big enough for a coat rack or hat rack to use this way. Thanks for the idea.
The coatrack is legit genius. I’m gonna have to do that.
I have hooks on the back of the door that serve the same purpose, for those of you short on space.
I have only a reach in closet with sliding doors rather than swinging door. Any ideas on where/how to add hooks or pockets of more storage?
Back of bedroom door? On an unused stretch if wall?
Yeah mine are on the back of the bedroom door.
One idea – look at kitchen or bathroom under sink cabinet pull-out hooks, the things on drawer slides to hang your dish cloth, brush etc. from and pull out. You could put one of these on the reach in side (not if the door slides that way, though!), hooks facing into the closet, and have a little pull handle at the end, and pull out and slide back the hooks.
I don’t know what it’s called in English, but I found something slightly different called Glideware.
You could even use a pull-out towel holder, and add S-hooks or similar. (Utrusta, at IKEA)
I had this too and there are a couple of wall hacks:
*for extra storage, you can install additional shelving on top of the closet bar in one or 2 rows (depending on how much space you have). If your closet is not very deep, you can add 2 narrow side shelves and a long shelf along the back of the closet to form a semi-circle – or if your closet is deep enough, you can add a 4th shelf so that you have shelving along the full perimeter.
Even if you’re just adding a skinny 2 x 4 ledge, you can store a TON of stuff that way and declutter other areas of your closet – I have seasonal shoes and high heels I rarely break out stacked neatly in their original boxes (flats and many types of boots can be doubled up in a single box), as well as those soft 10 x 10 storage cubbies with the pull-out handles – those are great for storing soft winter/seasonal accessories and hosiery, but also fit a TON of sweaters and pants/jeans/shorts. I keep my tights and colorful (i.e. not winter-appropriate) pants and jeans in them half the year. You can even go totally OCD and color-code the cubbies or add little labels/tags to note what’s stored where.
*for hangable wall storage, you can either hang a narrow ledge bar with a row of hooks along the perimeter of the closet side walls, or hang l individual hooks (single or “C” -shaped that give you 2 points from which to hang stuff). There are plenty of options sturdy enough to hold larger handbags, robes (just not the big fluffy variety); smaller/lower weight capacity hooks can hold items like belts, pashminas, hats, chunky necklaces, and small bags/clutches/WOCs. Ledge shelves with hooks are also great for stacking clutches, WOCs and sunglass cases.
Only caveat there is you want to make sure that whatever clothes you’re hanging along each closet wall are not going to get damaged or snagged on the hooks (easy solution is hanging 2 garment bags along either side of the closet for that purpose).
Me too. I have one of the overdoor ones that hooks over the door. It does put some extra strain on the door and hinges, but it’s worth it to have a place to hang robes etc.
Same! Those things are great. Have one in the hall closet and gets so much use…much easier than using hangers.
Are you me? This describes our bedroom to a T.
I make my bed 5-6 mornings a week. I switched to just a duvet to make it easier. I occasionally rush out and forget. I religiously wash all bedding every two weeks. My bedroom occasionally has piles of clothing and books but is usually fairly presentable – takes me 5 min to clean up and not be embarrassed if a family member dropped by.
Messy but not for the most part dirty. I love having my side neat and clean, but unfortunately it’s the last thing I get to because it’s all we can do to keep up with the laundry, the cooking, and the dishes. Spouse cleans up his side pretty regularly.
(1) Usually I have a craft project or three out because if I put them away I forget to work on them. (Also, they deter the kids from approaching my desk because you never know where the pins are.)
(2) I like to keep my delicate clothes on my side of the room until I’m ready to wash them.
(3) We have a ridiculous amount of stuff we took out of one kid’s room because it was (a) a mess to the point that kid was getting hurt, as in bleeding, and (b) kid didn’t clean kid’s room despite a bleeding foot.
I have a separate dressing room/woman cave/giant closet that used to be a guest bedroom (which I keep in pretty good order), so I feel like “our” bedroom is largely my husband’s bedroom because it’s where he stores his stuff and it was largely decorated before I came on the scene. Therefore I don’t take it super personally when his stuff (bike helmet/shoes, clean clothes, various mysterious papers) pile up a little. If it starts to bug me I will put it away. At this actual moment the top of his dresser is covered with my puzzle stuff, which we moved from the dining table a week or two ago when we were finally fully vaccinated and able to have friends over for dinner. I suspect the current puzzle in progress won’t be finished so I should probably just put that stuff away. Note to self: Do that this evening.
We both have a fair amount of stuff on our bedside tables but it’s amazing how corraling it onto decorative trays makes it look less messy and more intentional! And yes, we make the bed every day.
Based on what people post here about their housekeepers and fancy furniture and linens, I assumed that I was the only one not living in a perfect insta-scape. My bedroom (and current WFH space) is always the neatest room in the house, partly because I spend about 18 hours out of every 24 in here and I cannot stand to have it messy, and partly because we don’t really keep anything in here other than clothes and those are always put away KonMari-style. A neat home, including the insides of drawers, closets, and cabinets, is essential to my sense of serenity. We keep our stuff put away at all times,* but some rooms still feel cluttered to me because our house has small rooms and little storage space. For example, I’d love to keep most of the workout equipment in a closet when it’s not in use, but instead we have a panel mat and pull-up bar sitting on top of the treadmill belt and a row of kettlebells lined up next to the treadmill. I’d also love to have twice the storage space for the same amount of stuff so we could spread things out more in the closets and cabinets.
*Our teenager is currently expressing her individuality by keeping her room and bathroom an absolute disaster. She keeps those doors closed but it stresses me out just knowing what’s behind them.
sidenote: I’ve read this ‘everyone-here-is-loaded’ offhand remark a bunch lately and I find it strange. There are plenty of commenters that don’t make six figures. I could have sworn that we had a reader survey more recently, but I only found the 2016 results. Per that survey, 55% make less than 100k.
+1. Everyone is not loaded. But I think the self-selection skews towards people who strive for finer things (for some that’s clothes, for others career, family, nice house
.. and finer in the broadest sense of “better”, not necessarily expensive). I.e. I think there is a great deal of strivers and seekrs here, regardless of income level.
I think it’s also just more memorable to hear what people say they have/do as opposed to noticing what people don’t.
I use the “only touch it once” system. When I take off a piece of jewelry, it goes straight into the jewelry box and doesn’t get set down on the dresser to be put away later. As soon as I come through the door, my shoes get put away in the coat closet. Laundry is folded and put away as soon as the dryer finishes. All mail goes straight from the mailbox into the recycling bin or the “pay this bill” spot in my desk drawer. Incoming packages are immediately opened and dealt with. Etc. Just putting everything away in the moment saves so much time and effort in the long run.
I aspire to this but am not yet at 100% implementation.
I make the bed probably 4/7 mornings. We’re very uncluttered. We have no piles – sometimes a couple pieces of clothes get kicked off at night on the side of the bed, but they go in the hamper in the attached walk-in closet the next day. I think the biggest thing that ads to this is that 100% of our clothes are in the closet so they never land in the bedroom when they’re clean. We also don’t have a lot of excess furniture for things to pile on,
The messiest thing is our carpet – it’s navy blue pattern and we have a golden retriever/cocker dog. So if vacuuming doesn’t happen for a few days, that’s a disaster.
I only started making my best since COVID WFH because it’s directly behind me on Zoom, so I have it look nice. I used to have 2 pillows per side of the bed but now have 4 per side (Euro sham, regular pillow in sham cover, regular pillow, and accent pillow) plus a middle pillow, so a total of 9, and it’s a bit out of hand. I’m single though, so extra pillows just end up on the other half of the bed, rather than on the floor, which would gross me out.
I’m usually not terribly messy, but I have one chair that constantly has a pile of stuff on it. Typically things waiting to be ironed/steamed but I’m too lazy to do that + stuff worn once but still clean enough to be worn again.
I have to have a tidy bedroom, or everything feels slightly out of control. I wouldn’t call it insta-perfect, but clothes are picked up, slippers are stored under the bed, and the bed is made daily. I religiously wash sheets every weekend.
Our room is a disaster, and probably always will be, because my husband is a piler. Also a re-wearer. I have my slobbish tendencies too, but mine tend to be “I need to put this basket of laundry away” or “I need to switch my seasonal clothing,” not literal piles on the floor.
Meh. We have bigger fish to fry when it comes to home stuff. I’ll worry about the bedroom when the kitchen and living room are tackled (so, 2045).
Mine is a mess basically always. Bed never gets made. Even a giant walkin closet hasn’t made a difference. But I live alone so no one gets hurts.
My bed is always made, but that’s the only tidy thing about my bedroom… always been this way since I was a child, unfortunately.
Team haven here, too. Don’t care at all about styling the bed (apart from well chosen bed linens) – no decorative pillows etc, but everything looks nice even if the bed isn’t made.
I have some hooks on the bedroom door, and that’s where robes, and slightly dirty trousers or whatever hang. On the top of the nightstands there might be a couple of books. Alarm. Lamps. Room for phone. Water glasses.
That’s it, normally. Currently there is a little storage (contained) that needs to be in the bedroom because of WFH (items displaced from living room because of WFH) and I hate that and want to get rid of that box (a cubic foot in size).
I actually sort of “unmake” the bed – I pull the coverings and top sheet back and down neatly in order to allow the inner sheet layers to air out.