I’ve stayed in some pretty terrible accommodation over the years.
There was the blood-spotted linen of a bedbug-infested hostel in Rome. The Thai bungalow where our toilet emptied directly onto the ground below the bed. Not to mention the leaky Dodge van named Esme that we slept in for a month in the Floridian summer. Rancid pillows. Mouldy floors. Amorous hostel room-mates. You name it, we’ve seen it, which is perfect for a life on the road.
But at home? Notsomuch.
The bedroom is supposed to be a haven of calm, a place to rest and relax, a space of comfort. Which is funny, because our bedroom is often all about piles of folded laundry, random toys, empty glasses and four in a bed.
Creating a simple bedroom is one of the essentials of having a slow home, as it provides you with room to relax, space to disconnect and the quiet to rest.
Here’s 5 ways you can turn your bedroom into the haven you need:
Again with the decluttering? Yes! It’s the single best way to promote calm, clear out dust and give a breath of fresh air to your space.
2. Go Small
The smaller the space, the better your chances of really simplifying. If you have a large bedroom with tonnes of furniture, shelving and wardrobe space, you’re simply likely to fill it with stuff. Sparky and I now share one small wardrobe. We know it’s time to organise and cull when that space gets cramped.
If your bedroom is large, consider moving to a smaller room or designating half the space for chilling out. No furniture aside from a couch or chair to encourage reading, quiet time or early-morning meditation.
3. Get Rid of the Gadgets
No TV, no phones, no laptops and no smartphones. No kidding. (I admit I have been guilty of the phone-next-to-the-bed sin. But I definitely sleep better and drift off faster with some tech-free time before I bed.)
While I do read Kindle books on my iPad at night, I find it sometimes impacts on my ability to get to sleep. Ideally a (real!) book is the best option, but there are also e-readers that don’t use the blue backlight of an iPad. These are a better option for night-reading, but so not in our budget right now. (So I try to limit the amount of screen reading I do in bed, to various levels of success.)
4. Light and Airy
You want good natural light, fresh air, effective window coverings that keep the room private but allow the daylight in, as well a lamp next to the bed. Reading, dressing, loving – you want the room to be comfortable for all its intended purposes.
5. Somewhere to Sit (other than the bed)
A bench at the end of the bed is your best option – it gives you somewhere to sit while putting on your shoes and somewhere to lay out the clothes for the next day. Avoid using it as a dumping ground for laundry, dirty clothes and handbags – this will just return the clutter you’re trying to clear out. And if you don’t think you can avoid it, then consider a smaller chair instead.
Obviously, everyone’s idea of a dream bedroom is different and what works for me may not work for you. But if you’re looking to slow down and simplify and are low on time, creating a simple bedroom gives you a big return on your investment.
These tips also work for kids rooms, although the ages of your kids will impact how much of it they actually apply. Start with your own room first and show them how nice it is to have a private space where you can chill out, and who knows, maybe they will follow your lead? (Or maybe not.)
Not Convinced? Give it a Trial Run
- Leave the technology out of the bedroom for a week and see how it makes you feel.
- Clear everything off your bedside tables – with the exception of a book, lamp and glass of water. See the serenity some empty space brings.
- Make an effort to open the curtains and windows every morning.
- Try making your bed every morning – first thing. Sounds silly, but it starts your day with a small achievement and makes your bedroom into the haven you deserve.
Try these changes for one week and take note of any differences you feel. Do you feel less stressed? Is it easier to get to sleep at night? Is your quality of sleep improving?
While creating a simple bedroom won’t fix all your stresses and worries, it will give you a safe, relaxed space to return to every evening. Why not try it out and let us know how you feel?