Most people want their bedrooms to be a peaceful area, a sort of safe haven from the bustle and stress of everyday life. Unfortunately, clutter, over-crowding, and poor decoration choices can leave your bedroom feeling unwelcoming an uncomfortable.

Here’s a three step process on how to organize your bedroom and make it a room that you look forward to coming home to.

Declutter Your Bedroom

Purge your closet of all items that you haven’t used in over a year.

Purge clothing you don’t need

I’m sure you’ve heard it before:  most people have dozens of clothing items that they never wear. You can try using the “clothes hanger” technique, which means turning the clothes hanger the wrong way after you use the item of clothing. Six months later, you will probably have many hangers that never got turned, because you never wore that article of clothing.

However, if you’re honest with yourself, you probably have a pretty good idea already of what you have no plans to ever wear again (barring extraordinary events, like 80s fashions coming back in style). Donate it! The Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other clothing donation center can do a lot more good with your unwanted clothing than just wasting space in your closet.

Take out distracting elements

Feng shui has it right: it’s hard to deny that there is something distracting about having non-relaxing objections in your bedroom, whether you call them “yang” elements or not. Examples include treadmills, work desks, televisions, or phones, which are high-energy items and belong in your home office or in the living area, not the bedroom.

Set Up New Organization for Your Bedroom

Use vertical space and hidden storage

Some examples are hollow storage nightstands and under bed drawers that slide into otherwise wasted space. If you’ve got the space and the budget, a chest of drawers might serve you well, though plenty of small home dwellers get by with just using their closet for all clothing storage.

Keep the floor clean

Worn clothes usually get removed in the bedroom, and even a few dirty clothes on the floor quickly makes your bedroom looking like a mess. If you don’t have the discipline to walk to the laundry hamper or the laundry room every time you undress, you might be better served with a chic, closed-top laundry hamper in the bedroom, too. Sure, it takes up valuable floor space, but you have to balance the ideals of a perfectly-organized apartment with the reality of human behavior.

The same goes for having a shoe rack and jewelry/accessories area to store your other garments – in a perfect world, you would put them away in a concealed storage area the second you took them off, but we’re not perfect, so we adapt. Just keeping clutter off the floor and off exposed surfaces will make an incredible difference to your bedroom’s appearance.

Create a better bedroom layout

Our bedroom feng shui article goes into more detail on laying out your bedroom floor plan according to the tenets of modern feng shui. One of the basics is not to face the bed toward any doors, but also don’t place it under a window if you can help it.

Other basics are to keep the “yang”, or high-energy elements, to a minimum, though you can intentionally bring in a single yang element to provide some balance to the room. Also, keep lighting soft (use a dimmer if you can), and beige, brown, or peach walls are the ideal color. Try to keep the entire room feeling soft, clean, and organized.

Bedroom Decoration Tips

A mid-toned sage green and matching nightstand lamps combine to create a soft, comfortable bedroom

Decide the color scheme and bedroom wall colors

Most people will be happiest with mid-toned colors in their bedrooms, and a fairly simple color scheme. Fun, energetic patterns might be cute elsewhere in your home, but they can be uncomfortable to look at in the bedroom, when you’re trying to relax.

In small bedrooms especially, you might want to err toward the lighter colors if you’re having trouble narrowing down a potential bedroom color. Unless you know what you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t paint the ceiling either. With dark colors or a painted ceiling, many bedrooms can start to feel like a crowded cave.

Choose bedding, pillows, and visual headboards

The eye is naturally drawn to the bed, which is good, because the bed can easily be the most aesthetically pleasing part of the bedroom with a little effort. If you’ve got an attractive headboard already, your job is even easier. If not, use your walls or artwork near the bed to draw attention to your bed.

Add soft lighting

You probably don’t want glaring fluorescent light everywhere in your bedroom, but an under-lit, dim bedroom looks dreary and is just as uninviting as one that is overwhelmingly bright. The trick is to use multiple sources of soft, diffuse light in your bedroom. Ceiling and wall-mounted lamps are ideal because they will not take up floor space, but desk and floor lamps are generally less expensive and will work well also.