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Can decluttering and organizing improve your sleep?

Getting a good night’s sleep is something many of us aim for, but it can be challenging at times to obtain. There could be several reasons why sleep is difficult for some people, but clearing the way and starting bedtime routines for a better night’s rest gives you a better shot at achieving it. Decluttering and organizing your home, especially your bedroom, can help eliminate some of the mental barriers that keep us tossing and turning at night.

Being busy can sometimes lead to a messy bedroom, but that doesn't mean you're disorganized. You can always put things away and tidy up your place in your spare time. The real trouble starts when finding a place for things or keeping surfaces clear becomes difficult. Disorganization creeps in when these habits cause anxiety about not finding what you need when you need it, which can then spread to other parts of your home and life, making you feel anxious and out of control.

Feeling overwhelmed can make it difficult to focus or make decisions, often resulting in overthinking, worry, and feelings of guilt. If you delay dealing with these feelings, it can lead to more serious consequences. Recognizing these patterns early is crucial to preventing them from causing more problems to escalate.

You may have various reasons why you can’t sleep, and your sleep doctor might help with this. Drawing from my own experience dealing with sleep challenges during shift work, I can suggest one thing that might help calm your mind and take control of your space. Whether finding a solution to the lack of sleep is your current goal or not, by decluttering and organizing your home, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and, magically, a sense of confidence and relief. Problems may appear less daunting and can hopefully lead you to the clarity of mind that guides you to better decision-making.

How do you tackle decluttering and organizing your home and bedroom for better sleep? 

Start by understanding that your lack of sleep may have left you with little to no energy motivation. Take it easy and tackle your organizing task, little by little. You’ll gain momentum and you’ll move forward more quickly as you start to see the benefits. Once you’ve decluttered your bedroom, you will notice improvements in other areas of your home as well.  Especially, how your habits—both beneficial and disruptive—build upon themselves. Here are a few steps to consider when creating a better sleeping environment:

Create a Sleeping Sanctuary: In every apartment I've lived in, I've always made my bedroom a cozy retreat for sleep. I hung blackout curtains on the windows, kept dirty laundry hidden away, and got rid of distractions like the TV and exercise equipment. This made me feel less guilty about not exercising and helped me stay focused on my tasks. Keeping my room tidy also helped me break my procrastination habits and stick to a more empowering schedule.

Declutter Your Space: Keep only the essentials for good sleep in your bedroom, like comfortable pillows, and support pillows, and find storage solutions for everything else. Remove the dust, and clean the furniture surfaces. Keep the floor clear of dirty laundry, piles of books, and projects so that you have room to move around in, or stretch. Clean your bedding regularly to reduce allergens; dust and mites and to improve easy breathing.

Improve the Air Quality: Did you know that the air quality in your bedroom can impact your sleep? Improve the air quality by vacuuming your rugs regularly, opening windows daily to let in fresh air, investing in an air purifier, and keeping plants that purify the air.

Establish a Calming Bedtime Routine: A calming bedtime routine can signal to your body that it's time to wind down. Establish a routine that works for you. Start by removing the things that distract your attention from a good night’s sleep, like the TV. Removing your TV altogether from the room or setting a timer to switch it off at a specific time will prevent the blue light from disrupting your body's sleep cycle. Start a habit of putting away your clothes, and straightening out the surfaces and side tables. Create a sleep station with a water bottle, tissues, or whatever else you need in the middle of the night. Commit to new bedtime rituals like writing a gratitude list, reading a book, stretching, or doing yoga.

By decluttering your bedroom, improving air quality, and establishing a calming bedtime routine, you can create a peaceful haven that promotes restful sleep. Start implementing these tips today and see how they’ll help you transform the quality of your sleep and overall well-being.


Blog post by Elizabeth Lulu Miranda: Lulu has been working as a home and office organizer in Chicago for over 15 years. She brings new perspectives on how to have an organized life. Writing for the Mercury Organizing blog “Create the Flow" and her personal blog “What would Lulu Do?"

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