Holiday To-Do: Create a Zen Bedroom

By Jordan Elizabeth

At the end of a long, stressful day dealing with your little darlings, traffic, your retired husband who seems to be "a little bored" and the ever-expanding, never-dwindling to-do list, all you want to do is relax and crawl into bed. Often, our bedrooms are the most disorganized room in the house.

Today I'll share with you how to create a calm space and get better sleep. Here are a few easy ways to create a more zen bedroom:

1. Pick Your Clothes Up, Get Rid of Clutter!

Unless you're an extremely tidy person (in which case...why are you even reading this? You’ve also probably finished your entire week to-do list by Tuesday, stop showing off!), you likely leave a trail of rejected sartorial choices on the floor as you rush out to the morning's charity breakfast. Take the extra minute to hang up your haute couture as soon as you decide it isn't the right shade of chartreuse. It will be one less thing you have to do later when you return home.

The same goes for all the neat piles of "stuff" you have on your nightstand, dresser...basically any surface. Everyone loves a tchotchke, but displaying too many of them creates a schizophrenic environment. Choose one or two, and banish the rest! Next, keep those surfaces clean!  Stop letting your cosmetics and random objects cumulate! Organize them, file them away, and maintain a minimalist philosophy.

Remember, it takes less time to put things in their proper place the first time, then wait until your entire boudoir looks like an episode of Extreme Hoarders.

2. Minimize the Furniture.

Are you sure you need 27 pillows, those giant side tables, a desk, a chair, a dresser and a TV stand in your bedroom? Survey says: absolutely not. Pare your furniture down to what you really need and use to go to sleep...and move the desk into the living room. It’s taking up space and reminding you of that never-ending to-do list. How could you possibly be zen?!

3. Make it Cozy.

Now that we've hung up all your St. John suits and can see the floor, let's make it feel cozy with a shag area rug! It’s such a simple touch. There is something about a white, faux-fur area rug that exudes comfort and class. Even better, you can get one at Overstock under $100! Hence, when you inevitably spill your coffee on it and stain it, it’s not heartbreaking to replace.  

A fresh coat of paint is an easy fix, too. Listen, usually the hardest part of painting is committing to a day to do it. Once you get going, it’s really not that bad. (Or hire someone else to do it, then it’s really easy!) Opt for neutrals like a gray, off-white or pretty taupe. They are much more calming than that bright, blood orange color that caught your eye at Home Depot. It may seem more fun, but bright colors are too much on the eyes, and you know you’re going to get sick of it in a year and a real task to re-do!

The same can be said for furniture and bedding - chose earth tones with pops of green. They’re easy on the eyes and truly do have a calming effect.

4. Unplug!

Storing your gadgets in your bedroom is a huge distraction. I love watching TV in bed just as much as the next person, but studies have shown that those who don’t sleep with a TV get better sleep. And a personal study shows that if I watch Netflix in bed, “one more episode” becomes “four more” and then it’s 3am.

Secondly, remove your iPhone from your bed! It’s only been, what, five years since we’ve had cell phones permanently attached to our hands? You, and your precious phone, will not only survive spending the night apart, but you will be more zen without it. Leave it on the nightstand, or better yet, in the living room. Besides, what’s more zen than getting a solid 8 hours of sleep with the appropriate number of REM cycles? Nothing.

5. Re-Think The Lighting.

Get rid of the harsh fluorescent lighting! It’s tough on your peepers and more importantly, it’s unflattering. Overhead lighting can also be too much, especially if it’s directed mainly in one direction. Replace the standard-issue light fixture with a nature-inspired fixture that gives off a more subtle glow. It’s much more interesting to look at!

Instead of sticking with the boring standard two-lamps-on-the-nightstands layout, try out different lighting variations. Switching to a couple floor lamps with dimmers is a better way to spread out the light.

Finally, add some lightly scented candles to really create a warm, calm space. 

You can make a few small changes to make your bedroom more zen and as a result, increase your sanity level. At least until it's time to tackle tomorrow's to-do list!

Image Source, 1, 2, 3, 4 

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