Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Good Night's rest

If you've ever stayed at a fancy-pants boutique hotel then you know the level of luxury they offer.  There are several things they all have in common:
      1. They are immaculately clean
      2. They have the finest bedding
      3. They are soothing and restful
      4. They are clutter free

The reason we feel so relaxed and content when we return from a vacation - or overnight stay - is because we have secluded ourselves in a place that is NOT mentally or emotionally stimulating.  We give ourselves a chance to "unplug."  

Let me ask you: How do you feel when you wake up in your room, at your home?  Are you rested?  Do you feel overwhelmed by laundry, mail, and piles of un-done tasks?

This month we are working on organizing our homes.  Yesterday I had you take a little break from the "heavy lifting" and organize your living room.  Maybe you used a couple of baskets for storage, maybe you found a way to corral all those books and magazines?  But you should feel a very real sense of accomplishment right now.

Today, we are going to work on your master bedroom.  I want you to wake up EVERYDAY feeling that calm, restful state that comes from a morning started without chaos.

 What if you woke up here?  Look at the floor?  Is there laundry lurking about?  What about the bedside tables?  Is there mail and to-do lists? 

Now take a look at this room.  What do you notice about the bench and chair?   

Lastly, take a look at this room.  There are no clothes lying about, no work to be done on the desk, no agendas on the nightstands.  No clothes to be put away on the bench.  The lighting is soft and soothing.

You're right!  No one actually LIVES in these rooms.  However, you, too can create this feeling of calm in your own home in just a few simple steps.  Here's how:

1.  Make sure your bedroom is a room for sleeping.  I know many of you watch t.v. in your room, read in bed and fold laundry in these areas.  If at all possible, STOP!  If you want your bedroom to be an oasis, then you have to stop making it multi-task.  
2.  Start with one major area at a time.  If your bedroom is a catch all for everything in the house - the vacuum, the mail, the kids' toys - then start with one area and revise that area.  Make your room off limits to piles of mail - relocate it somewhere else.  If bill paying is done here, move it to another area of your home.  It creates stress in an otherwise restful place.  And YOU DON'T NEED THAT!

3.  Create a feeling of calm in your bedroom with simple, clean bedding.  White sheets always make a bed feel like a spa.  They're easily cleaned with a little Nature Bright and you don't have to worry about toxins from bleach while you sleep.  
     Keep artwork calming and natural, if possible.  If you review the photos above, you'll notice there isn't an over abundance of artwork... just a few simple pieces to keep the room from being sterile.
     Color is also central to the feeling of calm.  In the photos above, you'll notice there are some vibrant colors, but they are all very restful - no neon, no loud, in your face color schemes.  It's kept restful and simple.  Even if you love to decorate with red, you can do so in a simple and restful way. 

4.  Get rid of the clutter!  I'm not talking about the items in step 2.  I'm talking about the extra clutter.  Getting rid of clutter gives you clarity of mind.  A messy bedroom at night will effect you - even if you don't see it, your brain knows it's there, needed to be processed.  Don't place items around or under your bed - let the area breathe...  Get rid of things that don't have a positive purposed and eliminate distractions like open closet doors and dresser drawers.

Today I'm giving you a task list.  Check it off as you go, and before you know it, your room will be the oasis you long for after a long, tiring day.

Step one: The Bed.

___ Strip your bed.  Everything comes off, sheets, blankets, quilts, duvets.  It all will be processed in time.
___ Throw your sheets in the washer.  Blankets, quilts and duvets can be tossed on low heat in the dryer for 10 minutes to remove dust and allergens.  Ready?  Go!

Step two: Bedside tables and nightstands

___ Evaluate the items you have on your bedside table.  Process the negative clutter.  If you don't need it in the first moments of waking, or the last moments before falling asleep, then it needs a new home! 
___ Find a small decorative bowl, basket or plate to corral all your things that are allowed to stay; watches, rings, ear plugs, etc.  Your table top won't look cluttered if these things are in a small dish.
___ Reading materials: if you're not currently reading them, find a new place for them.  My rule is one book and one magazine - but they are kept in a basket or drawer.  They are NOT on the table top.
___ One lamp and one alarm clock are all you need. 

Step Three:  Laundry and Clothing

___ Make sure all dresser drawers are able to be closed.  If not, sort through these areas and purge until your drawers are organized and clutter free.  Your dresser top should follow the same rules as your nightstands.  No clutter.  A couple of family photos, a small lamp, a sentimental memento, but NO CLUTTER.  No bills, no mail, no kids papers.  Process everything that isn't conducive to rest.

___ Closets are big clutter culprits.  We just spend some time organizing our closets so yours should be in great condition.  If you have room a hamper or laundry bin is a great way to keep the visual clutter of dirty laundry out of sight and out of mind.  Even a stray pair of socks on the floor should be picked up before your head hits the pillow.

Step Four: The extras

___Evaluate your artwork.  Your bedroom should be clean and restful.  Choose artwork that allows your mind to relax.  If you have too much artwork in your bedroom, decide which 3 are your favorite and limit your walls to those three.  If you want family photos in your bedroom, limit one small 4 x 6 photo frame per table top.  Otherwise, you begin to feel cluttered very quickly.
___If you're in to knick-knacs and small items, this step may be difficult for you.  Try to limit yourself to one "collection" of these items.  Try to display them as one unified collection.  Remember the less stuff you display, the less visual clutter.  

Step Five: Clean your room!

___ Dust your newly straightened furniture.  It should be a breeze to do now that it's cleared off.
___ Clean your floor.  Run the vacuum or the dust mop but get the floor nice and tidy.
___Check under the bed.  Sometimes you have to use the underneath side of the bed as storage.  If this is the case for you, be sure the things you store under your bed are neat and tidy.  Don't let it become a black hole like when you were a kid.

Step Six:  Reassemble!

Your bedding should be clean and dry by now.  Dress your bed.  Keep it simple, though.  If you like a dozen decorative pillows, try to limit it to three.  It's easier to make your bed, unmake your bed, and won't create a tripping hazard in the night with all those pillows lying about.

Now that your bedroom is clean and organized, how do you feel?  Probably very tired.  Maybe even exhausted... Good!  Let me know how you rest tonight in your calm and relaxing oasis you've worked so hard to create!

Only By His Grace,


To join me on a tour of our own master bedroom, go here.

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