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Simplifying Home | Week 5: Bedrooms + Closets
Clean + DeclutterThere are a variety of ways to go through the clothes in your closets and dressers. As with most things, my preferred method involves pulling everything out, cleaning the empty, then carefully considering each piece that goes back in. I evaluate clothing with the basic questions: Do I love it, does it fit, is it versatile (worn in a few different outfits, dressed up/dressed down, worn in warm/cool weather), is it in good, wearable condition? Anything that doesn't get a strong yes to each of those questions is considered for the outbox. Some items might be kept in the closet, but added to a "needs replaced" list so that I know what to shop for next time I have some money for clothing.
Dressers and bedroom shelves are a magnet for lots of extra clutter, from the leftovers of our pockets/purses to the loose ends from the living room that we need to clear out before company arrives. Now is a good time to clear of these surfaces, clean them, then carefully consider what is essential. Do you really need a stack of reading material, lotions, sick supplies (from that cold you had last month) on your nightstand? Put items away where they belong. And enjoy a cleared space.
LimitsAs you work through decluttering your home and learning to say "no, thanks" so excess isn't brought in, it might be time to start setting limits. Limits include what you set for yourself. After decluttering you'll likely have a better idea of how much is enough and how much is too much stuff throughout your home. The hard part comes when these limits need to be discussed with friends or family.
If your relationships in the past include receiving whatever is given to you, or gifts for all occasions, or meeting up to go shopping, then it might be time to change the dynamics a little. Especially when involving people you see regularly, this should be pretty easy to work into ongoing conversations. Sharing your process and challenges is a good start, then ease into how that affects your shopping habits or how you'll be doing gifts.
Floors or TimerAre you getting tired of being reminded weekly to clean your home? It's all too easy to forget that even when we're overwhelmed, busy or just plain tired, it really doesn't take much to keep up the basics of maintaining our homes. By now you might also realize a preference--when you're tired or short on time, is it easier for you to set the timer for twenty minutes or to go throughout the home cleaning floors and surfaces? Which one brings about the best results? These are good things to consider in preparation for next week's task of implementing your own weekly cleaning routine.
BedWhile you have the bed/mattress moved so you can vacuum under it, you may as well go ahead and flip the mattress and change all of the bedding while you're at it. This is a great time to take inventory of your bedding--pillows, sheets, mattress covers, comforters, duvet covers, blankets etc. Does any of it need replaced? At least wash it all it--especially items not routinely washed.
Art and PhotosArtwork and frames should be hung 57" on center. What that means is that the center of the frame or the center of a collage should be 57 inches up from the floor. This hits at a good eye level. The exceptions might be if a frame or collage is being hung directly over a shelf or piece of furniture. Even over our sofa, centering the frame at 57" looks good.
Also, I love Myquillyn's encouragement in The Nesting Place to get over our fear of putting nail holes in the wall. Go ahead and hang something. If you decide to change it, the holes are tiny and easy to cover up.
Capsule WardrobeHow much time do you spend in the morning trying to figure out what to wear? If that's a point of frustration for you, it might be time to start thinking about a capsule wardrobe. Decision fatigue can keep us from being able to focus on decisions that really matter at work or in life, so simplifying simple decisions like what to wear can help. Having a "uniform" of sorts is a good start. What is your go-to outfit? How might you be able to replicate that a few ways to wear throughout the week?
Before you jump on the new wardrobe bandwagon, start with looking through what you already have. See how many outfits you can create with each piece (after you rule out the stuff that doesn't fit, etc.). Can you dress up and dress down what you already have? Can you make your current staples work for warm and cool weather? If there's a piece or two that might help create more outfits, then go ahead and add it to your shopping list. But stick with basic pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways.
For more on wardrobe:
Striped Dress 7 Ways
Jeans + Tee 5 Ways for Fall
BedtimeMost of us know that screen time before bed can inhibit our sleep, yet how many of us actually intentionally shut down plenty of time before bed? At least one night, set your bed time a little earlier. Shut down the computer and tablet, and plug your phone in for the night (out of reach). Get ready for bed, then simply settle in with a book. Read a page or a few or a chapter. Then, turn the light off and go to sleep whenever you recognize your body feeling sleepy. Maybe choose a book that isn't too engrossing--you don't want to blow past your bedtime ;)
Creating a clean, inspiring space to start and end your days is a great start to getting a better night's sleep. And shutting down to replace before-bed screen time with reading is also a good move. Tomorrow's rested self thanks you.
If you're waking every night with a baby or in another life season that inhibits sleep, then read this: Look and Feeling Awake.
Your Home ProjectsDon't forget to add one or two tasks you really want to complete this week or in your bedroom/closet!
simplifying home: 8-week challenge
week 6: office + workspace
simplicity starts here