You deal with a lot in the hours between walking out your door in the morning and hitting the pillow at night (meetings, lunch dates, drugstore runs, life). Translation: With everything clamoring for your attention, perfecting your personal living space can feel like a waste of your precious time.
But according to Well+Good home editor Ali Finney, keeping your pad (and especially your bedroom) tidy is just as much a self-care essential as your commitment to your weekly yoga class or natural beauty balm.
“Creating a space that feels organized is just as much of a wellness exercise as going to the gym,” Finney says. “If you file it under ‘things to be mindful of,’ it becomes less of a chore and more of a beautiful thing you do for yourself every day.”
“Creating a space that feels organized is just as much of a wellness exercise as going to the gym.”
And staying tidy actually can have big payoffs—including to help you chill out. “There are all sorts of studies that show that stress levels plummet when you have a neat and tidy room,” Finney says. “It’s especially conducive to a cool, low-stress vibe. When I walk into my room and there are clothes everywhere, I feel stressed and more inclined to start putting things away rather than sitting down and enjoying a relaxing night at home.”
To help with your Marie-Kondo-esque makeover, Finney has some all-star advice for how to turn your home into a streamlined oasis. “Which is what we all want when we go home, right?” Finney says. “After a long day, you want your home to be your happy place.” Retweet.
Scroll down for genius organizational tips that will turn your bedroom into a healthy haven.
1. Maximize under-utilized spaces
“Keeping your space clean is rule number one,” Finney says, but she notes it’s especially important to make sure your bedroom is uncluttered before you get some shuteye.
“It makes sense that as you’re sleeping you want to be surrounded by a nice space,” she says. “Making your bed in the morning—rather than leaving the floor scattered with throw pillows—makes it nice to get into it at night, too, and it can make sleep feel like such a luxury (which for the time-poor it is!).”
To capitalize on those relaxation vibes (and make it easy for yourself to keep everything tidy), Finney suggests using your space to its full capacity—whether you live in a studio or a four-bedroom home. “I roll my sweaters, and keep shoes and sometimes workout clothes under my bed,” she says. “It’s like having another dresser.”
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2. Don’t let your nightstand turn into a junk drawer
Because it’s the last surface you interact with before you hop into bed, it’s easy for your nightstand to become a catchall for half-filled cups of water, tubes of lip balm, and empty melatonin bottles.
Finney’s advice? “Find something with a drawer than can function as your night-time survival kit, so when you need something in the middle of the night you know right where to reach—while still keeping the top clear so the feng shui of your room is in order,” she says.
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3. Incentivize yourself to clean up as you go
Once you have everything organized, the best way to keep it that way is by cleaning up as you go—so you don’t end up with heaps of clothes on the floor after a week of feeling indecisive about your outfit choices (been there). “My dad taught me that a long time ago in regards to keeping the kitchen clean, and now I try to apply it to all areas of my home,” Finney says. “So I try to hang my clothes up right away when I change into my PJs at night. I try not to let the piles even start.”
Finney motivates herself to stay organized by making her storage spaces pretty to look at. “I think shelves are a great place to keep your books, but boxes can function as bookends, and also hold jewelry, scarves, or mementos. It’s nice to mix function and beautiful decorative elements together.”
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4. Store items you don’t use daily
If you know you’re probably not going to bother to iron the wrinkles out of your jeans (ain’t nobody got time for that) there’s no reason to keep your ironing board set up 24/7, especially if space is scarce. Finney suggests keeping your daily-use items somewhere that’s easy to access, but keeping larger, lesser-used items put away until you need them.
“On my desktop at home I keep file folder holders, pencil boxes, and a tub that holds any documents I need to have handy like press releases and notes from interviews,” she says. “I live in a tiny apartment, and with my desk being right by my living room, my chair sometimes looks out of place, so it would be nice to have one that I could tuck away.” Consider that your secret space-saving hack.
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