10 tips for decluttering a bedroom – clear out the chaos and enjoy peaceful sleep every night

Your eye-bags (and boss) will thank you…

Bedroom with blue walls and wooden shelving and wall panelling above a bed dressed in blue linen bedding
(Image credit: Silentnight)

It’s hard to get your recommended eight-hours of shut-eye amid piles of clutter. Books overflowing on the nightstand, wardrobes bursting at the seams and tiny blue lights flashing from every corner. The stuff of nightmares.

Decluttering your bedroom is the adult version of ‘go tidy your room’, and unfortunately it doesn’t get any more appealing the older you get. You may not have mountains of Lego to sort, but it’s worth exploring bedroom storage ideas before you begin. That way you’ll have plenty of dedicated storage solutions in which to stash what’s left.

Before you start, follow the lead of professional organisers Hayley Harrison and Gemma Abraham and establish your goals. ‘Whether you’re decluttering to make space for new items or looking to refresh the decor, being clear on what you want to achieve will help to inform the decluttering,’ says Hayley. 

Hayley Harrison and Gemma Abraham
Hayley Harrison and Gemma Abraham

After 20 years in the fast-paced worlds of fashion and marketing, friends Hayley and Gemma packed in their jobs and set up a joint business decluttering, Organise-d, organising and detoxing homes for anyone too overwhelmed to face the challenge. They are currently working with House of Fraser to share their bedroom decluttering expertise. 

 Tips for decluttering a bedroom

We’ve got your back and spoken to the experts to find out their top advice on decluttering bedrooms and the best wardrobe storage ideas that will result in a blissfully calm sanctuary. A decent night’s sleep awaits you.

1. Clear away surface clutter

Bedroom with blue walls and wooden shelving and wall panelling above a bed dressed in blue linen bedding

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

The most obvious clutter is the stuff you see every time you enter the bedroom, we’re talking all the detritus that breeds on bedside tables, shelving and the tops of drawers. Tackling this visible clutter first is a great way to get quick results and boost your enthusiasm for what can be a daunting task. 

It’s essential to avoid just swooping everything into a cupboard and shutting the door. If an essential item has a proper home, it should be returned there. But anything that isn’t essential to your life or enhancing the design of your bedroom ideas, should be recycled or donated. 

Try to be brutal with yourself, especially when facing clutter hotspots like your dressing table, which may be overflowing with make-up and toiletries that are past their best or never used. 

‘If you find it tough to part with things, create a ‘maybe’ pile, put it in another room or the loft/garage, and set a reminder for six months time on your phone. If you haven't thought about it during that period then you know the answer,’ recommends professional organiser Charlotte Sitton, aka Organised by Charlotte. Small changes, like switching your bedroom lighting ideas from bedside lamps to wall lights, can clear off surfaces and make your bedside space tidier.

2. Sort out your closet shelves

Navy wardrobes with IKEA fitted drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Wardrobes or built-in storage with shelving instead of drawers are generally less expensive but can be a nightmare to keep tidy. You may start with stacks of beautifully folded sweaters, neatly aligned shoes and artfully perched handbags. But as more ‘stuff’ inevitably gets crammed in, the more it starts to look like a bomb has been detonated. 

Again, a massive clear-out is key. Weed out anything that still has a tag on or you know doesn’t fit well/feel comfortable and donate, donate, donate. The same goes for handbags, accessories and other random items that get shoved down the back of the wardrobe because you can’t think of a better home. We’re looking at you, Christmas wrapping paper rolls and excess scatter cushions.

Finally, it’s time to address those shelves. ‘I often get asked how to keep bedroom storage shelves neat and it depends hugely on the contents. If it's something like bags, I’ll suggest Perspex dividers and bag "fillers" that help keep their shape. Or if it's shoes there are great stackable clear boxes that will show them off beautifully,’ says professional organiser Helen Constantine.

‘However, if your shelving is for clothes, then there are honestly two answers. Either learn to really love folding and get quick at it or use fabric storage boxes so you can keep things categorised, but you can also just throw them in quickly. There are lots of folding gadgets out there, but none really work, I'm sorry to say.’ 

Helen Constantine
Helen Constantine

Almost 20 years in the fashion and retail industry has helped Helen make quick aesthetic decisions and hone her skills for turning chaos into calm. Now established as a professional organiser, she is called upon to reimagine spaces and put systems in place to help maintain order. 

3. Tackle under the bed

grey bed up with storage underneath

(Image credit: Feather & Black)

Do you even know what’s under your bed? Out of sight, out of mind – and probably covered in an inch of dust, is the usual answer. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a storage bed with easily accessible drawers or a lift-up mechanism, most of us just push things under until we can’t see them anymore and move on with our lives. 

‘If you have a regular bed with feet, invest in underbed storage boxes, preferably with wheels to make them easy to slide in and out,’ says Helen Constantine. ‘As access will be tricky, under the bed is best for things that aren’t worn often, like ski wear or off-season shoes. But the key to keeping it under control is to make sure things are grouped together in logical categories, and there is a key system in place with regards to where everything goes. It’s a big area, so this will help you find what you want first time.’ 

4. Improve visibility

A cane-insert wardrobe with a chair to the side

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

Studies reveal most of us wear just 20% of our clothing 80% of the time, and a big reason for that is we literally can’t see the wood for the trees in our cluttered closets. Obviously the massive clear out mentioned above will help, but there are also some simple hacks to help you see all the outfit options, not just the last three things you shoved in there. 

An easy win is to switch out your hangers. Slimline velvet hangers take up far less space than your wooden or mismatched hangers, and the velvet material helps clothing stay in place. We love these slimline velvet hangers available on Amazon.

‘To keep items in your wardrobe really visible, map out your wardrobe space by categorising your clothing into departments, i.e. coats, jackets, dresses etc, and then colour block within those departments to help you see what you have got easily. This not only looks more aesthetically pleasing, but it will also save you time when getting ready,’ advises professional organiser, Hayley Harrison, from Organise-d.

Internal lighting, which can be easily retro-fitted using rechargeable stick-on lights from Amazon, will literally make everything more visible and is one of the best wardrobe storage ideas in bedrooms that lack natural light. Go for fittings with motion sensors to maximise battery life. 

5. Embrace a capsule wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is brilliant for reducing clutter. The idea is you buy clothing that can be put together in a variety of ways, so you have multiple outfits without owning excessive amounts of clothing. Genius. ‘You’ll have less clothes, but clothes that you love/make you feel like your best possible self. This allows you to get dressed quicker and with less stress as your clothes should all work well together,’ explains Helen. 

If you struggle to part with your clothes to embrace the capsule wardrobe life, Helen suggests you consider these four things: 

1. When did you last wear that item?

2. How does it make you feel?

3. Does it go with more than one item in your wardrobe?

4. Is it in good condition (get rid of anything that is stained or has holes in it, no matter how much you've loved it in the past)?

‘You can take the capsule wardrobe concept as far as you want – just clothing or include accessories, shoes, coats and even jewellery,’ she adds.

6. Schedule seasonal switchovers

clothes in vacuum packed bags

(Image credit: Dunelm)

‘Where bedroom drawers and wardrobe space is limited, we highly recommend adopting the practice of seasonal switchovers. You can store the off-season clothes in vacuum storage bags, unused suitcases or under bed storage bags. This will give you more space in your wardrobe and cupboards for items not needed at that moment in time,’ says Charlotte Reddington, co-founder of Style Sisters.

While there will be several transitional items that work through the year, most seasonal switches can be done in late Spring (ready for summer) and late Autumn (ready for winter). Try to store your clothes away clean and in airtight containers so they’ll be ready to go when you need them – but don’t bother with ironing as they’ll only need doing again if creasing bothers you. 

Style Sisters
Charlotte Reddington and Gemma Lilly

AKA Style Sisters, Charlotte is an interior designer and Gemma a fashion stylist who collaboratively came together to create a stylish detox and organising service for the home. From TV room makeovers, a debut book, to sharing organising hacks on social media; Style Sisters are on a mission to promote the positive benefits a tidy space can bring to your home, mind, and wellbeing.

7. Keep culling

bedroom storage

(Image credit: Future PLC)

No matter how good your intentions, clutter has a way of returning. The process is usually so slow you don’t notice until it’s out of control. Do not let your guard down, continuous vigilance is vital and never assume your decluttering is done. 

‘Once your wardrobe is finalised, hang all your hangers in the same direction. Every time you wear something, twist the hanger so it’s on the opposite side. Check-in every three weeks and use this as a visual marker to see what you’ve worn and what’s been untouched. This will help to highlight any items that need to go,’ says Gemma Abraham, co-founder of Organise-d. ‘Another way to keep your wardrobe in good shape is to operate on a one-in-one-out policy, making sure to select fewer but well-thought-out pieces that will work hard.’

8. Sort out tech

a blue and pink bedroom with a laptop open on the dressing table desk

(Image credit: Future/Simon Whitmore)

We all know that charging phones and other blue-light emitting tech isn’t ideal in the bedroom but sometimes it’s just more convenient, or even essential if you’re on-call or have teenagers to keep track of! For those who work from home, a small office space in the bedroom may be the only peaceful option. If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, decluttering your bedroom should include sorting out the tech.

‘It’s often surprising how much tech can build up in the bedroom. Begin by removing any unused electronics, cords, or chargers, keeping only essential devices and their corresponding chargers,’ Penny Moyses, Home Expert and founder of the Clean & Tidy Home Show. ‘Next consider using a cable organiser to keep cords untangled and easy to access and shut as much as possible behind closed doors, or inside storage baskets.’ 

Wireless charging points can also help reduce the visual clutter of trailing cables, and you can buy bedside tables with the tech built in.

Penny Moyses
Penny Moyses

As founder of the Clean & Tidy Home Show, which takes place at Excel London in October, Penny is a passionate advocate for the power of a well-organised and functional living space. She is dedicated to helping people create a living environment that supports their needs, wants, and dreams.

9. Take a hard line with linens

plastic storage containers with blankets inside

(Image credit: Orthex)

If you’ve been a homeowner for more than a couple of years, it’s likely you’ve built up an impressive collection of bedding and bed linen. There’s also a high chance at least one set will be threadbare, another too scratchy and one that’s just plain ugly! ‘Assess your bed linens, pillows, and duvets, keeping only the sets you use and love. Donate or discard excess items and store your linens in a closet or airtight storage container under the bed,’ says Penny from the Clean & Tidy Home Show.

Experts agree that three sets of bed sheets per bed is ideal – one set on the bed, one in the wash and a spare for accidents (especially for kids’ beds). Off-season duvets can be vacuum-packed to take up less space – just pop them in the tumble-dryer or washing line to air when it’s time to switch. 

10. Establish good habits

Decluttering a bedroom is very satisfying, but do you know what’s more satisfying? The smug feeling of knowing you’ll never have to declutter ever again. 

‘Stop the clutter creep with the little and often approach. It's much easier to keep on top of maintaining a tidy space by spending just five minutes a day putting the things you're not using away - hanging up clothes, removing any used glasses or mugs, putting necklaces, rings and earrings back into jewellery boxes,’ says Gemma Lilly, co-founder of Style Sisters

‘The bedroom should be a space of calm and relaxation so we totally think it's worth the small time investment to keep it feeling that way.’


How do I get rid of stuff in my bedroom?

You don’t need to be a natural born hoarder to end up with too much stuff. Even minimalists struggle to let things go, especially clothing, which often comes with emotional ties that evoke fond memories. 

One trick for getting rid of stuff in the bedroom is to phone a friend. ‘Decluttering clothes can become a mammoth task, and often a boring one when you haven’t got a second opinion to keep you from stashing away that dress that you wore once, a decade ago,’ says Elaine Penhaul, from Lemon and Lime. ‘Make it a fun Saturday afternoon task and reciprocate it for one another, then celebrate with a nice lunch out to truly top off your hard work.’  

How do you clear a cluttered bedroom?

When you’re trying to suss out how do you clear a cluttered bedroom, it’s always best to start with a massive cull of everything you don’t need or want in the room. Clothing is usually the biggest cause of bedroom clutter, so begin by pulling everything out and having a proper sort out. 

Elaine recommends grouping clothing by type, like shirts, trousers, and dresses, which will make it more obvious which items you may be falling short on versus those you have more than you need. 

‘If you don’t want to bin or donate everything, particularly branded and expensive clothing, set yourself up on Apps such as Depop or Vinted to sell your best wares,’ she adds.

Linda Clayton

 Linda Clayton is a professionally trained journalist, and has specialised in product design, interiors and fitness for more than two decades. Linda has written for a wide range of publications, from the Daily Telegraph and Guardian to Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She has been freelancing for Ideal Home Magazine since 2008, covering design trends, home makeovers, product reviews and much more.