If you need to de-clutter your bedroom, take each item into your hands and ask if it brings you joy.
Yes, joy. This is one of the key elements of the “KonMari Method,” a trending household name thanks to Marie Kondo and her Netflix hit, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”
When Netflix premiered the show at the turn of 2019, it seemed like every single one of my friends was taking pictures of their de-cluttering adventures, closely following each step of the Method. I got in on the action as well, trying to fold my clothes into thirds, thanking two garbage bags filled with clothes before donating them, and actually making my bed every morning (neatly!).
For us at Sleepopolis, we’re particularly interested in what an orderly bedroom can do for us — could Marie Kondo’s life-changing ideas also lead to better sleep?
The Marie Kondo Method In Your Bedroom
The KonMari Method might be more than a Netflix-meets-Instagram trend. A handful of studies show a connection between an organized house and lower levels of stress. (1) (2) Many experts believe having extra stuff can trigger our stress hormone, cortisol, while a cluttered environment makes it harder to process information. (3)
Re-organizing and decluttering your room could very well lower stress levels and keep you content. (4) Since we’re focused on ways to get your best Zzz’s, here is how you can apply the Marie Kondo method in your own sleep space:
1.) First, Greet Your Room
The KonMari Method is grounded in gratitude. Every show begins with her sitting down in a new home to greet and thank the space. While it might feel a little odd, give it a whirl! Sit on your bed and remind yourself how grateful you are to have a cozy space to slumber. Hopefully, this will also allow you to visualize what you want your bedroom to become: orderly, clean, and joyful.
2.) Only Keep Clothes That Elicit Joy
There’s a good chance your closet and drawers are overflowing with clothes. To dutifully declutter, begin by placing every item on your bed (perks of a California King size mattress) so you can see exactly how much apparel you’ve accumulated. Pick up each item and decide what you will keep and what you will toss (or donate) by seeing which sparks joy. In the show, Kondo says an item that provides happiness will actually promote a bodily reaction; you might hug the item, or smile when it’s in your hands. For items you don’t wear or simply do not spark happiness, thank them before tossing.
3.) Use the “Bag-in-Bag” Method
If you have a lot of random bags, totes, and backpacks, put one bag inside another so each item also acts as its own storage unit! This will save a ton of space on your shelves and keep things clean, which is key since sleep quality has been connected to an orderly bedroom! (5) Try to organize these by type of bag, too: paper bags, backpacks, purses, and handbags, should all be separate.
4.) Wash Your Sheets — Weekly
In her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo explains that a clean room is a happy room, and also could make you happier, too! Since we sleep in our bed every night, our sheets and blankets get dirty quite quickly. Make a habit out of washing your sheets and pillowcases every week. An added benefit is fresh scents and smells are also known to promote good moods and reduce stress. (6)
5.) Get the Lighting Right
Kondo explains that your bedroom is a place to unplug and recharge, and she recommends turning your bedroom into a “spa-like” space. Studies also show that a clean, quiet, and dark room is an important piece to the sleep-well puzzle. (7) This includes good lighting, too — a necessary element of any relaxing space. (8) Consider adding a dimmer to your light switch, burning a soft candle before bed, or swapping out the bright overhead light for a nice lamp. Bonus points for keeping the room cool, too (aim for around 65 degrees). And please, please: keep the blue light from screens out of sight!
6.) Always Make Your Bed
Sorry folks, making the bed every morning is a non-negotiable. In fact, a survey by the National Sleep Foundation looked at the relationship between bedroom environment and shuteye and found that people who made their beds in the morning were 19 percent more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep. (9) In addition, a survey of nearly 70,000 people revealed that 71 percent of bed makers report feeling happy, while 62 percent of non-bed makers consider themselves unhappy. (10) As the saying goes, “the state of your bed is the state of your head.”
7.) Keep Your Closet Space Separate From Your Partner
If you share your bedroom with a partner, don’t combine clothes and other personal belonging in one closet or drawer section. Rather, each person should have a designated space and be responsible for his or her own section. So even if it’s tempting, don’t combine winter coats or other items — keep ‘em separate!
8.) Arrange Stuff By Color
For items that run the rainbow — whether books, shoes, or clothes — Kondo suggests organizing them by color. Not only will this look super cool, but it might also make it easier to find things. Plus, it could inspire you to keep everything else tidy, since you’ll want your bedroom to continue to be as beautiful as all the colors on display.
9.) Use Clear Bins for Miscellaneous Items (Komono)
For the random stuff we keep stored away in bedside tables and on top of dresser drawers, Kondo says to organize them by category in clear bins so you can visually see what’s inside. For electronics, keep each chord in its own tiny box (like a jewelry box) so the wires are not stacking on top of one another. These small boxes can all go in a larger container, like a shoebox.
We want to hear from you: Have you tried the Marie Kondo method in your own bedroom? How has it made you feel, and what has it done for your sleep? Give us a shout on social media or in the comments below!
- Yasuko Aso, Kazue Yamaoka, et al. Effectiveness of a ‘Workshop on Decluttering and Organising’ programme for teens and middle-aged adults with difficulty decluttering: a study protocol of an open-label, randomised, parallel-group, superiority trial in Japan. BMJ Open. 2017; 7(6)
- Saxbe DE, Repetti R. No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2010 Jan;36(1):71-81
- Stress Management: How decluttering your space could make your healthier and happier. Mayoclinic.org
- The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter. Nytimes.com
- The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness. Psychologytoday.com
- Irina C, Barry S.O. Expectancy of Stress-Reducing Aromatherapy Effect and Performance on a Stress-Sensitive Cognitive Task. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 419812.
- Bedroom Poll: Summary of Findings. Sleepfoundation.org
- Seulki H, Daehee L. The effects of treatment room lighting color on time perception and emotion. J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Jul; 29(7): 1247–1249
- Study Indicates a Cleaner Bedroom Can Mean Better Sleep. Sleepbetter.org
- Make Your Bed, Change Your Life? Psychologytoday.com
Photo: @mariekondo on Instagram