By Elly Leavitt

Published on March 12, 2018

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Photography by Cody Guilfoyle
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Photography by Michael wiltbank

You might think you are able to get away with a less-than-pristine bedroom, because it’s not technically a communal space easily visible to visitors. You would be correct. However, in the name of personal development and Marie Kondo, it bodes well for the future to get in the habit of keeping a perpetually organized bedroom. Trust us, your future self will thank you when you’re running late and you actually know where that pair of red suede boots are hidden.

But while saying you want to be more organized is all well and good, actually implementing a new lifestyle is a completely different story. Here’s how to clean up every part of your room once and for all. Who knows? It may even inspire you to tackle organizing your entire home.

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How to organize… the closet

Simultaneously the best and worst part of most bedrooms, the closet can either be an efficient storage unit or a stress-inducing black hole to which you relinquish your clothes, never to be seen again. Your best bet for making your wardrobe tidy is introducing seasonal rotation. “The first step in the process is to take everything out. This encourages you to be a bit more discerning about what you put back in your closet,” advises design expert Ginny Scott of California Closets. “As you use an item, flip the hanger forward. At the next seasonal change, take note of how many of your hangers have not flipped and consider it a time to purge out what you are not wearing.”

Don’t let the floor space go to waste, either: Use to store things like suitcases (pro tip: They are ideal for holding all your non-seasonal items) or organize your shoes. For the latter option, try something like a wire rack or smaller shelf unit to keep all shoes neatly stored.

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How to organize… underneath the bed

By the way, if you’re not sure what exactly to do with your out-of-season pieces and you don’t have a handy suitcase in which to stuff them, underbed storage is about to be your new best friend. DIY a rolling drawer (check out the ridiculously easy how-to on Ikea) or choose some flat bins to hide things like cords or items you don’t use on a regular basis. Admittedly, neither one is a particularly stylish option… which is why taking the extra step and investing in a bed skirt is a good move. Opt for a simple linen one like this Anthropologie find for a classic look.  

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How to organize… the nightstand

If your nightstand could currently star in an episode of TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive”, there is one item that can save the day. Trays are the ultimate organizational tool because they help efficiently categorize items and are pretty inexpensive. Start by doing a deep clean of your nightstand, tossing whatever is expired or empty. Then set about returning items to their rightful home; you’d be surprised how much space clears up by putting books back in bookshelves or beauty products back in the bathroom. Keep whatever’s left neatly grouped on your favorite tray, so you know exactly what goes where and you never have to return to a life where you can’t turn off your alarm clock because it’s buried under four issues of Vogue.

And if buying an entirely new nightstand is in the cards, go for one with shelves or a cabinet for even more space. For the ultimate stylish (and surprisingly budget-friendly) nightstand you can personalize yourself, check out this fun DIY.

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Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

How to organize… the dresser

A dresser is a particularly useful furniture item to have because it a) stores your clothes and b) provides tons of extra surface space you can use to display anything from books to beauty products to artwork. That said, keeping the inside of your drawers neat can feel like a pipe dream because remembering where each article of clothing is located it tricky if there’s no organizational system in place. Enter: organizing expert Anna Bauer of Sorted by Anna, who recommends organizing each drawer according to category.

“Workout gear in one pile, jeans in another pile, and so on. Decide what you want to keep, donate, and throw out,” she says. “This will help you identify the quantity of your dresser items and if there’s more you could be purging.” After that, be sure to file fold all your clothes to easily see what you have and avoid pulling everything out into a heap on the floor.

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How to organize… the bookshelves

If possible, try color coding your books for an organizational system that’s as stylish as it is tidy. An easy way to implement a pop of color, this method is an easy way to try your hand at the rainbow trend. If your bookshelves are less a home for books and more a place to store all the random decor items you couldn’t fit elsewhere in your room, you can still follow this tip. Anything from sculptural accents to potted plants to little tchotchkes have a place on the shelf—just take the time to figure out a pattern or color scheme that works for you so the entire area looks thoughtfully curated, rather than sloppily thrown together.  

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How to organize… the windowsill

If you’re gifted with deep windowsills and aren’t taking full advantage of them, you are missing out. Give your sills a refresh by lining them with some of your favorite items; plants would obviously benefit most from the steady stream of sunlight, but you can also use your windows as a makeshift nightstand or even bookshelf if you’re low on square footage.

See more organization stories:

Shoe Storage Hacks That Are Basically Genius
14 Things You Need for an Organized Bathroom
Shelves as Cool as the Stuff You’ll Store on Them

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