Organizing 101: Bedrooms
Nothing's worse than being cosily tucked into bed and having to get up to turn off the lights or get a glass of water. Or not being able to find a pair of socks in a messy dresser drawer. The bedroom's where you start and end your day – it should be a stress-free place. Organizing your bedroom will make it the sanctuary you've been dreaming of.
The right stuff
Begin by going through every drawer and shelf, taking out everything from under the bed and giving or throwing away items you no longer use. Then it's time to look at the major elements of your bedroom.
Beds aren't just for sleeping. The areas behind, below and above the bed can offer extra storage space, too.
Maximize the space under the bed by organizing items in easily accessible containers. Plastic bins on wheels are great (and are available at department stores across the country); hide them behind a tailored bedskirt. If your bed frame is low to the floor, make or buy risers (from organizing stores) so that the containers fit.
Stash reading material in a small basket that you can hide under the bed.
Build a headboard that incorporates out-of-sight storage.
Make use of vertical wall space and create a cosy niche with built-in shelves above and on both sides of the headboard. Attach clip-on lights to the unit and store small items in decorative boxes.
Fold and store an extra set of clean sheets between the mattress and box spring if you don't have room for linen storage.
Choose every piece of furniture for your bedroom – even the humble night table – with storage in mind.
Purchase a table with at least one drawer and a bottom shelf.
Replace night tables with three-drawer dressers to provide extra clothes or linen storage.
Keep the top clutter-free. Install wall-mounted light fixtures like sconces rather than traditional table lamps.
Short on space? Add a fold-down wall-mounted shelf or, in a tight corner, a rounded shelf to hold items like magazines and books or a tray.
Consider using nesting tables if you need extra table surfaces.
The dresser is both a great storage unit and a decorative element, but to be useful and beautiful, it has to be well organized. That means maintaining a clutter-free top and drawers that aren't overflowing with stuff.
In shallow drawers, store socks, nylons and tights, and lingerie and underwear, as well as ties (if there's not enough space in the closet to install a tie rack).
Look for adjustable drawer organizers with separate sections for ties and each pair of socks, nylons and tights.
Keep lingerie snag-free in fabric-lined boxes that fit neatly in a drawer.
Deep drawers are great for T-shirts, casual shirts (put sweaters in the closet if there's space for them), jeans, shorts, sleepwear, gym clothes and swimwear; use dividers to separate clothing. Also, imitate the way retailers fold T-shirts and sweaters – those neat stacks take up a lot less room than bunched-up items.
Get rid of the boxes your baubles came in; not only do they waste space, but they also make it difficult to find things. Instead, count up rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings and then go shopping for the right container. A large jewelry box can add to your decor if you have room on top of the dresser. If not, try fabric jewelry rolls or velvet-lined jewelry trays that fit in a shallow drawer. For costume pieces, buy a plastic pocket jewelry organizer for the closet, or transparent trays that you can keep in a dresser drawer or on a closet shelf. Consider placing valuables in a safety deposit box at the bank.
The top of the dresser is often where we (in my case, my husband) unload loose change, receipts, watches, wallets and other accessories. Reduce clutter with a gentleman's valet tray that has sections for organizing small items. It will look neater than lots of separate containers