10 Things to Get Rid of in Your Bedroom, According to a Professional Organizer

Turn your bedroom into a relaxing sanctuary by letting go of these clutter-causing items.

Your bedroom should be a place to rest and unwind after a long day. Create a cozy retreat by using calming paint colors, incorporating comfy bedding and pillows, and getting bedroom lighting just right. If your space still feels disorganized despite the right design choices, it could be that you’re storing unnecessary things in your room.

As a professional organizer, I recommend tossing—or relocating—the following items in order to restore your bedroom to a state of peace and refuge.

white bedroom with blue accents and orange striped space rug
Dera Burreson

1. "The Chair"

An empty chair or bench is a common bedroom clutter magnet that sometimes feels unavoidable. If you have a piece of furniture that collects clothes that are too clean for the laundry basket but not clean enough to go back on the hanger, then you have a “chairdrobe” situation on your hands. If you can part with the chair, add a valet rod to the back of your closet door and use that to hang anything that’s in the in between stages. If you really want to keep the chair, make a commitment to yourself to clean it off on a regular basis (at least once or twice per week) so it doesn’t become an overwhelming heap.

2. Uncomfortable Bedding

If your pillows are sagging or the sheets are becoming threadbare, it might be time to upgrade your bedding. Consider donating your old pillows and bedding, or check with your local animal shelter to see what type of linens they can use. Many donation centers will accept throw pillows and blankets, but check with them first to be sure. Avoid the temptation to hang onto old bedding 'just in case.' Chances are, you won’t use it, and it’ll take up valuable storage space you could be using for other items.

3. Clothing

Go through your closet and dresser drawers and pull out anything that no longer fits or you just don't wear. Even though these items are often hidden behind a closet door or inside a drawer, knowing the mess is there can prevent you from genuinely relaxing in the room. And, an organized closet will make room for other items that need to be relocated from the main bedroom. Donate what you can and open up the space to eventually hold new items that you truly love and will wear.

modern Scandinavian-style entry hooks hats concrete floors storage
Edmund Barr

4. Shoes and Accessories

Repeat this process with any shoes, bags, hats, belts, and accessories that are kept in the bedroom. If you have an overflowing shoe rack (especially one that's out in the open), consider alternative ways to store your shoes. Tidy up your jewelry drawers and find a more creative way to keep hats organized while also keeping them accessible.

5. Knickknacks

Even if they’re organized in a cabinet or on a shelf, trinkets are a slippery slope when it comes to clutter. They add up quickly and make spaces seem crowded and messy. Avoid clutter by strategically placing one or two meaningful pieces around the room and storing the rest elsewhere. Ideally, in a memento box that keeps them safe and dust free.

6. Paperwork

Piles of work papers are stress-inducing enough in a home office. Unless you absolutely must work from the bedroom, remove any and all paperwork from the space. Shred, toss, or recycle what you can, and find another home for the things you need to keep. If your bedroom is the only place in the house you can fit a desk or office space, create a filing system to hide papers, documents, and to-do lists during non-work hours.

pegboard workout station

Zoe Hunt

7. Exercise Equipment

Unless you regularly work out in your bedroom, it's time to find a new home for your yoga mats, dumbbells, and resistance bands. Large machines—like a stationary bike or treadmill—take up a lot of floor space and often become a version of 'the chair,' collecting unnecessary clutter. Relocate exercise equipment to an area of the house where you'll be more likely to use it, such as the basement or garage.

8. Expired Products

While tossing expired products is usually part of bathroom organization, you should do it in the bedroom too. Look around your room and take note of any beauty products, skincare items, or medicines that are past their expiration dates. If a product like body lotion or nail polish doesn’t have an expiration explicitly marked on it, go by look and smell and toss whatever doesn’t seem right. If you can’t remember when you bought a product (or if it’s collecting dust in a corner), it's probably time to let it go. While you may want—or need—to keep some medicine in your nightstand, avoid making it your first aid kit. The majority of medications and beauty products should be stored in the bathroom instead.

9. Food

Despite nightstand snack drawers trending on TikTok, keeping any sort of food in the bedroom is a recipe for unwanted pests. If you’re eating in bed, not only can spilled food attract bugs (or worse), it can cause germs and bacteria to grow on your bedding unless they’re washed promptly. Plus, studies have shown that eating while zoning out in front of the TV or your phone (which you’re probably doing in bed) can lead to mindless eating and needless weight gain. Contain late night snacking to the kitchen and keep food out of the bedroom altogether.

10. Trash

While you’re tossing things, don’t forget about small, unimportant items. Clothing tags you took off a new shirt and left on top of the dresser, a half-empty water bottle that rolled under the bed, and the dead plant you forgot to water should all go. Even though they're small and sometimes barely noticeable, getting rid of these items creates a cleaner look and feel in your bedroom.

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