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Top 10 Simple Ways to Stop Bedroom Clutter

Forever knocking things off your crowded nightstand? Here’s how to de-clutter your bedroom.

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1. Add a Trunk
An attractive trunk at the end of a bed does double furniture duty. As a bench, it gives you a place to sit while you put on your shoes; as a storage chest, it holds extra blankets or pillows.

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2. Like to Read in Bed?
Mount a painted rectangular wood box on the wall on either side of the bed and you’ll have a place to stash all your reading material, plus a reading lamp. Use dividers to organize stuff.

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3. Improve Drawer Space
Drawer dividers may also be made from 1/4-inch sheet acrylic (have the retailer cut the pieces to size, or cut them yourself using a fine blade in a table or radial arm saw). Butt the pieces together in whatever arrangement you desire; then bond the joints with acrylic solvent. Create compartments in a shallow drawer by notching and joining strips of wood lattice (available at lumberyards and home centers). Clamp the crosspieces together and cut the notches all at once so they’ll align exactly.

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4. Lamps Off Your Bedside Table
To free up space on your nightstand, remove the lamp. Use a swing-arm floor lamp instead, or mount a swing-arm wall lamp above the headboard. Such fixtures allow you to adjust the lamp exactly the way you want it for reading. Install the lamp about 18 to 20 inches from the top of the headboard for best results. If you don’t have a headboard, position the lamp 3 feet or more above the mattress, so that it will be within easy reach but won’t hit your head when you sit up in bed. With the lamp out of the way, you’ll have ample room on your nightstand for your alarm clock, book, and telephone.

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5. Electronic Armoire
Cloak the clutter of a bedroom TV, VCR, and stereo equipment in a handsome armoire. Look for a piece that has interior electrical outlets, pivoting platforms, and doors that virtually disappear-either into the cabinet itself or flat against its sides when they are opened.

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6. Adjust Your Patterns
Small patterns look best on the smaller things in the room-lampshades, pillow shams, bedside-table covers, and bed skirts. Larger patterns look great in broad swaths-bedspreads and voluminous window treatments. Adjusting the patterns in your bedroom can make a room seem less cluttered and can also bring a calming mood.

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7. Head of the Bed
For attractive, ample storage, move out a headboard and night tables and move in a combination of stock cabinets and open shelving units. Available through many home centers, the cabinets can be combined to meet individual needs and are less expensive than custom built-ins.

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8. Make Space Under the Bed
Make use of drawers from an old dresser that’s not being used. Install four rollers on an old dresser drawer, fill it up, and roll it under the bed.

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9. Sliding Tray
Here’s a way to increase a deep drawer’s usable space. Make a box of 1/2-inch plywood and support it on hardwood runners glued to the sides of the drawer. The tray should be half the drawer’s width or length so that you can slide it aside for easy access to the bottom of the drawer. Or make the tray full length and add handles for easy lift-out.

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10. No Tight Spots
When arranging furniture, allow some empty space on each side of the bed for dressing as well as making the bed and vacuuming. This will help you keep areas clean and prevent small areas with little ‘breathing room’ from becoming clutter-traps.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest