(This was originally posted on December 6th, 2012. I had a feeling it would be helpful to post it again.)
I've worked with a lot of people on the space next to their bed, and the feedback
they gave me is that it truly helps them sleep better at night. This is my process:
1. Excavate. Take everything off of and out of your bedside
table. Also remove anything from off the floor next to the bed, and
anything under your bed. Place everything on top of your bed. If you can
remove the table or cabinet next to the bed, do so. Take a few minutes
to focus on the empty space that's left. Sometimes a space vibrates
after you remove the things in it, like it comes back to life. Notice
the calm it produces in your body and mind.
Stand over your bed and survey all your stuff. We absorb what's in our
space. You have been taking all this stuff with you when you go to sleep
at night. It makes it hard to get good sleep. Our well-being is
dependent on how well we rest each night.
2. Carefully choose what soothes you. You're going to go through
each thing on the bed and see if it supports a restful night's sleep or
not. Pick up the first thing and ask, "Does this make me feel peaceful
or not? Does this relax or agitate my mind? Does this make me want to
lie down on my bed right now and close my eyes, or does this worry or
Our sleeping life is the antithesis of our waking life. What supports
one doesn't support the other. You want to remove what keeps you awake.
You want to invite in with pampers and soothes.
Toss what you no longer want into the trash bags, and put back things that belong in another part of the house.
Put back the nightstand next to your bed with nothing on it. Lay down on
your bed, close your eyes, and feel the stand. Ask yourself, "Do I like
the stand? Does it feel like we are friends? Does this support my sleep
or not?" If not, let it go. You may not have something to replace it
with, but you're better off having the empty supportive space.
I'm tempted to tell you what not to put by your bedside based on clients
that I've worked with. But you know best what supports you.
3. What to put back. Take a look at the remaining items on your
bed. You're going to pick the ones you want to take to sleep with you at
night. The fewer the items the better. If you like to read before you
go to sleep, pick one or two books that you most want to read. I had a
client who had multitudes of moisturizing creams. Looking at them as a
whole made her anxious. So we chose the few she would buy if she were
shopping at a spa store. What basic essentials are going to make you
melt into your
Make sure not to layer or stack things. We feel more peaceful when things are unobstructed, and there is space between things.
Don't put anything you're keeping on the floor next to the bed.
Leave the space under your bed open. Things under the bed have a way of
distracting us while we sleep. It's nice to have the support of the open
Please write and tell me your experiences clearing bedside clutter; it helps inspire people when you share.
If you have trouble and get stuck, feel free to call email me at email@example.com to arrange a phone or Skype clutter busting session. Check out the Spring Sale up at the top right of this page.