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Things to Banish from the Bedroom this Year

January 16, 2017

Bedroom clutter can increase your stress

How many times have you longed for your “own bed” when you were away from home, over-tired or on your last nerve? Do you know why that is? It’s because your bedroom represents your innermost sanctum, the place where you can be your simplest self and lock the world outside. So why would you want to bring your stress to bed with you? A 2012 paper on coping with stress quotes the Mayo Clinic: “Being surrounded by clutter is an ongoing source of stress.” So join us, and see what you can do to de-clutter your bedroom this year.

Bygone books: Your bedside table is the repository of every little thing you think you might need whilst in bed. Here’s a tip: if you have to balance your phone on top of a dirty teacup being supported by a scented candle and a wall-facing photoframe (and still manage to knock your tissue box off the pedestal with the charging cable) then this piece is compulsory reading. What is not compulsory reading is the stack of un-read, half-read and already-read books and magazines next to your bed. Let’s face it. If you haven’t read them yet, you probably aren’t going to. If you are, they’ll look just as good on your bookshelf (next to the un-reads) and you’ll know where they are. Limit yourself to one (preferably boring) book that either fits easily in your bedside drawer or can double as a coaster.

Past pills: Those medications you never remember to take during the day. You think that if you build them a little display area on your bedside table, under the spotlight of your reading lamp and backlit by a dynamically inviting glass of water, you’ll remember. But you don’t. And now they’ve expired. Throw them out and put your replacements in your car’s glove box. Why? Because you’re invariably stuck in traffic when you remember you’ve forgotten to drink them yet again.

Missed opportunity make-up: We get it. The stuff was expensive. So what if it’s past its expiry date? It’s still good, right? Right?!? Well, actually, no. It’s not. Make-up (all kinds) are chemical compounds. Like all chemical compounds they tend to break down over time. Hadley King M.D. a dermatologist at SKINNEY Medspa (New York) warns that “[a]ll of the molecules in these products can break down into something else, and you can have a reaction to it.” These reactions can be as severe as rash, swelling and even blisters. Play it safe. Throw away that shade of aqua-marine you last wore to the matric dance.

Pesky pets: We know you love them. We know you lie awake, feeling sorry for them when they’ve been banished to their own little plush, hypoallergenic, made-to-order, catnip- and/or steak scented baskets. But you know what? They slept the day away while you were at work. Research presented at SLEEP in 2014 revealed that 30% of people who share beds with their pets are woken up by those pets at least once per night. So next time you are woken up by your cat’s patented silent death stare or your dog’s how-many-times-can-I-lick-this-before-it-falls-off marathon, consider de-cluttering your pet’s basket and re-installing them there.

Confounded clothes: That little number you’re just half a size away from wearing or that spectacular ensemble that is bound to come back into style any day now. Occasionally you’ll take it out and parade it around just to confirm that it’s still too small or still too disco … and it will end up on the bed, migrate to a chair back and eventually settle in the laundry basket (which was overflowing to begin with). Give it up and throw it out. While you’re at it, move the laundry basket out of sight - it just serves as a reminder of housework still to be done.

Mediocre Mattress: A quality mattress can last you a decade, a cheap wears out in the blink of an eye. Don’t waste your de-cluttering exercise by forgetting to include the most fundamental part of your sanctum: your bed. If you’re sleeping badly or waking up with aches and pains you didn’t go to bed with, get a new mattress pronto. This includes your pillow, which is prone to wearing out (as anything would) after being subjected to a year’s worth of the stress that lives in your head. Get a new pillow.

Sweet dreams!

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