If you’ve been following the "DeCluttering Blueprint" series, you’ve noticed the process for eliminating clutter is the same regardless of the room or space you’re working on. In short, you always begin by defining the purpose of your room and then follow-up by identifying the major categories to be kept in the space, sorting all things into those major categories, and finally, editing each major category of item down to what you love and what you use.

The next part of the organizing process is to put your room back together and that’s where the real problem solving comes in. Thus, the remaining articles in this series will be devoted to smart, space saving solutions to help you arrange, contain, and organize your rooms and belongings—starting with your bedrooms.

Create a restful, organized bedroom using a combination of the materials and ideas that follow:

1. Your Closet – Make dressing fast, convenient and pleasing.

• Closet organizing kit – This type of unit will maximize your space plus it can be customized for your organizational needs. Before you purchase such a kit, measure your closet area and count the number of suits, pants, shirts, dresses, sweaters, shoes, and purses you want to keep in your closet. Go to your local home improvement store—look at the finishes and components and buy the one that best fits your needs.
• Closet rod doubler – This little device will double your hanging space for short items and it’s a breeze to install.
• Under-shelf basket – This is a plastic coated wire basket that slips onto a shelf to provide additional storage.
• Shelf divider – This gadget slides over the front edge of a shelf to support stacked items and prevent the piles from spilling over onto each other. It’s great for sweaters.
• Stacking shelf – A great solution for those places where you don’t want to add permanent shelving. Buy one or more units to add storage and make the most of your vertical space.
• Over the door multi-pocket unit – A great way to stash shoes, hosiery, belts, jewelry and scarves. Pick one with clear plastic pockets and you can readily identify the contents.
• Hanging canvas shelves – This tool attaches to your closet rod and adds multiple shelves for sweaters, t-shirts, jeans, etc. They’re also great in kid’s closets for organizing various sports gear or clothing for each day of the week.
• Pegs – Adding a couple pegs or a peg board to your closet will make it simple to keep your bedroom tidy. Just slip your pj’s, robe and other frequently used items on them and off you go.
• Hamper – Every bedroom needs a laundry hamper. If you have space in your closet, hang a canvas bag on the rod or on a hook to make it convenient to toss dirty clothes in the appropriate place.
• Lighting – Good lighting helps insure you won’t pick up one brown shoe and one that’s black. It also makes it easier to assemble an outfit. You can add lighting without wiring by attaching Stick and Click lights which require only 3 small batteries.
• Stool – If you have ample closet space, try adding a stool so you can reach upper shelves and sit down and put your shoes on. Even better, go for a stool that does double duty: get one that has storage plus seating.
• Hangers – Wooden hangers not only look great in your closet--they hold the shape of your clothes better. Consider the type with a ribbed bar to hold pants as this arrangement prevents slippage.

2. Your Bed – Make your bed the focal point of your room and use it for storage if you’re space challenged.

• Position – Place your bed so that you have clear sight of the door; at the same time avoid placing it directly opposite the door or on the same wall as the door.
• Linens – Use the best quality materials you can afford and coordinate them with a soothing wall color.
• Platform - If your room is small consider investing in a platform bed with drawers or cubbies and baskets. You can get a lot of small items in these compartments.
• Risers – Another option for the space challenged bedroom is to put your bed on risers and utilize plastic under-bed containers with a lid and wheels for shoes, linens, out of season clothing, etc. If you opt for this solution be sure to use a bed skirt to keep your storage out-of-sight.

3. Your Media – Go ahead—watch TV in the bedroom but hide it when you don’t care to see it.

• Deluxe solutions – Conceal your TV in a pop-up cabinet placed at the foot of your bed. Or, splurge for the latest invention—a custom cabinet that rotates your TV 180 degrees so when not in use you only see bookshelves. (The hardware for this solution is called Reversica Gyre and holds up to 600 lbs.)
• Armoire – Tuck your TV inside this type chest and you won’t have to look at it unless you want to. If you’re working with a small budget consider an unfinished armoire and paint it yourself; it makes matching your décor easy. Armoires also offer additional storage for folded clothing.
• Dresser – If purchasing one of the aforementioned items is not in your budget look around your house for an unused dresser. Set the TV on top, build a box around it, and then add doors on the front.

4. Your Nightstand – This item needs to be utilitarian, i.e. it should hold an alarm clock, book, and glass of water.

• Light – Instead of putting a light on your nightstand, look for lighting that mounts on the wall—newer options mount like a picture.
• Common household items – Your nightstand need not be traditional—you can use a chair, bench, end table, small dresser or shelf mounted to the wall. If you want a nightstand on each side of the bed, keep in mind that they do not have to be identical.

At the end of the day—all that matters is that you feel your room is cozy and practical. Ready for more organizing inspiration—watch for the next edition of the "Decluttering Blueprint"—coming soon.

Author's Bio: 

Pam N. Woods is co-author of a bestselling book, "Create the Business Breakthrough You Want: Secrets and Strategies from the World's Greatest Mentors"; endorsed by Ken Blanchard and Dr. Stephen Covey. She is a respected authority on personal effectiveness who has mentored hundreds of executives, managers, and professionals over the last three decades. Now, through her business, Smart WorkLife Solutions, she is helping individuals at home and at work to declutter their space, their schedules, and their lives.

Pam’s website is a resource with information and services to help a diverse population of individuals organize their office, home, and life. If you want to save time, boost productivity and reduce stress, visit the Smart WorkLife Solutions website today at worklifecoach.com.

Copyright © 2007 Pam N. Woods.