Tackle the Boudoir

First: Wooo hooo! I can’t believe I’m guest blogging on D*S! Thank you, Grace!

Now I can get to business :) This week I’m focusing on a room-by-room look at organization. It’s something that looms over most of our heads as that nagging thing we always mean to do but never quite accomplish. Organization, like interior design, is a highly personal endeavor. Here’s hoping you take away at least one tip per post this week!

One of the best tips I have ever read is to tidy one thing away every time you leave a room. And it’s true! If you try to overhaul your life in one swoop, you’ll just feel overwhelmed. With that in mind, tackle each day’s tips one at a time. You’ll be organized before you know it!

Monday: The Bedroom.

1. Keep it simple.


Photograph by Patrick Cline for Real Living Australia, July 2009.

If you’re anything like me, I become a total insomniac if I’m trying to sleep in a cluttered bedroom. Thus, the goal here is to get rid of the clutter! First, you have to nail down what you need in your bedroom and banish the rest. I always come back to this photo of Michelle Adams’ (master maven of Rubie Green) tiny boudoir. There aren’t any non-essentials here.

2. Clear the nightstand.


Photograph from Creative Organizing.

*Don’t let magazines and books pile up on top of your nightstand. Instead, herd them into something like this metal trashcan. If you have a lower shelf on your nightstand, neatly stack what you’re reading now and store what you aren’t in another room.


Photograph from Real Simple.

*Besides adding to the clutter, electronics’ lights can keep you awake. I know I’m always tempted to check my phone when I know it’s just an arm’s stretch away. So install a power strip to the inside of the drawer and put the phones to bed. Or just drill holes into the back of the drawer and feed the cords into a power strip on the floor.

3. Handle the closet issue.

Ugh. The most dreaded part! If you haven’t already made a habit out of clearing out what you don’t wear at least twice a year, do it now! Then, try these tips for what’s left over:

*Organize your clothes by type: jeans, pants, dresses, skirts, blouses, T-shirts, etc. Same goes for your dresser drawers.

*Try putting your dresser inside of the closet if it’s taking up too much floor space.


Photograph from Real Simple.

*Use the back of your bedroom and closet doors. I love this idea that uses inexpensive pegboard to hang accessories, but even something as simple as a shoe rack works wonders.

4. Use empty space.


Photograph from Jeri’s Organizing & Decluttering blog.

*Do use the space under your bed for throw blankets, books, magazines, winter or summer clothes (depending on what season you’re in), or anything else you won’t need at a moment’s notice. Don’t use it to store things like workout clothes (ever heard of out of sight out of mind?) or shoes (instead of being at your big important meeting you’ll be catching dust bunnies on your blazer trying to find the lefty of your fave pumps).


Photograph from Real Simple.

*Make your walls work. You don’t want things lingering around on the floor where you’re trying to get from here to there. I love that this wall organizer combines the “shop your closet” idea with storage that takes up minimal space.

5. Keep your kids organized, too.

*Talk to your children about the types of things they harbor. Do they have tons of books? Craft supplies? Toys? Group accordingly and use storage boxes and label everything to remind your children where things “live.” And don’t forget to keep their most used items at their level.


Photograph from Real Simple.

*Make kids’ closets do double duty as a wonderful trove of clothes and to keep them on track for the day. Use bulletin boards and calendars to make sure they know what to bring to school each day. You wouldn’t want them to be the only one sans family photo on present making day!


Photograph from House to Home.

*Have more than one? Maximize the storage space above the beds? This room would be perfect for older children. Just remember to reserve the space for lesser-used items if they’re young.

Happy tidying! x

  1. Maria says:

    I love the hanging jewelry box and mini shelf. I have been using thumbtacks for my necklaces, very economical but kind of an eye sore. This is adorable! Thanks!

  2. Rebecca says:

    I LOVE the nightstand power socket idea. I do exactly what you say and check the time whenever I wake up and it stops me getting back to sleep. This would be an ideal solution!

  3. Tiia says:

    Great posting, looking forward to the next ones!! Crazy me but I think I’ll spend some time with cleaning on my christmas holiday, these might be very, very helpfull…!

  4. Courtney says:

    Goodness, that first bedroom is gorgeous! I’ve never seen such a small space look so inviting. Can’t wait for more organizational tips – I’m one person who always needs them!

  5. Thanks. I like the kid’s closet calendar idea. Good tips for winter break.

  6. Kristan says:

    Great tips, and I love love love the example photos! I think the pegboard idea is my fave. Although drilling holes in the back of the nightstand drawer is a pretty close second. :P

  7. Fabulous ideas! And good timing too!

  8. Alicia says:

    Great tips! Thanks! Do you know who makes that wall jewelry organizer featured by Real Simple?

  9. Nicole says:

    Thanks so much for your sweet comments!

    Alicia: Real Simple used one from shoptogetorganized.com. They have a similar one here: http://www.shopgetorganized.com/item/white_mirror_wall_jewelry_armoire/W29716

    But it’s pretty pricey! I suggest spending some time on their site as well as checking out this open one:

    Just $15! And you can paint it if you want. Bonus? The jewelry acts like a decoration as well. Hope this helps!

  10. Connie says:

    I love anything organizational, never thought about the space above a child’s bed! What a great idea!
    I have a lot of costume jewelry and it was getting lost in my jewelry box so I hot glued picture hangers on the side of my shoe cabinet in the closet to hang my necklaces on. Makes things a lot easier to find and now my jewelry box is free to hold my real jewels.

  11. Julie says:

    Hi, do you have any tips for storing sweaters? We have LOTS of sweaters (MN winters are long). We have very limited dresser space, and the closet (although decently sized) is pretty inaccessible except for what’s hanging on the rod. Is there such a thing as a sweater hanger? I thought about boxes/bins on the closet floor but then you’d only be able to see the first sweater in the stack.
    Right now I jam them all into one dresser drawer. My hubby forgets they are there (the rest of his choices are hanging in the closet) and he therefore never wears them.
    Any tips you can offer are much appreciated!

  12. Quinn says:

    Loved these ideas!! I’m getting the itch to get my house totally organized this winter and got even more excited to do so after reading this post! Lovely!

  13. Nicole says:

    Julie: Being in London I totally understand the sweater issue. I’ll see what I can find and post here with leads!


  14. Nicole says:

    Julie: Hope these help! Let me know if I’m not on the right track here… But since you mentioned a sweater hanger, you could try this from IKEA:

    Super cheap, too!

    If you find yourself with any accessible floor space you could also try this system (also from IKEA):
    and see-through drawers so you know what’s in them:

    Or even this if you find any shelf space:

    If I were you (without seeing your setup) I might try a mix of these systems. Especially if you don’t have tons of space in one area. x

  15. Jennifer says:

    What a great post! Thank you for all the great ideas. I’m planning on tackling my bedroom as soon as my last craft show is finished. I’d love to see a post on organizing studios sometime!

  16. I enjoyed this article. I love the tips for packing away electronic gadgets. I shared this link with the fan page administer on Facebook called Window To Design.

  17. Julie says:

    Nicole – thanks for the great sweater storage ideas! I think I will try a couple different ones like you suggested. Thank you!

  18. Jeri Dansky says:

    To give proper credit: That photo in item 4, which came from my blog post http://tinyurl.com/jd-under-bed, came from West Elm. That photo isn’t on the West Elm web site any more, but the baskets are here: http://www.westelm.com/products/a264/

  19. Martha says:

    Please tell me where the tiny shelf came from??? I must have it (the one below the jewelry hanger).

  20. Rachel May says:

    I love an uncluttered bedroom…if only I could find someone to do the uncluttering for me…*ahem…boyfriend…ahem…*


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