Your retreat should be relaxing, not cluttered.

By Katherine Owen
Updated January 09, 2017
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You’ve heard this one since you were a kid—with good reason. “A made bed will help even the most cluttered of bedrooms look tidier with very little effort,” says Jolie Kerr, cleaning columnist and author of My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag… And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha. “It really does make a psychological difference in how you feel about your home.” Sure, laundry might be piling up in the hamper, or a little film of dust might be visible over the dresser, but a neat bed means you’ll be less apt to notice those things (and maybe even more encouraged to tackle them), while a messy bed can mentally highlight other problem areas. Added bonus? People who made their beds every day were nearly 20 percent more likely to report getting a good night's sleep, according to one National Sleep Foundation poll.
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This article originally appeared on Southern Living.

It seems trite to belabor such an obvious point, but the bedroom is one of the most important rooms in a home. Sure, it’s not as high-traffic as the kitchen, or as public as the living room, but it’s the place we start and end nearly every single day. It’s estimated humans spend a third of their lives sleeping. The room you (presumably) spend one-third of your life in—peacefully asleep or counting sheep—deserves a little investment, don’t you think? And by investment, we don’t just mean financially. Taking a few minutes to straighten and spruce up the bedroom everyday can make a big impact on its atmosphere. Here, 10 things that may be holding you back from a sophisticated slumber.

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1
An Unmade Bed

We shouldn’t have to tell you this because we know your mother, like ours, already asked you to so many times. But a made bed can take a room from ho-hum to pulled-together in just a few minutes. Get Phoebe Howard’s expert advice.

2
Your Furniture is Makeshift

While we’re on the subject of beds…we mean a box spring and a mattress and a frame, or even a headboard. No mattresses relegated to the bare floor. No boxes serving as storage, no chairs doing the work of closets. (Everyone knows THE chair.)

3
Over-or Undersized Bedside Tables

While nightstands certainly add to the room’s design, these pieces must also be high on function. Most importantly, they should be the right height—optimum is even with the top of the mattress.

4
Clutter

This is just plain common sense. While clutter is inevitably a “death and taxes” type factor in our lives, it doesn’t have to end up in the bedroom, which should be a retreat from bills, to-do lists, work, and life’s stresses.

5
There’s No Texture

Pile on the pillows and fluff up the linens. Multiple layers of different fabrics and textures create a soft, inviting surface. A few decorative pillows and an extra quilt, blanket, or throw at the foot of the bed makes a world of difference.

6
Everything is Matchy-Matchy

Remember when we said, “no sets”? That applies here too. Your home should be a well-loved collection of family items with stories and maybe even scratches. Ideally, not a set from the showroom floor. Don’t be afraid to mix different styles or new and old.

7
The Windows Are Bare

Don’t forget the importance of windows—even in a room you sleep in. Window treatments polish a room. Draperies add softness and—you guessed it—texture, and even allow you a late morning when you just can’t set the alarm to greet the sun.

8
There’s No Pattern—or Color

Color and pattern don’t have to mean loud and eye-opening. (Though if you’re into that for bedrooms, go for it!) Don’t be afraid to layer multiple patterns in a pleasing palette—just vary the scale of the designs. We have a handy guide if you need a little inspiration.

9
Bare Walls

Art adds a finished touch to any room. Hang favorite pieces above your nightstand, above the bed, wherever the wall offers a spot. And don’t assume original is out of your budget.