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14 Things in Your Bedroom You Should Get Rid of Immediately

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Ready to Relax?

If your home is supposed to be a haven, your bedroom is its inner sanctum — a place to relax, recharge, and forget about the day’s worries. If it doesn’t feel that way, you may need to take a more critical look at the things sharing your space. From simple clutter to things that may stir stress just looking at them, experts agree that the following things are better banished to another room.


Related: Things In Your Kitchen You Should Get Rid of Right Now

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Your Desk

In this age of working from home, it’s harder than ever to draw a line between “the office” and our home lives. So if you have the space, your desk is better off in another part of your home, experts say — otherwise, you’re just inviting stress in. “Your work desk, your office laptop, your office phone, official paperwork, or just about anything to do with your work or business tops the list of things that should never be brought into your bedroom,” says Azmaira Maker, a clinical psychologist and founding director of Aspiring Families. “Your bedroom is your personal space that is a part of your home only to help you relax. … In segregating spaces within your home, you also segregate the energies associated with them.” 


Related: Expert Tips For Work-Life Balance While Working From Home

young women in room with many plants
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Super-Smelly Plants

Greenery and nature — few things are more relaxing, right? Sure, unless you happen to choose plants with a strong fragrance. “Citrus plants, jasmine, gardenias, and hyacinths are some of the most popular indoor plants that should be kept out of the bedroom,” recommends Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love. “This issue with these kinds of plants is that their intense fragrance can impact your sleep, either making it more difficult to fall or stay asleep or disrupting your patterns.” One exception, he says: Lavender, which has a light, relaxing aroma that can help promote sleep. 


Related: The Best Places to Buy Plants Online

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Television

We don’t have to tell you that it’s hard to stick to a consistent sleep schedule if you’re binging the latest episode of “Squid Game.” Even if you’re not watching something particularly absorbing, the blue light from the screen can suppress melatonin and make it harder to get the shut-eye you need, researchers have found. And if you are watching something engrossing, increasing levels of dopamine can be an issue, says Alexander Burgemeester, neuropsychologist and owner of The Narcissistic Life. “Dopamine is known for keeping us awake and alert.” 


Related: Ban This One Thing From Your Bedroom Tonight — Here’s Why

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Other Electronics

TVs aren’t the only evil. Smartphones, laptops, tablets — nearly anything with a screen — is worth keeping off the bedside table and out of the bedroom completely, experts say. “Electronic devices are known for hindering sleep, and can worsen any previous sleep problems you may have had,” Burgemeester says. “These devices emit bright lights that trick our brain into thinking it is daytime.” Good alternatives: Reading a book, or writing in a journal, he says.


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Jewelry and Other Valuables

Surprised? It’s common to keep expensive jewelry or other precious items close at hand, but Kristen Bolig, CEO of SecurityNerd, advises against it. “You should remove your valuables from your bedroom — or at least out of sight from your bedroom window,” she says. “So many people will have their valuable jewelry, for example, on display on their bedroom dresser or nightstand, which is easily seen through their window. This poses a serious safety concern by making your bedroom a target for thieves.” For those who want to keep valuables in the bedroom, a hidden safe can be a good compromise, she says.


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Elliptical trainer, weights, yoga mat at home gym located in bedroom.
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Exercise Equipment

Big exercise equipment may not be ideal in your bedroom for a couple of obvious reasons. First, it’s a space hog; second, if you haven’t exactly been killing your workout routine, staring at it may make you guilty, anxious, or both. (Hello, fancy Peloton clothes hanger!) But don’t ignore smaller equipment — think ab wheels, ThighMasters, and other clutter. Anything sold on an infomercial can probably go, says Kyle Risley, founder and CEO of Lift Vault. “Invest in a yoga mat,” he recommends. They’re ideal for restorative stretching, he says — something that’s actually relaxing. Plus, “since yoga mats are easy to clean, and even easier to store, they’re perfect for keeping a tidy and minimalist workout space in your bedroom.”


Related: Things Every Retiree Should Get Rid Of

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Books You’re Not Currently Reading

Reading before bed — you know, real books, made with paper — can be a great way to wind down in the evening, but take care not to let your nightstand start to resemble a library. Aside from the obvious clutter, books tend to attract major dust, says Alex Varela, general manager of Dallas Maids. “Even though they look nice on a bookshelf, they are not worth the pain of being constantly cleaned. Instead, you can have an armchair and a side table with a lamp and create a small reading nook.” Bookworms who want a large collection nearby can keep dust at bay with an air canister or a vacuum cleaner with a clean cloth on top to help soften airflow, Varela says.

Cute ginger cat lying in bed under a blanket.
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Pets (Maybe)

Sure, there are plenty of people who love to cozy up to their warm pets at night. But what if your pets aren’t so keen on cozying up to you? Abi Latham of Cat Care Checklist says keeping her cat out of the bedroom has helped her sleep. “Cats are normally most active at dawn and dusk. Their activity level during the day varies from cat to cat, but most cats tend to be more active at night.” Latham says she had to go cold turkey with her feline, keeping it out of her bedroom even during the day so that it no longer considered the room its territory. Got a dog? Experts are divided on whether to let Fido snooze beside you, but like cats, they’re unlikely to sleep blissfully all night because they average a few sleep and wake cycles per hour.


Related: The Coolest and Most Unique Dog Beds

Modern white ceramic vase with dry Lagurus ovatus grass and cup of coffee on retro wooden bedside table. Beige linen and velvet pillows in bedroom. Scandinavian interior. Homestaging.
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Food and Dishes

Keeping food and dishes out of the bedroom can go a long way toward keeping pests out, too. But there’s another reason to chow down in the kitchen instead: Smells. For instance, Brian Mellin, founder and CEO of Joe 2.0 Coffee, says that coffee is best sipped outside the bedroom. “The smell of coffee, which can linger long after you're finished brewing, is associated with feelings of wakefulness and productivity, and will negatively affect sleep. Instead, keep your coffee maker as far away from your bedroom as possible. This is especially important for those of us who continue to work from home.” 

 

Related: Kitchen Gadgets That Are a Waste of Money

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Your Ancient Mattress

We get it: Mattress shopping can be expensive and overwhelming. But if it’s been over a decade, chances are it’s time to consider an upgrade, most experts agree. “Toss out any mattress that has become old, saggy, lumpy, or simply isn’t comfortable,” says Stephen Light, co-owner of Nolah Mattress and a certified sleep science coach. “Discomfort can easily knock you out of a healthy sleep cycle and keep you from getting the amount of deep sleep your body needs to function.” In other words — this is one investment that’s worth it. These days, many brands even offer trial periods for as long as a year so that you can buy without fear you’ll be stuck with a mattress you don’t end up loving.


Related: 16 Sleep Myths That Could Explain Why You're So Tired

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Old Pillows

While you’re taking a second look at your mattress, don’t forget those pillows. Two years is about the longest you can expect before they lose their support, according to The Sleep Foundation. And even if you aren’t waking up with a sore neck, consider this: Pillows are magnets for dust mites, sweat, drool, and other potential allergens and gunk. If you’re allergy-prone, upgrading to an antimicrobial pillow can especially make sense. 

Vanity Table with Make Up Products Close Up
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Expired Makeup

There’s no better time than the new year to evaluate that collection of cosmetics that’s cluttering a dresser or vanity, especially if you can’t remember when you actually bought most of it. The FDA recommends being particularly careful to get rid of old mascara and other eye-area cosmetics because of infection risks. Products for the skin including foundation and powder may be good for 12 to 18 months, according to Healthline, while your favorite lipstick could be good to go for a couple of years. 


Related: Decluttering Projects You Can Easily Tackle in Less Than 30 Minutes

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Harsh Lighting

Overhead lighting is practical, but in the bedroom, the soft glow of a bedside lamp can be much more welcoming. Experts also recommend taking a closer look at the light coming in from outside, plus light emitted by devices like humidifiers or clocks. “You want to sleep in as close to darkness as possible, so any outside light pollution or lights from devices can interrupt your ability to sleep,” warns Theresa Melito-Conners, founder of Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret. That may mean replacing gauzy drapes with heavy blackout curtains, or banishing clocks with annoyingly bright displays. 

Lady's clothing drawers open
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Subpar Sleepwear

Any clothing you don’t love and wear often should get an obvious heave-ho from the bedroom, but PJs often don’t get enough scrutiny, considering how much time we spend in them. Haley Brothers, founder of Weekend Made Sleepwear, says PJs made with synthetic materials (think a lot of polyester or nylon) are often itchy, sweaty, and bad for the environment. “Upgrade your sleepwear to include tops and bottoms made with lyocell, also known as Tencel, or modal. These materials are great for the skin, sweat-wicking and have a much lower environmental impact than synthetics and cotton.” Another thing to watch out for: thick, scratchy seams, Brothers says. “Find sleepwear with flat seams or french seams that are smooth to the touch and won't irritate your skin when you're trying to fall asleep."