What’s your idea of the bedroom of your dreams?

Once a month my good blogging buddy Kathi Lipp, from Clutter Free Academy, is going to be joining us (and I’m visiting her blog, too!). Kathi is so down-to-earth and so funny, and we actually know each other in real life, too. And today she brings some awesome advice for those of us with no budgets and lots of kids and chaos about how we can still create a peaceful bedroom.

Here’s Kathi:

Keeping a clean and organized bedroom can be tough when you're short of space! Here's inspiration for your dream bedroom and how to keep what really matters.

When my husband and I were first married, we had four teenagers between us and had to make my husband’s house work for this new blended family. Four teens. Fourteen hundred square feet. You do the math. (Actually, don’t… it’s frightening.)
Our whole house was stacked to the ceiling with stuff.

And the worst room of all? Our master bedroom.

Not only was this where we slept, got dressed, and, let’s face it, escaped from the kids, this was also my office where I worked on my business and wrote books.

Let’s be clear: this room was not conducive to what newlyweds should be doing their first (or tenth) year of marriage.

And for any married couple, the bedroom needs to be a space where relaxation and connection happens.

When life overwhelms you, it is essential to have a place that feels like your little corner of the world. I knew all this. I just wasn’t being proactive in making it happen. And let me be honest — our bedroom stressed me out with all its clutter and chaos. And stress? Is not conducive to a great sex life.

Finally, after years of longing for an oasis but living in a pit, it was time to take action. But I didn’t have a lot of money to make that happen (see: four kids) so I couldn’t pull the favorite HGTV tricks like knocking out walls to “open up the space” or installing skylights to “bring in more natural light.” No, these projects had to stay in the tens of dollars, not tens of thousands.

Here are some ideas to reclaim your space and make your bedroom have the feel of a retreat instead of a rec center:

Ask your husband what is important to him (and know what is important to you.)

Roger and I made a list of what was important to each of us in the bedroom. For Roger, it was all about the pillows and texture of the sheets and comforter of the bed. For me, it was about how the room looked when I walked into it. The good news: we weren’t at odds about any decisions in the room, we just cared about different things.

Declutter the bedroom!

This is the most important piece of advice I could give to anyone wanting a more restful, relaxing space. Clutter is distraction. Clutter is the room’s anxiety leaking out. Start with surfaces and then move on to the hidden clutter hiding out in all your closets and drawers. If this step overwhelms you, check out our Facebook group Clutter Free Academy for a safe, loving and supportive place to battle your clutter.

Create a vision for your bedroom.

I am not a decorator at heart. I know what I like, but I don’t know how to put it together. That is why I like to look at magazines and go on Pinterest, not to be envious about other people’s perfect bedrooms, but to discover ideas and inspiration for my ideal bedroom.

Think about your five senses.

When we were redoing our bedroom, I kept the five senses in mind:

How did I want the room to look? I’m changing our room over from soft and serene to bright and cheerful. I asked Roger if the bright colors in the room would bother him. His response? “My eyes will be closed. I think I’ll be fine.” It’s also important to me that the room is clean, neat and picked up.

How did I want the room to smell? Roger and I both like the smell of lavender, so we decided that would be the signature scent in the room.

How did I want the room to feel? This is the part that is important to Roger, so we will spend the bulk of our budget to buy quality linens and pillows.

How did I want the room to sound? We want to have music available at all times, and have a way of cancelling out noise in our busy neighborhood. We have Alexa hanging out in our room and can have all the music we want, on demand.

(We decided to leave the “taste” sense to other rooms. Although we are not above having a bite of good chocolate in bed.)

Do the Daily in Your Bedroom

Why do so many of us love staying in hotels? Because the magic elves (i.e., hard working maids) come in and “reset” the room while we’ve been at our conference or the amusement park.

We can have that same feeling each and every day – no maids required.

Here are the 3 things I do every day to reset my room so it will greet me like a five-star hotel:

1. Pick up any towels or clothes off the floor and put away.
2. Make the bed. Making the bed tidies up 25% of your space just by pulling up some sheets and fluffing some pillows. And here is my list of how to make your bed the most comfortable place in the house.
3. Bus the room. We love to have water at night and coffee in the morning. But the cups left behind immediately give the room an “un-bussed table at a diner” feel.

Use what you have to decorate your bedroom

The previous owners of our house planted a pink rose bush in our front yard.

I’m embarrassed to say that until this year, I’ve never cut a bloom off of that bush. Why, oh why, did I ignore this source of free decorations for my bedroom until this year?

Now, at least once a week, I go outside and cut roses off and put them in a jelly jar in our bedroom.

Creating the Bedroom of Your Dreams

The pink blooms next to the bed make me happy!

I also have some lavender and other herbs growing in my garden that brighten up my space. And it’s not just flowers. I had a tray that had been hanging out in my kitchen, unused, for way too long. I brought it into our bedroom to use for keeping my coffee on in the morning.

I also brought any art that had to do with love (like this fun “LOVE” sign we picked up in Alaska) into our bedroom to keep our focus on what the room is about.

I’ve gathered up any candles and displayed them in our room to give it the sweet, romantic feel that I long for in that space.

Finally, I have an oil diffuser that has just been sitting on my bed stand for a year. I finally got the bottle of Essential Oil connected with it and now, each night, we fall asleep to the faint scent of lavender in the room.

Look around. You may already have some of your favorite pieces that are just waiting to be repurposed.

Keep a list of next steps.

Once you have your vision, it’s time to make some decisions. Looking at the vision we created for our room, here was our list of next steps:

• New pillow for Roger ($40)
• Paint dresser ($20)
• Lamps for end tables
• Removable wallpaper on sliding closet doors ($100)

Your bedroom is not on Extreme Room Makeover and will not be transformed overnight. Make a list of the things you want to do and buy for your bedroom and knock those items out one at a time as money and time allow.


The main tip in creating the bedroom of your dreams is to just start thinking about it.

Once you start with some small steps to make the room a retreat, you won’t want to stop until it’s a place that both you and your husband can get away from everything but each other.

Looking to win the war of peace in your home? Join Kathi at the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group to learn to live with less and increase the peace in your home.

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