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May 14: Treat Your Retreat

Our homes should be our havens: a safe place where we live alone or share with those we love..... or at least like! As much as we enjoy our family and friends, sometimes we want solace. Our bedrooms become our retreats: a place where we go to relax, recharge or rest.

Bedrooms are composed of some very basic things - no matter where you live. They all have somewhere to sleep (bed, futon, hammock...), somewhere to store clothes and shoes (dresser, closet, shelves...) and somewhere to store all of your other personal belongings (jewelry boxes, safes, file cabinets...).

Earlier in the month, you read about purging and organizing your clothes, shoes, etc. so your dressers and closets should be in order now. Today we'll look at the other important things in your bedroom. Aside from the functionality of the room, it should also contain things that encourage relaxation and rest, so that you can recharge for the next day. If it's a master suite, with it's own bathroom, total relaxation is even easier to achieve. Those long hot baths or showers without some one banging on the door to get in can be sooo relaxing!

What kind of bed do you have, and does it still suit your needs? There are foam mattresses, foam and spring mattresses, mattress only platform beds, etc. not to mention the mechanics that lift your head, your feet, or both. Beds should be changed at least every 10 years, if not sooner. A good mattress cover is important to keep your mattress in it's best condition, and a mattress topper can make your bed more comfortable.

The type of linen you use on your bed can be almost as important as the bed itself: cotton, Egyptian cotton, silk, satin, flannel, etc. all feel different and can convey more or less heat. Find what you like, then find it at a good price! Check stores like Tuesday Morning, Target and Amazon to find sheets and comforters that fit your taste and design theme. Pick out the best pillow for you...... soft, firm, or both...... and wash them often.

Some people have televisions in their bedrooms - some are totally against televisions in the bedroom. If you have your own bedroom, the decision is easy - whatever you like! But if you share a bedroom with a spouse, you may have to compromise on the television - like no television after a certain hour or no falling asleep with the television on ( timers work wonders...). It has been proven that the light from televisions confuse your body's "rest" clock and you don't sleep as well with a television on in the background.

If you like to read in bed, you may need an unobtrusive reading light so your spouse is not bothered while you're reading and they're trying to fall asleep. There are several models available - from wall-mounted, to clip-on, so it's easy to find what works for your space. Also, nightstands are not just for holding your book and a lamp - although soft, adjustable bedside light is every important. Nightstands are also for storing your stuff out of site so that the top of your nightstand is neat and clean!

If you work from home, I hope you have a space to work like a home office. If you work in your bedroom, try to create separation between the work space and the bed so that at the end of your work day, your mind can cut off work thoughts. So, turn off your: computer & monitor, email & text alerts and phone (if you can) so that your mind doesn't think you're "on duty" 24-7. Also, if you need a space to meditate, pray or exercise - before you go to bed or when you get up - and that space needs to be in your bedroom, carve out an area that encourages you.

Music or white noise is another area of consideration. Do you listen to music in your bedroom, and if so, is it from your blue tooth or television sound bar? Do you relax to the sounds of rain fall or bubbling creeks? A white sound machine or app may be all you need to drift off to a peaceful sleep.

Don't forget smells - certain smells can be very calming and relaxing. If you like candles, get the scented kind. Or use potpourri, essential oils or incense to bring your favorite smells to your bedroom. Never fall asleep with candles or incense burning! Consider using battery operated candles for safety. If you like to stay hydrated overnight, keep a bottle of water at your bedside..... on a beautiful coaster to protect the furniture!

Ahhhh.....tucked into your Egyptian cotton sheets, lightly scented with lavender, with soft lights and water falls playing in the background, who wouldn't get a great nights sleep??

Take Away: Use everything at your disposal to create a peaceful, restful retreat. Then teach your family to respect your space so that they learn to respect their own! Tomorrow we will look at how well we use our living rooms/family rooms. Good night!

About the Author: L. Sidney Irving is the owner of Sidco Properties, a real estate company dedicated to educating and assisting those that want to buy or sell a home, Sidney loves to organize herself and those around her because she believes that an organized space brings peace and fosters creativity. May the power of organization be with you!

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