Rest and the HSP – Creating a Clutter Free Bedroom

Rest and the HSP – Creating a Clutter Free Bedroom

Guest post by Cheri Gregory

My Clutter Free journey began in my bedroom.

Like many clutterers, I’d spent decades using our master bedroom as the “just throw it all in there and slam the door” stash-and-dash solution when company was due in an hour.

But discovering that I’m an HSP—a Highly Sensitive Person—has transformed how I view my bedroom.

HSPs are easily overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.

We need to create ourselves a sanctuary, a safe quiet place of refuge where we can seek shelter when the world overwhelms us.

When we ask ourselves, “How can I make my bedroom a true sanctuary for my tired body and soul?” the obvious answer is to first oust every ounce of clutter.

HSPs process an overabundance of disorienting visual stimuli all day every day. The last thing we need are piles of confusing clutter visually assaulting us in the one room we retreat to for safety.

Moving Past Our Stories to Sanctuary

Of course, clutter rarely leaves without a fight. Thanks to our extra-strength HSP consciences, the three stories Kathi says all clutterers tell themselves can feel especially like gospel truth to us:

“I need to keep this just in case”

When you tell this fear-full story, you let fears from your past control your future.

“But so-and-so gave it to me!”

In this guilt-ridden story, people from your past (who aren’t concerned about you, just how you make them feel) are allowed to control your future.

“But I spent so much money on it!”

This shame-filled story allows a mistake from your past to control your future.

As these stories come up, we can respond with compassion and permission.

Compassion for our feelings of fear, guilt, and shame.

Permission to keep only what we need and want.

Making Your Bedroom an HSP Sanctuary

Once the clutter is out of your bedroom, grab a pad of paper, a favorite pen, and sit down on your bed.

Write these four senses at the top of different pages: touch, sight, sound, and smell.

Look around the room and ask yourself, “What do I want in my bedroom? What sensory experiences are especially soothing, relaxing, and restful for me?”

Ponder each sense for a few minutes and write down what comes to you. Here are some questions I’ve asked myself:


  • What textures do I love?
    • Smooth high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets?
    • A soft blanket, knit with slubby yarn?
  • What temperature(s) help me relax and sleep? Do I need:
    • An electric blanket?
    • A cooler grade of comforter?
    • A heating pad or Thermaphore to ease my back pain?
    • A rotating column fan?
  • What skin products do I want to keep in my nightstand?
    • Hand moisturizer?
    • Lip balm?
    • Nail clipper and file?


  • What colors are calming for me?
    • Cool colors?
    • Pastels?
  • What patterns — or lack of pattern — do I prefer?
    • Florals?
    • Plaids?
    • Solids?
  • How well are the lighting options working for me?
    • Can I make the room as light as I want it?
    • Can I make the room dark as I need it?


  • How can I block out disruptive sounds?
    • Earplugs?
    • Noise-cancelling headphones?
  • How can I bring in pleasing sounds?
    • Music?
    • White noise?


  • What scents irritate me, giving me headaches or making my face flush?
    • Might I want to try unscented detergent, softener, and dryer sheets with my bedding?
    • Could I natural citrus cleaning products?
    • Can I find fragrance-free candles?
  • What scents relax and sooth me?

Make a wish list of what you want and need to add to your bedroom sanctuary.

But no frantic shopping spree to buy a peaceful bedroom all at once.

Reign in your HSP intensity, say “no” to Perfectionism, and commit to adding new items gradually, enjoying them one at a time.

Using Your Bedroom as an HSP Sanctuary

Decluttering your bedroom will not automatically transform it into a sanctuary. Your bedroom will become your sanctuary as you seek sanctuary in it.

This also takes compassion and permission.

Compassion, rather than criticism, for your HSP self.

Permission to be tired, to need quiet, rest, and refuge.

If you find yourself resisting rest, remember that Jesus himself invites you to rest…

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

…and say “yes” by taking refuge in the One who offers true rest.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)

Wondering if you, too, might be an HSP?
Subscribe to Cheri’s blog and receive your FREE “HSP–Who, Me?” PDF!


5 Ways You Can Win the Clutter War (Without Feeling Totally Overwhelmed)

5 Ways You Can Win the Clutter War (Without Feeling Totally Overwhelmed)


5 Ways to Win the Clutter Free War (Without Feeling Overwhelmed) by Cheri Gregory

Many of you resonated with last Monday’s “When Facing Your Clutter Feels Too Overwhelming.”

• “This blog post is so me and I didn’t even know it. I am getting ready to move and it is totally debilitating. I can’t do a thing because I get so overwhelmed!” – Kelly

• “It’s Monday morning and I have clutter and I’m escaping to FB instead of dealing with my issues… this hit home for me in so many ways you couldn’t imagine. Thank you!” – Barbara

• “Can I just tell you that I LOVE you! I am going to print out your post today and frame it (and I shared it with my readers too!). You are a blessing Girl!” – Kimberlee


What Awareness and an HSP Plan Look Like in Action

Today, five members of Kathi’s Clutter Free launch team are here to share with you their real-life examples of what works for them as HSPs.

Notice how each woman has (1) awareness of her own needs and (2) a specific plan to meet them so she stays out of the “OVERWHELMED ZONE”!

Luna Leverett

When I was sixteen, my boyfriend bought me a real rabbit fur jacket. I lived in San Jose, California where it was too warm for me to wear the jacket.

But I could not let it go. I felt soooo badly for the rabbits that gave their lives. It took me nearly twenty years to give that jacket away. Why? Holding on to it wasn’t reviving the rabbits!

Whatever I feel, I FEEL in a BIG way. In this case, I had extreme emotions towards an item I’d been given. I felt unnecessary guilt and responsiblity.

To help me let go of things sooner, I’m learning to quesiton: “Did I ask for this?” If the answer is “no,” I’m free to let go.


Tabitha Dumas

As a Highly Sensitive Person, I have a hard time deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Every item carries with it a memory, emotion, or attachment.

To make it easier to part with my stuff, I’m focusing on the “why” behind our decluttering efforts: to make more room for what matters most.

So now when I’m making a “keep or toss” decision, I ask myself, “Will this item get me closer to what matters most or detract from it?” Immediately, the decision becomes a lot more clear.


Pattie Reitz

I have been actively working on managing my stuff in the nine years since our family began our active duty military journey. With semi-frequent moves, decluttering becomes an annual necessity.

For me, getting rid of outgrown children’s clothing and toys is easy.
But getting rid of sentimental items? Far more difficult.

I feel emotional every time I have to go through my belongings. Everything has a feeling and a memory attached. Unread books are unopened treasures. Boxes of notes and cards are my heart on paper.

I’ve learned to only keep the cards and notes that I will reread. I tape them directly in my journal or place them in my encouragement file.

It’s truly a process: one that’s yielding lighter results.


Merri Lewis

Shatter! Crash! Bang!

My 9-year-old’s plan to simulate the sound of breaking glass by dumping a bucket of Legos on our tile kitchen floor is highly effective.

The noise makes me jump as the high pitched sounds assault my ears and the association with broken glass push me near panic.

Then my baby girl runs yelling about another outfit she wants to try on. Off come her clothes as she struggles to put it on “ALL BY MYSELF.”

It’s so tempting to collapse on the couch, exhausted from the sensory assault I’ve just experienced. Or open my laptop to Facebook to help me block it all out.

When the household noises get overwhelming, I put on noise canceling headphones or calming music and encourage the kids to play with quiet things.


Terri Goehner

“For two years, I had a stack of paperwork sitting on my kitchen counter…always threatening to topple over as I continued to stack up paperwork.

Every time I saw this pile, I felt almost claustrophobic, a sense of paper overload. So one day, I took an afternoon and went through the pile: throwing out, shredding, and filing.

My new habit is to handle paper once, so I file as I go along. In fact, the paper never even makes it to the kitchen counter anymore. It goes straight to the appropriate location: file cabinet or trash or recycle bin.

For the past 1.5 years, I’ve had a clean kitchen counter and peace of mind.


Clutter Free Recap:

1. Ask, “Did I ask for this?” If the answer is “no,” feel free to let go!

2. Focus on the “why” behind your decluttering efforts: to make more room for what matters most.

3. Keep only the cards and notes that you will reread. Tape them directly in your journal or place them in an encouragement file.

4. Put on noise canceling headphones or calming music when household noise gets too loud. Encourage the kids to play with quiet things.

5. Handle paper once. Send it straight to the appropriate location: file cabinet or trash or recycle bin.


Remember: Every HSP is unique. Start your own lists so you can become aware of what happens for you…and what works for you!


Wonder if you, too, might be an HSP?  Subscribe to Cheri’s blog and receive your FREE “HSP–Who, Me?” PDF.


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