How Bedroom Clutter Can Affect Your Sex Life



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Say the word “clutter” and you’ll get opinions. Whether they embrace it or not, many people have some form of clutter or another. Personally, I feel better when my clutter is at a minimum so I’ve found ways to declutter my main living spaces so that they best serve their intended purposes. But there was one room — and one activity — I hadn’t fully explored. I was curious: How might clutter in the bedroom impact your sex life?

I talked with relationship and sex experts who spilled the tea on what to keep and what to nix in the bedroom to turn up the heat.

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Dr. Jane Guyn, a world-renowned relationship coach who earned a doctorate degree in human sexuality and wrote the best-selling book “Too Busy to Get Busy,” knows the items that inspire intimacy and those that squash it. First off, no one wants to be reminded of an unpaid parking ticket when the mood turns amorous. That’s why paper clutter, like mail and bills, should be stored in another room or out of sight. If space is tight, consider a sleek filing cabinet or simple storage box. Guyn also suggests removing reading materials that aren’t currently in use or that don’t feel sexy. (“Taxes for Dummies,” for example, wouldn’t make the cut.)

It’s no surprise that electronics, being as addictive and distracting as they are, are not on Guyn’s “keep in the bedroom” list. Dr. Kelly Rees, a board-certified sexologist and qualified mental health associate with a doctorate degree in human sexuality, agrees. “Get the tech out of the bedroom!” she urges. But if you’re anything like me and find comfort in having the phone’s built-in alarm clock nearby, there’s hope yet. Guyn recommends creating space in a drawer to safely house electronics (this, of course, goes for ones you don’t use to enhance your pleasure). That way, when things get steamy, there’s an out-of-sight place to put those intrusive screens.

Both Guyn and Rees propose removing pet-related clutter, like crates, toys, and blankets. Even if these items live in the bedroom for most of the time, it’s nice to remove them when privacy is needed. Ultimately, Guyn says, “get rid of anything that takes your attention away from feeling relaxed, open, and sensual.” 

Rees also focuses on creating spaces that are not just decluttered, but clean. “Get the laundry out of sight. No piles of clothing. If you don’t have time to fold and put away properly, temporarily put laundry in a closet and close the door,” she says. She also encourages partners to clean the space regularly by vacuuming, dusting, and removing garbage (like the crumbled-up receipts that so often make their way to the bedside table). Rees is also a big believer in making the bed, stating, “start with it smoothed out and neat, like an invitation.”

How to “set the mood” in the bedroom

Once the bedroom is decluttered, it’s time for the fun part: selecting intentional items to cultivate an alluring, warm room. “Clean, high thread count linens,” says Guyn, in addition to mood lighting, instantly creates a special vibe. Subtle, mutually pleasing fragrances from an essential oil diffuser or candle can also uplift the environment. Dr. Rees reminds us to keep our partner’s allergies in mind when selecting scents. Music, refreshing beverages, and massage oils are all on Guyn’s list of things to keep too. 

The experts agree: for most people, unnecessary clutter in the bedroom can get in the way of creating a sultry, sexy space. But by removing a few of the culprits — papers, electronics, pet gear — and anything that doesn’t invite sensuality, your bedroom is transformed and ready to be enjoyed. 

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to sleep in them, decorate them, make the most of small ones, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!


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