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What's in your bedroom? Tuesday July 26, 2016

Well, a bed, obviously. But what else? And more to the point, why?

A Zimbabwean friend of mine used to refer to 'Katunda' – originally, a word used by Rhodesian soldiers to refer to their personal belongings, or kit. However, its meaning has morphed into covering all kinds of 'stuff', 'bits and bobs', life's trappings. So in a bedroom this might include clothes (clean or dirty, folded or flung), loose change, correspondence (some open, some still waiting to be opened), contents of pockets, paraphernalia, books, magazines, newspapers, suitcases, shoes, more shoes, possibly a television, a laptop or tablet, ornaments, photos, mirrors, make up, more shoes, etc...

Absolutely none of which are required for a good night's sleep. None. And so I decided to re-invent my bedroom, and make it the one room in the house which contains only that which is either beautiful or of proven relevance to a tranquil sleep. And with the exception of a few loved photos, a couple of candles, and some beautiful and extremely comfortable bedding, my katunda has been moved either out of sight, or to another room in the house.

The difference that this makes is huge. No longer is the last thing I see before a fall asleep the pile of papers, bills, junk mail and nonsense that I used to leave on my table in my room. In fact, no longer is there a table in my room. No longer is there an overflowing laundry basket, untidily decorated with badly discarded shirts. No longer is there a shelf full of dust collecting ornaments, bottles of after shave, business cards that were once in pockets long since emptied, and something bought on a holiday years ago that seemed nice at the time.

I allow myself music, as that can be conducive to sleep, a few books – but only a few, and possibly a cut flower if the season allows (the roses this year have been fabulous.)

And so when I enter this space, my body and mind know that it is a space for rest. Nothing is there to distract me, to alter the course of my thoughts, to detain from my intended purpose – to breathe, to rest, to sleep, and to refresh.

OK, so I admit, the rest of the house is a bit of a tip sometimes, and there is still a great deal of katunda I could and should discard – but my bedroom has become my own personal oasis of calm and placidity. I highly recommend this - you will be surprised what a difference it makes.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Lex Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 5:17am

This is spooky for me, Andrew (as well as beautifully written - I love the rhythm in your writing). Why spooky? My guest on the final business show yesterday shared the same theme. We talked about 'Sleep' and keeping sleeping space sacred. So, I will be able to share your blog with that audience today and I am most grateful. L'x

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 6:37am

Thank you Lex - I'm glad it struck a chord!

Drywsdad Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 7:13am

And putting clean sheets on the bed completes the ritual

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:40pm

Can't beat clean sheets!

Belinda Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 8:02am

What lovely ideas Andrew & Drwsdad.

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:26pm


Gordon Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 8:15am

Lovely writing Andrew and a real challenge for me! I couldn't help but chuckle though after reading your words "make it the one room in the house that contains only that which is either beautiful or of proven relevance to a tranquil sleep." You see, my bedroom is dominated by a rather large drum kit! I do enjoy playing it from time to time but end up feeling a bit guilty when I don't practice, so perhaps it has to go after all.
Seriously though, hanks for your input in the blog. Definitely going to start working towards a more peaceful bedroom.

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:25pm

I think removing the drum kit is probably a good move! Here's to tranquil sleeps!

Hopeful One Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 8:33am

Hi Andrew- yes a bedroom means sleep and sleep meansa bedroom and the stronger that association the easier it gets to sleep. I would allow sex as it aids sleep in most cases!

As I mentioned sex the Joke Squadron is testing the water with this one.

A couple both age 67, went to a sex therapist's office The doctor asked, what can I do for you? The man said, Will you watch us have sexual intercourse? The doctor looked puzzled, but agreed. When the couple finished, the doctor said, There's nothing wrong with the way you have intercourse, and charged them $50. This happened several weeks in a row. The couple would take an appointment, have intercourse with no problems, pay the doctor then leave. Finally the doctor asked, just exactly what are you trying to find out? The old man said, we're not trying to find out anything. She's married and we can't go to her house. I'm married and we can't go to my house. The Holiday Inn charges $90.The Hilton charges $108. We do it here for $50, and I get $43 back from my insurance company!

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 9:24am

My favourite :-)

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:28pm

:-)....And of course sex - although on this occasion I wasn't going to include it - but you're right, it can aid sleep...eventualy!

Angela Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 8:43am

This is just the prompt I needed to declutter my bedroom! thank you :)

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:28pm

Go Angela!

Anne Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 8:55am

Hi Andrew - I loved the post, simple and encouraging, without leaving me feeling 'less than' or unable to master some of that peace you identify. Thank you :-)

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:29pm

So happy if it helps you Anne!

Duma Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 9:02am

Hi Andrew - my bedroom is full of 'gomi'(Japonese)word meaning (no exact translation)junk as a potential resource.

Well written post, thank you.

Duma Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 9:03am

japanese - typo

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:30pm

Possibly time to 'degomify'?! Good luck!

Duma Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 10:45pm

Inertia is the largest factor in my life. Positively and negatively, y'know.

Duma Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 10:47pm

Positive -like "Blockage ahead. Ramming speed!" Negative - like "meh"

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 9:24am

Hi Andrew, fully agree! My bedroom is clear, and I'm asleep before my head reaches the pillow, my problem is I could sleep all the time... This is a great reminder to stop charging my phone there at night. I could replace it as an alarm clock but I force myself awake early by reading the paper on it first thing. I haven't found a better alternative. All that aside, fully agree with your blog, merci! Love ratg x.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 11:21am

Hmmm - My phone is the last thing I look at at night (usually playing Word) and the first thing I look at in the morning. But - I do like having a tidy bedroom. I have a photograph of a beautiful naked man (by photographer Michael Stokes) by my bed, and I don't want him to look down and see mess! It's a great incentive: I'd recommend it to every girl (just so long as any "real" man in your life is OK with it. Fortunately my own husband agrees that this photograph is art, not pornography and has enough self confidence not to feel threatened!)

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:31pm

I haven't yet managed to ban the phone from my bedside...but maybe one day...Merci mes amis

Charlie Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 9:48am

When we had to re-model our bedroom (as the ceiling was collapsing - the builder would not even walk in the room to inspect, and was horrified that we were still sleeping in there - we hadn't noticed it was getting worse!)it became, and still is, a sanctuary - always tidy, no clutter. The rest of the house? Memorable comments include visitors to neighbours opposite asking "if the house was derelict" and "it's the kind of house where you wipe your feet on the way out and leave a donation".
In our defence it is a busy farmhouse.

Duma Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 10:21am

I once had a glazier wipe his feet (sarcastically) on his way in. I empathise and now buy better cat litter, btw.

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:38pm


Norman Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 11:06am

Renting a room I have a lot of clutter as anything which isn't in storage is in my room, usually in boxes. It is not very restful or relaxing. My housemate smokes (my failure to read the small print) so my room is a sanctuary in other respects. I am determined to get back to the situation Andrew describes. Arranging my house how I want it is an occasional luxury on a lifetime perspective. Not so long ago I was renting a penthouse with room to have everything in a place of its own, there was a tv room/lounge, a kitchen/dining room and a "culture" room where I had my books, hi-fi, musical instruments (none of which I can play well) malt whiskies, etc. The kitchen had lots of workspace for preparing meals and having coffee-makers etc on the worktops. It will come again I hope!

Mary Wednesday Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 11:22am

Oh Norman, it sounds blissful. Yes - I hope it comes again.

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:33pm

I agree Norman - not always possible to keep the bedroom as just that - a bed room. But it's a goal to which to day I'm sure it will come again...meantime, good luck with the de-cluttering!

Mary Wednesday Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 11:22am

Great advice Andrew, and a great blog. Thank you.

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:34pm

Thank you my friend

Leah Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 11:46am

Thanks for a fascinating blog.
However I have decluttered my room and made it peaceful and a sanctuary but it had no effect on my restless sleep.
I am glad it worked for you and for others but alas not for me.

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:37pm

Not a cure-all, but a peaceful sanctuary such as that you describe will at the very least prevent any extra distractions from preventing your sleep...restlessness comes from all the noise and activity on those busy roads in the head I expect....time to step back and watch that traffic from a far off hilltop, if that were at all possible. Good luck....and thanks for taking the trouble to comment...

The Gardener Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 12:05pm

Don't know who to laugh at first, Charlie or HO. We were faced with the old age 'crunch'. When everybody stopped falling about at what I intended to make a 'home' it's working. Bedroom started with Mr G's favourite things - 10 Japanese woodcuts bought before we were married. Decor done for peace, beauty and to complement those focal points. A radio (soothe, hopefully Mr G in morning while he frets about everything) and my bedside book. One white orchid - stark modular black lamps. It works. Next room is where it all happens - nurses in the morning, TV which I can watch and still be near Mr G, sink, washing machine, ironing board - all looking out on to a beautifully flowered roof terrace. Peace one room, all you need in the next. All only possible with an expensive stair lift.

Lexi Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 12:52pm

beautiful blog Andrew. thank you.

Andrew Tue, Jul 26th 2016 @ 1:39pm

Thank you Lexi -

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