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Too Much Stuff

Question: I live in a small apartment with three kids.  We have too much stuff (and people) for the amount of space we have, so the bedroom is not only a bedroom, but an office and a storage space as well.  This makes me stressed out and makes it difficult to relax and focus on my husband at night.  What should I do?

Response: Thank you for writing.  This is, indeed, a common problem.  Physical environment and space can have a drastic impact on mental health and wellbeing.  Men and women are very different when it comes to physical intimacy.  Men are better able to "tunnel-vision," which means that they are able to focus on the current activity and rarely have a problem with being distracted.  Women, on the other hand, are very good at multi-tasking, which means that we are much more easily distracted.  Creating an organized, calm, and serene bedroom environment will help you focus and relax (both being essential in sexual intimacy).  There is no rule that says your bedroom cannot also be an office.  But if you have piles of mail and bills to be paid, your mind will think about that mess and those tasks instead of focusing on your husband.  Here are some practical tips to keep your bedroom as clutter-free as possible so that you can focus on your husband instead of your mess:

  • Organize things so that clutter is minimal.  You can certainly have storage such as bins or dressers or file cabinets. But visible mess will be more distracting.

  • Out of sight out of mind.  Keep things concealed as much as possible so they are less of a distraction.

  • Try to move things to other rooms if possible so your bedroom can be as much a place for sleep, relaxation, and couples time as possible.

  • Never keep a TV in the bedroom. Couples with TVs in bedrooms have less intimacy and are more likely to end in divorce.

  • Put up a partition such as a screen so that you have designated areas.

  • Paint your bedroom in calm colors such as Green. 

  • Don't use internet, phone, or TV right before bedtime.  Instead, take a hot shower or read a book.  This will help relax your brain from a busy day and will help you focus on your husband instead of being distracted and over-stimulated.

  • Keep the lights dark or dim so that you are less stimulated by other distractions.  

I hope this helps!  Let me know how it goes.  

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