A European Bedroom Hack Changed My Life Forever

I’ve Gone Commando and I’m Never Going Back

Minimalism is hard. And yet, it’s all the rage. I mean, everybody’s either doing it, or thinking about doing it. This includes dyed-in-the-wool hoarders, forward-thinking hamsters, and anyone who lives in a tiny house.

Even I’ve (almost) embraced the trend.

For example, I know people who have watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix and I own The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve also held all of my belongings and waited for them to bring me joy. (And let me just say, Marie Kondo, that’s a lot of pressure to put on a pair of 99 cent socks rescued from the depths of the last chance sale bin at Old Navy.)

No, I’ve got my own method of minimalism.

Instead of dumping my possessions into a giant pile on the living room floor, I shove everything I own into white bankers boxes. Then, I hide the opaque, unmarked containers in my basement, because what I can’t see can’t hurt me. Amirite?

Lots of stuff + minimal contact with said stuff = minimalism.

It’s basic math, and you can look for this and other tips in my new book entitled “Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Easy Path to Simplicity” on store shelves this fall.

In all seriousness, I must admit, it’s smiles for days when I clear old gas receipts, leaky Krazy Glue tubes and 25-year-old VCR remotes from my cutlery drawer. In fact, I read somewhere that the secret to happiness is to have at least one empty cupboard in your kitchen.

For the record, this is a plan I could get behind, but only if the cupboard was large enough for me to crawl inside and escape the relentless requests of my eight-year-old (because hiding in the bathroom sure as hell isn’t working anymore).

Which brings us to the bedroom where I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I’m an absolute nightmare to sleep with (just ask my husband) because for me, sleeping – like minimalism – is hard.

Every wrinkle, crease, and ridge in my sheets is enough to keep me awake and cranky. Think Princess and the Pea, only less regal. By the time I collapse into bed every night, I’ve burned approximately 4,217 calories smoothing the fitted sheet, straightening the pillows and making sacrificial offerings to the bedding gods.

I beg the top sheet to not become twisted around my husband’s feet. I threaten to rip it to shreds if it bunches itself up in a ball behind my back. I ask it to please not swaddle me and decrease my oxygen to near-death levels as it wraps itself around my neck in a 100% cotton veil of death.

All I want is to be able to sleep in the fetal position without being disturbed by the active-sleeper tornado beside me, which is why I recently decided to embrace my European roots and go quasi-commando by kicking my top sheet to the curb. And when I say curb, I mean the actual curb and not my cellar.

That’s right. I’ve ditched what wasn’t bringing me me joy, and now I sleep like a sonofabitch, under nothing but a duvet with a removable, washable cover.

I feel free because I am free.

The Dutch have no time for illogical top sheets, because the Dutch are minimalists who are far too busy with bicycles and canals and chocolate sprinkles on toast to worry about bed linens. Quite frankly, I can’t believe it took me this long to follow in the footsteps of my people.

Farewell flat sheet, you little prick. There is life-changing magic in letting you go.

RELATED: This is for Anyone Who's Lost Their Cool Folding Fitted Sheets

Andrea is an East Coast work-at-home mom, artist and blogger living a creative life by the sea with her artist husband, folk artist mother and 11-year-old daughter.

In a former life, Andrea was a public art gallery educator by day and a rock and roll journalist by night. These days, she splits her time between writing, running an art studio, looking after her “mini-me” and maintaining KinderArt.com (an art lesson website she co-founded with her mom nearly 20 years ago).

She credits her daughter with teaching her how to “go with the flow” and how to work in small, quick bursts between play time, snack time and story time. 

Being a parent has by far been her most creative endeavour yet.   

Creativity is an unpredictable and sometimes elusive gal. People often expect to find her dressed up in a bright, flowing gown. But the truth is… most of the time she sits quietly in a watermelon-stained t-shirt, trying to find new ways to approach old quandaries.

Your challenge – should you choose to accept it – is to dig in, get messy and start colouring outside the lines.

Andrea also blogs at noreallyandrea.com