how to clean a messy room

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean a Messy Room

Struggling with a cluttered, disorganized space? Learning how to clean a messy room not only transforms your physical space but also brings mental clarity and improved productivity. This guide will walk you through a systematic approach to turn your chaotic room into a serene haven.

Preparing for the Clean-up

Clean up

1. Assessing the Situation

Before diving into the cleaning process, take a moment to really look at your room. Stand at the doorway and survey the area. How did it get to this state? Understanding the root causes of the clutter can be insightful for preventing future messes.

Categorize the clutter you see – clothes might be piled on a chair, papers strewn across a desk, or miscellaneous items cluttering your bedside table. This visual inventory will guide your cleaning strategy, helping you prioritize tasks and identify what supplies you’ll need.

2. Gathering Supplies

Once you have a clear idea of the task at hand, it’s time to gather your cleaning supplies. Here’s a basic list to get you started:

  • Trash Bags and Bins: You’ll need these for discarding unwanted items and segregating them for recycling or donation.
  • Storage Boxes/Baskets: These are great for organizing items you plan to keep. Label them for easy identification.
  • Cleaning Agents: Depending on the surfaces in your room, you may need various cleaners, such as glass cleaner, wood polish, or multi-surface cleaner.
  • Cloths and Sponges: Have a few on hand for wiping down surfaces.
  • Vacuum Cleaner and/or Broom: Essential for cleaning floors.
  • Dusters: These are useful for reaching high surfaces and tight corners.

For those interested in a more sustainable approach, consider eco-friendly cleaning products or homemade solutions. A simple mixture of vinegar and water can be a versatile cleaning agent, and baking soda is great for tackling tough stains.

3. Setting Goals and Time Management

Before you start cleaning, set realistic goals for your session. Decide whether you’re going for a quick tidy-up or a deep clean. This will help you manage your time effectively. If you’re short on time, focus on the areas that need the most attention first.

4. Creating a Cleaning Playlist

To make the cleaning process more enjoyable, create a playlist of your favorite upbeat songs. Music can be a great motivator and can help keep your energy up as you clean.

By preparing thoroughly, you set the stage for a more efficient and less stressful cleaning process. This groundwork not only ensures that you have everything you need at hand but also puts you in the right mindset to tackle the task ahead.

The Cleaning Process

Cleaning Process

1. Decluttering

The first step in cleaning is to remove the clutter. Begin by sorting through your belongings and dividing them into categories: keep, discard, and donate. Be decisive; if you haven’t used an item in a year, it’s probably time to let it go.

For clothes, apply the ‘hanger trick’ – if a garment hasn’t been worn in the last six months, consider donating it. For papers and documents, digitize what you can to reduce physical clutter. Remember, decluttering is not just about removing items, but also about reorganizing what you decide to keep.

2. Dusting and Vacuuming

Once the clutter is cleared, start dusting from the top of the room downwards. Use a microfiber cloth or a duster to clean shelves, picture frames, and other surfaces. Pay special attention to often overlooked areas like the tops of doors, window sills, and lampshades. After dusting, vacuum the floor thoroughly, including under the bed and other furniture. If you have a carpet, consider using a carpet cleaner for a deeper clean.

3. Cleaning and Sanitizing Surfaces

With dusting and vacuuming out of the way, focus on cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. Wipe down all hard surfaces like desks, tables, and countertops with a suitable cleaner. If you have any electronic devices in your room, such as a computer or TV, use an appropriate cleaner to wipe them down. Don’t forget to clean your windows and mirrors for a streak-free shine.

4. Organizing

Now that your room is clean, it’s time to organize. Put clothes away in the closet or dresser, using organizers if necessary. Arrange books, magazines, and other items on shelves or in storage boxes. Use drawer dividers to keep small items tidy. Consider the layout of your room and rearrange furniture if it improves the flow or creates more space.

5. Laundry

Gather all dirty laundry and wash it. This includes bed linens, curtains, and any clothing that has been lying around. Clean beddings and curtains can significantly freshen up the room.

6. Addressing Specific Areas

  • Closet: If your closet is part of the chaos, take everything out and reorganize. Use this opportunity to sort through your wardrobe and decide what to keep, discard, or donate.
  • Desk Area: Organize your desk area to create a productive workspace. Manage cables, organize stationery, and create a system that helps maintain order.
  • Personal Items: Place personal items like photos, souvenirs, and other decorations in a way that they contribute to the room’s aesthetics without adding clutter.

7. Final Touches

As a final touch, add elements that make the room feel fresh and inviting. This could be a new plant, a piece of art, or simply rearranging existing decor for a new look. Ensure good air quality by opening windows or using an air purifier.

By following these steps, you can transform your messy room into a clean, organized, and pleasant space. The key is to tackle the process systematically, ensuring that each step contributes to the overall cleanliness and order of the room.

Maintaining a Clean Room

Clean Room

1. Daily Habits

Establishing daily habits is crucial for maintaining the cleanliness and order of your room. Here are some simple, effective habits:

  • Make Your Bed: Start each day by making your bed. This simple task sets a productive tone for the day and instantly makes your room look neater.
  • A Place for Everything: Always return items to their designated spots after use. This prevents clutter from accumulating.
  • Evening Quick Clean: Spend 5-10 minutes each evening tidying up. This could involve folding clothes, straightening books, or clearing your desk.
  • Controlled Laundry Management: Don’t let dirty laundry pile up. Use a hamper and set a regular laundry schedule.

2. Weekly Cleaning Routine

In addition to daily habits, establish a weekly cleaning routine. This should include:

  • Dusting and Vacuuming: Regularly dust surfaces and vacuum or sweep the floor.
  • Wiping Surfaces: Clean all hard surfaces, including desks, shelves, and window sills.
  • Changing Bed Linens: Change and launder bed linens weekly to ensure a fresh, clean sleeping environment.

3. Long-Term Strategies

For long-term maintenance, consider these strategies:

  • Seasonal Decluttering: At the start of each season, take time to declutter. This keeps your belongings in check and ensures you’re only keeping what you need and use.
  • Deep Cleaning Sessions: Plan for deep cleaning sessions every few months. This includes cleaning areas often overlooked during regular cleaning, such as under the bed, behind heavy furniture, and inside closets.
  • Reassess Storage Solutions: As your needs change, so should your storage solutions. Regularly reassess and adjust your organization system.

4. Mindful Acquisitions

Mindful acquisitions are key to preventing clutter. Before purchasing new items, consider their necessity and the space they will occupy. Ask yourself if the item is essential, if it serves multiple purposes, or if you have something similar. For clothing, adopt the ‘one in, one out’ rule – when you buy a new piece, donate an old one.

This approach not only keeps your possessions in check but also encourages a more sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, be cautious about accumulating small items like souvenirs or promotional giveaways that can quickly clutter space.

5. Decorating and Personalizing

Refreshing your space periodically can make maintenance feel rewarding. Personalizing your room with items that reflect your style and interests can increase your attachment and motivation to keep it neat. Consider seasonal decorations to bring new energy into the room.

Rotating items like artwork, photos, or even rearranging furniture can make the space feel new and inspiring. This regular change encourages you to clean and organize as you redecorate. However, balance is key – avoid over-decorating as it can lead to clutter.

6. Involving Technology

In today’s digital age, technology can be a great ally in maintaining a clean room. Use smartphone apps to set reminders for your cleaning schedule, create a task list, or even track your decluttering progress. Consider smart home devices like robotic vacuums that can help in regular cleaning.

For organization, digital tools can help too. Use e-books to reduce physical book clutter, cloud storage for documents, and digital platforms for collections like music or movies. Embracing technology can streamline your cleaning process and help in maintaining long-term organization.

7. Attitude and Mindset

Your attitude and mindset play a crucial role in sustaining a clean room. Shift your perspective to see cleaning not as a burdensome chore but as a beneficial activity that enhances your living space and mental well-being. Recognize the sense of accomplishment and tranquility that comes from a tidy room.

Encourage yourself by celebrating small victories in maintaining cleanliness. Understand that occasional lapses are normal and use them as learning opportunities. Creating a positive association with cleaning can transform it from a task into a rewarding routine.

Maintaining a clean room is an ongoing process that requires commitment and regular effort. By integrating these habits, routines, and strategies into your daily life, you can ensure that your room remains a clean, organized, and peaceful space that supports your well-being and productivity.


By following these steps, you can effectively clean your messy room and enjoy a more organized, peaceful environment. Remember, the first step is always the hardest, but the transformation of your space is worth the effort.

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