Battling the chaos of a messy room is probably not on most people’s list of favorite pastime activities. We’ve put together a few simple tips on how to clean your room fast, and make it a little less tedious.
You know how it is. You’ve had a couple of busy days and when you get home, you’re too tired to think about housework. Before you know it, your room or apartment has sunk into complete and utter chaos – and you wonder how to clean your room on top of everything else.
Then comes the procrastination feedback loop from hell: once the disorder sets in, it spreads at an alarming rate, and the bigger the mess, the harder it becomes to motivate yourself to do something about it.
Although your uneasiness grows and grows, your inner slacker just can’t bring itself to clean up. But living in squalor is stressful, and prevents you from being able to fully concentrate or relax.
When you don’t know where to start, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If this is you, we’re here to help. Here are some tips to show you how to clean your room fast.
How to Clean Your Room Fast: Starting Off On the Right Foot
Let’s be honest. Housework isn’t ever exactly fun. But if you want a clean bedroom, it has to be done. The first thing to do is find a way to motivate yourself. Here are some ideas:
- Put on some tunes. Music you can dance to or sing along with is a sure way to get yourself moving.
- Pull back the curtains and open all the windows. Let the sunlight and fresh air give you energy.
- Race the clock. Decide how much time you think you’ll need to achieve a clean bedroom, set a timer, and see if you can beat it.
Now you’re ready to get started cleaning your room. It’s important to remember to work through the chaos step-by-step, one task at time. If it’s not just your bedroom but your whole apartment that has gone under, start in the least chaotic room. This way, you’ll quickly feel like you’ve got something done and it will be easier to stay motivated.
How to Clean Your Room: One Step At a Time
If you start with the bedroom, here’s how to clean your room fast:
- Begin by decluttering one area after another. For example, you could start with your bed and then work clockwise. Remove all the items that don’t belong on your bed and put them in a pile on the floor (you’ll come back to this later).
- As soon as an area is clutter-free, clean it. Change the sheets, make the bed and fluff the pillows. Arrange any blankets or throw pillows so that your bed looks neat and orderly.
- Now repeat this process for the shelves. Remove anything that does not belong and add it to the pile on the floor. Now you have room to clean and reorganize.
- Go back to the pile on the floor. Organize all the items into groups before putting them away to save yourself from having to walk back and forth unnecessarily.
- When the floor is cleared, vacuum and/or mop, and you are left with a sparkling clean bedroom.
Now that you know how to clean the room itself, it’s time for the closet. Organizing your closet is probably among the most annoying stops on the way to a clean bedroom, so it might be wise to approach this task separately. A quick tidying up is not likely to cut it here. Sort your clothes into categories: dirty laundry, in need of repair, old but still good, and clean clothes.
- Put all the dirty laundry in the hamper.
- The clothes that are in need of repair can often be rescued. Either do it yourself, maybe by sewing on a button or fixing a hem, or, if it’s a more complicated job, bring it to a tailor.
- Clothes that you don’t want to wear anymore but are still in good condition can be sold at a flea market, given away to friends, or donated to Salvation Army.
Looking for more tips on how to keep your closet orderly? You’re in luck: Minimalist Wardrobe: Closet Clearing Tips and Tricks
How to Clean Your Room: More Tips to Stay Orderly
Messes tend to accumulate when we bring things into other rooms, or when things don’t have a place where they belong. With these tips, you’ll find out not only how to clean your room, but also how to keep it tidier long term.
- Make room to clean up. Collect all the items that are lying around and put them in a pile on the floor. Divide them into categories and put them away, one category at a time.
- Every time you leave a room, take something with you that doesn’t belong there. If you’re going to get a glass of water, bring the dirty dishes that are still sitting in front of the TV with you.
- See to it that everything has its place. It’s best if things can be put away on shelves or in cabinets: the fewer things are lying around, the cleaner your house feels.
- Sort collections of loose items. For example, put all of your office supplies into one box, and household items like light bulbs, batteries, etc. in another one. Put anything that you don’t use very often in the attic, or in the cellar.
- Get rid of things that you don’t really want or need. Over time, we tend to collect so much stuff that we become buried in it. To make it easier to keep you home orderly, regularly sort out the things that you never use and give them away or donate them. You’ll find more advice here: Becoming Minimalist: Three Methods for Beginners.
- When you’ve cleared an area, a surface, or a whole room, clean it. Wipe off the counter, get rid of dust, vacuum the floor, clean the windows and mirrors. This will help you feel motivated to keep your place clean.
- To help keep yourself organized long-term, you might find it helpful to develop a cleaning routine. For example, you could make it a rule for yourself to wash the dishes, hang up your towel, and make your bed before leaving the house in the morning.
Cleaning With Children
How your child’s room is kept clean will depend very much on their age, and you’ll need to use different motivational techniques accordingly. The earlier you begin, the better your child will learn how to clean their room.
Here too, it’s important that each item has its place, and in this case be sure that your child can easily reach those places. Big, transparent boxes with lids are great for organizing loose toys, and can be placed neatly on a shelf or under the bed.
Developing a routine is vital to instilling good cleaning habits in your child. For example, every day before dinner, it’s time to clean the playroom. This way, your child becomes accustomed to cleaning up after itself, knows that it is coming and can orient themselves around it. It is not an extra chore or punishment, it is part of the normal routine done every day as a matter of course.
- Very small children: For children who are very young, you can turn cleaning up into a game. Put all the toys that are lying around in a pile in the middle of the room. Help your child to organize their things into categories, like figurines, dolls, toy cars, or picture books. Then give them clear instructions: “Let’s put all the stuffed animals on the bed.” Remember to be there to help your child stay focused and on task. Reward them afterwards for doing a good job.
- Up to age 6: If there is a particularly daunting mess, help your child approach the task step-by-step by cleaning up one area after another in a clockwise pattern. This way, the chaos won’t seem so overwhelming. In this case as well it is helpful to put everything in a pile in the middle of the room, categorize and put away. To make it more fun, you can sing together or listen to an audio book.
- Schoolchildren: You can make cleaning up a game for schoolchildren too. See who can put the legos away the fastest, or keep their desk the neatest, or make their bed the nicest. Show them how much of a difference little tricks can make, like doing a puzzle on a board instead of on the table, or putting their crayons back into the box after they’ve been used.
– By Sophie Singer
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This text was translated from German into English by Christie Sacco. You can view the original here: Zimmer aufräumen: Mit diesen Tipps schaffst du schnell Ordnung** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.
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