Looking at a messy room can be daunting. For me what can be worse is looking at a semi- clean room that you know secretly hides bins and piles of crap that belongs nowhere. So, this is a guide I follow when cleaning my already seemingly clean room. For this guide I will be describing how I clean my room. However, this can be applied to any room.
Step 1: Remove what can be removed
This step is inspired by when my sister traded rooms with my older brother and was effectively able to throw out multiple bags full of trash and donations. By emptying both rooms and moving into them, she was able to see all she truly needed and what was just taking up unnecessary space. I’ve never lived anywhere other than my childhood home and temporarily a dorm room. That being said I can imagine moving also allows for one to take note of what they truly need and what is trash.
So when focusing on cleaning and organizing the structure of my room, I start by emptying the room of my laundry basket, trash, and any cups and bowls that have found their way here. Anything that doesn’t permanently live in that room also can be brought out. For instance towels, shoes, jackets, scarfs, gloves, etc.
Step 2: Organize Each Catagory
“Everything should have its place and everything should be in its place” Is something I often repeat to myself when cleaning/ organizing. With this in mind, mental divide your room into categories. Things should be organized by type not location. So, for example, I divide my room into: Desk, Dresser, Closet, Bed, Bedside Chest, 1st Bookshelf, and 2nd Bookshelf.
With laundry and trash out of the room this should open up more space. Since I will usually save my closet for a day in itself, I’ll save it for last right now. I am also going to save my desk for later as it holds alot of storage capability and not much supplies at this moment.
Step 3: Surfaces and floor
Whether you are like me and the floor is already covered in bins and boxes, or its perfectly neat, the floor is about to become our workspace. Clear off surfaces. This means the top of your desk, dresser, bookshelves, tables, chests, bed, and any other surfaces.
Step 4: Begin Categorizing
I won’t go into the categories I use as they most likely will be different for each person. However, some simple groups you may want to start with are described by KonMari. Since we are dealing with surfaces and have already removed any clothing like items, categories you can start with are: Books, Papers, Office Supplies, Health and Beauty, Misc. Within these categories are many other possible groupings that, like I said, will be specific to you.
Step 5: Empty, Organize, Repeat
Next tackle each section of your room. For the time being, yes you will be surrounded in your work. But the key is to organize section by section and clean section by section. For instance Im going to start with one of my bookshelves. So I remove all the books, bins, frames, and containers. Next wipe down shelves while you have the chance. Look at all the items that were hidden away in the shelves. Categorize the items. If they fit into a category you already established with the surface items, section them together. Next look at your bookshelf/ dresser/ desk. What is the best storage system for you and your furniture. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure this out.
Once you have sectioned your items, put back the items that belong. For instance, I know my books will be on my book shelf. So, I start by putting those back. If you have a group of items you don’t know if belong in the current section you are working on, then leave it alone for the time being. Don’t forget to throw away or donate anything and everything that doesn’t spark joy or serve a significant purpose. If you won’t miss it, you shouldn’t sacrifice space to it.