How to Clean Your Room

Six Parts:Getting in the Right Frame of MindCleaning Surface-Level StuffOrganizing Your Hidden Piles of StuffOrganizing Items in Your RoomCleaning Every Surface of Your RoomCleaning Checklist and Sample Cleaning Games

People know what it's like to face the challenge of cleaning a messy bedroom. Sometimes, it can feel like you're about to climb Mount Everest when all you're really doing is putting some clothes and books away. Luckily, it doesn't have to be as hard as scaling the tallest peak. Follow these simple steps to make cleaning your room a walk in the park rather than a mountain climbing race.

Part 1
Getting in the Right Frame of Mind

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    Play upbeat music. Before you start, put on an album or playlist that you love and that gets you pumped. Music with a faster beat will help ramp you up for your cleaning project. Stay away from more mellow, relaxing music. Choose music that motivates you rather than music that makes you tired or sad. Alternatively, you could listen to the radio.
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    If music doesn't help you concentrate, try listening to a book, movie, a video or a podcast. Just be careful not to decide on something that may distract you from your cleaning!
    • Listening to natural sounds such as waterfalls, campfires, oceans, rain, and wind can act as background noise that helps you focus on the task at hand.
    • Try not to waste too much time changing to different music or going from album to album. Setting your iPod to shuffle will help you get the job done faster.
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    Shed some light on the task at hand. Open all of your curtains or blinds to let a lot of natural light in. Consider opening the windows to give yourself some fresh air. Letting lots of light into your room will keep your spirits up and give you energy.
    • If you're cleaning at night, turn on all of the lights. Turning on the lights will keep you from getting drowsy during your cleaning process.
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    Write down a list of all the areas, shelves, and other things that need to be cleaned. Though this step is optional, it's still a good idea! Checking them off as you go will give you an extra burst of motivation. You can also set specific time limits for each item. That way, cleaning your room will take less time.
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    Plan out when you will take a break. Taking a break to eat, drink, and kick up your heels is often a good idea. However, don’t let yourself become too distracted during your break! Plan out a chosen amount of time that you will take a break for. It is best to take a break after you have completed an entire task rather than in the middle of it. One example could be that you plan to take a break after you have cleaned out under your bed and before you start organizing the smaller things in your room.
    • Don't take a break if the time of your break comes around and you feel as though you're on a roll. Use that feeling of being on a roll to get even more done!
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    Create a reward for yourself. Decide what you are going to do after you are done cleaning. Maybe you will go hang out with your friend, watch a movie with your family, or eat a big bowl of ice cream. Having a reward to motivate you will get you through the cleaning process quicker! However, you shouldn't make your reward so tempting that you speed through cleaning without doing a very thorough job.
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    Make cleaning your room into a game if you need extra motivation. If you're having trouble motivating yourself to clean your room, make the process interesting by playing a game. See how many things you can put away during ten minutes. Try to beat your "high score". Give yourself a piece of candy or five minutes of break time as a reward. For some ideas, check out the list of games at the end of this article.
    • There are other options besides creating a game for yourself. If you like to act and can't seem to get motivated to clean your room, try making up a scene where your character is cleaning. You'll be surprised how fast you'll start focusing on your scene while still cleaning!

Part 2
Cleaning Surface-Level Stuff

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    Get some boxes and/or bags handy. You'll need to store extra things you don't need. Just don't throw those things out unless they're broken. You can donate them to Goodwill or a different charity organization instead.
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    Move everything off your bed and make it. Making your bed will give you the sensational feeling of having accomplished something already. It will also give you a flat surface to fold clothes and take breaks on. Think of your bed as your island of clean in your ocean of mess. Move all the stuff that was on your bed into a pile in one section of your room. Strip your bed bare and flip your mattress over. Flipping over your mattress will increase its lifespan. It will also make you feel great when you sleep on the side that hasn't been used very much. Make your bed again with fresh sheets and blankets.
    • Take the extra time to really make your bed. Make sure the bottom of your sheet is tucked under your mattress. Make the blankets straight. Fluff the pillows. Throw your dirty sheets into your hamper or washing machine.
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    Put objects in their rightful places. Put everything that's on the floor away first. That way, you'll be able to get around your room without tripping over. The objects you put away don't have to be neat--simply put them where they belong. Start with the bigger things, like books and pillows, then move onto smaller things, like pencils and other stationary.
    • Remove the largest items first when attacking the pile. Just a few of them and you will see a big improvement. Continue with the next largest items until you are left with the little stuff like change and pencils.
    • Do not let yourself become distracted by items you are putting away. You might find a photo album you haven’t looked at in a long time, but don’t look at it while you’re cleaning. If you really, really want to look at it, make it a part of the reward you will give yourself after you have finished cleaning.
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    Organize your room logically. Put things you use often where it is easy to get to them and things that you don't use often in more hard-to-reach spots. You're more likely to put things away when you're done if it's nearby and easy to get to. Also, don't create too many piles of things because later it will be tiring to try and look through everything to find stuff.
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    Put away any clean clothes that are lying around. Fold clean clothes and place them in your dresser or hang them up. Fold your clothes neatly and try not to wrinkle them.
    • Place a laundry bin just outside your room. Placing it in the hallway is best. Place any dirty clothes you find into the laundry bin. Don’t take your dirty laundry to the washer machine until you have finished cleaning your room (you never know where you might find another dirty sock that needs washing.)
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    Stack any dirty dishes outside your room. If there is sticky liquid in a cup or bowl, take it down immediately to avoid the risk of it spilling in the hallway.
    • If you find anything else that goes in another room, put in a separate box and take it away after you are done cleaning your room.

Part 3
Organizing Your Hidden Piles of Stuff

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    Clean out the things under your bed. Pull everything out from under your bed. You may be surprised to find just how much junk has accumulated there, much of which is probably stuff you thought you'd lost or may have forgotten about.
    • Separate it into piles: trash, stuff to giveaway to charities, things to sell to second hand stores, stuff to give to your siblings (if you have any) or friends, stuff that belongs elsewhere, and stuff that stays in your room. It's probably easier to make 2 piles first (what to keep and what to get rid of), and then sort the 'stuff to get rid of' pile into subcategories. Also, sort the trash pile into things you can recycle and things you can't. Also look under the rest of your furniture like your desk, dresser, end tables, nightstands or bookshelves.
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    Attack the separate piles, but leave the 'keep' pile for now. If you have any giant piles, sort them into subcategories (clothes, shoes, books etc) before you begin to put them away.
    • First, the trash. Put the items that can't be recycled in the bin, then the items that can into the recycling bin.
    • Now, sort the 'belongs elsewhere' pile. If the items belong somewhere in the same house, take them to their places one by one. If they belong in a different house, put them somewhere that you'll remember.
    • Next, the 'give to siblings / friends' pile. Immediately take the siblings items to them (if you live with them, if not, put them with the 'friends' pile). Put the 'friends' pile in another place you'll remember.
    • Gather all the stuff you want to give to charity and the stuff to sell in two separate bags.
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    Attack the pile of stuff you want to keep. Start simply by separating different categories of things (clothes, shoes, books, etc.) and putting them in their place. Again, don’t organize those specific things yet or you'll lose momentum. For example, put all the books where they're supposed to be, like on your bookshelf, but don't get caught up in organizing the bookshelf just yet. Continue putting everything away — stuffed animals, photographs, purses, shoes, and so on — until your pile is gone.
    • Little tasks like this give you a sense of accomplishment. While it may be frustrating not to organize every single thing at first, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks will give you more motivation to finish the entire job.
    • If you find something that doesn't belong anywhere, consider giving it away, or make a place for it. A less cluttered room always feels really nice. If you need to continue using the object, ask your parents if they have room to store it elsewhere.
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    Organize your closet. Clean your closet by taking everything out of it and adding them to the piles you have already made for the things you found under your bed. Throw or give away items that you don’t need anymore. Once you have cleaned out your closet and decided what you are keeping, match all of your shoes and place them back in your closet, hang your clothes, and organize the stuff on the shelves in your closet (if you have shelves.)
    • If you find clothes that you have forgotten about, try them on. If they don’t fit, or you don’t like them anymore, put them in the ‘giveaway’ pile to make more room for clothes you do like.
    • Consider purchasing a shoe rack if you feel like you don’t have enough space for your shoes.
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    Take out all of the clothes in your dresser and fold them neatly. Folding is the key. Folded clothes will open up more space in each drawer and will allow your drawers to close more easily. Organize your dresser so that each drawer contains a specific type of clothing laundry pile.
    • Again, try on any clothes you forgot about or think might not fit anymore. If you don’t like them, or they don’t fit, give them away or try to sell them at a second hand store.
    • The top drawers could contain underwear and socks, the next drawers could contain shirts, and the bottom drawers could contain pants and skirts.
    • Organize your dresser in a way that makes sense to you. If you are used to reaching in the bottom drawer to grab a pair of underwear, put all of your underwear in the drawer.
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    Go through the separate piles you have created. Once you have your stuff separated into piles, you can start attacking each pile. Stick to attacking one pile at a time; you'll feel more satisfaction once you sort all your clothes, for example, and be motivated to continue cleaning.
    • Throw away the trash first. Get a large trash bag and place all of the trash you have collected into it. Don’t take it out until you are done cleaning your whole room, as it is very likely you will find more trash to throw away before you are done with the cleaning process.
    • Deal with the giveaways. Put everything you want to give away/give to your siblings in a bin and leave it right outside your room. You can keep adding to the bin as you clean, so don't get rid of everything just yet. However, it is helpful to minimize the mess in your room by moving everything outside. If you have clothes or things you would like to give to a specific person, consider placing a sticky note on the item to remind you who you want to give the item to.
    • Put away the things that you want to stay in your room. Fold any more clothes, put books on the bookshelf, toys in a toy bin, etc.

Part 4
Organizing Items in Your Room

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    Sort your books and magazines. Even those on the floor should look organized. Stack them by height, biggest on the bottom shortest on the top. Organize your bookshelf if you have one.
    • Make sure you make all your shelves look presentable. If you just chuck things on your shelf or desk, it will not look very tidy.
    • You can label each shelf and/or alphabetize your books. The organization system you use doesn't matter, as long as it looks tidy.
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    Organize items in your desk. Consider buying a desk organizer at your local office supply store. These desk organizers will help keep your pencils from running into your glue, which in turn will be kept separate from your scissors and markers.
    • Organize each drawer of your desk. Sort through any papers you may have in there and decide what you want to keep, and what you would like to recycle. Purchase some folders and organize your papers into the proper folder (you can even label your folders with things like ‘School Work’, ‘Drawings’, etc.)
    • If you don’t have folders, try stapling or paper-clipping paper together to keep them from getting lost. You can also rubber band small objects together.
    • If you don’t want to get a desk organizer, consider putting all of your pens, pencils, etc. into a plastic bag so that they don’t roll all over your desk drawers.
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    Organize anything else that looks like it should be attended to. Look around your room and see if there are any spots remaining that look messy. Now is the time to untangle your jewelry, put pairs of shoes together neatly, re-arrange your picture frames, and so on. Focus on the finishing touches.
    • This is also a good time to think of possible upgrades your room needs. Do you need a shoe rack to hang in your closet or on the back of your door? Do you need a jewelry case for all your necklaces? Do you need extra shelf- or closet-space for your clothes? Make a list of things you think would improve your room and set it aside or post it on your bulletin board (if you have one) so that you can purchase those things at a later date (or later in the day.)

Part 5
Cleaning Every Surface of Your Room

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    Dust the surfaces of your room. Use a duster to wisp away all of the dust on the surfaces of your desk, dresser, bookshelf, and any other surfaces you may have in your room. Dust before you vacuum or sweep because often dust will become displaced and then settle back on your floor. Make sure that your windows are open while you do this, especially if you are allergic to dust.
    • If you don’t have a duster, you can use wipes to wipe up all of the dust. Disinfectant wipes work well as they both wipe away dust and kill any bacteria that may have grown on your room’s surfaces. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe away dust.
    • Make sure to dust objects on your desk, dresser, etc. Things like picture frames, travel souvenirs, and trophies, will look much more interesting if they are not covered in a layer of dust.
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    Vacuum your floor. Make sure to clean out the vacuum bag if it's close to being full. Go over the dirtiest parts of your room more than once with the vacuum. If you want, sprinkle some carpet deodorizer on the carpet before vacuuming to give your room a pleasant scent.
    • If you don’t have a carpet, sweep the floor. You could even go so far as to mop your floor after sweeping or use a Swiffer cleaner.
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    Wash the inside of your windows and any mirrors you have. Use Windex or another cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth if you have one so that smudge marks don't get left on the windows. Cleaning your windows will give your room a glowing look.
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    Clean the other random parts of your room. Shine your door handles by wiping them with cleaning solution. If you have a ceiling fan, wipe the blades down with a wet cloth. You could even go so far as to clean the moulding with wipes (if you have moulding.)
    • Make sure to dust away any cobwebs that may have formed on your ceiling.
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    Do the finishing touches. Pick up any bits of trash that may have accumulated. Empty the trash. If you have any trash that has accumulated, get rid of it. Spray some air freshener or place some bags of dried lavender in your room.
    • Take your boxes of giveaways somewhere where you won't forget to give them away.
    • Take any dishes or items that go in other rooms to their respective places.
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    Reward yourself! Do something you enjoy and/or relax in your clean room! Go out to the movies, eat some candy, play with your dog--whatever you like to do, go and do it knowing that your room is sparkling clean.
    • Make sure that the next time you get something out, you put it away. Try to make your bed every day. These are cleanly habits that will prevent you from having to clean your room as often.

Cleaning Checklist and Sample Cleaning Games

Sample Cleaning Checklist

Sample Motivational Cleaning Games


  • Once you pick something up, do not put it back down until you put it in its proper place.
  • Try to clean your room once a week. Cleaning your room frequently will ensure that less stuff can gather on your floor (and cleaning your room will take less time.)
  • Look out for sharp objects and put them somewhere you are not going to step on them.
  • If you want, you could go around your room in a circular pattern while cleaning. Start from the left side and make your way to the right.
  • Wear comfy clothes like a t-shirt and tracksuit. Make sure you don't mind it getting slightly dusty or dirty.
  • Consider buying air freshener for your room. A fresh smelling room will motivate you to keep it as clean as it smells.
  • If you can't start cleaning, try imagining how clean your room will look afterwards.
  • Clean things off the ground and put rubbish in the bin first.
  • Put away any electronics or books that may distract you from cleaning.
  • If you find your room getting messy again quickly, it might be a good idea to get rid of some of your stuff. Sell it, store it, donate it, or pitch it; scale your belongings down and make maintaining a clean room easier.
  • Take a few pictures of your room when it was messy and then when it's really clean. When you are done, compare the before and after. You will see how much work you did and you will feel more motivated to keep your room that way.
  • If you have something that you think you might need one day, think "Have I used this in the past six months?" If 'No' throw it in the giveaway bin.
  • Divide your room and set yourself time limits. For example, a particularly messy corner may take you half an hour to do while another less messy corner may take only ten minutes. Then try to beat your time and reward yourself if you can beat the estimated time!
  • Make sure you know how you want everything and plan out what you are going to put where i.g. CDs and movies go on the shelf along with the books.
  • Make a statement saying you shall keep your room neat and hang it on the wall. This helps you stay motivated about keeping it clean.
  • Try to find a friend or family member to clean with you. Cleaning is always faster and easier when you're cleaning together.
  • Don't shove things under your bed you don't know what to do with. Make a place for everything.
  • If you take something out put it back after you are finished. It will help keep your room clean and the next time you clean your room it won't take as long!
  • Always tidy your room straight away so then its over and done with.
  • Make your bed first it makes your room look much cleaner, open a window to get some fresh air in too.
  • Separate everything into sections. A pile of clothes in that corner empty water bottles from underneath your bed in that corner, (etc) then set a timer on your phone for about 5-10 minutes and try and do a section before the timer goes off. If you aren't done with that part when time runs out, just move on to the next section and start the timer again.
  • Get a holder and label it with what you want. For example, you can make a label that says beauty and put all of those products in there to stay organized and not easily lose things.
  • Do a before and after picture so you can see what you have done, this will help see how much space can be saved by just cleaning alone.
  • Put the small items on your bed. Then you can return to your bed later and decide where to place them. And plus, you can't go to sleep without putting the items away! This means you have to clean it up!


  • If there are any rodents, insects or small creatures in your room, ask an adult or someone trusted to remove them.
  • If you have dust or other air-irritant allergies, take your regular allergy medication just before you start, or wear a dust mask.
  • If you have never used cleaning supplies or a vacuum before, ask a parent or guardian for help. Get them to show you how to use the supplies, as some cleaning supplies can be harmful if used incorrectly.

Things You'll Need

  • Garbage bags
  • Window cleaner
  • Paper towels or rag
  • A laundry basket or hamper
  • Upbeat music (optional)
  • Dusting cloth
  • Comfortable clothes
  • A broom or vacuum
  • Labels
  • Disinfectant wipes

Article Info

Categories: Bedroom Cleaning