Need method for cleaning messy bedroom

marie26November 2, 2007

If a room is a "disaster" zone, should one start on the floors and work up or start on all the furniture such as desks and dressers and work down. There is a path on the floor to get to the furniture. Organizing needs to be done at the same time. The hall outside the bedroom is narrow and it's too hard to do a "clean sweep" and move all the furniture out of the room.

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I think one starts with whatever one can stomach, LOL!

Seriously, though, start w/ whatever will leave the room rapidly.

Like, maybe you pick up all the dirty laundry, and toss it in the hamper, or a pile int he hallway to take downstairs to the laundry area.

That will make it easier to move around, easier to actually see the stuff that's left. And give you an instant feeling of progress.

Or, if there' s a single box of stuff you know shouldn't be there, you move it.

My LR & DR & BR are total disaster areas right now--so I'm going to have to follow my own advice.

The other thing I will sometimes do (did you know I have lots of experience w/ disaster areas? that's bcs I keep re-creating them) is clear off a workspace first.

I'll focus on the DR table, or on the sofa, or on the bed, bcs once those are clear, then I'll use that area to help me sort through and deal w/ other stuff.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 10:02AM
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Habage first, then dirty clothes, then the clutter.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 6:18PM
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Jannie, you make it sound so simple! And yes, you are right too - but it is often an overwheming prospect for some.

Whenever I want to tackle a room, the very first thing I do is make the bed. This provides you with a surface to sort or fold or temporarily place things (and having to clear the bed later in order to sleep requires you to follow through and assign these items a "home")

Next, like TS said, tackle the clothes: dirty ones to the hamper, clean ones away in the closet or drawer. If you need to weed out clothes during this step, then have a bag handy to put clothes to donate.

It is overwhelming to look at a giant mess and wonder where to start, so focus on one thing at a time (such a garbage or dirty dishes or hair accessories or reading material) OR, focus on one area/surface at a time (when the dresser is done, move on to the night table, then the desk, then the closet, then the floor - in no particular order here)

Now determine the purpose of the bedroom, and evaluate what is remaining and start assigning homes for these items, be it in the bedroom or elsewhere in the house. I think it is Julie Morgenstern - or her daughter - who writes about having "zones" in your bedroom, much like the way a Kdg. classroom might be set up. This may apply more to a child or teen though.

Perhaps we can help with specific solutions to questions you may have about particular items. Post again and tell us what the room will be used for besides the obvious, and what you are struggling with. There is no one formula that applies to everyone, but we can offer suggestions based on personal experience and successes from there.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 8:28PM
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OK...whos looking in my bedroom. Its not quite that bad but I have lost 50 pounds and I have lots of clothes in there. They need to go but I need time to get them out of there.
Karen L

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 12:38AM
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I try to make it fun. Pick up twenty seven things. Pick up all the blue things. Pick up all the things that start with the letter "R". Eventually it's clean.

I had two boys with ADHD and messy rooms. They were like Pigpen in Charlie Brown times 100. It always worked and it was clean before they knew it.

Oldest DS now works with mentally challenged adults. He is using the same tactics to get them to clean thier rooms too. :~)

Great (and loud) music also works. I clean best to the B52's.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 7:49AM
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I get rid of all unneccessary things first and trash them. Be selective for the things you are keeping. Do I need it,do I want it? Anything I havent worn in a year gets trashed also.
Put items your keeping but dont need right now into plastic boxes and store them.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 2:38PM
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Blue_Velvet_Elvis, I love that "make it fun" idea.

It's like taking my trusty "do a dozen" that helps me break the job down, and adding whimsy.

If you pick up everything that begins w/ the letter "R", you can pick up "railroad stuff" instead of "trains."

And I'm w/ you on the music. I like Willie Nile--raucous and happy.

I used to always clean to country music. I grew up in Iowa, and lots of my neighbors were country-music fans. I like it OK, but it's not my first choice of music. But there's something about its beat and its accessibility that make sit fit my mood for picking up, dusting, etc.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 9:37AM
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We used to have a bad habit of turning our bedroom into a tornado ravaged area in hardly any time at all.

I ALWAYS take the sheets and such off the bed, and immediately toss them in the wash. Then I load all the clothes laying around, onto the bed. Then I've got the whole floor clean, to see whats laying around. Clothes tags, or whatevers fallen onto the floor, books scattered, etc etc. Those then go into their homes.

Then I sort and separate all the clothes into piles. My biggest time-saving and de-clutter thing, was to buy several hampers. One or two are NOT enough for me. I have about 4 in my walk in, and one wicker one beside the bedroom door. All clothes go into appropriate hamper -lights, darks, delicates, etc. And then one basket at a time, down to laundry room.

Once all clothes are sorted and out of the way, I do finishing touches. Move anything back to the room/spot it came from. Dust & vaccum. I usually take a little time to rearrange my drawers and tidy the contents up, too.

Always play music, and burn a good smelling candle.

I just find having the floor cleaned up first makes me feel much more productive than starting with the furniture and such.

Since we started the multiple hamper routine my room has not gotten messy enough to need more than 2 minutes of tidying. Maybe a pair of socks, or PJs on the floor, or a shirt during a rushed change. Nothing I can't keep up on daily.

This is honestly the first time, probably since my parents cleaned my room when I was itty bitty, that our bedroom has stayed clean for longer than a week. It's going on about a month and a half now!

I also find keeping the bed made motivates me not to toss things on the floor. If the bed looks messy, the room looks messy. If the bed is tidy, then I want to keep the bed tidy.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 2:18PM
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This is honestly the first time, probably since my parents cleaned my room when I was itty bitty, that our bedroom has stayed clean for longer than a week. It's going on about a month and a half now!

Munkos, do you attribute this to the presence of the multiple hamper? Did you only have a single one before, or none, or what?

I'm intrigued to hear what you think has made the big difference for you.

(and you are now my poster child for the next time someone says "if I can't keep cheap shelves organized, I won't be able to do it w/ expensive ones"--sometimes the right type of infrastructure can make a huge difference)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 2:35PM
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I do think the multiple hampers are the biggest change.
I had one, and the boyfriend had a small one.

It's a rare day that I wear an outfit that can all go in the same wash load. So after 3-4 days, I'd have a full hamper, but not enough of any type of clothing to make a full load of laundry.

And I think everyone knows once one or two pieces of clothing hit the floor, it's not long before you walk in and realise half your wardrobe is all over the floor and you don't know where anything is.

Now whenever a hamper is full, it goes straight to the laundry. I've got a ton of clothes, before the hampers, the bedroom could turn into quite the disaster area before I ran out of clothes to wear. Now I have a ton of clothes, but they're organised.

Combine that with ditching the "I'll pick it up later' attitude, I've really been able to keep things tidy.

I also added some of those plastic bins with 3 drawers to the walk in, to store any extra clothing that doesn't get worn much. I'm short and I can't reach alot of the shelves in the closet, so it was almost like I had to keep a certain amount of clothes dirty at all times, so I had enough space for the clean ones.

Now I can have ALL of my clothes clean, and have them all put away, too.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 12:00PM
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