How To Clean A Messy Room Without Overwhelm In 7 Easy Steps

Having a clean room gives us a little bit of control back to our crazy, stressful lives and leaves us with a clean house. You may be wondering how to clean a messy room. Doing one room at a time doesn’t take too much time. Cleaning a messy room might be the best way to love your home. Once your room is lean, you’ll be able to relax and focus on the things that matter the most to you.

The first step in learning to organize and clean a messy room is to ensure you have all the necessary supplies. If you’re planning to do a lot of decluttering, you need to first prepare the following:

  • Trash bag
  • Storage bins and boxes
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Laundry basket
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum

Having a pen or marker and some sticky notes is also a good idea to help you organize your items to keep, donate, recycle, and trash. Labeling your garbage bags will help you later on when you’re knee-deep in garbage bags — at a glance, you’ll know where each bag needs to go.

Once you’re ready with all your tools and supplies, you can start organizing the room in earnest.

Set Your Cleaning Goals

Before taking a deep breath and diving head-first into the daunting task of cleaning and organizing the room, the first thing you have to do is set your goals. What do you want to achieve by decluttering?

Are you just aiming to organize your stuff without throwing anything out? If so, some specific goals could be having a proper place for each belonging and investing in designated containers with labels to maintain organization.

Alternatively, maybe you want to clear out some items. If so, what counts as “unwanted” belongings? Which ones belong in the trash bags, and which remain in your room? Once you’ve pared down your stuff, where do the remaining things go?

Having a clear goal and knowing what you want this room to look like when you’re done will help you prioritize which part of your room to organize and how to go about it.

Have Designated Containers and Trash Bins

This is the next step in how to clean a messy room. Make sure you’ve got your boxes, trash bins, laundry baskets, and any other containers you’ll be using set aside and properly designated for different purposes. Unwanted items aren’t always garbage; some can be donated, recycled, or repurposed.

Below are some categories to help you sort your items.

  • Trash: This is everything that has no remaining use or is in poor enough condition that nobody will want it.
  • Repurpose: This pile is for things that you can continue to use but in a different way. One example is extremely stained clothes or clothes that no longer fit; instead of throwing them out, you can cut them up to use as cleaning cloths.
  • Donation box: This is for items still in good condition but that you no longer use, need, or want.
  • Repair: This is for items that may be in bad condition, but you still want to continue using them. Whether you need to patch a hole or take it to a professional, set things aside here if they need a little TLC to get back in working order.
  • Keep: These are items you’ll be keeping. These items should not be damaged beyond use; if they are, put them in one of the other categories above.
  • Store: These things you’ll be keeping, but they don’t need to be easily accessible. These are usually out-of-season items, like holiday decor, summer swimsuits, or thick scarves.

Take out the Gross Things First

The “gross things” include trash, dirty clothes, and dirty dishes.

First, tackle the trash. Taking out the trash first will seriously lessen the number of things you need to organize. Get started by walking around the room and picking up any easily-spottable and obvious trash or recycling.

This includes food wrappers, empty containers, bottles, pieces of paper, etc. In the first place, there should never be old food hanging around. It’s a health hazard. Throw them immediately into your garbage bag. If you’ve got a junk drawer, make sure to empty this too!

Next, do another sweep for dirty plates, cups, or other eating utensils. Put these into your kitchen sink to soak so you can easily wash them after you’re done organizing the room.

Doing this first will give you immediate results. The clutter will be less visually overwhelming and likely not as smelly, and you’ll also have some small wins under your belt to help you stay motivated moving forward.

Just remember: this doesn’t need to be done perfectly. If you find more trash or dishes while decluttering, you can always toss the trash or make another trip to the kitchen.

Last, tackle all the dirty laundry. Put the clean clothes away and remove the dirty clothes from the room. Put them in the hamper or laundry basket to take them to the washing machine.

Decide on Your Plan of Attack

Once you’ve removed all the gross things, you can concentrate on organizing the room instead of cleaning it. There are a couple of ways you can approach this:

  • Concentrate on a specific area. For this plan of attack, you organize your room by section or area. If you’re organizing a messy bedroom, you can tackle the surfaces first, your vanity, desk, bed, and so on. If you’re organizing your kitchen, you can start with clean dishes, counter space, drawers, upper cabinets, etc.
  • Organize by materials or items. This technique works well if you’ve got a lot of common or similar items, such as clothes, accessories, books, and the like. For this method, you focus on sorting through one group of items before moving on to the next. If you started organizing your clothes, you shouldn’t suddenly move to organize your belts or bags just because they’re all in the same closet.

If you’re working on organizing an entire messy house, first pick a room to start with. Then, start with a particularly chaotic area or material to begin the decluttering process.

Take Everything Out

Regardless of your chosen plan of attack, it’s important to take everything out first and see everything you need to work with. This is also where all your storage containers will come into play.

Start with either one section of your room, like your shelves, or a group of items, like your bags, and take everything out in that section or category. Put them on a large flat surface so you can easily see everything you’re working with.

It’s best to get everything on the floor so you can spread them out and have easy access. If you don’t have any available space in the room, moving everything to your dining table or another room is a great way to get it out of your space. After this, you can start sorting through them.

Choose Which Items Get to Stay

Decluttering is crucial to prevent messy rooms, especially in small spaces.

Make full use of your sorting containers. Determine whether you’ll be keeping the items based on whether you’re currently using or needing them, whether you’ll use/need them in another season, and whether they’re in good condition. If it’s something that you and your family members haven’t used for months and have no plans to resume using, then you can either donate it or throw it out.

If you struggle, force yourself to make quick decisions by setting a timer. If you can’t think of a good reason to keep it within ten seconds, it’s time to go.

Clean the Area You Just Cleared Out

Cleaning up is part of organizing any messy room — whether it’s your living room, bedroom, laundry room, or kitchen. Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant or a damp cloth to be extra clean. After all, you wouldn’t want to put your neatly organized things somewhere dusty and dirty.

Make sure to dust off your things or give them a pass with the vacuum cleaner. The last thing to be done is the floors. You can leave sweeping or vacuuming the floor until last when you’ve successfully cleaned up the entire room. Leaving a sparkling room with clean floors is like the cherry on top of the sundae.

Get Creative With Storage Solutions

If you want a more organized home, you’ll want to implement some storage solutions to help you avoid amassing clutter in the future. By “storage solutions,” we’re referring to dividers or other devices that you can put inside existing storage spaces like drawers, cabinets, and shelves to designate a proper space for each item and keep things where they’re meant to be.

For example, you might want to look into the following…

  • Something to hang shoes on, either on a door or in your closet
  • Silverware organizers
  • Shelf risers
  • Drawer organizers for pens and other office supplies
  • Wall organizers to keep your desk or kitchen counter clutter-free
  • Rolling or pull-out drawers for cabinets that are too deep to use effectively

Once you’ve cleaned out the space and implemented your new storage solution, sort your “keep” items back into place, and voila! You’ve successfully organized a section of your room or a category of items. Now just wash, rinse, and repeat until the whole room — or the entire house! — is nice and clean.

Consider a Daily Routine

Having a quick routine every day will help you keep a clean home. We often collect too much stuff over time and creating a cluttered room. Maintaining a tidy home means checking in on the rooms often to beat the power struggle between the other members of the family and the dirt and clutter. The first time is often the hardest, but keeping on top of it will make it easier to always have a clean bedroom and home.

By implementing simple tips and tricks, you can develop a daily cleaning routine that will help you keep your home clean and organized in no time. So what does a daily cleaning routine look like? 

Start With The Bedroom

Open the curtains to let the new sunlight in and make your bed. Straighten out the sheets and blankets, and bedspread. Don’t forget to add back the throw pillows. Pick up any dirty laundry and hang anything clean up.

Move To The Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in any home, so it’s important to keep it clean and clutter-free. Begin your daily cleaning routine by wiping down all of the surfaces in your kitchen, including the countertops, stovetop, and sink.

Unload the dishwasher and put all the clean dishes away. If you have any dishes in the sink, load them now. Wash anything that doesn’t go in the dishwasher. Then, sweep or vacuum the floor. Once you’re finished with the kitchen, move on to another room.

Don’t Forget the Bathrooms

Bathrooms are breeding grounds for bacteria, so it’s important to give them a good cleaning every day. Start by spraying all of the surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner or disinfectant. Then, scrub the toilets and shower/tub. Finish up by sweeping or mopping the floor. Don’t forget to empty the trash before moving on to the next room!

Tackle One Room at a Time

When cleaning your home, it’s best to tackle one room at a time. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed. Once you’ve finished cleaning all of the rooms in your house, take a minute to tidy up any common areas, such as the living room or den. Then, put away any toys or clutter that may be lying around.  This is the best way to understand how to clean a messy room.

Final Thoughts On How To Clean A Messy Room

Even though the task of cleaning a messy room is not the most fun job, these are the easy steps to get it done fast. Of course, if you have young kids, make them responsible for their own room; this won’t be as easy.

Picking up after teenagers might be the hardest part. The best tip to maintain this level of neatness is to stay with it and not leave the messy home for the next day. Pick up the small things daily, and don’t let the piles of laundry beat your mental health. Being a messy person doesn’t have to be who you are.

A clean house is a happy house! By following these simple steps on how to clean a messy room, you can quickly and easily clean up any messy room in your home. Just remember to start with the trash, move on to dusting and cleaning surfaces, vacuum or sweep the floor, and finally, put away any items that are out of place. In no time at all, your house will be company-ready!