The biggest challenge with cleaning a room.
I was not the most organize or clean kid growing up. Mostly because I did not have a clue how to clean my room or know when to stop cleaning when I was done. Typically there were several times I would start cleaning my room simply to find something I had lost, and when I finally found the missing item the cleaning would stop until the next item got lost. It was not the greatest way to live, but like most kids, it was the way I liked it because there is no effort in being messy. When I was told to clean my room, I never knew what my parents defined as clean, so I would put some stuff away and move some stuff around and see if that worked. Finally my mom gave me a book about how to clean a room, and so I thought I would give you an abbreviated version mixed in with some other helpful thoughts.
It may seem like a lot of work for not much reward, but the real goal is to be able to do what you want to do. No parent wants to yell at their kid to clean their room and very few kids actually enjoy cleaning their rooms because they have no idea where to start. If you have a method, especially one that is simple, then the whole process is easier on everyone. This is for parents and kids to help get a room cleaned in a fairly short amount of time. Parents, you may have to help your child the first couple of times, but if you lay the ground work and show them this method, it is easier for them to keep it clean and less hassle for you later. This method is not new, but it can be used to clean pretty much any room efficiently.
Does the room look like this?
Step by Step to cleaning a room
First and foremost, pick up everything on the floor, on the furniture throughout the room, even empty the drawers (if the clothes were just thrown in there) and toss it on the bed. Once you have everything on the bed, the actually cleaning can begin. The goal is to only touch each article once, and if you touch it, you have to put it somewhere where it is going to stay. This way if you only touch something once, then you don't waste time moving the same thing over and over. It is a real hassle to try to clean a room and realize all you have done is move stuff from one area of the room to another without actually doing any good. If you cannot figure out where to put it, then you really need to think about the last time you used it, or how to create a special place for it to go so that you can start using it more often. Using something can also mean looking at, watching, or just knowing that you enjoy owning it. However, if you can’t remember that you have it, maybe you need to place it in a separate pile.
When you create your separate pile, make sure it is not actually in the room you are cleaning. Then, think about the last time you actually used the different items. If it has been a long time since you used it, you probably are not going to use it again anytime soon. Most people have more stuff than they could possibly use, so you may want to start a pile (a neat pile, not in the room) of stuff that you can't remember when you used it last. This way if you gather enough stuff you could sell it on eBay, at a garage sale, or just throw it away and your room will stay cleaner longer. If you decide to sell the stuff you have, this is a great way to get money for even more stuff!
This may seem like a hassle, but when putting clothes away, they take up less space if you actually fold them or hang them up. Remember, you only want to touch each item once, so if you have to pick it up and fold it some other time, you are just wasting time that can be used for something more fun later. The more you can only touch once, the more time you have, it is that simple. The more clothes you can get in your drawers the better. This would also be a good time to see about organizing your draws, and use whatever system makes the most sense to you. If you organize the drawers by shirts, pants, socks or by color, size, or maybe location on the body, that is great. It is your room, as long as it makes sense to you and it is not just thrown on the floor, use whatever system works. This helps you not only find the right outfit in a shorter amount but also gives you more time to do what you want when you don’t have to clean your room first.
After the bed is cleared off of all the stuff that was on the floor or on the furniture of the room, all you have to do is make the bed. Once the bed is made and everything is in a place where you can find it, the hardest part is to actually put things back when you use them. This will allow the room to stay neat longer (there will always come a time when you have to actually use the method full force again, because life happens, friends come over, or keeping a clean room is just too hard right to maintain) but if you try to put stuff where it belongs then you have more time to do what you want to do.
Maintaining a clean room.
You can expand this idea to any room in the house or office. As long as you take the time to find one area that you can put everything else and clean from there, it works quite well. The idea of putting everything in one central location, moving each item once, and then getting the bed made allows for a clean room with less hassle. Parents sometimes assume that a child knows how to clean a room without ever showing them how. If the child does not know, then looking at a messy room is quite daunting. We have all face a situation where we don’t even know where to start and it just looks like way too much work to even get started. Of course, the very first time you clean a room; it is going to take longer than each consecutive time. After a couple of months, it will be easy to run in, toss everything on the bed, put each thing in place and then make your bed real quick. Suddenly you have gained time and parents and kids have less stress and yelling.