I've written a short poem that I think will, in addition to stirring your soul tremendously, explain why cleaning your room is so important: "Stubbed toes, stained clothes."
I mean, c'mon. Step aside, Shakespeare.
But seriously — how many times have you pushed aside cleaning your room only to be met with a stubbed toe from tripping on a randomly misplaced shoe? Or sat in bed, quietly minding your own business as you watched your tenth episode of Parks and Rec in a row and accidentally spilled your 64-oz Dr. Pepper with a splash of coconut syrup and fresh lime on your shirt and your sheets?!
I'm not speaking from personal experience in either of these scenarios, obviously. But, I mean, I imagine that the average person deals with stuff like that. I'm guessing.
The truth is that cleaning your room is good for the soul, your health, and, yes, your bedsheets. And we're going to teach you how to do it right.
Why It's Important to Clean Your Room
Before we get down to it, though, we want to give you a healthy dose of motivation by outlining some of the benefits of cleaning your room:
A clean room improves your health. A study published by the Society for Personal and Social Psychology showed that women who described their homes as cluttered were more stressed, tired, and depressed than their counterparts who described their homes as "restorative" and "restful."
- A clean room saves you money. For one thing, if you keep your furniture in good condition by cleaning it (i.e. dusting and polishing) regularly, it will last so much longer and save you money. Plus, you won't have to repurchase things you've misplaced in the Bermuda Triangle, aka your messy bedroom.
- A clean room makes you more likely to exercise. This sounds too good to be true, but it's not! A study conducted by Indiana University "suggest[s] that something about the condition of someone's residence drives physical activity, she said, or that people are being physically active while they keep their homes tidy."
Additional reasons include that something as simple as making your bed helps you get a better night's sleep, an orderly room increases your productivity, etc. The evidence is ample: Cleaning your room is beneficial to your well-being.
Cleaning Your Room Checklist
Step 1: Inventory Check
As organizational guru Marie Kondo teaches, the first step to achieving a clean room is performing a thorough and complete inventory check. This process is simple but extremely important. Gather together the loose items in your room (including clothing!) and get them together in one space (like your bed, your desk, etc.) so you can see everything you have.
Step 2: Get Rid of What You Don't Need, Want, or Use
Now that you can see everything you have, you can move on the fun part: Figuring out what you want to keep. Marie describes this method as figuring out what items "spark joy" or make you happy.
When examining each item, ask yourself the following questions: "Do I use this? Do I need it? Does this make me happy?" If you answer yes to any of those questions, the item is good to stay! But if you can't, it's probably time to part ways.
Remember, though, that one's man trash is another man's treasure; charities like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are always looking for gently-used donations, and they go to a good cause. (And if you have books to get rid of, try donating to your local library!) If you find you're strapped for cash, you can even try selling your items online via eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or any other number of online marketplaces.
Step 3: Find a Home for Everything
Once you know what you're getting rid of, the cleaning and organizational process becomes much simpler. When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to tell me as we were cleaning up around the house, "Everything should have its place." I've always remembered that and it has served me well. When everything in your room has a designated "home," it's easier to find things, stay organized, and maintain a sense of peace and calm in your space.
Wondering where everything should go? Or maybe you're feeling like you don't have enough space? Fear not: We've got some tips.
- Optimize door space. Using command hooks, you can hang things like bathrobes, scarves, or jackets right on your door.
- Bed storage. Store necessary but infrequently-used items (things like winter boots or clothes, extra blankets, etc.) under your bed using rollaway storage or bins.
- Invest in a pegboard. Pegboards are great for displaying jewelry or pictures, hanging small shelves, and just about everything in between. They are flexible, customizable, and cute to boot. You can even DIY your own by following this tutorial.
- Utilize your nightstand. Since your nightstands holds everything from books to tissues to pill bottles, it should have ample space. If your current nightstand isn't doing the trick, think about how you can add more space: Do you need an entirely new nightstand? Could you add a small basket somewhere to hold certain items like rings, cords, etc.? Figure out what works for you!
Step 4: Sanitize All Surfaces
After you've organized your room and have everything in its place, it's time for the last — and arguably most important — step: sanitizing.
But sometimes figuring out where to start can be so overwhelming that you just grab an all-purpose cleaner, spray everything in sight, and call it good. Luckily, we're here to make it a little easier for you by creating a game plan.
- Strip your bed and wash your sheets. Easy!
- While your sheets are washing, rake any leftover surface clutter into the trash, and then empty your trash receptacle.
- Vacuum or sweep.
- Using a dry microfiber cloth, dust the various surfaces in your room like your desk, drawers, standing mirror, doorframe, etc.
- Using a safe cleaner and a rag, spray down your furniture, let it sit for the recommended time, and wipe it off.
- Do the same with any loose items that need to be cleaned. (Using the HomeSoap makes this step an absolute breeze, as it can sanitize literally anything that fits inside, from laptops to hair tools to water bottles! If it fits, it can be cleaned.)
- Once your sheets are clean, remake your bed and you're DONE!
How to KEEP Your Room Clean
Now that your room is looking spick-and-span, you may feel the anxiety begin to creep in wondering how you can keep it looking so clean.
There are all kinds of tips out there on how to keep it clean, but the best advice we've come across (and applied!) is to simply take ten minutes a day to tidy your room. Some days, there may not be as much to tidy, so you can focus on wiping things down; other days, you may spend all ten of those minutes hanging up errant clothes.
Cleaning your room (and keeping it clean) doesn't have to be complicated. By following a few steps, you'll sleep better, be healthier, and find greater joy and happiness at home. It's a little effort for a huge payoff, and we think you'll find that it's totally worth it.
What are YOUR best room cleaning tips? Tell us in the comments!