Nothing can bring me back to my childhood quicker than the phrase “clean your room.” As children, cleaning our rooms is just about the worst thing our parents can ask us to do, save brushing our teeth or taking a bath. Why do children hate to do these things? Is it simply because these tasks are not fun? Maybe, or perhaps it truly is a rare and pure form of torture that only children are aware of, the pain of which is numbed with time. I still hate cleaning. But now, I also enjoy the benefits of walking barefoot around my house without getting little bits of shit stuck to them. And I have cats.
When I vacuum, I enter into a Zen-like trance and I transcend my conscious reality. Especially when I chase the cats around with the vacuum cleaner. My point is that cleaning your room will most likely never be all that fun. Like an irritating family member, cleaning must be entertained frequently enough to keep up appearances. That doesn’t mean we have to enjoy it. But we should try. If you choose to continue reading this article, I think you will find the advice helpful and perhaps a little humorous. Especially the part about your mom.
Steps to Cleaning Your Room
- Choose music to clean your room to. Think of music that makes you want to move. The Pixies, Stereolab, David Bowie, Public Enemy and The Smiths are on my “music to clean to” list. Before you turn the music on and crank it up, survey the situation. Get an idea of what you need to clean. If you need to make a list, do that now. I will attempt to cover all possibilities in the following steps to help you completely clean your room.
- The first step to cleaning your room is to remove all the detritus that has collected around your room and sort it out. Trash should be tossed and any recycling sorted and deposited. Dirty clothes go into the laundry hamper and clean clothes, if any, should be hung up or folded and put away. Remove your bedding, sheets, and pillow cases and wash them along with the rest of your dirty clothes. Any other clutter on top of your dresser, desk or otherwise should be sorted and organized.
- Continue cleaning your room by dusting any and all surfaces such as shelves, tables, desks, nightstands and picture frames. Basically anything that can collect dust. The feather duster is a little old-fashioned but it is still effective. Newer dusters are more like dry mops that can be washed and reused. They are very effective at picking up dust without kicking it up, which is one problem with feather dusting. For more information, read the article How to Clean Dust.
- The next step to cleaning your room is cleaning the windows and/or walls. If you have things hanging on the walls, they will need to be dusted and cleaned, too. If the walls are dirty, clean them using the advice in the articleHow to Clean Walls. And the best method for cleaning windows is in this article: How to Clean Windows.
- Now that you have cleaned the things inside your room, the walls and the windows, that just leaves the floors. No matter what type of flooring, from granite, tile,marble and hardwood, we have specific advice for cleaning all of them; just follow the links. If your room is carpeted, read the article How to Clean Carpet and get that rug cleaned properly!
- The final step in cleaning your room is to put away all the clean clothes that you have just washed, and put your clean linens back on your bed. Don’t just let your clean clothes sit there; put them away. If you don’t have enough hangers, go pick some up. They are a dime a dozen at the thrift store. If you need a dresser, pick one up at thrift store or a garage sale. An organized house will stay clean longer. But you have to want it. Do you want it?
Not Only Clean Your Room, But Organize It Too
As I mentioned above, the key to a clean room is in organization. At the very least, a well-organized room will be easier to clean. Just a quick dust and a vacuum and you’re done! I wash the windows, like, once a year.
A dresser is great because not only can you put your undies and socks in it, but the top drawer works well as a catch-all for miscellaneous crap that just sits around. Eventually, you will have to sort this drawer too, but it will give you some breathing room. Jeans and t-shirts can be stored in the dresser as well. If you don’t like folding, you can just hang up the t-shirts too. But you may need more hangers.
Other organizational items you may want to consider are shelves for books, shelves for shoes in your closet, and a large laundry hamper that will aid in keeping dirty clothes in one place. If your closet is too small, consider getting a wardrobe for your clothes. But if you’re not careful with one of these, you may find yourself in Narnia.
Tips and Tools for a Clean Room
A duster of some sort, whether it be feather, microfiber, cloth, or whatever is going to help with keeping things clean. It’s true that a damp cloth can be used, but sometimes all that does is make mud and spread it around; that is to say, most of the time. But a duster with some sort of washable and thereby reusable dust-picker-upper is preferred. You could try out the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable duster sold on Amazon, it’s up to you.
A vacuum is an absolute must-have in every household. There has been an amazing push towards the bagless upright recently. I can’t honestly say which one I prefer. They both seem to have worked for me. But I do dislike the frequency at which my filter gets clogged up on my bagless. Then again, not throwing away or having to buy bags is kinda nice.
There is no legitimate excuse for not using earth-friendly cleaning products. They have advanced to the point where they can compete with and frequently out-perform the industrial products with their harmful ingredients. Seriously, who can honestly say they like to keep harmful and dangerous chemicals in their homes? Think of the children.