Cleaning up a messy room can seem like a huge job, especially if you don’t have much time. But with a little planning, you can take control of the chaos in no time! After you’ve picked up any messes and cleaned up dust and dirt, don’t forget to make your bed give your room a neat and tidy look.

Part 1 of 3:
Tidying Up Messes

  1. 1
    Gather up trash and put it in a garbage bag. If there is any plastic, make sure to recycle. Do not put it in a garbage bag. Take a quick look around for any obvious trash, like wrappers, old food, tissues, or cut off clothing tags, and toss it into a garbage bag. While you’re at it, empty any wastebaskets in your room and put in new bags.[1]
    • Since you’re doing a quick cleanup, stick with really obvious garbage. Don’t worry about sorting through stuff like old papers and deciding which to keep or toss.
  2. 2
    Pick up any laundry that’s scattered around. Gather up your dirty clothes and throw them in a basket or hamper. Don’t worry about sorting your clothes—just get them off the floor for now. Make sure to separate out any clean clothes so they won’t have to be washed again.[2]
    • If you have a lot of clean clothes lying around, take a few minutes to fold them and put them in your dresser or hang them up in your closet.[3] If you don’t have time for that, bundle them up neatly and put them in a basket so you can put them away later.
    • If it’s time to change your bedsheets, strip your bed and toss those into your hamper, too.
  3. 3
    Put your things back where they belong. Next, look around for stuff like books, papers, toys, electronics, or any other things that belong in your room but aren’t in the right places. Gather up these items and quickly put them away.[4]
    • Put books back on the shelves or put them in a tidy pile on your desk, dresser, or nightstand if you’re still using them. If there are toys around, put them in boxes or bins.[5]
    • If there are small items around that you use every day, like your watch or a favorite lip balm, try putting a small decorative dish or basket on your dresser or nightstand where you can keep them all together.[6]
    Kathi Burns, CPO®

    Kathi Burns, CPO®

    Board Certified Professional Organizer
    Kathi Burns is a board certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and Founder of addSpace To Your Life!, her consulting business with a mission to empower people to master their environment and personal image by assisting them in taking control, making change and organizing their lives. Kathi has over 16 years of organizing experience and her work has been featured on Better Homes and Gardens, NBC News, Good Morning America, and Entrepreneur. She has a BS in Communication from Ohio University.
    Kathi Burns, CPO®
    Kathi Burns, CPO®
    Board Certified Professional Organizer

    Take 10 minutes every day to put your room back to normal. Once your room is clean and decluttered, and everything has its place, it should only take 10 minutes a day to put everything out of place back where it belongs. It's quicker and easier to maintain a clean room this way.

  4. 4
    Carry out any items that belong in other rooms. Chances are that a few things have gotten into your room from other parts of the house. Quickly gather up any strays—like plates and cups from the kitchen or that screwdriver you used when you changed the batteries in your clock—and bring them back to wherever they came from.[7]
    • If you’re really in a hurry to finish cleaning your room, put everything in a box and set it outside your bedroom door so you can put it away later.

    Tip: If your room is a total mess, pick up all the loose items and put them in a big pile. Quickly sort them into categories, like “laundry,” “books,” and “art supplies.” Once they’re all sorted, start putting them away, one category at a time.[8]


Part 2 of 3:
Getting Rid of Dirt and Dust

  1. 1
    Dust off any dusty surfaces, starting with the highest ones. Take a duster or slightly damp cleaning rag and dust off things like your lights, curtains or blinds, headboard, shelves, dresser, and nightstand. Use a dry cloth to wipe away any water or smudges of dust that the first cloth leaves behind. Start with high surfaces so that you don’t knock dust down onto surfaces you’ve already cleaned.[9]
    • If you have blinds in your room, put an old sock over your hand and use it to wipe the dust off of each slat. You can also use the sock trick to dust picture frames and other wall decorations![10]
    • Using a damp cloth will help you pick up dust instead of just sending it into the air.
    • Use a vacuum cleaner with a dust brush attachment or a small duster vacuum to suck up dust bunnies or clean extra dusty areas.
  2. 2
    Wipe down your dresser and other surfaces with a cleaning fluid. Spray surfaces that are really grimy with a household cleaner and wipe them down with a cloth. You can also use cleaning or disinfecting wipes such as Lysol or Clorox wipes, or make them yourself.[11]
    • Use a glass cleaner, like Windex or SprayWay Glass Cleaner, to brighten up any mirrors, windows, or glass door panels in your room. If you don't have one, you can try making one.
    • Light switch plates can start to look grimy fast, so give them a quick wipe down if you notice dirt and smudges.
  3. 3
    Vacuum or sweep up dirt on the floor. If you have a carpet, vacuum it to get up any dirt or pet hair. Use a broom or put your vacuum cleaner on a bare floor setting if your room isn’t carpeted. Try to go over your whole floor, but focus on the obvious areas instead of trying to clean every corner or make the area under your bed perfect.[12]
    • Sprinkle a little baking soda on your carpet before vacuuming it to help freshen it up and get rid of weird smells.[13]
  4. 4
    Go over your mattress with the vacuum cleaner. All this dusting and cleaning may have gotten your bed a little dirty, so quickly go over it with the vacuum cleaner. Strip the bedclothes off first, if you didn’t already. If you want, sprinkle on a little baking soda to freshen your mattress up before you vacuum it.[14]
    • Use a crevice tool on your vacuum to get hard to reach areas, like the crease around the lip of your mattress or the crevices between the padded areas on top.

Part 3 of 3:
Making Your Bed

  1. 1
    Put the fitted sheet on your bed and smooth it out. Take a clean, fitted sheet and spread it out on your bed so the corners are lined up with the corners of your mattress. Tuck one of the corners under, then go across diagonally and tuck under the next corner. Repeat with the other 2 corners.[15]
    • Take care to smooth out the sheet and check that the corners and sides are tucked in well, so that the sheet doesn’t pull off easily.
  2. 2
    Spread the flat sheet over your bed, patterned-side down. Lay out your top sheet so that an even amount of it hangs off of the bed on both sides. If the sheet has a pattern on it, lay it face down so that the plain side faces up. This is so you can see the pattern when you fold the sheet back.[16]
    • Smooth out your sheet to get rid of any big wrinkles, gaps, or bulges. If you notice that there’s more sheet hanging off the bed on one side, gently pull the other side so it’s more even.
  3. 3
    Tuck in your flat sheet neatly. To make your bed look extra tidy, create hospital corners with your sheet. Carefully tuck the bottom edge of the sheet under your mattress and smooth out any bumps or wrinkles with your hands. Grab an edge of the sheet about 16 inches (41 cm) from the foot of the bed and lift it up so it hangs down in a triangle shape. Tuck the hanging part under the mattress at the side of the bed near the foot end. Then, grab the top part of the triangle you made and fold that under, making a 45° angle from the top corner of the mattress to the bottom edge.[17]
    • Do it again with the other bottom edge of the sheet, then tuck the edges of the sheet under along both sides of the bed.
    • This sounds tricky, but it just takes a little practice. Once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it!
  4. 4
    Put on your blanket or coverlet. If you have a blanket or coverlet, spread it out across your bed on top of the flat sheet. If you want, you can tuck it under just like you did with the sheet.[18] Fold back the blanket and flat sheet from the head of the bed so that there’s enough room for your pillow.[19]
    • If the weather is chilly or you just want to give your bed a more put-together look, you can finish it up by neatly spreading a quilt or duvet on top. Leave about a pillow’s worth of space at the head end of the bed.
  5. 5
    Place your pillows neatly at the head of your bed. Put fresh pillowcases on your pillows and place them tidily at the head end of your bed. If you like, you can add a couple of decorative pillows or cushions to make your bed look even fancier.[20]
    • A neatly made bed can make the whole room look nicer. Stand back and admire your work!

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question
    What if you and your sister share a room and are really lazy?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    Talk to your sister about teaming up to clean your room. Make a game out of it, like racing to see who can tidy their area first. Once you clean up your room, take just a few minutes every day to tidy up together--it will go much faster if you make it a daily habit!
  • Question
    Should I watch TV while cleaning my room?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    If it won't distract you too much, sure! If you're tempted to keep looking at it, try listening to music or an audiobook instead.
  • Question
    I have so many teddies but my room isn't big enough to keep them because i have a small room and don't have anywhere in the house. I can't get rid of them as they are very special. What should I do?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    If you can't bear to get rid of some of your teddies, try putting up a stuffed animal sling in a corner of your room or installing some shelves where you can display them. If there's space under your bed, you could put some of them in bins or store them there.
  • Question
    How do I keep my drawers neat when I have too many clothes and no closet?
    Community Answer
    Take out everything that you don't wear and that is too small. Set aside things you no longer wear or like, for donating. Then fold everything into neat piles in your drawer. Also, you can keep bins next to your drawers with clothes that wont fit into your drawer, if needed.
  • Question
    What can I use if I don't have a duster or dust cloth?
    Community Answer
    You can use some window cleaner and a paper towel. You can also use an old sock or t-shirt as well.
  • Question
    How do I get rid of things that I don't need but without my mom or dad yelling at me?
    Community Answer
    Ask them why they are upset about you getting rid of things. Offer to put those things in a box or basket and put the things in their bedroom or the kitchen for them to deal with. Say that you don't need those things anymore and that perhaps some other kid would appreciate them or benefit from them. If they yell at you for this, then they are being unreasonable.
  • Question
    I want to get rid of a lot of things but not necessarily shelve them. Suggestions?
    Community Answer
    Put them in a large plastic storage bin or trash bag and store them either in your closet (if you have room) or in your attic or garage.
  • Question
    What could I do with extra bed sheets (I don't have a closet)?
    Community Answer
    You could pick up a covered plastic container and keep your sheets under the bed.
  • Question
    What can I do with old books without throwing them out? (I don't have a bookshelf.)
    Community Answer
    You could place them on window sills (inside) as makeshift bookshelves. Or, store them in cupboards, and have a stack of books on your desk and then put stuff on top (lamp, purse). Donate any that you no longer want.
  • Question
    What do I do if I share a room with someone?
    Community Answer
    Talk to your roommate about what you want and what you don't want. If you guys want to trash and keep a lot of the same things, you're in luck! If not, talk to them again and talk about how you can organize this mess. Go around your room naming all of the things on a scale from 1 to 10, with ten being that you want it a lot, then you can get rid of most of your smaller numbers. If your roomate is messy, tell them that you won't tolerate the mess.
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      • Putting on music can make cleaning your room a lot more fun! Play some upbeat songs to keep yourself energized and motivated.[21]
      • Make a game of it by timing yourself to see how fast you can get each task done.


      Things You’ll Need

      • Garbage bags
      • Boxes
      • Laundry hamper
      • Dust cloths and cleaning rags
      • Cleaning sprays or wipes
      • Vacuum cleaner
      • Broom and dustpan
      • Clean bedclothes

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      About This Article

      Kathi Burns, CPO®
      Co-authored by
      Board Certified Professional Organizer
      This article was co-authored by Kathi Burns, CPO®. Kathi Burns is a board certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and Founder of addSpace To Your Life!, her consulting business with a mission to empower people to master their environment and personal image by assisting them in taking control, making change and organizing their lives. Kathi has over 16 years of organizing experience and her work has been featured on Better Homes and Gardens, NBC News, Good Morning America, and Entrepreneur. She has a BS in Communication from Ohio University. This article has been viewed 213,086 times.
      27 votes - 86%
      Co-authors: 138
      Updated: June 18, 2020
      Views: 213,086
      Article SummaryX

      You might be dreading cleaning your room, but there are ways you can make it go a lot faster so it's over sooner. First, grab a garbage bag and clear up any trash from you room to clear some space. Next, gather your clothes, separate the clean ones from the dirty ones, and put them in the right places. Then, pick up your belongings and put them back where they should be. Once you’ve gotten rid of your own stuff, gather things that go in other rooms, like dirty dishes and household items, and take them where they belong. Now that you’ve tidied your room, quickly dust your surfaces, vacuum the floor, and you’re all done. For more tips from our Cleaning co-author, including how to make your bed neatly, read on!

      Did this summary help you?

      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 213,086 times.

      Reader Success Stories

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        "This was very helpful and simple! Thank you so much!"
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        "I think that the article was very useful because it was written with detail and precision. A lot of it was easy to understand and very meaningful."..." more
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        Anna O'Hara

        Nov 27, 2019

        "I recently moved schools, and one of my new friends was coming over. This easy and effective cleaning step-by-step process was a real lifesaver!"..." more
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        E. J.

        Dec 23, 2018

        "I was in the process of moving. This information helped me to realize that all you need at times is guidance and understanding."..." more
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        Jobie Hale

        Jan 11, 2017

        "This article was really good to listen to while tidying my room. Now my room is spotless. Thank you. "
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        May 21, 2017

        "I had a very messy room and I didn't know what to do first! This helped me a lot!"
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        Jun 8, 2018

        "My room was very messy, now it is spotless in just a few steps! "
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