How to Clean a Very Messy Room

Tackling a very messy room can seem stressful and overwhelming at first. However, the sooner you get onto it, the better you will feel! Organize the clutter into separate piles and then work on neatly putting away each group of items. Thoroughly dust and vacuum the room once it’s tidy to remove any dirt and to help it sparkle. To keep the room organized, try to clean up as you go about your day and spend a bit of time each night tidying before you go to sleep.


[Edit]Sorting Clutter

  1. Clean the room in small, manageable sections. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you face cleaning a very messy room! Create sections or tasks that you feel you can complete reasonably within your timeframe, such as focusing on a particular shelf, table, or corner. Make sure that you take a break between every task or section to help you stay motivated.[1]
    • If the room is very cluttered or if you don’t have enough time, you can spread the tasks out over several days.
    • For example, you could focus on clearing the floor first, then move onto the dresser, and then end with the bedside table.
  2. Put all of the dirty laundry into the laundry hamper. Look around the room and remove all of the dirty laundry. Perhaps there are dirty clothes on the floor or the bed sheets need washing. If the laundry overflows from the hamper, get another basket or a bag to use as well.[2]
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    • You don’t need to sort the laundry at this point. Just focus on getting it all into the hamper.
  3. Dispose of all of the trash in the room. Simply removing all of the trash can make cleaning the room seem far less overwhelming. Place a bin next to you and get rid of any trash you can see. You can recycle what you find if it’s possible, otherwise just throw the trash directly into the bin.[3]
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    • If you are unsure about if you want to keep an item, keep it for the time being rather than wasting time deciding. You can always come back to it at a later point.
  4. Transfer all of the dishes to the kitchen sink. Unwashed dishes can really add to the clutter in a room. Pile up any used plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery that you can find and take them to the kitchen. Stack them neatly in the sink to wash after you finish cleaning the room.[4]
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    • Getting rid of the dirty dishes will also help the room to smell clean and fresh.
  5. Create piles of similar items that belong in the room but aren’t put away. As you work through the clutter, make small groups of items that need to be put away. Groups such as shoes, clean clothes, books, toys, paperwork, and electronics work well. You can also create smaller categories within each group, like if the books belong on the bookshelf or on the bedside table, or if the clean clothes go in the wardrobe or in the dresser.[5]
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    • Don’t worry about putting away the items yet, as you can work on that later.
  6. Place all miscellaneous items that don’t belong in the room in a box. Get the biggest container or cardboard box that you can find and place it next to you as you work through the room. Put the items that don’t belong in that room into the box to deal with later. These items might be things like bills, books, cosmetics, and magazines.
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    • You don’t need to sort through every drawer and cupboard to try decide what to keep and what to throw away. Simply work on the things you can easily see and save going through any hidden clutter for a later stage.[6]

[Edit]Organizing the Room

  1. Put away clean clothes and shoes in the wardrobe or dresser. Hang up all of the clean clothes on hangers and then arrange them in the wardrobe. Alternatively, fold all of the clothes neatly and place them into a dresser. Make sure to organize them into groups like T-shirts, shorts, and sweaters so that you can find everything easily. Keep all of your shoes lined up on the wardrobe floor or on a rack.[7]
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    • If there are clothes that you don’t wear often and there isn’t much space, you can store these in storage containers that fit under the bed.
  2. Place all of the books on a bookcase or in storage containers. Keep books that you read often within easy reach and store away books that you don’t use as frequently. You could organize the books on a shelf by author, height, or color. You can also use containers or baskets to organize similar books and keep the containers on a shelf.[8]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 8.jpg
    • For kids that have favorite books, keep these together in a basket on the floor so that they can reach them easily.[9]
  3. Store all of the toys in easy-to-reach storage containers and boxes. Sort the pile of toys into smaller categories such as dolls and action figures, blocks, stuffed animals, and craft supplies. Store each category together so that all similar items can be easily found. For example, stuffed animals could go in a large basket on the floor and blocks could go in a large, plastic container that fits under the bed.[10]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 9.jpg
    • Dolls and action figures could go into storage baskets that sit on a shelf and craft supplies might belong in a box in the wardrobe.
    • If each toy has a designated place to go, this helps kids to learn where to put things away.
  4. Return all of the miscellaneous items that don’t belong in the room. Work through all of the items in the large box or container and place them back where they belong. If you come across an item you don’t need or want, donate, recycle, or throw it away to clear up a bit of free space.[11]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 10.jpg
    • Make sure to put the items back exactly where they go rather than just piling them in a different room, as this creates a bigger mess for you to deal with in the future.

[Edit]Cleaning Up

  1. Remove the dust from the ceiling fan if you have one. Dust very easily accumulates on ceiling fans! Spray multi-purpose cleaner on a cleaning cloth or a paper towel. Then wipe down each fan blade starting from the center of the fan fixture and ending at the tip of the blade. Alternatively, you can use a ceiling fan duster instead.[12]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 11.jpg
    • Always turn the fan off before you clean it.
  2. Dust the light fixtures using a cleaning cloth. Turn off the light before you begin so that you don’t burn your hand. Then get a soft cloth and stand up on the bed or on a chair. Wipe down the inside and the outside of the light fixture to remove any dust or dirt.[13]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 12.jpg
    • It’s best to keep your old sheets on the bed while you do this in case any dust or spiderwebs fall.
  3. Clean any mirrors in the room. Get a clean microfiber cloth and dampen it very lightly with warm water. Buff the mirror using small, circular motions to remove any grime. If there are stubborn marks, try using a tiny amount of dish soap with the warm water and scrub the mark to remove it.[14]
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    • Excess water on mirrors can cause streaks. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the mirror if you notice any excess water.
  4. Wipe the windows with window cleaner. Having clear windows will make the room look even brighter. Get a microfiber cloth and lightly spray the window with window cleaner. Wipe the window down using the cloth to remove any dust, dirt, or stains. Then use a dry cloth to remove any excess cleaner and to keep the window streak-free![15]
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    • Avoid using newspaper to clean the windows, as the ink can run.
  5. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the blinds or wash the curtains. Close the blinds and place the brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner. Run the vacuum over each individual blind to remove all of the dust and dirt. Then turn the blinds to the opposite direction and vacuum the other side.[16]
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    • You can dust each blind individually, however, this may take longer.
    • If you have curtains, remove and wash them (following the care tag instructions) every 2-3 months.
  6. Dust all of the surfaces in the room. Use a microfiber cloth to dust any surfaces like tables, window sills, and cabinets. Always start from the highest surface and work your way down towards the floor. This stops dust from accumulating where you have already cleaned.[17]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 16.jpg
    • Don’t forget to dust any art, accessories, door frames, or mirrors.[18]
  7. Wipe down all of the surfaces to get a sparkling clean. Make the surfaces look even better after dusting! Use a clean microfiber cloth and spray a small amount of multi-purpose cleaner on the surface. Work in small, circular motions and wipe down the surface with the cloth. This helps to freshen up the room.[19]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 17.jpg
    • If there is a stubborn or sticky stain, try letting the multi-purpose cleaner sit for 2-3 minutes before wiping it away.
  8. Sweep and mop or vacuum the floor. Now that the floor is clear, it’s time to remove any dust or dirt and get it looking great! You can vacuum any floor type, and sweep and mop floors that aren’t carpet. Make sure that you clean under furniture like beds, tables, and couches where dust can easily build up.[20]
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    • You may need to move some furniture out of the way to get a thorough clean.
    • If you mop the floor, let it dry before you stand on it again.
  9. Do the laundry. Sort through the laundry hamper and begin washing all of the items. When the laundry is clean, dry all of the items either using a clothes dryer or by hanging them on a clothesline. When everything is dry, fold all of the items neatly and put them away in the right place. You could hang up clothes like dresses, jackets, and shirts, and keep T-shirts, socks, and trousers folded in a dresser.[21]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 19.jpg
    • Make sure to return the laundry hamper to the room when you’re done.
  10. Wash the dishes. Rinse the stack of dishes that you placed in the kitchen sink. Then either hand wash all of the dishes or place them into a dishwasher. When the dishes are clean, use a tea towel to dry them off. Put all of the dishes back in the right spot in the kitchen and make sure to stack plates and bowls neatly.[22]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 20.jpg
    • It can be helpful to avoid eating in your room so that dishes don’t accumulate. Try eating in the kitchen, dining room, or living room instead.

[Edit]Maintaining a Clean Room

  1. Try to clean up as you go to avoid needing to deep-clean. Mess is much easier to deal with when it’s first made, rather than letting it pile up. Set a regular laundry schedule and clean up any dishes in the room as soon as you are done eating. If you notice clutter piling up, put it away as soon as possible rather than letting it get bigger and more overwhelming.[23]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 21.jpg
    • Little things like putting your shoes and coat away in the right spot as soon as you take them off can really help.[24]
  2. Prioritize 1-3 cleaning tasks to get done each day. Look at the amount of time that you have every day to clean and set a few realistic tasks that you can accomplish during that time. You could wipe down a table, vacuum under a bed, or clean a mirror. However, try not to set yourself too many tasks, as it may feel overwhelming.[25]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 22.jpg
    • Accomplishing even just 1 small cleaning task each day goes a long way to keep your whole home staying neat and tidy.
  3. Spend 5-10 minutes tidying up before you go to bed. It’s much easier to do a small amount of tidying up before you go to sleep, rather than having to face it in the morning. You could put away some toys, take the trash out, or clear the bedside table.[26]
    Clean a Very Messy Room Step 23.jpg
    • You don’t have to do any major cleaning during this time, as the little things really add up! You could also put away books, fold clothes, or lightly dust the surfaces.
  4. Make your bed every day as soon as you get up. Although it can seem like a nuisance, a made bed turns your bedroom into a calm, restful sanctuary. Spend a few minutes tucking in the sheets, smoothing out the comforter, and positioning the pillows.[27]
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    • Simplifying your bedding can make it easier to stay committed to making your bed. For example, instead of using a top sheet, just use a washable comforter instead. Alternatively, you can get rid of any decorative pillows to make the process faster.
  5. Get your whole household involved in cleaning if you can. Keeping things clean and orderly is much easier when you have extra help, whether it’s just for a single room or a whole home. Give each person a few designated chores to do. Young children can learn to put their toys and shoes in the right place, and older kids can vacuum or make their beds.[28]
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    • It can be helpful to make a chore list and keep it in a place that everyone can see. This makes it clear about who has each responsibility.


  • Used dishes and dirty clothes can become a health risk if they are left uncleaned for long enough, due to mold, insects, and bacteria.[29]

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