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The Ultimate Cleaning Your Room Checklist for Busy People

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Your bedroom is supposed to be a personal oasis, a getaway from the busyness and bustle of day-to-day life. If you find yourself tripping over piles of dirty laundry, or drowning in clutter, you’re not alone. Here’s a complete Cleaning Your Room Checklist for busy people.

Whether you’re feeling ambitious and want to tackle it all in one day, or break it up into bite-sized chunks, this checklist will guide you through all you need to do from easy tasks to deep cleaning. If you’re planning on cleaning your room over several days, I’ve broken this checklist down into three, more manageable cleaning sessions.

So, roll up your sleeves and let’s transform your messy bedroom into a peaceful one!

Why cleaning your room is important

Most of us focus our cleaning on the rooms that are front-and-center such as the living room or kitchen. Keeping our personal bedrooms tidy and clean is an afterthought. 

But if you have a messy bedroom, chances are you aren’t able to clean it regularly which leads to dust buildup. And dust buildup leads to poor air quality which affects your overall health.

If you or a family member suffers from asthma or allergies, it’s especially important to keep dust to a minimum. Even those without medical conditions are adversely affected by dust buildup and may suffer from watery or itchy eyes, coughing, headaches, and sneezing. You also may notice your colds last longer.

Contrary to popular belief, household dust isn’t mostly made of dead skin cells. Instead, two-thirds of it consists of dirt tracked in from outside, pet dander, airborne particles like pollen, carpet fluff, and fibers from clothes.

“We dream of having a clean house — but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?”

—Marcus Buckingham

Cleaning supplies

Take a few minutes to gather together the necessary cleaning supplies. This will save you time from running back and forth. You don’t need anything fancy to clean your room. I personally try to avoid using harsh cleaners to minimize the amount of chemicals in the air.

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Laundry basket
  • Box to carry away unwanted items
  • Several microfiber cleaning cloths: While any old dusting cloths or rags will do, I love how microfiber picks up dust.
  • Spray bottle filled with water (for dusting)
  • Glass cleaner
  • Garbage bag(s)
  • Recycle bag(s): If you have a lot of paper lying around.
  • Duster with extended handle (optional): While you can do the job with microfiber cloths and a step ladder, a duster with handle makes your job easier.
  • Small baskets or bins to organize items
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Baskets are a great way to group similar items together and stay organized.
Credit: Stephanie Studer / Unsplash

Cleaning your room checklist and cleaning tips

Tackle the following checklist all at once, or break it into smaller sessions. Sometimes if left for too long, cleaning a messy bedroom can feel overwhelming. That’s when you know you’ve got to take baby steps. If you’re leaning towards doing this over several days, I’ve broken this checklist into three manageable sections:

Cleaning session #1:

  • Remove bedding
  • Gather dirty clothing
  • Do a load of laundry
  • Put away any clean clothes
  • Dust overhead light fixture
  • Remake bed

Cleaning session #2:

  • Declutter
  • Re-organize
  • Throw out or recycle any garbage

Cleaning session #3:

  • Dust all nightstands and surfaces including light fixtures
  • Vacuum

Cleaning session #1: Mostly laundry and light dusting

If you’re dreading the prospect of cleaning your room, the first cleaning session will slowly ease you into it. Put on your favorite tunes and let’s dig in!

  • Remove bedding: Strip your bedsheets and pillowcases. If its been awhile since you’ve flipped or rotated your mattress, it’s a good time to do this. And, if you can’t remember the last time you’ve washed your mattress and pillowcase  protectors, now would be a good time to do so. Your bed is a major source of dead skin and dust mites (small critters that are a common cause of allergies). You might notice you get a better night’s sleep after this!
  • Gather dirty clothing: Pick up all soiled clothes off the floor and into the hamper.
  • Do a load of laundry: While you’re cleaning, do a load or two of laundry to banish dirty clothes and bedsheets.
  • Put away any clean clothes: Sometimes we have clothes that we only wear once and aren’t ready to be washed yet. These often end up in a pile on the floor. Create a special place for clothes that fall into this category. I like using hooks in my closet for this. Or, you could use a leaning wall ladder.
  • Dust overhead light fixture: While your bedsheets are getting washed, it’s the perfect time to dust any hanging light pendants that hang over your bed.
  • Remake bed: There’s nothing like clean, warm sheets fresh out of the dryer.

Give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve completed one out of three cleaning sessions. Hopefully your room no longer looks like something a tornado spit out.

Unsplash_CleaningYourRoomChecklist
Credit: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Cleaning session #2: The harder tasks of decluttering and organizing

Clutter is the bane of our existence. While we’re not all cut out to be minimalists, there is such a thing as too much stuff. Too many tchotchkes and miscellaneous items make it harder to dust and keep your space clean. Depending on how much clutter you’ve accumulated, this could be a quick cleaning session, or a multi-day project.

  • Declutter: Piles of clutter just seem to attract more clutter. Tackle one pile at a time. Work like a sieve as you go through each pile and decide if you want to keep, throw out/recycle, repair, or donate certain items. 
  • Re-organize: Begin to group similar items together such as jewelry and books/magazines. If you have small baskets or bins available, start re-organizing the chaos into groups of items that make sense.
  • Throw out, donate, or recycle any garbage: If you’re anything like me, you might have piles of books, magazines, and newspapers (I’m old-school) lying around. Throw out, recycle, repair, or donate accordingly. 

The hard part is done! Decluttering can be emotionally draining. Relax and treat yourself to a nice, hot bubble bath.

Cleaning session #3: More dusting and vacuuming

Your peaceful bedroom (almost) awaits you. 

  • Dust all nightstands and surfaces including light fixtures: You know the drill—start from the top and work your way down. Take out your water mister and gently spray your microfiber cleaning cloth until it’s slightly damp. Don’t forget to clean the curtain rods, and the top edge of your headboard!
  • Clean any mirrors: Break out your glass cleaner and start scrubbing.
  • Vacuum: Put dust bunnies where they belong and banish all signs of dirt.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully cleaned your room. Your mama would be proud.

Bonus tip: To really spritz up your newly cleaned bedroom, use a natural room spray with your favorite scent. Or if you have an aromatherapy diffuser, add a few drops of essential oil and bask in the ambience.

The deep cleaning checklist

Sometimes your bedroom needs a deep cleaning. While you might not have time to do this all the time, once or twice a year will keep your bedroom feeling ultra-clean.

Deep cleaning checklist:

  • Washing curtains or blinds
  • Washing walls 
  • Wiping baseboards
  • Washing windows

Washing curtains or blinds

If you have blinds, the easiest way to clean them is to wipe them down with a slightly damp cloth. With fabric curtains you have a few options:

  • Vacuum with soft-brush attachment: If you regularly clean and dust your curtains, you’ll prevent any major dust buildup. Remember to put the suction-power on low to avoid pulling the curtain.
  • Machine wash: If your curtains are machine-washable, it’s easy-peasy. Just remove the curtains and follow the laundering instructions. Make sure to use the gentle cycle and hang to dry.
  • Steam-clean: If you’re lucky to have a steam-cleaner at home, this is a great way to spiff up your curtains without removing them. You can also rent steam-cleaners and do all the curtains in the house if you’re up for the job.

Washing walls

Over time, fingerprints (especially if you have little ones running around the house), smudges, and dirt can soil your walls. Break out a bucket or basin filled with warm soapy water (a squirt or two of liquid dish soap), and a soft sponge (avoid using abrasive sponges as they may scratch or chip paint), and start washing. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off excess water.

Wiping baseboards

Baseboards, often neglected, show dust and grime like crazy (especially if you have white baseboards). Give them a quick wipe. If you just have a thin layer of dust you could use a long-handled duster or a dry Swiffer. If a layer of grime has settled, you’ll need to use soap and water. Make a new batch of clean, soapy water.

Washing windows

First use a clean microfiber cloth to give your window an all-over wipe down. Then gently spray your window cleaning solution and wipe clean. Wipe clean with a dry, clean microfiber cloth. Finish by cleaning the window sills.

What about cleaning your closet?

This topic could be its own separate article. Depending on the state of your closet, cleaning this space could be either a simple task or a monumental one. If you find yourself unable to close your closet door because it’s bursting with clothes it’s probably time to get rid of some.

The general guideline is to let go of anything that you haven’t worn in the past year. I’ve personally dedicated much time to purging my wardrobe (over three garbage bags full and counting) and can tell you that keeping an orderly closet is much easier when you have less stuff.

Cleaning tips for keeping a tidy bedroom

There’s no magical rule, or cleaning tips other than to try to do a daily or weekly cleaning session. Put things away when you’re done using them. Stop buying stuff you don’t need. Get rid of stuff that no longer serves you. Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Make sure every item has its place.

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  1. Mann, Denise (5 April 2010). “Having a Bad Air Day? Improve Your Indoor Air Quality,” WebMD. Accessed October 2020.
  2. Science Focus, What is dust made of?, https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/what-is-dust-made-of/. Accessed October 2020.
  3. Mayo Clinic, Dust mite allergy, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dust-mites/symptoms-causes/syc-20352173. Accessed October 2020.

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