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The Basic Rules of
Tidying Room by Room

April 4, 2019

Since we were kids, we’ve been told hundreds of times: “Clean up your room!” And as adults, we keep hearing this sage advice—but instead of our parents, it’s our internal chatter that’s telling us to get busy tidying up. Tidying has also become a growing phenomenon; From books to TV series, tidying has become all the rage.

Although knowing you should clean up your untidy house, finding the motivation to do it can create a bit of anxiety for many of us. Relax! It’s not that hard when you have a good game plan. When you follow a tidying strategy, using these rules room by room, you’ll declutter, organize and clean your house from top to bottom. Just keep in mind your end goal is to create spaces you enjoy. Your local thrift stores and local library will thank you for all your donations, and you’ll have the peace of mind you’ll experience with a cleaner, better-organized home.

Turn Your Bedroom Into Your Sanctuary

Declutter your closet, shelves and drawers. Pull everything out—yes, everything! Go through your belongings piece by piece. Anything you aren’t absolutely fond of or haven’t used in a while gets the ax. Place all your clutter in boxes or bags to haul off later. Now that you’ve reduced your inventory of clothes, knick-knacks and stuff, put everything back neatly where it belongs. Organize your wardrobe and shoes and use under-the-bed storage if you need it.

Dust furniture, lamps, pictures and shelves. Then, wash bedding, including comforters and blankets, freshen up the pillows and clean the mattress. Make sure you wash your sheets every week and make the bed every day to keep things fresh and tidy. Add some decorative candles or use essential oils and you’ll have turned your messy bedroom into the peaceful sanctuary it is meant to be.

Living rooms are For Relaxing—Not Storage

Living rooms are notorious for being untidy with clutter like magazines, books, remotes and baskets stuffed with toys, blankets and anything else that gets left behind. Declutter your living room with the same approach as your bedroom. Go piece by piece and start paring down all the things you rarely use or don’t love anymore. Organize the storage area in your living room first. This way you’re sure to find room for your “keepers” and create a living room you’ll enjoy.

Organize books, CDs, games and other collections neatly out of the way yet keeping them accessible. Clean your living room by dusting furniture, lamps, pictures and shelves and wash any removable upholstery covers. Vacuum all upholstery, including under the cushions, and spot-treat any stains. Consider adding some plants and scented candles sparingly, and you’ll end up with a warm and inviting, clutter-free living room where you can relax.

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Make Your Kitchen a Joy to Cook In

Start tidying up your kitchen by, you guessed it, decluttering! All those cabinets and drawers stuffed full of who-knows-what are your first stop. Dig everything out, make those hard choices and pack up the clutter. Before you put back the dishware and other kitchen items you’re keeping, give the insides of the cabinets a good cleaning. Then put everything back nice and organized. Tidy up any clutter on counters, shelves and in bowls or baskets that have become catch-alls.  

Clean your small appliances and deep clean the range, oven, refrigerator and dishwasher. Next, clean and sanitize the counters, handles, knobs, sink and cutting boards. Now you’re really rolling! Your kitchen is smelling and looking good, so the final touch is to make it your own. Even though we are focused on decluttering, you want your kitchen to be as personal and pleasant as any other room. Add a plant or two and find spaces for photos or whatever else you enjoy without overdoing it. When you’re done, your kitchen will be super-clean, organized and a joyous place to cook.

Your Bathroom Can Be an Oasis

Start tidying up your bathroom with your decluttering routine for drawers, cabinets and shelves. Deep clean and disinfect the tub, shower, toilet, vanity and sink and don’t forget underneath the sink and behind the toilet. Clean the mirror, walls, toilet paper holder and towel rack. Replenish supplies of toilet paper and personal hygiene products. Wash your shower curtain if you have one. Diffusers with your favorite scents are always a nice touch for obvious reasons.

We get it; bathrooms are practical by nature, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be a beautiful, personalized space. Now it’s time to turn your sparkling clean bathroom into the oasis it is meant to be. Put out fresh hand towels and get those scents going. Even though most bathrooms are small, you can still find room for a plant and decorative candles—just remember to keep it simple and clutter-free.

Home Offices Aren’t Just for Work

Tidy up and declutter closets, desk drawers, cabinets and shelves. Organize your virtual world too by organizing files and apps on your computer and get rid of any digital clutter you no longer use. Clean all the electronics with a cleaner specifically designed for the task and dust the furniture, lamps, pictures and shelves. Organize and file any paper documents and organize books, CDs and software. Tidy up loose cables and cords with zip ties to make them as unobtrusive as possible.

Even though it’s your home office, it’s still a space you should enjoy. Give it a personal touch after tidying up. Plants are an excellent decorating choice and artwork and pictures go a long way toward creating a workspace where you can be productive and still enjoy your environment. Lighting is essential for keeping your focus and getting work done. Consider adding a floor lamp or table lamp for a decorative touch that also provides proper lighting.    

Laundry Rooms Deserve Some Tidying Love Too

Yes, even the laundry room can benefit from some tidying and it’s a prime candidate for decluttering. From mops and brooms to all that laundry, the laundry room can often be the most untidy room in the home. The first step is to wash, dry, fold and put away the laundry—all the laundry. Declutter, tidy up and clean the counters, cabinets, drawers and shelves. Clean the exterior of the washer and dryer and clean the lint screen. Then, replenish and organize your laundry supplies.

While it’s certainly never going to be your go-to room for getting away from it all, the laundry room can always benefit from a bit of color here, a small plant there or whatever else you can think of to make the space a more pleasant one. If you have shelves, you can display some of your favorite pictures, hang the kids’ artwork on the walls or whatever makes you happy when you’re doing laundry.

The Finishing Touch: Tidying in All Rooms

We didn’t want to overwhelm you too much until you got the gist of tidying, so we saved the general rules that apply to all your rooms for last. If you’ve made it this far, these final efforts will make you a tidying master and your home a decluttered, organized, clean and tidy masterpiece. So, grab your cleaning gear and let’s put the finishing touches on your tidy home.

First, clean the windows, window ledges, curtains and blinds and dust the tops of window frames throughout the house. Next, mop or sweep and vacuum the floors in every room. Damp-wipe visible baseboards and the tops of door frames. Clean and disinfect commonly touched areas like switch plates, door knobs, cabinet and drawer hardware. Don’t forget the remotes! Take out the trash and load up all your clutter and take it to a local charity or other non-profit. Then, when you come back home, you can bask in all your tidying glory with your fresh, clean house.

If you need some help tidying up your home, try The Maids® and their deep seasonal cleaning service. If you followed our rules and have your home looking perfect, let us help you keep it tidy week after week with our popular weekly cleaning service.

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