First off, I can't believe I'm going to show you these pictures. Secondly, I can't believe I'm going to tell you how to clean a room (my mother is probably rolling her eyes!). I'm no expert...I'm just a girl obsessed with an organized home. I have several cleaning related posts on the blog and I actually feel pretty confident about my method. I want to share with you the mind set I have when I go into cleaning a room, or just when I go into cleaning in general.
My regular cleaning routine involves cleaning one room, for 30 minutes, each day. We do have a few rooms in the house that have been neglected since our renovation - they are in some sort of disarray and state of unfinished-ness (is that a word?) - and the spare room downstairs was one of these rooms. I finally tackled it and I want to share with you how I did it.
It is only about this room
When I tackle a daily room clean in general, I only focus on that room or that task. With this bigger task - cleaning out an entire room - this mind set helps as well. Yes, you may be pulling stuff out of this room that goes in another room, especially if you're cleaning out room that is a 'catch all'. So take the thing, put it in the room it belongs, but you don't have to put it away - just leave it there. Hopefully that room will be in your rotation and you can handle that room on it's designated day. I know that if I start putting away something in another room I get distracted and start cleaning that room. Sometimes with bigger tasks you may make a small mess in the other room that the things belong in...but you can tackle that on the day it needs to be tackled.
Make a plan/Visual inventory
I always have a game plan when it comes to cleaning/organizing and that is probably why it took me so long to get this done. But I knew where I wanted things to go and I knew what was going to live in that room. Having a plan helps me to see the end result and focus on the task at hand. With no plan I get intimidated and confused.
Part of making my plan is to be sure that I have taken a visual inventory not only of the clutter in the space but of what the space can accommodate. Once I have the visual inventory I can start to plan out what needs to be done. This might take a bit to get in the right mindset to clean, but it does help!
Everything has a place
This is the biggest thing I've learned ever - everything should have a place. That also goes along with making a plan because if something doesn't have a planned place to be......it really should be tossed. Focus on putting things in their places, even if it is removing it from the room. And if you need to remove it from the room make sure it has a place to go and put it there. For example there where boxes of extra makeup stuff for me - brushes, packaging, makeup bags, etc - I know I have room for them upstairs in my designated makeup area. If you don't have a place for it consider getting rid of it....you probably don't need it.
The biggest issue is starting to clean. I can find about a zillion reasons not to start, but I always find that once I get started, I'm really glad that I did. There are some tasks that seem really, really daunting. Like when we cleaned out the garage and the shed one weekend, I really wanted to give up the second day. I pushed myself through as much as I could but eventually I was loosing the mind set I had when I started. But, for the spare room, I just kept at it. I kept my focus. And I got the whole room done in about 3 or 4 hours. Thats what I mean about focusing only on the room at hand. If you start moving off into another room where something has to be moved to...you won't finish your project, you'll start a new one. Also, having a plan can play into the time it takes to complete a room. The less of a plan you have the more stressed you'll be about it. You'll feel intimidated and overwhelmed.
A clean house is not something that is ever achieved, its a process. I would say that the end goal should be a tidy house. If you live in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine more props to you, but I'm pretty sure that everyone has a little clutter somewhere.
Now that I have the room clean, I do have bits and bobs that made it into other rooms that need to be put away. But these things will be handled in my daily cleaning routine. (I talk more about my cleaning routine here.) And the end goal is to keep everything in it's place. If you can't keep it in it's place, at least keep it in its room...if that make sense. The whole goal is to quit saying 'I'm just going to throw this in here' because that turns into a nightmare. Handle as much as you can when it happens rather than dealing with it afterwards.
Now, but no means is the gospel and by no means is this science. But I've always been horrible at being tidy so discovering what works for me is a huge deal and I wanted to share with you how I think and how I work to keep things tidy. I found this article that may help you with a big cleaning task as well.
What is your cleaning routine? How do you tackle big rooms or catch all spaces?