“Clean your room!”
Those three words have haunted kids and teenagers almost for as long as there have been kids and teenagers. Even as an adult, I don’t always have time to keep my bedroom neat and tidy. If you’re in the same boat, here are some tips on maintaining a tidy, organized bedroom once and for all.
The power of ten minutes
You can accomplish quite a bit in ten minutes! If you’re like me and busy with kids, work, and family life, something as simple as making your bed regularly falls by the wayside. Here’s how to keep on top of things in just ten minutes.
- Understand that this will not be a deep clean, and give yourself permission for that to be okay. We are simply going to tidy up.
- Grab a garbage bag, some surface cleaner, a rag, and some window cleaner.
- As you do a quick dusting on flat surfaces, move items that are not where they belong.
- If there’s no designated place for a certain item, put it in a “homeless items” pile.
- Make your bed and clean windows.
- Go back and find a home for the “homeless items” you collected earlier.
Making this routine a habit will prevent the pile up of misplaced items — and dust.
Next, I want to discuss furniture arrangement. Most bedrooms are rather small and that determines what can be placed in the bedroom, and how it is arranged. Still, thoughtful planning can result in a more consistently tidy room, particularly by eliminating invitations to clutter.
Be mindful of your laundry area
Dedicate the smallest amount of bedroom real estate to laundry as you can get away with. In my experience, a laundry pile grows to accommodate the space allotted for it. Find a small, unobtrusive area for a compact basket. You could also consider a door-hanging model like the Laundry Hook. Keeping dirty laundry up and out of the way can eliminate the temptation to let a sock or two spill onto the floor.
An industrial coat rack
My wife and I bought two commercial-grade rolling garment racks a few years ago and we love them. They tuck into a closet or corner when not in use, and are easily rolled around when needed.
When shopping for the bedroom, look for furniture with hidden storage. Under-bed storage is great (as long as you keep it tidy), but also look for something as simple as an ottoman with an internal compartment. It offers double-duty as a seat and an out-of-sight storage unit. It’s a great place to hide extra blankets, off-season clothing, etc. A bedside table with storage can be used to hide slippers or your CPAP machine.
Use clothing organizers to keep drawers neat and tidy. They are great for your socks and underwear. Non-slip drawer liner placed in the bottom of drawers will help keep loose items from rolling around.
Keep the top of the dresser organized, too. Personally, I don’t put anything on my dresser top, as I know that, for me, one item will become two, then three, then the whole thing is covered. By maintaining a clean surface, I don’t stray from the system I use inside the drawers.
Move off-season items somewhere else. Buy some bins, add labels, and move the summer clothes (or winter, depending on the season) to a long-term storage area such as your basement or guest closet.
Keep shoes elsewhere
I live and die by this rule: no shoes in the bedroom. It might sound a little crazy, but shoes tend to pile up, get strewn about, trip me in the middle of the night, and otherwise make a nuisance of themselves as soon as they leave my feet. Instead, they stay by the door on a boot mat.
There you have some quick tips for maintaining a tidy bedroom all year long. Now, when someone tells you, “Clean your room,” you can answer, “I’m way ahead of you.”