It is an emergency! Your unexpected guests will be arriving soon and you have a mess on your hands. If you need instructions on how to tidy your room fast, just quickly read on.
1. The Mindset
From an early age we are all generally instructed (nagged), repeatedly, about keeping things in order, but often the result is that the “I am supposed to tidy my room” concept is not followed by the appropriate action.
Kids believe in magic: the real idea is “Oh, somebody will tidy my room“. And, after much completely ineffectual nagging, pleading and cajoling, somebody (Mummy) eventually does.
However, the seed is planted. When we finally leave home to go to university or work, we usually share a flat or rent a room or bedsit and the lurking knowledge that we are now completely responsible for the state of tidiness/cleanliness of our living quarters translates into a much more convinced “I must clean my room“.
Whether action follows or not, the idea is there. The above scenario of parents, friends, sundry relatives, or perhaps a special friend, arriving at short notice often spurs that lurking thought into action in a very positive way.
2. Do Your Bed
A quick look round a messy bedroom can be either motivating or cause for despair. In either case, the first thing to do, immediately, without thinking too much about it, is to make the bed. Properly. There, the room looks better already.
Your bed is one of the quickest things in your room to tidy and it literally only takes less than 30 seconds. Straighten out the duvet and neatly place your pillow. Make a habit out of doing this every morning.
The newly made bed is telling you that you have finished with the night and it is time to get on with the morning and with all the other chores ahead, before your visitors arrive. Time is at a premium, learning how to tidy your room quickly is a precious skill.
3. Clear Out the Rubbish
Now that your bed is looking like an island of calm in chaotic seas, the next step is to dispose of any obvious rubbish. Rather than carrying around a rubbish-bag, which has to be held open, use a box with the rubbish-bag inside. That way you can aim things into it from all around the room.
If in doubt about what constitutes rubbish, take a moment to ponder. That old receipt is actually a guarantee, this pretty tea-cup is hopelessly stained, these socks are threadbare, could this cracked vase be Ming?
Sometimes it is hard to sort rubbish and follow up with the right action but the fastest method is, of course, is to dispose of everything you’ve kept long enough but had not had to use. Chances are, you never will have to use them ever.
4. Dust Free Flat Surfaces
The night-stand, the dresser, the desk, the table and any furniture with flat surfaces have much in common. They are open and inviting. They are immediately to hand as convenient space on which to blithely deposit sundry items. They are friendly, useful, practical parts of the furniture.
However, they are also sneaky and they love to collect. They seldom function as transit areas: whatever object falls into their trap, usually stays there, occupying space and gathering dust.
Here, the basics of “how to clean your room fast” split into two variables. You can focus on the faster way – just run a fluffy duster over all objects. Try blowing to get rid of some of the underlying dust.
Or, you can emphasise cleanliness, which takes a bit longer but is more effective. You need a damp cloth (detergent or water) and a box. With a sweeping gesture, deposit all loose objects in the box. If time is really tight, shove it under the bed, to be dealt with later.
The flat surfaces are now newly exposed, displaying a layer of dust and a surprising amount of empty space. Clean with damp cloth. While you have the cloth in your hand, go round and wipe cupboards, handles, chairs, window-sills, etc.
5. De-Clutter With Emotions
About that box under the bed – most of the objects it contains could be classed as clutter and must be tended to sooner or later. A trendy Japanese philosophy gives some interesting pointers about how to deal with excessive Stuff or clutter.
We all have Stuff around us, from precious souvenirs to useless bric-a-brac, and when excessive stuff gets concentrated into one room it becomes overbearing. This adds to the impression of messiness and makes it harder for you to even plan on how to clean your room faster.
The basic Japanese de-cluttering secret is to hold a debatable object closely in your hands. Then, try to feel if it gives you joy in some way. If it doesn’t, throw it out. Simple. Please note that this idea should not be applied to gas bills, parking fines or mothers-in-law.
6. Hide the Cables
That dedicated space for electronics is often a tangled web of cables snaking around state-of-the-art devices and multi-media gadgets. Indeed, it is all those cables, together with adaptors, chargers, electrical leads and extensions, that suggest bedlam.
Cables never cooperate – they tangle, snaggle, knot and twist at the slightest touch, and they gather dust. Even discreetly clustered in a corner on the floor they are unsightly. Properly winding every cable would take time, and even the most expertly wound cables never stay that way.
So, in this emergency, position the computer, printer, speakers and larger devices centre desk, then stash all cables and stuff behind. Alternatively, stash them in a box. Try to deal with any dust as you proceed.
7. Organise Your Clothes and Shoes
Articles of clothing left lying around make a major contribution to the messiness of a messy bedroom. Remedy – quickly collect and deposit shoes in the bottom of the wardrobe, possibly in pairs. Collect every item of clothing and dump everything onto the nice flat surface of the newly made bed.
Divide into hang, fold and laundry. Sort quickly. Hangables go straight onto hangars in the wardrobe and washing goes on the floor (for transfer into laundry basket), which leaves the foldables waiting expectantly on the bed.
Yes, this is the part that slows you down, they never collaborate. Folding is a slow, fiddly-fussy activity that disrupts your dynamic rush. Instead, it’s a lot quicker and more space saving to roll up your clothes. Make a habit of this is you want to learn how to tidy your room quickly and effectively.
If time allows, avoid the temptation to bundle things willy-nilly into drawers; although this is a much speedier method, it creates havoc in the future.
8. Straighten Up Books
In a showcase, library books stand stiffly to attention in perfect alphabetical alignment. In the real world, bookshelves that see a lot of activity are not in any particular order and display visible signs of frequent use and hurried consultation, with books put back sideways, upside-down or spilling out onto the floor.
Create order. First, gather any books lying around. Then, make space in the bookshelves: straighten fallen books, push books back or closer together, make room to insert all the stray books; use brute force if necessary.
Once you have all the books nicely lined up, do a quick caress with the fluffy duster over the tops of all of them.
9. Clean the Dishes
Often dirty plates, glasses and cups get left lying around in your room or end up piled in the sink hopefully waiting for attention. This should be tended to before your guests arrive. No worries! Here is the super-quick washing-up method.
Instead of first filling the sink with water and washing-up liquid, skip this bit. Pile all dirty dishes, cutlery and pans alongside the sink. Even better, place them in one of the sinks if you have a double sink unit.
Take a sponge, preferably with an abrasive side for the stickier bits, wet it, pour a good dose of washing-up liquid onto it and directly apply it to one plate at a time. Keep the water running and pass the washed plates directly underneath to rinse.
Save time, do not dry the plates, leave them stacked upside-down to dry, or in the overhead rack. The homely sight of clean plates drying will not displease your guests, they will probably offer to help put them away.
10. Spick and Span Flooring
The “clean my room” campaign is now well advanced. The floor is the last challenge. Take up any rugs and beat them vigorously outside the window. You can vacuum the carpet with an upright vacuum but a handheld vac is easier for quick jobs. Generally a broom is best to take care of dusty corners.
Use a wet mop with a touch of detergent to clean non-carpet areas (a bonus if you have a steam mop to quickly steam clean your carpet!).
A bucketful of water is not necessary, use just enough to cover the area that needs cleaning; dealing with less water volume saves a little time and somewhat lightens the chore to hand. Leave all windows open so the floor can dry quickly.
Mastering the Art of Quickly Tidying Your Bedroom
Now you have got an idea about how to tidy your room fast, you will feel much more prepared when the next unexpected visitors almost take you by surprise!
If you calculate that each task, speedily expedited, has taken on average about five minutes, you have brought your place to its present glory in less than an hour. Immediately take a photograph to remind you of your efficiency!